Manage Your Money God’s Way - The gratitude of Thanksgiving and the Black Friday spending frenzy

November 12, 2016

Part 1 - Black Friday
Don’t get caught up in the Christmas marketing schemes. NO you don’t have to have to buy everything everyone on your list wants. When it’s time to make a purchase stop for 30 seconds and think about the size of the credit card bill that will be coming in January.

If it is customary for you to buy gifts for each member of your extended family, plus all your neighbors and friends, maybe it’s time to create a new tradition and stop the madness. If may be hard to tell family, friends and neighbors that you are cutting back on Christmas spending but your wallet (and your family, friends and neighbors) will thank you later.

Part 2 – Giving Thanks
Most families will begin their Thanksgiving meal with a blessing then one by one each will share what they are thankful for.  

What happens the other 364 days? Don’t we all have at least one thing to be thankful for each day?  

Being consciously grateful helps you discover what you take for granted – job, freedom, even the very air you breathe … the list can go on and on. In your evening prayers and reflection, be sure to thank God for the things you were grateful for that day, even the little things that sometimes we forget about.

One idea to help you reflect on those thank-able events is to keep a Gratitude Journal and write down the things that you are grateful for each day. Or, keep the Thanksgiving tradition alive and have each person at the dinner table share what they were thankful for that day.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Tips on how to stop struggling financially and what to talk about before you get married.

October 29, 2016

Part 1 Are You Struggling with Money?

If your finances are a challenge, tracking your spending is the only true way to know exactly where your money is going. By tracking every penny for 30-60-90 days you can create a budget, based on what you actually spend. If you are into spreadsheets. Here is one that will help you track your spending: 30 Day Tracking-Income and Expense

Once you have tracked your spending for a few months, you can create a budget that actually works. Make sure that you and your spouse are both on the same page and there are no surprises coming. Here are some suggested categories for your budget:   Spending Plan Categories.

After you get a handle on your spending, be sure your retirement is funded.  These Retirement calculators will help you with various aspects of planning for retirement. After clicking on the link, open the Retirement Savings and Planning link.  Once you have a budget, planning for retirement becomes much easier.

The average Social Security check is $1,180 a month, which is $14,160 a year. To find out what your Social Security benefits are, click on https://www.ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html and in a few minutes you will see you benefits.

 

Part 2 - God, Marriage & Money

God, Marriage & Money is a book specifically designed for couples who are engaged to be married. Most couples spend more time discussing the flavor of their wedding cake than talking about their finances. Yet finances are something they’ll deal with every day of their married lives.

This book has everything needed to have an open and honest discussion about finances before the wedding!  You can order your copy of the book or download a copy to your E-reader. This is a perfect read if you or a friend or family member is engaged or newly married.   http://compasscatholic.org/financial-bible-study/#marriage

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Reasons you need a budget and why you should NOT use home equity loans

October 24, 2016

Part 1: Creating a budget
A budget is merely a way to tell your money where to go. Everybody has one but you may not be managing it.  Just like everyone has a diet because everybody eats; some people manage their diet and some don’t.
A lot of people think budgets are only for those who have financial issues or those who are experiencing a financial crisis, but a budget is for everybody.
It is a roadmap and a planning tool, which gives you control over your money. Budgets can reduce arguments and improve relationships.  A budget may be the only way you can create an emergency fund or save any money for future needs.
To help you create a budget, check out our blog Ten Steps to Create a Budget that Works on the Compass Catholic website.

Part 2: A Financial Solution is NOT Under Your Roof
Home equity is the value of ownership built up in a home or property. Calculating equity is simple: take the market value of your home and subtract any outstanding mortgages or liens.  The result is your equity.
There are two different ways to use the equity in your home - a Home Equity Loan (otherwise known as a 2nd mortgage) OR a Home Equity Line of Credit (sometimes called a HELOC)
A home equity loan is a one-time lump sum loan that is paid off over a set amount of time, with a fixed interest rate and the same payments each month. Once you get the money, you cannot borrow further from the loan.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) works more like a credit card. You are allowed to borrow any amount up to a certain limit during a time period set by the lender.
A HELOC has a variable interest rate that fluctuates over the life of the loan. Payments will vary depending on the interest rate and how much credit you have used. When the life span of a line of credit has expired everything must be paid off. A lender may or may not allow a renewal. And just like a credit card, a HELOC usually doesn’t have to be paid off in a certain number of months.
There are major downsides to using HELOCs. They can be a huge temptation to overspend. Just like a credit card, the tendency is to use it too often and use it impulsively rather than spending carefully.
And the biggest problem with a HELOC is that your home is the security for the loan. If you can’t make the payments on a credit card, you’ll receive nasty calls and your credit will be trashed. However, if you can’t make the payments on the home equity loans the lender can foreclose and take your home away from you.
Using either or these loans can jeopardize your financial future if you aren’t careful.

