Posts Tagged ‘save’

House Rich, but Savings Poor – A Great Example of a Financial 1/2 Truth

The following short summary for financial advisors of a recent study on savings and debt levels in Canada got my attention, and not for the stats it revealed, rather for what it isn’t say – as always…

My comments are written in italics for you to see why our current world view of finance is NOT God’s plan – no matter how much we try to add scripture to support a debt free lifestyle.  God’s plan is for increase and sustainable income that benefits everyone.  A financial model that focuses on saving for retirement for self isn’t sustainable, and in fact feeds the self-focus that leads to a life of debt.  This doesn’t mean ‘don’t save’ it means that saving is only 1/2 the truth.  God’s plans are about Him, community, and increase – not about lack, uncertainty, or financial slavery.

The latest Manulife Bank Homeowner Debt Survey reveals many Canadians find it difficult to pay for today and plan for tomorrow.

  • Only 4 in 10 are very confident they’ll save  enough for retirement
    • We don’t actually need savings in order to leave work.  We need income to support the plans and purposes God has placed in each of our hearts to fulfill.  The concept of saving for retirement assumes that you will then use or draw down those savings (or hope to accumulate enough savings to live on the interest generated from them. The common teaching is to grow the savings, then live off your savings and hope you have enough after you ‘retire’.  Mathematically this requires approximately 1/3 of your after-tax income in order to maintain a similar lifestyle after leaving work and invokes fear and insecurity over ‘not having enough’.   
  • 1 in 4 expect home equity to make up more than 80% of their wealth at retirement
    • Another ‘depletion’ strategy that anticipates drawing down savings, and encourages chasing high returns in order to accumulate savings and / or equity.

Faced with rising housing costs, homeowners struggle to balance saving, debt repayment and daily expenses. [Interesting how the concept of earning additional income through entrepreneurial thinking isn’t even mentioned as an option]

Many may arrive at retirement house-rich, but savings-poor, which could require them to make difficult decisions [A series of defeatist, depletion-type strategies not in alignment with God’s plan for increase, abundance, generosity and prosperity in ALL areas of life]:

  • retire later than planned
  • accept a lower standard of living
  • downsize their home
  • borrow against home equity

Helping your clients achieve the right balance of saving, spending and debt repayment can start with a simple conversation. Visit the Solutions Centre where you’ll find tips to start the conversations, debt-management worksheets, and more insights to support your advice.

$1000 a Day

If you learn how to manage your pennies, you can also learn to manage a whole lot of money. Which would you prefer:  $1000 per day for 30 days of a penny doubling for 30 days?  Do the math and you’ll quickly discover how the small things repeated consistently produce the biggest results in the shortest amount of time.

This is the theme of the Power Money Course.  Order yours today to find out what those ‘small things’ are for you to realize your own $1000 per day (or more or less depending on what you really need to pay for the life you’d like to live).

Producing Abundance Despite Apparent Lack

47 During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, 48 and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. 49 And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured.

53 The seven years of plenty that occurred in the land of Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do.”

56 So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt.57 Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth.  Genesis 41:47-49,53-57

The story of Joseph has been told so many times and offers so many lessons that sometimes it’s easy to think we know the story and that’s that.  However, when you stop learning you become complacent and ineffective and self-centred – not exactly qualities of following God’s will.

A couple of years ago I was asking the Lord for some insight to why the commonly accepted financial wisdom was to accumulate money for the future (not that this is bad, it’s the emphasis on it for retirement that is perplexing)  He lead me to the story of Joseph and revealed some interesting principles that address so many financial issues that cause uncertainty for people today.

Typically the interpretation of what Joseph put in place in Egypt after interpreting Pharoph’s dream of 7 years of prosperity followed by 7 years of famine is that the Egyptians saved up the food during the good years so they wouldn’t starve to death during the famine.  It’s interesting to note that the passage doesn’t mention any fear running out or not having enough, nor does it mention storing the food just for the Egyptians.

