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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 ...
Popular tags: family, saving, stewardship, behavior, Chuck Bentley
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 ...
Popular tags: saving, Money, Chuck Bentley, stewardship, steward
Years ago, I was between jobs and not sure where to turn. I began praying and asking God to open doors for me through my network of friends. In just a few days a friend referred me to a friend of his who owned a large company. The interview was a few short questions about my experience, my training and overall fit for the position. The truth was, I fell far short in all three areas. The owner, although polite, asked me why I had even come for the interview and then looked at me and said that it would not work out. At that moment, I stood to shake his hand and asked with a level of confidence that could have only come from God: “Sir, I understand your concerns, I am not very qualified for the position. But will you give me a chance to prove myself?”
I was hired on 90-day probation. If I couldn’t do the job then I would be terminated. By God’s grace, within the first 30 days I had made a very large sell for the company that shocked everyone, including me. And it didn’t stop t ...
Popular tags: work, career, Money, stewardship, behavior, beliefs, Chuck Bentley
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.
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.
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 ...
Popular tags: holiday, stewardship, debt, saving, Chuck Bentley
How about you? Are you aware of the importance of reading?
Tim Challies reveals that “if you do not read, you deny yourself a great way to learn who God is and how he acts in this world.” Tim gives four reasons we need to read: to know, to grow, to lead, and to love.
He says the best reason to read books is to know God. He reveals Himself to us through His Word, but we glean from what others have learned when reading books.
John Piper, in Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of Christ, says that when reading, “… we are working hard with our minds to figure out meaning from texts. Then, of course, we go on from there to think how that meaning relates to other meanings from other texts and from experiences in life. On and on the mind goes, until we build a coherent view of the world so that we can live a life that is rooted in a true understanding of God’s Word and its application to the world.”
I currently have books overflowing from my be ...
Popular tags: beliefs, behavior, stewardship
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 ...
Popular tags: debt, saving, stewardship, work, behavior, career, credit cards
Students should save so that they are in the habit later in the workplace.
Giving to the Lord first, then paying themselves should become a way of life even before graduating high school. Learning to delay gratification for a future need is crucial.
In an August article at CheatSheet.com, Eric McWhinnie stated that spending less than you earn and investing the difference is the key to financial independence. I agree! Yet, most people fail to realize the benefit of starting early. In fact, only 27% of respondents in a survey at MoneyRates.com started saving in their 20s. The benefits are undeniable when observing the effects of compounding interest over several decades.
A person who starts investing at age 25 and invests for only 10 years but allows it to grow will have substantially more at age 65 than a person who invests the same amount starting at age 35. Starting early makes a tremendous difference. *
Retirement savings are growing more and more necessary because people are living ...
Popular tags: career, work, saving, stewardship, retirement, student, behavior, Chuck Bentley
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 ...
Popular tags: Chuck Bentley, theft, shopping, holiday, spending, giving, steward, stewardship
When the Lord commended the 5-talent and 2-talent stewards in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30), He told them they had done “good”. Often times we don't pay attention to that word because we assume we know what it means. But it is important to examine its rich meaning to grasp what the Lord expects of us.
Definition of GOOD: Morally excellent, pious, righteous, high quality,proper, honorable, worthy.
The word is first used in Genesis 1:3,4 - And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
Stewardship is managing in very simple ways. The Bible tell us in 3 John 1:11 - Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.
We can actually be successful managing money and still miss the mark of doing that which is good. Let me give you an example: If a billionaire gives away his en ...
Popular tags: Chuck Bentley, steward, stewardship, bible, beliefs, faith
This year we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the ministry birthed by Larry and Judy Burkett in 1976. Since our humble beginnings in Dahlonega, Georgia, Crown Financial Ministries has been empowering faithful stewards and impacting lives in the USA and now to our current reach into 104 nations.
Larry Burkett, our late founder, pioneered the teaching of God’s financial principles as a specialized focus of ministry. He passionately believed in teaching the importance of understanding the concepts of Lordship, Stewardship and Generosity. Fueled by his passion to advance the kingdom of God, Larry authored over 70 books, hosted a daily radio program and conducted training seminars which impacted more than 50 million lives before he went home to be with the Lord on July 4, 2003.
This fall, we gathered with volunteers and global leaders in beautiful
Asheville, North Carolina to celebrate all God has done through Crown over the past four decades. We came together with members of our Crown family from five c ...
Popular tags: Chuck Bentley, steward, stewardship
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