Manage Your Money God’s Way - Navigating Your Finances God’s Way

October 15, 2016

Navigating Your Finances God’s Way is a nine-week Bible study that is done in a small group within a parish. The small group meets for two hours once a week. Preparation for the small group takes about 15 minutes each day and consists of Bible verses to read and questions to answer, which are discussed in the small group meeting. Additionally, there are personal financial exercises to complete. No personal financial information is ever shared with the small group

We provide all the tools to help you succeed in your journey to financial freedom - http://compasscatholic.org/participants/

If you would like to introduce this Bible study to your parish, or start a group on your own, call us at 844-447-6263  or fill out the contact form on the Compass Catholic website - http://compasscatholic.org/contact/ (the contact form is also located on each page of the website).

The journey to financial freedom begins with a prayer, your commitment, and taking the first step. Make this Bible study your first step.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Mistakes People Make When Paying Off Debt and What to Teach Kids about Money.

October 8, 2016

 Mistakes people make when paying off debt
You should always know how much debt you have in total. If you owe money to anyone for any reason, it is considered debt, including any loans or credit cards that are at 0% interest.
Accepting debt as a normal part of life is a NO NO. It may take some time, and it can be difficult at times, but being debt free is well worth the effort.
If you are in debt, here are some tips to help you get out:
•    Establish an Emergency Fund before tackling your debt.  
•    While consolidating and/or renegotiating terms and paying off debt may put you in a much better financial situation, it’s vital to control your daily spending habits at the same time.
•    Take the time to review where every penny of your paycheck is spent each month, and determine ways to cut back so you can live within your means.
•    Your intensity should be like a building is burning down and you need to escape. Intensity gets you results!
•    The problem isn’t your income, the problem is your mindset.  It is not how much you earn, its how much you spend.
•    Ignoring your debt means trouble.
•    A structured, detailed plan, with actionable steps on will help you reach your goal.
•    While the road to financial freedom may seem long at times, a firm commitment to living within your means in order to reach long-term goals will pay off in the end.
•    Becoming debt-free and financially secure is possible!

What Kids need to know about money:
Here is a list of the most important items parents need to teach children about money:
•    God owns everything – they are stewards
•    If you don’t have the money, you can’t buy it. Great video example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzE76nUSjL8
•    The difference between wants and needs
•    The cost of debt (paying interest)
•    Your financial success is not about how much you earn, it’s about how well you manage what you earn.
•    Setting financial goals
•    The magic of compound interest

Learn more at CompassCatholic.org

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Manage Your Money God’s Way: Planning is easy; Millennial Savings Rate; What do You Treasure

October 1, 2016

Planning is easy

It’s easy to make mental plans but difficult to turn those plans into reality.

Some people get a 30-year mortgage and plan to make extra payments, but can you be disciplined enough to do it every month?  

To help you make your financial plans a reality, remember these core principles of personal finance:

  • Spend less than you earn

  • Find smart ways to cut spending

  • Invest the extra money, first in an emergency fund

  • Pay off debt

  • Diversify investments

How to make changes:

  • Concentrate on today. What can I do today to reach my future goals?

  • Track you progress. Use a budget to see where you can make better spending and saving choices.

  • Spend time with like-minded people. If you are struggling to cut your spending, spend time with frugal people and less time people who want to spend, spend, spend.

  • Go as fast and as hard as you can, but don’t burn yourself out.

  • Be consistent in implementing your plans. Remember this is a marathon not a sprint.

Millennial Savings Rates

Millennials are saving at an abysmal rate. Here are some tips to reverse that trend:

  • Understand that there is no amount too small to get started

  • Invest at least some money in the stock market

  • Consider finding other Millennials with like-minded goals to share the journey

What is Your Treasure

We’ll share an excerpt from our pastor’s very touching homily about defining what it is that we truly treasure.  We guarantee this will make you think about the treasures that are important to you.  Click HERE to listen to the complete homily.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Financial Literacy and Teenagers & Jobs

September 24, 2016

First Half – Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works in the world: how money is earned, managed, invested and donated to help others.