What the passage actually says is that the Egyptians produced the food from the land and it was collected and stored in the cities throughout the country.  When the famine came, the Egyptians sold the food locally and to people who came from abroad.  Producing the food from the land, meant they processed it in some way and selling it meant they created income from their efforts.  In this way, what they created was a sustainable economy.

It seems to me that God provided fruitful land from which the Egyptians could work together at the local level to use their talents to produce goods that benefited them and others.  Because the produced food was available in cities throughout the country they had a distribution network so the produce was accessible to and beneficial to many people.

Today to produce abundance means despite an apparent lack or gap I resources, means you have to first focus on the prosperity that you do have available, then find a way to produce something of value to others; particularly something that is essential and consumable.  Then work with others to create a system to sell your goods.  This is the entrepreneurial spirit of infinite possibilities that creates abundance, rather than stockpiling for personal survival with a concern that you might not have enough or might run out.  Your plan doesn’t have to be huge with a worldwide audience, it just has to start with a mindset of creating a sustainable income in your personal economy by considering the needs of others as well as yourself.

You can read more about the consequences of our current thinking around personal finance following the accumulation model in The Death by Money Report available at www.deathbymoney.com

Do You Have Plans for Prosperity or Are You Just Hoping?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

When it comes to money, I am convinced that the majority of people today would likely interpret this verse for themselves as, ‘…plans to hopefully prosper me financially, not to cause me to suffer financially, plans to hopefully give me a brighter future.’

Of course, I could be totally wrong, but if the percentage of people I talk to on a daily basis about some aspect of money is any indication, then I would be inclined to say we have an epidemic of financially worried people carrying a virus of doubt and fear into the majority of their everyday financial decisions.

If the  Lord ‘declares’ that He has plans to give us a hope and a future, then any sort of financial doubt means we are fretting needlessly.  This leads to guilt, and self-condemnation, which in turn creates a downward spiral of low confidence and ultimately a self-sabotage of more lack.  Certainly this isn’t the life the Lord has planned for His people.

Obviously if breaking this paradigm was as easy as saying, ‘just believe’ then any positive thinking, self-help book would have the answer and anyone who’s read one would be rich and successful!

But what is prosperity anyway?  It’s not dollars and cents, and it’s not something we do on our own.

To apply the prosperity mentioned in Jeremiah 29:11 to money in real life today, you have to start by recognizing whenever you are trying to control some aspect of money in your life:  spending, saving, giving, insuring, borrowing, paying, earning, judging others, working, comparing, wishing,…(or not).  Then whenever you catch yourself in some aspect of financial doubt, lack, or judgement, simply thank the Lord or all He has provided and praise Him for knowing the plans He has for your life.  Do this for a day, then a week, then a month, and keep going…you are building confidence which is the foundation to help you learn and apply additional practical strategies to your ongoing real life financial decisions!

If you’d like to join me and others to explore God, Money and Real Life, please contact me at tracy@moneyminding.com or 250-592-0457 for more information.  Or make sure you read The Death by Money Report available at www.deathbymoney.com for additional information on the paradigm shift required to make immediate and lasting positive financial changes to your life!

 

 

Why does it seem so difficult to apply financial knowledge to get real results?

I’d like to invite you to join me in September for and exploration of God, Money and Real Life.  If the bible has so much to say about how to manage our money and there seems to be such a growing volume of people offering financial education, why do the studies also show that there is also a growing number of people struggling financially?

  • Could it by that there is a resistance to the information?
  • Could it be that vast numbers of people deny that additional financial information is important or could make a difference?
  • Could it be that the personal application of the information isn’t understood?
  • Could it be that many people just assume they already know how what to do to manage their money and make good financial decisions based on what they’ve done or learned in the past?
  • Could it be that much of the information being taught today is still only half the story?

Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that money, and in particular God and Money together, are:

  • Essential topics today
  • Controversial topics today
  • Require a fresh new look in order to create the paradigm shift so many people desperately need in their lives as it relates to money today.

I invite you to join me on a 4 week journey beginning Friday, September 7th at noon pacific to discover and apply some of God’s foundational principles of money as it relates to real life today.  The objective isn’t just more knowledge.  The objective is application, which means getting results.  And I promise you that with God’s blessing, it has the potential to provide the missing link between His living word about money, and your own life situation.

