Manage Your Money God’s Way: Podcast - 5/22/17 - Cosigning Can Ruin Your Credit Score!

May 22, 2017

May 22, 2017 - Cosigning Can Ruin Your Credit Score!

Cosigning is when a lender requires someone to be legally responsible for a debt if the borrower does not pay. If you cosign a loan and the borrower defaults, your credit could be affected for at least seven years. So, worst case, you are paying for something you don't own, the relationship with the other person has probably been ruined and your credit has been wrecked through something totally out of your control.

Cosigning really sound like a very good deal, does it?

Proverbs 17:18 says “Senseless is the man who gives his hand in pledge and who becomes surety for his neighbor.”  Don’t co-sign—it can ruin your financial health and your credit score. If you have co-signed, here are 6 ways to get removed as a loan or credit card co-signer.

Read more about cosigning and credit scores on the Compass Catholic Blog and while you are on the Compass Catholic website, check out our books, financial calculators, glossary and spreadsheets to help you reach financial freedom!

If you would like to introduce a Compass Catholic 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.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way: Podcast - 5/15/17 - Is your bank costing you $$$? Here’s how you can bank for free.

May 15, 2017

Manage Your Money God's Way with Jon & Evelyn Bean - May 15, 2017

Here are the best practices for selecting your bank and avoiding fees:  

• How often will you actually visit the bank building and how convenient is it?
• Will you need to access the bank in other cities?
• How quickly does the bank credit deposits to your account?
• Is the bank FDIC insured?
• What are the fees for the accounts you need?
• Are there minimum balance requirements?
• Is online banking available?
• What happens if you bounce a check?

How to avoid banking fees:
• Keep your check register up-to-date.
• Use automatic payments.
• Review your account statement and balance your checkbook and savings account every month
• Sign up for online alerts when your balance dips below a certain level.

To read more on picking a bank and avoiding fees read Evelyn’s latest blog - http://compasscatholic.org/education-center/

Learn how we can help you get rid of your debt - http://compasscatholic.org/financial-bible-study/  click on Navigating Your Finances God's Way

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Manage Your Money God’s Way: Podcast - 5/6/2017 - Here’s how to pay for your vacation BEFORE you leave

May 9, 2017

Vacation Planning - ways to save money

It’s about that time of year when we start daydreaming about basking in the sun on the beach, then we wake up and wonder how we’ll pay for it.

You should ALWAYS pay cash for a vacation because it is silly to finance a luxury. No matter where you’re going, there are plenty of simple ways to cut expenses. Here are some ideas:

Sign up for a travel-related credit card and use the points to pay for hotel or air fare costs.

Be flexible with times and days when booking flights.

Travel off-season. Just before or after peak season will get you lower prices, smaller crowds and the weather will still be nice.
Avoid the most popular destinations and try a similar location. Places like Costa Rica, Croatia and coastal areas in Brazil are more affordable than you think.

Look for vacation rentals, rather than hotel rooms. We have gotten some great deals from VRBO.

Take free tours. In many major cities around the world, the locals offer free walking tours to show you the city’s highlights and teach you about the culture.

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: Adult Children and Entitlement Attitude

March 18, 2017

First Half – Adult Children Moving Home

There are a number of reasons adult children may move back home but by far the most common one is…money.

 

So how much should you help your adult children and how much should you expect your parents to do for you? Here are the ground rules parents should establish:

 

Don't usurp the spouse if they are married – your advice is secondary to advice from their spouse.  Don't use your money to control their lives. Keep in mind that if you help too much you may take away their initiative and hard work.  

 

Distinguish between a gift and something that has strings attached – many hard feelings on both sides can be avoided by being sure both parties clearly understand this.

Establish household ground rules: Will the adult children pay rent? When is it due and how much is it? If there is no money for rent, are there projects around the house they can do to help cover their additional cost burden on mom and dad’s budget?

