Posts Tagged 'debt'

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Do you want to get out of debt in the New Year?!

Originally posted on the Christian Post on January 6. To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity. Dear Chuck, I read your column about making New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve made mine: Get out of debt. It’s not my first attempt, but I’m hopeful that this time I can do it. I wish I had a more creative tale of woe, but it’s basically the same old boy-goes-to-college, boy-gets-loans-and-credit-cards, boy-wants-out! How should I get started? Looking for a New Beginning   Dear New Beginning, Congratulations on deciding to take another run at getting out of debt. I will address the student loans and the credit cards alike. And yes, you can do this! The final chapter to your tale should be three steps to boy-pays-off-all-debt! Part I - boy-makes-a-plan Your story is important and is shared by many. In fact, a Pew ...

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Are you resolved to get out of debt in 2017? I have some practical steps for you today.

For the average American, interest payments consume the largest chunks of their monthly paycheck. There is interest on credit card balances, student loans, store accounts, and mortgages. Here are some ways to get started paying it off this year! Make a resolution that by December 31 of this year, you will have significantly reduced your high-interest debt. It takes a plan and perseverance to achieve your goal.  Use your income tax refund, which is estimated to be around $3,800 this year for the average American, to pay off your highest interest debt first. It is the one costing you the most and will provide the biggest relief to get it paid off. The sooner you file, the sooner you get your refund.   Next, adjust your withholding or estimated quarterly payments to be sure you are likely not to get a refund next year.  For many, this could mean an extra $300 per month in your pocket that can be applied towards debt reduction. So think about it, if you do both of the ...

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This New Year, make Christ-honoring financial choices.

We are inundated with financial advice. The list of sources for the latest and greatest on how to make and manage money is all around us.  The vast majority of what I read can be condensed to this formula – do this or that to increase your earnings and to have more money. It is stated or packaged or even disguised in thousands of ways, but the common denominator is usually the same.   However, The Bible does not offer this advice. The Scripture tells us primarily what we are to believe about money. This is a profound difference than telling us what to do.    Romans 12:1-2 says we are not to be conformed to the world but transformed by the renewing of our minds. This means we must change our beliefs if we expect to be truly changed. One simple application of this for 2017 is to ask yourself, “Is the financial choice I am making honoring to Christ and His kingdom?”   The only way you can confidently know is if you know God’s Word. For ...

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Making New Year’s Resolutions You can Keep

Originally posted on the Christian Post on December 30. To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity. Dear Chuck, I’m closing out my year, thinking of goals for 2017. Do you think it’s a biblical idea to make resolutions? And if so, do you have any advice on how to make resolutions that I can actually keep? Ready For Change. Dear Ready, Yes, I think resolutions can be supported by Scripture and are an excellent idea! For the past two years, my personal resolution has been to drink water only (plain or sparkling) in order to eliminate much of my sugar intake. Eliminating coffee, tea, juice and sodas has saved me money and helped me to be more disciplined in maintaining my health. By God’s grace, I have been able to keep my resolution, so I definitely have some advice for you! Making plans and setting goals are really vital for achieving a ...

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Are you looking for ways to earn a little extra money this month? How about emptying out your storage unit!

Joshua Becker who blogs at Becoming Minimalist says 1 in 10 Americans rent off-site storage. Twenty-five percent of Americans have two-car garages but don’t have room to park a vehicle inside, while thirty-two percent can only park one. We have too much stuff and pay to store more. This is a problem! Natalie Campisi at Go Banking Rates.com compiled some interesting statistics. The average national storage unit costs are: $40-$50 per month for a 5-by-5-foot unit $75-$140 per month for a 10-by-15-foot unit Those prices increase for climate controlled units and more square feet. There are times when a temporary unit is needed. But to store things for months on end is a waste of money that could go towards debt repayment, savings, or investing. Here are a few reasons you might be using one: You are too attached to your stuff. Recruit someone to help you go through it! You may need the stuff someday. "Someday" may be costing you more than it’s worth. Why not se ...