What qualifies me to teach about God, Money and Real Life?  For over 20 years I’ve been working in financial services; over 15 years ago God gave me insights to a missing link between financial information and the real-life application of that information; and his purpose for my life to share this information has taken me on a journey that sometimes feels like Joseph’s journey during the period of time from the pit to Pharaoh’s Palace:  a persevering spirit guided by the Lord.

We’ll cover:

  • Where to start?
  • What are your money goals (and why)?
  • How do you get from where you are to where God wants you to go?
  • Our financial systems are more complicated today than thousands of years ago, what do you need today to apply real life      with God’s plan for you and your money?

Here’s how it works:

1.  Register today by either:

a)  ordering online here, or

b)  making a donation here, or

c)  contacting me directly to make arrangements
2.  Before the program begins on September 7th, I will send you online access.  Depending on the total number of registered, we will either meet for our weekly sessions by phone, or by online video access.

3.  Each week we’ll meet as a group for the lessons and discussion, and each week I’ll provide you with follow up materials and ‘homework’.

4.  If you aren’t able to make a session, or if you’re away, that’s ok, because all the weekly sessions and follow up materials will be archived and available online.  The online access will also include an opportunity for you to share thoughts ideas and questions and to communicate with others in the program if you chose.

Hope you can make it and looking forward to sharing more with you.

~ Tracy

PS – If you’re just not sure, then please visit www.deathbymoney.com to order your copy of my new book, The Death by Money Report, to get the background information and to find out why this message so important today!

Are you making money decisions from a spirit of fear, or spirit of confidence?

Decisions made from fear are more focused on the potential loss, risk, harm, or missing out.  Confident decisions come from applying the necessary skills and knowledge to analyze a situation from a practical, business-like position.

For example, if you have recently read something about investment fees and other negative impacts of active money management you could be tempted to convert all your investments to an alternate type.  This same situation can happen if you experience a drop in the stock market and you’re tempted to pull all your money out and invest it in real estate or fixed income certificates.

Another common situation is the one where you feel that the amount you have saved is going to cause you to work for the next several hundred years in order to finally be able to ‘retire.’.  In an attempt to alleviate this fear, you perhaps make a decision to take charge of your finances and start attending seminars on how to reduce your debt and increase your savings.  The biggest challenge with this is that the overwhelming majority of seminars are offered by people who are selling a particular product to fit with the information they have just taught you, or they are people who do not have a professional background and are therefore presenting strategies that are from their personal experience (which is good), but won’t have the connection to the technical aspects of the financial industry.

This situation leads to decisions that are often made with partial knowledge such as looking at reducing interest rates on mortgages or credit cards, but inadvertently reducing your long term flexibility or ability to access credit.  Credit scores are a complex serious force with far reaching consequences.  Anything at all to do with credit must be carefully calculated and considered with expert consultants.

So what do you do?  A solid financial foundation of skills and knowledge was not part of any formal curriculum for every adult trying to make these decisions today.  Because of this, the knowledge gap isn’t even recognized so we have decisions that appear to make sense on the surface based on ad-hoc, circumstantial information, but ultimately require a leap of faith to implement.  This type of decision making ultimately ends up being more like unconscious gambling, rather than a methodical, calculated, confident process that connects all the unique person circumstances to a desired outcome.

The first step is to realize that money is a dynamic, every increasingly complex situation, where decisions are not black and white.  Because of this, the component of the decision making process that can be controlled is your own values, priorities, goals, interests, passions, and unique purposes.  From here, the process of making decisions, implementing strategies and deciding on specific product solutions is a sequential balance of earning vs. spending; of saving vs. investing; of risk vs. reward; of growing vs. maintaining; and of the needs of today vs. the needs of tomorrow.

To find out more read The Death by Money Report at www.deathbymoney.com and plan to attend a Death by Money, Life by Faith interactive workshop.   The next live one is June 7th at 7pm PST.  Registration is required and attendance is by donation.  info@moneyminding.com

 

 

Do You Want More Money Now, or Later?