Who takes care of which day-to-day chores? Who makes dinner on which nights? Who cleans what area of the house? Does everyone take turns doing the all the family laundry or is everyone on their own?

Being clear about expectations on both sides can prevent many heartaches.

Second Half – Entitlement Attitude

Feeling like you deserve anything “just because” is part of an entitlement attitude. It’s easy to talk ourselves into getting what we want just because we “deserve it” but that attitude can often lead to financial disaster.

 

Splurging on something because you “deserve it” usually means you are spending money now that may be needed later. You are trading in your future security for unnecessary things in the present. 

 

The flip side of entitlement is an abundance mindset. It is that sense that you already have “enough.” After all the poorest in America are richer than the rich in many other nations. The abundance mindset knows getting more stuff isn’t going to change your life significantly and although you may want something, do you really deserve it?

 

In the end, whenever you catch yourself thinking or saying that you deserve something, stop yourself. You already have an abundant life, filled with so many good things. Do you really deserve more?

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

March 4, 2017

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 uslink to request more information or call us at 844-447-6263.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way: Saving and Investing & How Wealth is Created

February 25, 2017

It’s okay to build wealth as long as it’s a byproduct of being a faithful steward and getting rich is not your primary focus. The Bible warns us against the temptation to become rich in 1 Timothy 6:9, which states says, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and are caught in the trap of many foolish and harmful desires, which pull them down to ruin and destruction.”

Along with a godly attitude, 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 godly ways you can use the hard work, responsibility and self-control to build wealth with the proper attitude:

  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.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way: How to be a Good Steward and the Do’s and Don’ts of Credit Card Use

February 18, 2017

First Half – Being a Good Steward

Stewardship—perception is not reality. How many of you think that Stewardship is the pastor is asking for money or some other form of fundraising? In reality, stewardship is a way of life that puts God first in all things.

The Catechism tells us a good steward safe guards material and human resources, uses them responsibly and generously gives of their time, talent and treasure.

The US Bishops tell us that as good stewards we should receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others and return them with increase to the Lord

The first thing we should recognized is that God has blessed us with many gifts: the earth we live on; the air we breathe; the water we drink; the food that we eat; the talents we have; life itself.

Think of it this way, by being a good steward, you are putting God in first place and everything else is in second place.

 

Second Half – Using Credit Cards Wisely

Buying stuff using credit cards doesn’t feel like spending REAL money. But you do have to pay for those purchases with actual money.  When you are using your credit card it’s important to stay within your means so that you don’t charge more than you can pay for.

Stay in control by tracking the credit charges in the categories of your spending plan/budget. This link: http://compasscatholic.org/customize-your-budget/ will give you a list of typical categories to use. Managing your credit card spending helps assure you will have the cash at the end of the month to pay the credit card bill in full.

If you don’t have the cash at the end of the month and you keep using your credit cards, you will soon be in over your head with debt.

Our suggestion is don’t charge your food purchases as this often leads to overspending. Don't take cash advances because they come with a higher interest rate than purchases, plus a cash advance fee. Cash advances are often a band aid on a larger problem of financial irresponsibility.

Don't buy any of the special services offered by the credit card companies as they are often overpriced.

You can use your credit card wisely if you have created a spending plan/budget and you know exactly how much money you have to spend in a given month in that category.

Sometimes there are emergencies and your credit card is the only way to resolve the issue, but having an emergency fund will help you stay financially solvent.

If you are using a credit card, pay the balance in full every month; pay on time; limit the number of cards you own; read the terms and conditions in the fine print, and keep track of your purchases in your spending plan. This lets YOU be in control of your finances.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way: Extreme Finanial Problems

February 11, 2017

We were prompted to talk about this topic based on an article regarding an elderly couple who jumped off a Las Vegas parking garage in a joint suicide because they saw no way to recover from the amount of debt they had accumulated.

