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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Biblical Financial Principles ~ Your Money Map ~ A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom. Amazing Sunrise At The End Of A Country Road


 

Audio Click > Your Money Map
It’s a subject many couples struggle with. It causes stress and strife in marriage. If you and your spouse disagree about how to handle your money…Finances God’s Way…Your Money Map in the New Year…




MoneyLife






MoneyLife Indicator



Study Guide:
Your Money Map: A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom

by Howard Dayton

Your Money Map Includes Seven Destinations
It is never too soon to begin your journey to financial freedom. We will begin with an overview
of the trip, and then examine each destination more carefully. Remember, Roadside Assistance
—Online! is free and always available. Log on to CrownMoneyMap.org.

Destination 1: Emergency Savings

  • Begin using a spending plan (budget)
  • Save $1000 for emergencies


Destination 2: Credit Cards Paid Off

  • Pay off credit cards
  • Increase savings to one month of living expenses


Destination 3: Consumer Debt Paid Off

  • Pay off all consumer debt (auto loans, student loans, etc.)


Destination 4: Save for Major Purchases

  • Begin saving for major purchases (home, auto, etc.)
  • Begin saving for retirement
  • Begin saving for children’s education
  • If you want to start your own business, begin saving for that


Destination 5: Buy Home and Begin Investing

  • Buy an affordable home
  • Begin prepaying home mortgage
  • Begin investing wisely


Destination 6: Home Mortgage Paid Off

  • Home mortgage paid off
  • Children’s education funded
  • Confirm estate plan is in order


Final Destination

  • My retirement is funded
  • I am free to be more generous with my time and money


The key to reaching the final destination on your journey to financial freedom is to understand
the proper division of responsibilities in the handling of money.

God’s Responsibilities
1. God owns all your possession
2. God is in control
3. God provides our needs.

Our Responsibilities as Managers
1. Be faithful with what we have
2. Be faithful with 100%
3. Be faithful in little things
4. Be faithful with other people’s stuff

We are called to be faithful stewards of all God has bless given us. A faithful steward:

  • Is completely honest
  • Works hard
  • Gives generously
  • Spends wisely
  • Save regularly
  • Avoids debt
  • Invests steadily
  • Trains their children to do the same


Assignment #1
Complete the Financial Statement indicating all your assets and all your liabilities. Then begin
writing down everything you spend for 30 days using the 30-Day Diary. These two documents
will be used to help you develop a realistic spending plan (budget). A sample Percentage Guide
For Family Income for a married couple in included with this document. Other family size
guidelines are available at CrownMoneyMap.org.


Distinguishing Between Poverty, Stewardship, and Prosperity


Giving
Giving helps increase our intimacy with God, builds up our treasure in heaven rather than on
earth, and helps us better appreciate what we do have. The Old Testament recommends giving
away AT LEAST 10% of our income on a regular basis. Most Christian financial planner
suggest you give that 10% to your local church and then give to other ministries and needs as
God directs you.

Honesty
God requires complete honesty in all we do. We cannot practice dishonesty and love God. We
cannot practice dishonesty and love our neighbor. Honesty confirms God’s direction in our lives.
If you have acquired anything dishonestly, you must return it to the rightful owner and make restitution.
Likewise, it is wrong to give bribes that might influence people to do something illegal. Paying taxes is a legal obligation that you must take seriously.

Learn to Celebrate When Good Things Happen
Celebrating your progress along the journey to financial freedom will help you focus on God’s
blessings, continue to move forward when the going gets tough, stay motivated, and maintain
good relationships. Fortunately, celebration DOES NOT need to cost you a lot of money.


God Has a Purpose for You
Your job is to identify God’s purpose for your life. Consider three steps to help you recognize
your purpose.
  • Pray.
  • Read the Bible regularly.
  • Experiment with different kinds of service.

It is helpful to write down your long-term and short-term goals. As a start, try completing these
statements:

Long-Term Goals
Relationship with God__________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Family and friends_____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Service to others______________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Career/Skills/Education________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________


Long-Term Financial Goals
Giving______________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Spending/Lifestyle_____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Saving/Investing_______________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Debt________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Other_______________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________


Short-Term Goals
Relationship with God__________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Family and friends_____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Service to others______________________________________________________________
Career/Skills/Education________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________

Short-Term Financial Goals Giving______________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Spending/Lifestyle_____________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Saving/Investing_______________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Debt________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________
Other_______________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________


Making the Most Out of Your Job
       God honors honest work, and gives us job skills to be successful. Be sure you are in a job that is
well suited to your aptitudes and interests. Becoming a lifelong learner so you can continue to grow your capacity to earn.