There is no doubt that with, or without money, it’s a topic that causes uncertainty today.  In many cases, money anxiety can lead to divorce, illness, investment loss, business failure, family turmoil, and a life unlived!  The solution to financial issues, however, is a paradigm shift away from conventional wisdom that promotes ‘spend less than you earn, get out of debt and, save more for retirement’.  This is outdated information that is actually fuelling the problems!

My newest resource called The Death by Money Report, the causes of money stress and how a $10 solution can save your financial life is available online and I want to make sure you have access to it right away.  This timely information will challenge your thinking about money, yet provide immediately simple and helpful insights that anyone can implement into their life today – regardless of their current financial situation.

The Death by Money Report presents a powerful argument that introduces a whole new way of thinking about your finances in a way that creates opportunities to earn income that you didn’t know existed.  The report also provides an action plan for the practical application in the real-world for the concepts it introduces.  This isn’t just theory, this is about making positive steps that have the ability to change your situation (whatever that might be) right away!

To learn more about the report and the causes of money stress and how a $10 solution can solve debt and retirement issues by spending, not saving visit www.deathbymoney.com.  It’s well worth your $10 investment for the purchase.

To your success,

Tracy

PS – For a limited time only during this initial launch, when you purchase The Death by Money Report, you will also receive a special report on finding and working with Financial Professionals.  This is an additional $10 value, included free with your report to help you work efficiently and effectively with financial professionals who share your values for earning, and managing your money.  It’s available when you order from www.deathbymoney.com.

PPS – If you want to be part of a movement that helps others experience financial independence in a fresh new way, please share this message with others and ‘like’ it online.   Young, old, rich and poor, we all benefit when money is working for us, not the other way around!

 

Why Getting Out of Debt Can Sabotage Your Financial Success

Contrary to conventional wisdom, financial freedom doesn’t happen when you have no debt.  In fact, the road to debt freedom and the process of maintaining it will actually halt your progress.  That’s not to say that you should run out and rack up your credit cards and abandon your debt – that’s just irresponsible.  It’s to say that the missing key to financial success; to reducing financial uncertainty; to experiencing financial peace – doesn’t happen when you have no debt.

When you have access to credit you have access to an incredibly powerful wealth building tool.  If you use it incorrectly, you don’t get the results you’re looking for.  When you appreciate it for what it can do, and you take the time to know how to use it effectively, you can experience its full potential in ways you didn’t previously know existed or were too fearful to act on.

The problem is that this powerful tool called credit has been provided easily without adequate instructions.  Sure, there are the basic operations such as how to make purchases and payments, and what the interest charges are and the consequences of not making payments.  These are the just the basics.  Unfortunately because the more advanced operational instructions haven’t been taught, or have been misused, we have millions of people using the tool who don’t even know that they don’t know that there are better ways of using what they already have.

Think about it. Do wealthy billionaire tycoons like Donald Trump make financial decisions about how to pay off the mortgages on their skyscrapers?  Not likely.  They have learned to use credit to acquire an asset that creates income which pays for the expenses of the building as well as the credit that was used to make the purchase in the first place.

The bigger problem we have with this focus on getting out of debt is that far too many people have been given access to credit and have used it to acquire the lifestyle they want, rather than using it to earn that lifestyle.  They know how to work for a living and how to access credit, but then they listen to scarcity minded teachers who haven’t fully grasped the concept of how our economy operates.  For some strange reason, many people seem to think that by taking money out of the economy by stopping spending so they can get rid of debt that they have been told is ‘bad’ that somehow they’re going to be able to live happily ever after.  This is partly because they haven’t received the proper instructions on how to maximize the tool they have in the form of credit but also because they have lost the ability to understand how to create income.

Haven’t we heard from some great success teachers about the concept of ‘what you focus on expands’?  If you focus on what you don’t want then aren’t you really telling yourself that you’re not worthy of the desires you have been acquiring with this tool called credit?  Does negative reinforcement really inspire confidence to learn and to develop new skills?  Does cutting back and denying your interests ultimately help you learn how much money you really want to earn so you can live the lifestyle you really want to live?  There is a balance that happens naturally when you are committed to your vision.