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Do you worry you may outlive your retirement savings?

According to a new Bankrate.com survey, “People who earn more than $75,000 have a greater fear that they’ll run out of money in retirement. Overall, 23% of survey respondents say their top worry is that their savings will run out, but 29% of those in the $75,000-and-up income bracket say the same.” According to an article at Time.com, “These fears persist despite thefact that about half of high-income Americans say they’re happy with the amount they’re socking away for retirement, compared to the 29% overall who say they’re happy with their current retirement savings. And even among those earning more than $75,000 a year, more than a quarter say just keeping up with basic living expenses is hampering their retirement savings”. A few ways to avoid outliving your savings is to get out of debt, learn to live on a budget, and reduce your cost of living as much as possible. This will enable you to increase your savings and add to your cushion now as opposed to ...

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Have you unknowingly put your trust in money?

I think we all know that we should not love money.  Read 1 Timothy 6:9,10: "Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and intomany foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grieves." In his series, "Gods at War", Kyle Idleman suggests that in Scripture, “Money is most often portrayed as God’s chief competition.” He claims, “Your god is determined by what you put your trust in. So for most people, money is their god.” What if this verse was changed to read: "For the trust of money is a root of all kinds of evil." Would that make it easier to recognize that it is an idol in our lives? It certainly does for me. Another way to recognize this is to consider how we would react to losing all of our money. We tend to grieve the loss of that which we love. Paul offered a s ...

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Is it the credit card that is preventing you from becoming financially free?

Many cannot imagine living in the modern world of electronic commerce without the use of a credit card. Because of that, I see couples that basically manage their entire budget around keeping their credit card balances paid down enough to stay out of hot water. Did you know that if you carry a large monthly balance on your credit card and pay only the minimum monthly payments, you are actually creating a debt more expensive than your home mortgage? None of us would ever order pizza knowing we would be paying for it over the next 25 years, would we?  Imagine calling your bank and saying, “I need to order a few pizzas this weekend for the football game we are watching. It will cost about $25. Can I borrow that money and pay you back for the next 25 years at 14% interest?” Yikes!  Here is what I want you to do if you are carrying credit card balances.  First, make a plan to pay off all your balances. We have a Debt Snowball Calculator at Crown.org that will help you make ...

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Is your student loan stressing you out?

New college graduates are leaving school with an average of $37,000 in student loan debt and the impact can cause significant stress. Research from the 2016 Employee Financial Wellness Survey by Price Waterhouse Coopers indicates some significant impact to overall financial well being for workers who have student loan debtvs. those who don’t. Almost twice as many employees with student loan debt say they are stressed about their finances (81% to 46%), they use credit cards to pay for monthly necessities because they are unable to afford them otherwise (41% to 22%), and they find it difficult to meet their household expenses on time each month (65% to 35%). The same ratio of 2 to 1 say finances have been a distraction at work for those with student loan debt (50% to 23%). These are all great reasons to make a plan to pay off your student loan debt. To do so, set a goal. That means to determine how much extra you pay towards getting out of debt and over what period of time you will do this to ...

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Lessons From My Dad On Money and Finances

Today’s guest learned a valuable lesson about money from his dad. My guest today is David McAlvany, President of McAlvany Wealth Advisors and author of his newest book, The Intentional Legacy. David, what was the best thing your dad taught you about money and finance? “My dad is in the money management business and has been for decades. He left me with an extreme aversion to debt. When I went off to college, I may have been the only kid who didn’t have credit cards in their pocket. It forced me to develop habits to buy only that which I could afford. Of course, I didn’t have a credit history when I graduated, but that’s a different issue and not a really big deal. As I’ve moved into a professional career, I’ve witnessed so many people start businesses and feel like they have to borrow in order to grow their business. But many of those have lost their businesses ultimately because of the pressure and strain of not being able to make payments on ...

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