Destination 1: Saving for Emergencies 

       Objectives are to save $1000 for emergencies and to start using a spending plan. This step
requires discipline. Limit your exposure to things that tempt you to spend. Cultivate
contentment with what you have. Pray for God to provide
.       
       The most effective way to save is to make it automatic. Sign up at you bank to have a
fixed amount transferred from your checking to your savings account every month. Then, forget
about the money in your savings account.
       
       A spending plan is a tool that is easier to use than a budget. Once you have recorded all
your spending for 30 days, you will know what you have been spending your money on. Now,
examine your spending to see where you can save some money. Consider options like eating out
less, buying fewer clothes, and cutting back on services like cable TV, cell phones, and Internet
service. Decide what will work for you. Your spending plan should also include your charible
giving.

         Next, choose a system for your spending. One simple system used by many of our
grandparents is the envelope system. Label an envelope for each spending category. When you
receive your paycheck, divide the money according to the spending categories. When an
envelope is empty, there is no more money to spend in that category. Many people prefer to use
a checkbook and a paper ledger system. All expenses are recorded in the proper spending
category. When you have spent the allocation for a category, you must wait for the next pay
cycle. The same kind of ledger system can be developed with PC-based or web-based software.
Pick a system that works for you.
    
       Once you have your spending plan in place, continue to review how you are doing and
make adjustments as needed. If your income is variable and unpredictable, it is particularly
important for you to develop a cash reserve. You can develop a monthly spending plan based on
1/12 of your annual income, and develop a spending plan accordingly. Many budget systems
have standard spending categories. Choose categories that work for you.


Destination 2: Credit Cards Paid Off

       They recommend paying down your credit card debt before other consumer debt, because credit
cards tend to have a higher interest rate. How can you possibly continue to save while you pay
off your credit card debt? The simple answer is, control your spending. This means, first of all,
limiting the future use of your credit cards to expenses that are already part of your spending
plan, so that they can be paid off during the first billing cycle.

       Second, once you have an effective spending plan in place, you will have a better idea of
your regular monthly surplus. Your spending plan should include making the minimum payment
on all your debts. Next, start saving one half of your monthly surplus, and using the other half to
begin paying down your credit card debt. Your savings goal for this step is to save one month’s
worth of expenses. When you reach that savings goal for Destination 2, you can use any other
surplus to speed up the process of paying off your credit card debt.

       If you owe money on more than one credit card, focus on paying off the high-interest
credit card with the smallest balance first. This practice will permit you see the progress of
eliminating one debt more quickly. If you carry credit card balances at high interest rates,
consider transferring your balance to a card that carries a lower interest rate. This step can save
you a lot of money in added interest. Do not fail to make the minimum payment on all your
credit cards, because if you do the credit card company can significantly increase your interest
rate.

        When your first high-interest credit card is paid off, switch your surplus payments to the
credit card with the next smallest balance. Continue with this strategy until all credit card
balances are paid off. If you get a pay raise during this process, you may need to rework your
spending plan. Consider adding the pay increase to you monthly surplus, so that you can
accelerate your saving and paying off your debt.


Destination 3: Consumer Debt Paid Off

The three most common debts are auto loans, student loans and home equity loans.
       
       Car debt is one of the biggest obstacles for most people on their journey to financial
freedom, because some people never get out of it. Just as they are ready to pay off a car, they
trade it in and purchase another car with credit. Here are some suggestions to get out of auto
debt:
  1. Decide to keep you car at least three years longer than your car loan.
  2. Pay off your car loan.
  3. After making your last car payment, start saving the amount of your former car payment each month.
  4. When you are ready to replace your car, use the money you have saved plus your trade-in to purchase a replacement vehicle. It may not be a new car, but a used car with no debt is a better value.
       Avoid the trap of leasing a car. Leasing is not cost effective, because you will be free from the
monthly payments, like you will with a car you own. Consider purchasing a more fuel efficient
vehicle that will also reduce your monthly spending on gasoline. Also, remember to carry
adequate insurance on your car while you have a care loan so that you will be able to pay off the
loan if your car is totaled in an accident.