Here’s a pop quiz to get you started - http://www.usfinancialcapability.org/quiz.php

To help you understand how to manage your money we have a series of calculators for you to use: http://compasscatholic.org/calculators/.  If you are currently paying off your mortgage click on the mortgage calculator and see the amount of interest you will save over the course of the loan if you added an extra $25, $50, $100 or more each month. Let me ask you, wouldn’t you rather have the money in your pocket than pay interest?  Click on the retirement calculators to see if your savings are on track and to get a good ball park estimate of the savings you need to have when you retire.

Second Half – Teenagers & Jobs

It’s hard for teenagers to find jobs these days – maybe you need to help your teens start a business.  If they are lucky enough to find a job, here are some tips for them to maximize their learning experience:

Have a positive attitude; Work hard; Ask lots of questions; Maximize every job perk; Look for inspiration and mentorship; Take care of your personal appearance; Be on time; Be reliable; Avoid negative workplace talk; Think like a customer; Build marketable and transferable skills.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Set Your House in Order

September 17, 2016

The purpose of the Set Your House In Order Bible study is to help you create, update and organize all your important information (health care surrogate, power of attorney, passwords, advisors, assets, debts, will, insurance, etc.) If there is an accident, illness or death, the most important gift you can give your family is organized information.

This link will take you to an overview of the 5 week bible study, Set Your House in Order

Whether you are young or old, married or single, working or retired this Bible study will be helpful to you.  Use this “contact us” link to request more information or call 844-447-6263.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - New Beginnings and Contentment

September 10, 2016

Fall and the start of school is a mini-New Year, time to get back on track with your resolutions so you can begin 2017 in the best financial shape possible.

Rather than having those fall expenses on your credit card for months…make an effort to pay off 100% of new September charges by the end of September, plus make the minimum payment on old debt from previous months.

Next and very important, track your spending so you can see if you are wasting money or spending on what is most important to you. Download our 30 Day Tracking-Income and Expense spreadsheet to help you get organized. (Remember to save this spreadsheet as soon as you click on it.)

If you need help categorizing your spending, to be sure you are spending less that you make, check out our Spending Plan Categories.
   
These two tools will help you focus on paying down/off your debt and getting organized with your finances.

As you get a handle on your spending you will be able to build that emergency fund—the initial goal is $1,000.  Once you get there, work towards saving one month’s salary.
As a reminder write down the 4 things you need to do, and put them several places (bathroom mirror, car, fridge, etc.) so you are reminded of them often during the day
1.    Track every penny
2.    Spend less than you make
3.    Focus on debt payoff
4.    Build your emergency fund

Running hand in hand with having a new beginning is learning to be CONTENT.  I know it can be challenging with all the temptations that surround you.  The first lesson is knowing what God wants you to do in handling money and being faithful to actually do it.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Navigate Your Finances God’s Way

September 3, 2016

Navigating Your Finances God’s Way is a nine-week Bible study that is done in a small group, which meets for two hours each week. Preparation for the small group takes about 15 minutes each day and consists of Bible verses to read and questions to answer, which are discussed in the small group meeting. Additionally, there are personal financial exercises to complete. No personal financial information is ever shared with the small group

We provide all the tools to help you succeed in your journey to financial freedom - http://compasscatholic.org/participants/

If you would like to introduce this Bible study to your parish, or start a group on your own, call us at 844-447-6263  or fill out the contact form on the Compass Catholic website - http://compasscatholic.org/contact/ (the contact form is also located on each page of the website).

The journey to financial freedom begins with a prayer, your commitment, and taking the first step – make this Bible study your first step.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - How to Create a Budget and Leaky Budgets

August 27, 2016

First Half – How to create a Budget

A Budget is merely a way to tell your money where to go. Just like everyone has a diet because everyone eats, everyone has a budget, because everyone spends money.  Your budget may be dysfunctional but you do have one.

Creating a functional budget lets you monitor and manage your spending. It’s a roadmap which gives you control, and reduces stress.

Track your spending and income for 30-60 days and categorize where you spent money.  Use paper or an excel spreadsheet to organize the information, which is the start of your budget. The Compass Catholic website has a spreadsheet for you to print and use.  Look at the spending, and compare it to your income.  If you have a deficit, you need to make more or spend less.  If you have a surplus, start saving!

Check out our blog from 8/22/2016 for 10 steps on how to create a budget that actually works.

 

Second Half – A Leaky Budget

Leak” is defined as something escaping through a hole.  So a budget leak means you may be spending money on the same things over and over again without even thinking about how or why you are buying them.

It could also be increased costs on items you buy regularly, but you haven’t paid attention to the escalating cost. Maybe you are buying name brand products but haven’t tried a generic brand which could be just as good (or maybe better). Leaks are caused by everything from add-ons in the grocery line to bank fees, expensive ways to spend free time; to credit card fees and interest.