While this is an extreme example of how people deal with financial issues, please don’t ever let money problems become that overwhelming.  No matter how much debt you have or how many mistakes you have made, it’s not worth your life.

For confidential support call National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.

If you’re having trouble paying your bills, consider these possibilities before considering bankruptcy:

Talk with your creditors.  They may be willing to work out a modified payment plan even if you have been turned down previously. The telephone number is on your credit card statement. Be persistent and polite. Explain your situation and your proposed solution. Your goal is to work out a modified payment plan that reduces your payments to a level you can manage.

Be careful about quick fixes. If you see advertisements that offer quick fixes, they may be ads for a bankruptcy attorney. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions consumers to read between the lines when faced with ads in newspapers or magazines that say things like:

“Consolidate your bills into one easy payment without borrowing.”

“STOP credit harassment, foreclosures, repossessions, tax levies, and garnishments.” 

“Keep Your Property.”

“Wipe out your debts!”

Phrases like this often involve filing for bankruptcy relief, which can hurt your credit and cost you attorneys’ fees.

Instead of jumping onto bankruptcy, consider working with a credit counseling service. These organizations work with you and your creditors to develop debt repayment plans. Such plans require you to deposit money each month with the counseling service. The service then pays your creditors.  Some nonprofit organizations charge little or nothing for their services.

Choose a Credit Counseling Organization carefully. A reputable credit counseling agency should send you free information about itself and the services it provides without requiring you to provide any details about your situation. If a firm doesn't do that, consider it a red flag and go elsewhere for help. Once you've got a list of counseling agencies check them out with your state Attorney General and local consumer protection agency.

Also look at the The United States Trustee website which keeps a list of credit counseling agencies approved to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling in each state.

 

Even if you are ready to declare bankruptcy, a recent change to the bankruptcy laws require you to get credit counseling from a government-approved organization within six months before you file for any bankruptcy relief.

However, the consequences of bankruptcy are significant and require careful consideration. For more information, visit:  

www.uscourts.gov/bankruptcycourts/fees.html.

There are two primary types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 13 and Chapter 7.

Consumers have more incentive to seek bankruptcy relief under Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7.

Chapter 13 allows you, if you have a steady income, to keep property, such as a mortgaged house or car, that you might otherwise lose. In Chapter 13, the court approves a repayment plan that allows you to use your future income to pay off your debts during a three-to-five-year period, rather than surrender any property. After you have made all the payments under the plan, you receive a discharge of your debts.

Chapter 7, known as straight bankruptcy, involves the sale of all assets that are not exempt.  Exempt property may include cars, work-related tools, and basic household furnishings. Some of your property may be sold by a court-appointed official — a trustee — or turned over to your creditors.

Also, before you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you must satisfy a “means test.” This test requires you to confirm that your income does not exceed a certain amount. The amount varies by state and is publicized by the U.S. Trustee Program at www.usdoj.gov/ust.

For a different perspective on finances, take our 9-week small group Bible study, Navigating Your Finances God’s Way. Click here for more information: http://compasscatholic.org/financial-bible-study/. Talk to your pastor about having this study at your parish.  Or do what so many other have, invite friends and family and have the bible study in your home.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way: Way to Spend Money and Planning for Retirement

February 4, 2017

First Half – Ways to Spend Money

If you have trouble overspending, then you are better off using cash for your spending. If you only carry a certain amount of cash, your spending is naturally capped at that amount, which is a good way to control spending. Don’t use any form of electronic payment until you can stay within your spending plan categories.

 

Paying with checks may seem a bit old fashioned but you can still do it. Avoid overspending which results in overdraft charges, and can sometimes be as much as your purchase.  When using checks, your identity could be at risk since your bank routing, account numbers and personal contact information, like your address and phone number, appear on your checks.

 

Using a credit card is not always a bad thing as long as your purchases are budgeted and your charges can be paid in full each month.  The risk with credit cards is running up a balance and accruing interest on top of your purchases. The benefit of using credit cards is that you are protected from fraud if an unauthorized person uses your credit card (typically you are protected for anything over $50.) Additional benefits may include cash-back or bonus point offers.

