From the monthly archives: April, 2016

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'April, 2016'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Beware Craig’s List Scams!

Originally posted at Christian Post April 29, 2016. 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 a little afraid of selling things on the Internet. This month a man was sentenced to life in prison for helping his stepsister beat to death a man she met on Craigslist that she intended to rob. She’s in prison now too. So many people I know have made a lot money by selling things on the website or buying things at what seems to me to be an international garage sale, but I am a little afraid to use it because of all the stories you read like this one. I know Crown advises people to simplify and to sell things to downsize and earn money when possible, but do you think it is safe to use it? Scared of the Worldwide Web Dear Scared, It’s very appropriate to be concerned about any exchange on the Internet, whether it&rs ...

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Are you thinking of transferring a credit card balance? Hang on!

People who consider balance transfer cards are typically individuals struggling to pay off the principal of their credit card debt due to high monthly interest payments. With balance transfer cards, you can make one low-rate monthly credit card payment instead of several. That is the idea anyway. However, let me caution you, if you're simply transferring balances from card to card, the new one won't eliminate your debt woes. In fact, you could wind up making them worse because balance transfers often involve fees and could carry high go-to interest rates once the introductory period is over. John Ulzheimer, a nationally recognized credit expert says "You have to do a balance transfer for the right reasons, to do it to tread water for another 12 months before sinking is not worth it. To tread water while aggressively paying down your debt in 12 months -- that's the right strategy." I agree! Here are helpful tips on balance transfer cards Before jumping at an offer, read the fine print and calculate the co ...

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Today, I want to share some testimonies that will encourage you.

We have recently received some testimonies from listeners who have shared what they learned from the taking the free MoneyLife Indicator assessment. It gives an overall score from 0 to 100 as well as scores for 9 key areas of Biblical stewardship. It also provides a plan for corrective action.  Listen to their stories. Stacey wrote: It was insightful to see the difference between my beliefs and behaviors. For the most part, my beliefs were higher than my behaviors. Lem shared: My overall score is 82. My top 3 beliefs to improve are investing, legacy, and giving. Top 3 behavior to work on are: legacy, managing and planning. I'm thankful to identify the areas I need to improve most, I hope after this course I'll be more faithful managing the blessing He entrusted to me. Justine wrote: My overall score is 67.  My goal is to focus on all the areas in this study, but the top three key areas for improvement where my belief system is concerned is investing ...

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Today, I want to give you steps to trusting God during a financial storm.

Many times in our lives we face financial challenges that are like small, temporary storms.  Maybe a few bills are past due, the debt seems to be piling up, the job is not going well or you have been laid off.  Sometimes the financial storms feel devastating.  Maybe you have insurmountable hospital bills, an injury that prevents you from working or you have experienced bankruptcy and must start all over without any credit. If you are going through one of those storms right now, these are opportunities to learn to trust God like never before.  Here is my advice to help you through it. First, write down the problem in a journal that is kept private, just between you and God.  Describe your circumstances in detail. Tell him how you feel – express your fears, worries and doubts if you are experiencing any of these.  Next, write down your prayer request in detail. Express to the Lord your need and your willingness to trust Him minute by minute, regardless of what happens. ...

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Are your spending habits normal? Find out today…

A recent article at Bankrate.com published the Consumer Expenditure Survey, an annual report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that breaks down various expenses in detail and offers averages by income, region and family size, among other factors. Average spending for households Lets take a look at the national averages for all income brackets: Households earning $70K+ a year Category Amount spent Percentage of spending Housing $26,954 31.1% Transportation $14,908 17.2% Per ...

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Can you Legislate Greed Away?

Originally posted at Christian Post April 22, 2016. 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, With all the talk about socialism in this election cycle, I keep wondering if there is a way to better deal with greed than our country’s capitalistic system. Do you think that greed can be controlled through economic policy? Does socialism do a better job than capitalism in controlling greed? Puzzled by the Headlines.     Dear Puzzled, Great question. I believe that a lot of the conflict in the debates about socialism and capitalism can be informed by considering God’s law found in the Ten Commandments. In Exodus 20, God outlined two commandments that influence our economic lives everyday (and that most of us agree with): Thou Shalt Not Lie and Thou Shalt not Steal. Pretty much every government in the world ...

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Do you know why casinos use chips instead of cash for most of their games of chance?

Experts tell us that the primary reason casinos prefer chips over cash is because chips add a little mental separation between the gambler and his valuable money. It’s a little easier for you, the gambler, to place a big bet because it’s just chips. Logically, you know what those chips represent. But since it’s not actual cash in your hand, you feel slightly less inhibition towards taking bigger risks. Basically, it’s a matter of psychology. If you use chips, all you need to do is throw a single chip down on the table. It doesn’t look like much. It’s just a single, lonely chip sitting there in the middle of green felt. All it takes is a second and the money is gone. That is just one of the many reasons I don’t gamble. But follow me: The same principle applies when spending is done with plastic vs. cash.  It turns out that multiple behavioral economics studies back up these assertions. One of the most often cited studies is one conducted by Dun & B ...

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We need to be very concerned about the ever-increasing tax burden on fewer and fewer people in the US.

The Tax Foundation, in its annual report on when the nation as a whole has earned enough to pay its taxes, announced the date as April 24. Let me help you understand what that means.  First, according to the Tax Policy Center, 45.3% of Americans did not pay any federal income tax in 2015. That means approximately 55% of those of us who pay federal income taxes, must work until April 24 to pay the US government. We do not start earning income that is “ours” or eligible to keep without being taxed until April 25.   To put this in perspective, their findings showed that: Collectively, Americans will spend more on taxes in 2016 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined. Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of almost $5.0 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation's income. If you include annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would oc ...

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Do you understand how to use the DEBT SNOWBALL method?

If you want to escape the constant pressure of financial stress and worries, then make a plan to get out of debt. The amount of interest you are paying on borrowed money is likely the biggest expense in your budget when all added together. It does not have to be this way.  Make a plan using the debt snowball method or what some call the “rollover method”. Let me explain. First, make a list of all the consumer debts you currently owe. That would be any student loans, credit cards, auto loans, store accounts, personal loans from family or friends.  Let’s leave the mortgage out of the picture for now. Now, there are two ways to list these debts. The most popular method is to list the smallest debt first to the highest balance last.  Another method is to list the debts from the highest interest you are paying to the lowest interest. Using the popular method, as each smaller debt is paid off, the freed-up payment amount is then applied to the next larger debt, and so on until all ...

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Tax Refunds: To Shop or Not To Shop – That is the Question

Originally posted at Christian Post April 15, 2016. 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, Procrastinators Unite! This weekend, my husband and I will be crashing on our tax returns, due Monday, April 18th, and we’re hoping to receive a return. What do you suggest we do with the money?   Procrastinator Dear Procrastinator, It is never best to wait until the last minute to do your income tax return but it is better than not filing or filing late!  Since the majority of filers will receive a refund, this is a great question; especially when the average tax return in 2015 was $3,120.  Usually, I wouldn’t turn to a poll to offer advice, but I’m going to make an exception today after reading about a new one out from Bankrate.com. Despite assertions that the economy is doing well and unemployment is ...

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