Plugging your budget leaks is part of being a good steward. Luke 16:11 tells us “If you have not been faithful in the use of worldly wealth, who will entrust you with true riches?” 

Plugging those budget leaks helps you be faithful in using your worldly wealth.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Financial Literacy and Teenagers & Jobs

August 20, 2016

First Half – Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works in the world: how money is earned, managed, invested and donated to help others.
Here’s a pop quiz to get you started - http://www.usfinancialcapability.org/quiz.php
To help you understand how to manage your money we have a series of calculators for you to use: http://compasscatholic.org/calculators/.  If you are currently paying off your mortgage click on the mortgage calculator and see the amount of interest you will save over the course of the loan if you added an extra $25, $50, $100 or more each month. Let me ask you, wouldn’t you rather have the money in your pocket than pay interest?  Click on the retirement calculators to see if your savings are on track and to get a good ball park estimate of the savings you need to have when you retire.

Second Half – Teenagers & Jobs
It’s hard for teenagers to find jobs these days – maybe you need to help your teens start a business.  If they are lucky enough to find a job, here are some tips for them to maximize their learning experience:

  • Have a positive attitude
  • Work hard
  • Ask lots of questions
  • Maximize every job perk
  • Look for inspiration and mentorship
  • Take care of your personal appearance
  • Be on time
  • Be reliable
  • Avoid negative workplace talk
  • Think like a customer
  • Build marketable and transferable skills
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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Financial Windfalls and Being a Good Steward

August 13, 2016

First Half – Financial Windfalls

So you come into some extra money, the amount really doesn’t matter. What are you going to do with the bonus cash?  Spend it on something you’ve been wishing for, treat yourself to a nice vacation, expensive dinner, or pay off debt (that’s boring)?  Here’s some food for thought.

Give some away. We are recommending that you give 10% of any money that comes your way unexpectedly.  Your church is a good place to start. If you are looking at charities, do your homework, find a charity that you have a passion for, you’ve admired the work they’ve done and more importantly be sure your donation is being used wisely.

Have your started an emergency fund?  If you have saved $1,000, then concentrate on growing it to 1 month, then 3 months, then 12 months of income.  This way you’ll be prepared if something unforeseen occurs.

Pay Off Credit Card Debt. Don’t think I need to say more . . . other than this should be a priority . . . think of all the interest you are paying over the life of that debt. That alone should motivate you to pay off the credit card debt because the money should be in your pockets instead of giving it the the bank or credit card companies.

Save for major purchases.  Windfalls are a great way to build-up your savings for large ticket items such as a home, a car, retirement, or your child’s education.

Second Half – Being a Good Steward

Do you think that Stewardship is all about the the pastor or bishop asking for money?

The reality is Stewardship is a way of life. It’s living in a way that pleases God in all areas of our lives, even when it comes to our own personal finances.   Think of it this way…being a good steward, you are putting God in first place and money has some other lower priority in your life. 

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - How to Create Wealth

August 6, 2016

Do you want to be rich or are you a faithful steward? These two things are not necessarily in conflict. Building wealth is not contrary to a godly life as long as wealth comes from being a faithful steward, and getting rich is not your primary goal.

SHOW NOTES:

The ideas we discuss today are from the Simple Dollar
It’s okay to build wealth as long as it’s a byproduct of being faithful and getting rich is not your primary focus.
The resources we need are:

  •     Hard work
  •     Self-control
  •     Patience and time
  •     Understanding your current situation and your personal financial pitfalls
  •     Willingness to change bad habits (which can be hard and painful)

Here are some ways items you can use the hard work, responsibility and self-control to build wealth:
1.    Manage your spending and your lifestyle
2.    Work hard to maximize personal Income
3.    Eliminate debt
4.    Take advantage of legal tax breaks
5.    Take advantage of free money (employer matching funds in the company’s 401k and the pre-tax dollars that are being invested)
6.    Make long term investments so compound interest works for you
7.    Invest in yourself. Get an advanced degree or certification that will make you more valuable at work
8.    Invest any financial windfalls that come your way (bonus, gifts, inheritance, etc.)
If you are looking for a financial professional, check out Kingdom Advisors and be sure to interview at least 3 people before making a decision.