 

Prepaid credit cards can be a good idea if you are having trouble paying your credit card bills at the end of the month. You can only charge the amount you prepaid on the card. This can also be a good way to teach a teen how to use credit wisely.

 

When you use your debit card, the funds come out of your bank account immediately so there is no chance of overdrafts. The downside of debit cards is that they do not have a strong fraud protection plan. If your card and PIN are stolen, your bank account can be wiped out.  The positive side of debit cards is that you are not acquiring debt.

 

No matter which method you use, spend wisely and remember these words from Pope Francis: “Money must serve, not rule.”

 

Second Half – Retirement

Check out our Retirement Calculators at - http://compasscatholic.org/calculators/

Even of you are 20 or 30 years away from retirement, it’s not too early to plan. First thing is to look into the various options you have for retirement income, including:

 

Social Security – if you are within 5-10 years of retirement you definitely need to know how uch income you will get from Social Security. Log on to “SSA.gov” then click on “My Social Security.”  From here you can determine how much you will receive on a monthly basis depending on when you begin taking your benefit. If you qualify and decide to take your benefit at age 62, it can be reduced by 20-30% compared to what you would receive if you waited until full retirement age.

 

Pension – although company funded pensions are quickly becoming a thing of the past, be sure to check with each of your employers to see if you might be eligible for a monthly pension check.

 

401K – if you have been investing in a retirement plan, look at the total you have saved and use one of our retirement calculators to see how long your money will last.

 

If you are married, do the same exercises for both you and your spouse.

 

Now comes the eye opener, compare what you have available as retirement income to your current monthly spending.  This will help you see how much more you need to save each year from now till retirement to sustain the same lifestyle.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Do you have some money challenges?

January 28, 2017

Part 1:  Do You Struggle with Money?

Are you struggling with money?  Track your spending and create a budget—it’s the only true way that you will know exactly where your money is going. Click the link below to download a spreadsheet to track your income and outgo. Open and save it before you fill in any information: 30 Day Tracking-Income and Expense

Once you have tracked your money for a few months, then put together a budget. Make sure that you are discussing this with your spouse so you are both on the same page and there are no surprises coming. Here are some recommended ways to categorize your spending:  Spending Plan Categories

How are you doing when it comes to funding your retirement account?  These retirement calculators will help you see how much you will need in retirement, and help you figure out a savings goal. Click this link and scroll down to the retirement calculators. http://compasscatholic.org/calculators/

The average Social Security check is $1180 a month, that’s $14,160 a year, which may not be enough to live on. Click on https://www.ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html to access the Social Security site and estimate your benefits.

Insight into what the Bible tells us are the best practices for handling money is available via a FREE eBook Your Money Counts…Click on the Green Box “Available As Compass EBook” link to access it.

 

Part 2: God, Marriage & Money

Couples preparing for marriage spend hours discussing the plans for their wedding day, but most will spend little if any time discussing how they will handle finances every day for the rest of their lives. This small workbook has been designed to open the lines of communication about finances. Learn how to uncover those unanswered issues in your relationship that are related to money and possessions.

Learn more about God, Marriage & Money here:   http://compasscatholic.org/book-store/

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Save more, spend less, be content!

January 21, 2017

The book Your Money Counts is read prior to the first meeting and is the topic of discussion for the first meeting. In Your Money Counts you will learn that the Bible has a lot to say about money. There are about 2,500 verses that address everything you need to know about handling money. This makes an excellent gift for newlyweds or young adults on their own for the first time. You can buy it from the Compass Catholic website: http://compasscatholic.org/book-store/   and on that same page you can access a FREE copy of the eBook.

To get a quick start on the Bible study, this spreadsheet is a link to the practical applications that we discussed today. For tracking your expenses, download  30 Day Tracking-Income and Expense.