When you focus on getting out of debt you are actually reinforcing lack, scarcity, fear and unworthiness.  Sure, some non-deductible debt with high interest rates is better gone – but the way to get rid of it is to focus on creating income. You have to find ways to earn the lifestyle you desire, rather than acquiring it with plastic cards.  And when you can master that skill, the income will be sufficient to look after the debt and your desires, and then we can all live happily ever after!

Visit www.deathbymoney.com to find out more about how to practically apply this concept in real-life.

Is it a revival or a renewal of your finances you’re looking for? www.deathbymoney.com

Revive literally means to start again or bring back to life.  This means that if you feel like you’re off track and have been suppressing your passions because you’re overcome with guilt, or fear about money, then likely you need some encouragement to strengthen your belief that you can live a life where there is enough money flowing into your home to enable you to feel exhilarated about your days.

Perhaps you’re feeling like your life is pre-occupied with money every time you venture into a store or are faced with opening another bill, or statement.  If you need a fresh look at the situation to help you overcome the stress and struggle of working to make money to pay your bills while also somehow managing to save for that distant fantasy land called retirement, you’re looking for a revival.

On the other hand, if you’re thoughts are burdened with anxiety around how you have drifted away from the life you thought you’d be living, or used to be living, before something happened to halt your dreams (a job loss, medical situation, investment loss, divorce, fraud) then you’re looking for a renewal.  You’d like to be able to continue with your former life, mend the broken situation and carry on.  Perhaps you just need to breathe new life into your finances to reinvigorate your life.  Or perhaps you’re aware that there are some areas of your financial life that really should be replaced, but you’re not sure how to transform the situation.  Either way, a renewal is what you’re looking for.

A revival or a renewal requires a change.  In order to change you have to give up on current strategies that aren’t working which will first require acknowledging that the current thinking must stop.  You have to awaken a spirit of financial independence which means removing the concept of retirement from any discussion or thought around your finances.  It also means that you have to understand that what feeds financial independence is income.

What you’re after is income that is sufficient to pay for the expenses for the life you want to live; the life God has placed on your heart to live, not necessarily the life pictured in magazines or on TV, or the one you think you ‘should’ be living.  Ultimately, this means you have to revive and renew the entire concept of income creation.

Income creation, and therefore financial independence, is not dependent on a budget that requires you to spend less than you earn so you can get out of debt and accumulate a big pot of gold to retire with.  Income creation isn’t dependant on you having a good job or career.  Income creation isn’t a special investment or new business.  Income creation starts with an idea, and requires you to take one small step at a time in pursuit of that idea.  Along the way, each step will have financial requirements and decisions with financial implications.  Here it is important to look at the numbers in new ways to help recondition and recreate your situation in order to re-establish a life of financial independence.

If you want to renovate your finances, you first need to stimulate your thinking which begins with the first baby step.  www.deathbymoney.com

 

“Snakes in Suits”

Great book by by Paul Babiak and Robert Hare I”m reading now as part of my new series of articles on misleading financial advice and the new book, Death by Money.

Financial loss and investment fraud and inappropriate financial advice have been a significant part of my career since doing some work with the BC Securities Commission in the early 2000’s on their program called ‘Investigate Before You Invest”. Dr. Robert Hare was actually someone who’s work I had access to for the BCSC contract. It was one of the most profound things I have done in my career and been a big influence on my work ever since. Many of the people I work with at MoneyMinding are infact recovering from some sort of financial loss, or feel like they are because they were slow to get started.

If this might be you or someone you know, there are alot of options and information inside MoneyMinding mVillage for support and you can look for alot of information, resources and strategies in some of my new work:

– Project M
– The New MoneyMinding Makeover plus Double Your Money Program
– The series of articles on misleading financial advice, and
– Death by Money

Make sure you visit www.moneyminding.com to become a Minute Manager Member to be able to comments, ask questions and get the resources and support – anonymously!