Manage Your Money God’s Way - Debt is Bad; Saving is Good; Giving is Fun; Stuff is Meaningless

July 30, 2016

In order to pay off debt, you have a good solid idea of where all of your money is going, by using a spending plan/budget. Click on this link to download and save the 30 Day Tracking-Income and Expense.   Once you know where all your pennies are going, you will usually find areas where you can cut your spending or sell things of make additional income.  Use the additional cash no matter how little to pay more than the minimum on your debts.
We recommend paying off the smallest balance first.  Use this spreadsheet  List Your Debts and Snowball Them that you will find on  http://compasscatholic.org/customize-your-budget/  to organize and prioritize which debt to pay first
Over time as your debts are paid off, continue to track your spending and keep that budget updated to maximize your savings.  

Manage your money God’s way means using the Bible as the basis for how to handle money.  Yes! The Bible! There are 2,500 verses in the Bible dealing with money and possessions, so this source of financial advice is never wrong.  The purpose of Compass Catholic Ministries is to assist you in becoming financially free.
Access a free copy of the Your Money Counts eBook, to learn more. Or take a tour of our 9-week small group Bible study, Navigating Your Finances God’s Way for a deep dive on financial topics in the Bible.

Remember:

  •         Debt is Bad
  •         Saving is Good
  •         Giving is Fun
  •         Stuff is Meaningless

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Lifestyle Inflation

July 23, 2016
 Thinking about upsizing your house, trading in the car for a new one, buying the latest gadgets or spending more to keep up with the neighbors? Lifestyle Inflation can provide short term happiness and ruin long term joy. 

Open this link to learn more about the young lady who retired in her 30’s and is traveling the world! She did it using the following strategies to avoid Lifestyle Inflation:
1. Have  BIG, Meaningful Long-Term Goals
2. Keep those goals front and center
3. SAVE your raises and bonuses
4. Recognize that stuff rarely buys lasting happiness
5. Be mindful of the cost when evaluating what others have
6. Maintain a budget 
7. Budget for personal expenses
a. To help start your budget go to - http://compasscatholic.org/customize-your-budget/
8. Choose substance over style
9. Build friendships with people that have similar goals and philosophies and the same budget mind you have
10. “Test Drive” lifestyle upgrades. (Put the money for the new car payment into your savings account for 6 months before you actually buy the car to see how well you can manage the additional debt payments.)
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Balancing Energy, Time and Money and Christmas in July! - Manage Your Money God’s Way

July 16, 2016

TIME ENERGY AND MONEY
Time, energy and money. Sometimes you have more of one than the other. Here are some ideas to help you with the balancing act.

  • Downsize the house. If you are planning a move, evaluate the size you really need and consider downsizing. A smaller house will save money on the maintenance, utilities, mortgage, and insurance and think about the time you will save doing basic jobs like grass cutting and cleaning.
  • Plan leftovers into your menu to save time when you are on the go, and also save a little money on the cost of the meal.
  • Plan shopping around sales to save time, money and energy
  • Spot clean on a semi-regular basis to save energy and time
  • Take bottled water with you in the car to eliminate stopping to purchase drinks.
  • Keep an on going shopping list handy so when you go to the store you know exactly what you need. You won’t waste money buying something you do not need or waste time having to go back to the store for something you forgot to buy.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY
The title says it all—plan ahead, the earlier in the year the better. Figure out how much you you plan to spend and be sure to include everything—food, gifts, travel, etc. and start saving now! If your gift giving has gotten out of hand, summer is a good time to talk to the family and come up with a plan to cut back. Ask them what memories of past Christmases were most meaningful to them and do more of those things and less gift buying. If you plan ahead you can be creative and give gifts that will create memories, not debt.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Toxic Charity

July 9, 2016

Have you ever experienced a situation where you were trying to be generous and it turned into “Toxic Charity?” Listen in for a lively discussion on acts of charity.

Manage Your #Money God’s Way - Set Your House in Order

July 2, 2016

You may have a will, but if your family had to manage your affairs, do they know how to find all your important information and documentation?    If there is an accident, illness or death, the most important thing you can give your family is organized information. Join Compass Catholic on Breadbox Media for Set Your House In Order.

The purpose of the Set Your House In Order Bible study is to help you create, update and organize all your important information (healthcare surrogate, power of attorney, passwords, advisors, assets, debts, will,insurance, etc.) If there is an accident, illness or death, the most important gift you can give your family is organized information.

This link will take you to an overview of the 5 week bible study, Set Your House in Order

Whether your parishioners are young or old, married or single, working or retired this Bible study will be helpful to them.  Use this “contact us” link to request more information.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Money Over the Years

June 25, 2016

Many people think that their financial lives will get easier as they get older – check out Money Over the Years with Compass Catholic on Breadbox Media as we help you discover the stress level associated with your financial life at various ages.

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