If you would like more information on Navigating Your Finances God’s Way, call us at 844-447-6263 or use the website contact form  http://compasscatholic.org/contact/  and we will be calling you.

Find out more about the Bible study we discussed on the show.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Teaching Children about Money and Planning for Christmas NOW

January 14, 2017

First Half – Mistakes Parents make teaching kids about money.

Parents know all the things they have to teach their kids: stranger danger, manners, prayers, and respect for authority, but too often they don’t even think about teaching their kids financial basics. Lack of financial knowledge means the kids will learn money management from our culture, which may make them good consumers but not necessarily good stewards.

Here’s the list of the most common mistakes parents make:

  1. Not making plans about what, when and how you’ll impart basic financial knowledge to them
  2. You and your spouse are not on the same page about finances in your marriage
  3. Showing them how to get into debt by living off your credit cards
  4. Teaching daughters and sons differently
  5. Not reinforcing the difference between “wants” and “needs” when they absolutely think they need whatever the latest thing is
  6. Failing to hold children accountable for their spending mistakes by bailing them out
  7. Neglecting to teach them good work habits
  8. Communicating selfishness by not teaching them to be generous
  9. Not involving kids in household budgets at an appropriate level
  10. Not explaining how advertising manipulates them

 

Second Half – Christmas 2017 is coming – plan now

Christmas 2016 is over and Christmas 2017 is on its way!

Planning now for Christmas is a good way to stay out of debt.  Start by looking at your bank and credit card statements to figure out what you spent on Christmas 2016.  Add up all the numbers and divide by 12. That’s how much you need to save each month to have a debt free Christmas in 2017.

It also helps to talk to family about the best things in Christmas 2016 – what did they enjoy the most what did the like the least.  Then you can plan to do more of the good and less of the not so good.

Keeping your eyes open all year for presents helps ease the financial burden at the end of the year.  For example, if you take a really special picture of someone, you can print it and frame it for their Christmas present. Or if an item catches your eye during the year that is just perfect for someone, buy it and put it aside for a Christmas present. Red cookie tins and platters will be on sale after Valentines Day and The 4th of July.  Buy them on sale and use them for your Christmas baking gifts. Be aware of potential items for Christmas as you go through the year. By spreading out your Christmas spending and by saving something each month, you can avoid the hectic rush and the money drain during the holidays.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - How to change your resolutions from dreams to reality.

January 7, 2017

It’s a new year—time to make resolutions that won’t last more than 2 weeks, unless you are dedicated. One of the top ten resolutions people make is to get control of their finances.

Ephesians 4:22 tells us, “That you should put away the old self of your former way of life.” Many times our “old self” is the way we are slaves to all the consumerism the world throws at us. One of the best ways to get your finances in order is to understand that God plays a role in how you manage the money and possessions he’s given to you and one day you will be accountable to him.

Here are some tips to help you KEEP your 2017 financial resolutions:

  • Don’t set a lot of resolutions. Pick one or two you will really keep.
  • Define the reason you want to make the change. Being forced into a resolution by other people rarely works long term.
  • Make sure your resolution is achievable. Saving $1,000 for an emergency fund is a great resolution. You probably can’t do it in a month.
  • Make your resolution part of a long term goal. That $1,000 emergency fund can be part of a bigger picture to save a year’s salary.
  • Be VERY specific about the goal. Define your savings in terms of how much, how often, when and where to help you get serious.
  • Check your progress on a regular basis. This is where you do a routine sanity check against the specifics you defined regarding how much, how often, when and where.
  • Pray for strength and wisdom.

So while many resolutions come and go, if you truly make a resolution that is God centered and wrapped in prayer, if you are very specific about the details, and if you do a regular progress check it is much easier to keep the resolution.  

