Posts Tagged 'holiday'

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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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Tis the Season for Charitable Giving

Originally posted on the Christian Post on December 23. 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, My mail and email are full of requests for end-of-year donations, and there are so many good causes. But it’s hard to balance how to give at a time of year when I’m shopping for so many. How important is it to close out the year with charitable giving? What kind of choices need to be made? It’s hard to get the money together for Christmas, but I feel guilty when I see those financial needs piling up. How should I balance these things? Charitably Challenged.   Dear Challenged, Since there are so many great and worthy causes, I can understand your challenge. I will speak to the question of balance and priorities, but the importance of giving is the focus of my response. You ask a great question that’s really about the st ...

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Thinking about selling your home? It may sound crazy, but there are good reasons to list during the holidays!

Recently I shared some good reasons to buy a home at year end. Today, I want to share why it is good to list your home for sale during November and December. Three years ago, we sold our home in November after listing it with Nikki Bonds. She is a successful realtor with some good reasons to list your home during the holidays. See if you’re convinced! First, people who look for a home during the holidays are more serious buyers. Since there are fewer houses to choose from now and less competition, that means more money for you. Second, houses often show better when decorated for the holidays. Serious buyers are more emotional during the holidays and more likely to pay your price. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays and some people must buy before year-end for tax reasons. Nikki reminds us that January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until spring to buy, your home should be on the market now to capture those ...

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6 Christmas Budget Busters - The most common traps to overspending at the holidays and tips on how you can avoid them

Christmas shopping can be the most expensive and stressful shopping experience of the entire year year. Many stores count on last minute, frantic shoppers to overspend out of desperation. Crown Financial Ministries has compiled a list of these Christmas Budget Busters for you to lookout for and tips on how to avoid them. Procrastinating. We’ve all been guilty of this at some point, but procrastinating around Christmastime is a dangerous budget-buster. If you feel stressed, frantic, or rushed while you are shopping, you’re likely to spend more than you planned. Stores anticipate this and place the big, sparkly displays with the over-priced items in the most visible places throughout the store. You see it, grab something in a rush, and checkout without even consulting your list or budget.  How to avoid it: Shop smart! If you have waited to the last minute, take a friend or set up accountability for yourself when you go shopping. Cramming in last minute ...

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I think gift cards are a bad idea for a Christmas present

Here are my top four reasons I don’t think unrequested gift cards are a good idea:   #1 – Ever wonder why you see racks of gift cards at every grocery store and retail store?  Studies show that between 20 to 25% of those that receive them never use them.  In other words, the stores make a fortune knowing the cards are likely to go unused due to loss or forgetfulness. #2. They are not the same as cash. If you get a $25 gift card and only spend $23 – you will have a balance of $2 on your card. These small, unused balances are likely to never get used. #3. Some have expiration dates and even penalties if they go unused. To the contrary, cash can earn interest while it is unused. #4. The card limits your options to that specific restaurant, or Starbucks or that iTunes store. Cash can be spent or invested anywhere. If you are not sure what to get your loved one and are tempted to get them a gift card – I have a better idea. Make them a very nice card and ...

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Holiday Havoc: Married to Ebenezer Scrooge, but I still love Christmas!

Originally posted on the Christian Post on December 9. 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, My spouse and I are on the opposite sides of Christmas. He’s kind of an Ebenezer Scrooge, doesn’t want to spend any money and thinks most decorating is a waste of time and resources, but I love the excitement of the season, and gift giving is a way I like to show my affection. Every year, we end up having huge disagreements over how to celebrate the holiday. He is a Christian, and so we both share an appreciation of Christmas as a celebration of Jesus’ birth, but we are not on the same page at all on what that looks like … or how much money to spend. Can you help us? Tired of Christmas Conflict Dear Tired of Conflict, If it makes you feel any better, you’re not the first person to ask me that question. Just because you and y ...

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Want to celebrate Christmas without blowing your hard-earned savings? Today, some tips for a Christmas without the financial stress.

First of all, protect yourself from advertising overload. Companies know how to play on our emotions to get us to purchase their products. Rather, pray for legacy-building ideas that don’t require money. Intentionally plan a stress-free holiday that allows you to focus on Christ, the best gift of all. What do you have? Think about it! Time, talent, and training cannot be underestimated! Give of your possessions. Pass down things that can be treasured by others. Take note of what your children or friends especially like in your home. Write letters expressing your love and appreciation. Think about holiday entertainment that you be do as a family without spending money. Serve together. Is there a needy family, widow, or shut-in who your family could help in some way? Yardwork, cooking, cleaning, and car or home repairs are a few ideas. Play together! Board games, puzzles, hiking, walking and outdoor sports are great. Have a bin of toys to occupy the young ...

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Be on high alert for scams!

Unfortunately, this wonderful time of year is when scammers attempt to prey on shoppers. The Better Business Bureau publishes a list of the Top 12 Scams of Christmas. Here are a few to keep in mind. Fake charities: The holidays create a great opportunity for scammers to solicitdonations to fill their own pockets. Beware of solicitations from charities that cannot deliver on their promises or pretend to be representing victims that do not really exist. Stolen or Fake gift cards: Buy gift cards only from reputable  dealers, not online or from individuals. It is easy for scammers to sell a card and pull out the funds before consumers can even give it as a gift. Deceiving deliveries: Do not accept notices about delivery delays or confirmations on unordered packages. Scammers often pose as well-known retailers or shipping companies to gain false credibility and access to consumers' computers. Puppy scams: Be careful about buying pets online. Consumers may be unwittingly buying from a puppy mil ...

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HELP! I’m not Ready for the Holidays!

Dear Chuck, I cannot believe that it’s Thanksgiving week, and Christmas is coming in weeks. Most of the time, I feel more stressed than thankful at this time of year (unless you count how thankful I feel when it’s all over!). Have any advice about making Christmas more about Jesus’ birthday and less about a shop-til-you-drop time of year?! Tis the Season for Stress Dear Stressed, Christmas is my favorite season of the year! It is the largest birthday celebration on Earth and appropriately so! Yet, we have tragically moved from worshiping a child lying in a borrowed manger that first Christmas Day to the modern extravaganza marked by frenzied shopping. Just this week my wife and I noticed a mammoth inflatable of Santa and his twelve reindeer on sale at the home improvement store. For only $299, this “yard decoration” could practically hide your entire house from view. Is there any end to these  needless expenses? I’ll step off my soapbox and get to your question... ...

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