       The level of student loans the average student carries has nearly doubled in the past ten
years. Government-subsidized loans tend to have a lower interest rate than privately-held
student loans. If you have loans from multiple sources, you may be able to reduce your interest
rate by consolidating your loans and setting up an automatic payment plan from your bank
account.

       Home equity loans are simply additional mortgages. They use the equity in your home as the collateral that secures the loan. Home equity loans are attractive for major purchases,
because they may offer a lower interest rate than other types of loans. They also may offer tax deductible interest if you itemize deductions on your federal income tax. However, failure to make payments on a home equity loan could result in your losing your home.

       If you are in debt over your head, consolidating your loans may be a way to lower your
monthly payments. However, if you have not resolved the situation that got you into debt in the
first place, you will likely end up worse off. The key is to spend less money than you earn.


Destination 4: Saving for Major Purchases

       Saving money prior to the time when you need it will result in your spending far less that
purchasing on credit. Four categories of future needs that you may choose to save for are:
  1. Major purchases such as a car or home
  2. Children’s education
  3. Retirement
  4. Starting a business
       Each household must decide their own saving priorities based on their life purposes and goals.
The Money Map program recommends saving enough money to pay cash for you next car and
saving at least 20% of the purchase price as a down payment on a home. Parents and children
can reduce or eliminate the need for student loans by saving money before it is needed. It is
never too early to start saving for retirement. If your employer offers a retirement plan, begin
investing in it right away, particularly if they offer to match your contributions.

       The amount you save will be determined by your income, how well you manage your
spending, and how much debt you have. Once you have paid off your debts, you will have more
money available to save. While high interest rates work against you when you are in debt, they
work in your favor when you are saving. The most successful savers are those who save
regularly over long periods of time. The longer you save, the more compound interest works in
your favor.

       As many as 72% of Americans have considered starting a business. Although business
loans are an option, saving before your start up a business will allow your business to begin
earning more money faster. Before you start a business, be sure you have a solid business plan.


Destination 5: Buying Your Home and Paying it Off

       Once you have saved enough for reasonable down payment (20 percent or more) for the
purchase of your home, you are ready to focus on Destination 5. This step includes buying an
affordable home, beginning to invest, and prepaying the home mortgage. Your total housing
expenses (mortgage payments, real estate taxes, utilities, insurance, and maintenance) should not
exceed 40% of your gross income.

       The goal of this destination is to own your home free and clear so that your cost of living
will be greatly reduced. There are several different ways to pay off your mortgage early. One
option is to go for a 15-year mortgage rather than a 30-year mortgage. Another is to pay extra on
the principal of your loan each month.

        The stage is good time to begin investing wisely. The rule of thumb is to routinely spend
less that you earn and regularly invest the surplus. Seek the advice of a professional, and plan to
diversify your investments. If you will need the proceeds from your investment in less than five
years, choose investments that can easily be converted to cash, such as Money Market Funds,
Short-Term Certificates of Deposit, and Treasury Bills. If you will not need your proceeds for the first five years, you can choose more moderate investments such as bonds or riskier investments, such as Stock Mutual Funds, Individual Stocks, and Real Estate.


Destination 6: Planning Your Estate
      
       Estate planning involves how your assets will be divided at the time of your death. There are
three choices for who will receive your estate: your heirs, non-profit organizations, and the
government. It is your responsibility to decide how you want your assets to be distributed and
how to prepare your heir for what they will receive. If you do not have a will, make an
appointment to prepare one.


Destination 7: True Financial Freedom

       Parents have a responsibility to teach their children how to work, how to live within a budget,
how to save and invest, how to avoid debt and how to give generously. If you manage to achieve
financial freedom early in life, you may be able to retire from paid work earlier than average.
This will give you an opportunity to share you time with those who need it. You may also be
able to give generously to support the charitable cause that mean the most to you.







FINANCIAL PEACE

Tired of struggling with credit card debt and living paycheck to paycheck? ...Dave Ramsey...will help you effectively manage your finances, make wiser financial decisions, and finally get out of debt.


The Dave Ramsey Show

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