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

December 17, 2016

Navigating Your Finances God’s Way is a nine-week Bible study 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 - Financial Literacy and Leaky Budgets

December 3, 2016

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 your personal finances, Compass Catholic has 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. Wouldn’t you rather keep the money in your pocket than pay interest to the bank?  While you are there, check out the retirement calculators to see if your savings are on track and to get a ball park estimate of the amount you need to have saved when you retire.

Second Half – A Leaky Budget

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

Maybe you are buying name brand products but haven’t tried a generic brand, which could be just as good (or maybe better). Or prices on the products you purchase regularly have escalated, but you haven’t noticed. Leaks are caused by everything from add-ons in the grocery line to bank fees, expensive ways to spend free time and interest payments on debt.

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?”  Sealing up those budget leaks helps you be faithful in using your worldly wealth.

 

 

 

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - Contentment and Getting out of debt

November 26, 2016

Segment 1: Learn to Be Content

There is one month left before the new year, so now is the time get a jump start on your goal for 2017 to finally get your finances in the best possible shape.

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

Segment 2: Getting Out of Debt

In order to tackle your debt, you need the big picture. List all your debts on this handy spreadsheet. (Remember to save this spreadsheet as soon as you open it.)  This list shows the lender, total balance, monthly payment, interest rate and minimum payment. The first priority is to funnel any extra funds to the credit card with the smallest balance while making the minimum payment on all other debts. Once that card with the smallest balance is paid off, tackle the next smallest balance credit card, till you have paid off all credit cards, then continue paying off consumer loans, the car loans and your mortgage and even that loan from good old Uncle Fred.

This process assumes you are using a spending plan. Click on 30 Day Tracking Income and Expense to open a spreadsheet which will help you track your pennies every day. By tracking your income and expenses, you can investigate ways to cut back in order to spend LESS than you make on necessities. The extra pennies can targeted to pay off debt. Be creative and prayerful!

Our recommendation is to stop using your credit cards while you are tackling your debt.  If it’s not in the budget, and you can’t pay cash, don’t buy it! One of the best things you’ll learn is the difference between wants and needs.

Paying off debt can be a challenge but being totally debt free is well worth the effort.

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Manage Your Money God’s Way - We are Called to Be Good Stewards, How to Improve Your Finances, and Teaching Your Children the Value of Savings

November 20, 2016

We are called to be stewards of God’s blessings and we can do this by improving our finances and teaching our children the value of saving. Join Compass Catholic on Breadbox Media as we discuss these topics that are vital to your financial future.

Segments 1 & 2: We are called to be Stewards

The concept of stewardship can be interpreted as a call to give more money to the church.  But a real steward knows that everything we have is a gift from God, and we are responsible for managing his gifts in a way that is pleasing to him. Stewardship is a lifestyle not a program to raise money.

Segment 3: How to Improve Your Finances

Getting your finances under control may seem like an impossible task, so here are several simple steps to get you started:

1. Start an emergency fund - Begin with a goal of $1,000, building it to 3 then 6 then 12 months of income.

2. Create a financial plan - look at your financial goals, create a budget, and figure out how much money you can afford to save and invest after you’ve paid all your bills.

3. Pay off your debt – your budget needs to include a plan to repay all outstanding debts.
4. Take advantage of a retirement plan - be sure to maximize employer matches.

5. Start saving for your kids’ college - start a 529 and encourage relatives to contribute in lieu of birthday and holiday gifts.

6. Buy term life insurance - to protect your family’s financial future, especially if you have young children or a mortgage to pay.

Segment 4: Teaching Your Children the Value of Saving

Many parents don’t teach their children to save because the parents don’t know the value of compound interest.  

Here’s a great example: Danielle saves $1,000 per year for 8 years starting at age 21.  Matt saves $1,000 per year for 37 years starting at age 29.  They both earn 7% on their investment.

When they reach age 65, Danielle (who only saved $8,000 total) had about $64,000 more than Matt who saved $37,000.

This is the magic of compound interest.

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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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