Posts Tagged 'saving'

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Do you avoid pet animal shelters because you’re afraid you’ll bring home a cat or dog?

When we moved to Tennessee three years ago, we adopted two kittens at a two-for-one special at our local shelter. They are sweet companions and earn their keep in mice and mole control. In 2015, Amelia Josephson at SmartAsset.com compiled data revealing that Americans spent more than $60 billion on their pets! We spent $23 billion on food, $14 billion on supplies and over the counter meds, $16 billion on vet care, $2 billion on live animal purchases and $5 billion on pet services like grooming and boarding.  And, the pet industry does not appear to be affected by economic downturns. Pets add joy to our lives, but there are ways to avoid foolish and extraordinary costs. First of all, borrow a friend’s animal to see if you are really up for the time they require. Do you or your children have time to walk the dog or empty the litter box? Will you or they clean up the yard on a regular basis? Are you prepared for the damage a puppy can do to your home? Know whic ...

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If you’re like me, you don’t like to carry a pocketful of change. Do you collect yours in a jar?

For years, I have tossed my coins in a jar and rolled them once a year. The boys and I spend a couple hours rolling and get our grins watching the money grow with each additional roll. Coinstar kiosks, located at grocery stores and Walmart, will roll your change but charge you a 10.9% fee for the service. When registering online, they offer the option of trading your coins for e-gift cards or donations to charity. Personally, I prefer to roll the coins myself while talking with my sons. This is a tradition they may take to their homes someday. When our children were young, the activity taught them coin identification and sorting. They had to count and use addition skills. They still delight in finding old coins and calculating the value of their spare change. If rolling is an activity you don’t like or have time for, check with your bank. Some will allow you to bring in your unrolled coins for deposit into your account. If you choose to take this route, why not consiste ...

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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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Jay Leno has never touched a dime of the money he earned on the Tonight Show.

According to an article at Yahoo Finance, Leno says "I always had two incomes. I'd bank one and I'd spend one." And he made sure to spend the smaller amount. "When I was younger, I would always save the money I made working at the car dealership and I would spend the money I made as a comedian," he says. "When I started to get a bit famous, the money I was making as a comedian was way more than the money I was making at the car dealership, so I would bank that and spend the car dealership money. I've never touched a dime of my 'Tonight Show' money. Ever." I wonder if he realizes he is using a biblical principle with this two-income strategy? Ecclesiastes 11: 6 says: Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. Mr. Leno not only had two sources of income, he learned to live on the smallest of the two. As we wrap up the year, think about this example and how you can apply it t ...

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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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Are you guilty of buying things you don’t need? Are your closets full? Maybe you get a rush shopping?

All of us have probably purchased something we didn’t need. But, do you know why? Lauren Greutman, gives reasons in an article she wrote for the Huffington Post. Here are a few she discovered, with my solutions to the problem. You want to impress people. Solution: Find your true identity in Christ. Greed and pride can stunt your character and will keep you in bondage. You’re in the habit. Solution: In just 21 days you can break the shopping habit and develop a savings habit instead. Only go to the store if necessary and then, with a list. Avoid any impulse purchases. Pray before you go to avoid temptation. You don’t think through what you already have before buying. Solution: Could it be that you are not thankful for what you have? Or, maybe your closets are so full you have forgotten what is there? Use what you have and donate or sell the excess. You’re depressed and you feel better buying stuff. Solution: In the long term, these purchases are not ...

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Our world teaches that more is better. But have you ever considered that less is more?

Dolly Parton grew up in a 1-room cabin in the woods and says being poor was good for her. Why? She saw her parents struggle and stretch a dollar. Think about it. When you don't have as much, you develop skills that those with much don’t have the opportunity to learn; things like sewing, cooking, cleaning, and home and auto repairs. You learn how to manage time when you must hold down several jobs. You trade favors with friends and family rather than just buying what you need. You learn to make do with what you have. You know how to live without things others consider necessities. Instead of going to the movies, concerts, ballets and sporting events, you host your own concerts, write your own plays, and compete against yourself or family members. Creativity blossoms when economy demands. Growing up with less can actually breed perseverance, self-discipline and humility that propel the talented into successful careers. Famous singer, Celine Dion, a native of Canada, is the youngest of 14 c ...

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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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