Saturday, April 19, 2008

With a little knowledge, finances can be your friend.

Hi! I would like to introduce you to, Dave Ramsey. I
typically do not post on finances or economics. Our personal finances are essentially just that, personal. Finances can and often do bring out the core of where we live. They reveal so much about who we are. I have heard it said that if you look back over an individuals check book register or bank statement, you will see exactly how they live and what is important to them. How true that is. I imagine in part that is why Matthew, records Jesus' words in Matthew 6:21, " "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." But economics are another thing altogether. Economics affect us all. Of course, they are only a corporate reflection of the handling of individual finances. Economics, is the topic of many meal time gatherings, a favorite topic for the media, a major factor in the stress level of many, and the bane of most, at least those that are not particularly affluent. Unfortunately, the population at large does not appear to have grasp significant enough on the mechanics of personal finance for it to be an asset and friend, rather than a liability and enemy. Therefore, economics receives the undue power of being a four letter word. Fail! This is not a necessary plight for anyone. There are simple ways that require just a small amount of information, and a certain amount of desire, discipline and determination to achieve personal financial success. Since the day I began this blog, I have had made a link available for what I believe to be the very best financial teaching available. Dave Ramsey, has made personal finance extremely easy for the average person to understand. Even I get it now. If you have read this post thus far, you owe it to yourself to take a look at what he has to offer.

Now, why the change in my operating procedure? I decided to address this topic of consternation, confusion and personally sequestered angst out of irritation. If I were to allow it, I would be weary to the point of the hopeless discouragement I hear spoken all around me. It absolutely amazes me how so many believe our economic prognosis is so portent. Personal finances are personal, but I have resolved myself to the idea that I am going to counter those disparaging remarks with a few positive remarks of my own, from now on. I am guessing that those that like to trash talk finances, and the way the world is headed for a certain gloomy doom, will either have their interests piqued by my comments and want to learn more about succeeding, or simply, stop peddling their media influenced down trodden blues to me. I am hoping for the first of those two possibilities. Though it may sound so, I am not a mean person. Quite the contrary. It breaks my heart to hear and see people not only buy and believe disheartening propaganda about anything they hear about finances, but to also to live it out. That dear reader, is why I changed my operating procedure here. If I can in some way make a positive impact in someones life, I grab it with both hands and run like the wind with it. I have lived many years defeated in so many areas, to the point of imprisonment, that I love to see people become free. That is one of the things I love about the, Lord. That's another post. :-)

So, I do get the Dave Ramsey newsletter in my email every month. I want to share the newsletter I got for April, here on my blog today for you to read. The main article is very fundamental, relevant, as always it is easy to understand and very freeing! I hope you will take a few minutes and read this article titled, "Recession Proof Yourself".

And now, my little spin on this matter is going to get just a brief bit of air time here. Here it is.

To begin with, God wants to bless us! He is a good God, and delights in the total prosperity of his children. I am not shoving the Mercedes, mansion, jewels and frivolity show here. Prosperity means many things, but God wants us blessed in all areas, including finances, and adds no sorrow to get it to us. We just need to be obedient, and receive. Second, once we get a grasp on that scriptural concept, being able to give to others becomes the happy event it is meant to be. Just a note, the Bible gives us guidelines for giving, and the Holy Spirit leads each according to the way we are to give. Be prudent and not silly here. Last but not least, if we are not living in and enjoying financial stability, if we are not enjoying blessing, we can not be good givers, certainly not cheerful ones. We are blessed, to be a blessing.

Be blessed, and be a blessing!


Kim said...

I love Dave, as you know! I love his simple approach. I don't always agree with everything he says, but I agree with about 90% of it. Were it not for doing things Dave's way we would be like many right now - a basket case. But instead we are more content living without the heavy burden of paying off the past by struggling in the now. Debt is a heavy burden to carry and I entreat anyone who is in debt to suffer and live way under their means for awhile and get out! It is SO worth it.

Now, despite our being debt-free except the house (and that has a 15 year mortgage on it - again Dave's way), anything can happen. Hubby can become unemployed, a family member can become gravely ill, etc.. So much can come into play. BUT it would be much easier to weather if debt wasn't already loaded on your back. And if we can ever get our 3-month's expenses emergency fund fully funded we'd be even better off. We spent a few years helping our daughter (and then son-in-law) survive total poverty (mainly for the sake of our daughter and grandchildren), not to mention helping a few friends in situations that blessed us immensely to be ABLE to help in. So we have struggled a bit at that step. Once you are out of debt and have money, the temptation is always to givegivegive, which weakens one's resolve to build that emergency fund! lol

Anywho, I'm with ya, girl! Preach it! I have that newsletter in my inbox and need to go read it.

I also like Clark Howard, but I am much less likely to follow his advice (maybe 50% of the time) as he is all about a good credit score. Unfortunately, with the way EVERYONE is now treating our credit scores as our total identity, it's very tempting to play the game just to keep the score up. I HATE that system and think it to be GROSSLY discriminatory. Unfortunately, with Dave's way we will have to accept that there will be sacrifices and suffering of a different kind because of the system that we now live in. Phooey on that!

Teresa said...

Thanks for being so candid, Kim. I think secrets can often be our biggest crazy makers. Personal finances are to a degree personal, but here in the USA we treat them like an omnibus god that must be protected. When we bring them out like you just did and call them what they are, a tool, we can get free from the stress they are often allowed to cause. I hate seeing people bound up like that. Thank you, for sharing! I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Yes, there is a down side either way. There has to be a sacrifice somewhere thanks to the as you so rightly put it "discriminatory" system we are forced to be in. But, I will take the debt free downside of Dave's any day of the week, and twice on, Sunday!

And, ain't he cute?

Kim said...

But, I will take the debt free downside of Dave's any day of the week, and twice on, Sunday!

Amen to that! Why complicate our lives? If we're going to suffer either way, might as well suffer without having to jump through all the credit score hoops. And as Dave says, your credit score isn't a big issue if the only thing you need good credit for is to buy a house. And there ARE lenders who actually THINK and look at the real data rather than a number.

Yes, he's cute! Sick 'em, Dave!

Barbara said...

Living beyond our means seems exciting at first but when that heavy debt burden comes it can seem almost impossible toget out of it. Many only learn that to their cost.

Mary said...

My parents taught me many things - one being the concept of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. I continue to pass that on to my young adult children. I sent them the link to the Dave Ramsey article. Thanks for this post!