Tag Archives: money

Saving Yourself

Have you ever thought about giving cheerfully to yourself? Change the way you think about saving and realize that it’s okay to give to yourself.

Sometimes the things we learn in church concerning money can have a negative impression on how money is viewed. Let’s review a couple of statements you may have heard. Money doesn’t buy happiness! For the love of money is the root of all evil! How do these statements make you feel when you read them? For real, take the time to think of what each statement means to you. Personally, they put me in the mindframe that money is evil and the demise of society, as we know it. On the other hand, one is encouraged to give cheerfully.  The Bible tells us, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:7). Let’s explore how financial stability can actually enhance your mood and establish ways to reward yourself, as well as the importance of creating and continuing a tradition of financial literacy amongst your family and friends.

Evidence suggests that a myriad of factors are more vital to our sense of personal and life satisfaction than money. But evidence has also been mounting that our economic situation — especially our level of economic security — does indeed have a lot to do with the degree of happiness we experience in our lives. Now, some interesting new research sheds additional light on the role our financial situation plays in how happy we are.

According to noted mathematical economist, Christian Bayer, and his colleague, Falko Juessen, having more money is indeed related to happiness, but not in the way anyone might first suppose. Money may not be the key to happiness, but our level of financial security does affect our emotional and psychological well-being. It appears that we’re most satisfied with our lives when we have some confidence that our level of financial comfort will increase steadily over time and that we won’t have to kill ourselves to maintain that increased comfort level.

Planning to splurge or setting a goal amount of funds to save can create happiness. Research literature reveals that we experience the strongest positive emotional response when we make progress on our most difficult goals. Psychology today states, “Progress on our goals leads to more positive emotions and more satisfaction with life.” It increases our well-being. In turn, positive emotions contribute to our motivation to act. This is a win-win situation if we can “just get started.” Verywell.com says that Goals matter. Setting the right goals, having a plan to reach those goals, and following through on what is required to reach or maintain those goals, can make the difference between having a happy, fulfilled life or not having a life at all.  

Pay it forward to the next. Once you save to save yourself, share it with anyone that will listen, especially if you have children or relatives that are close enough to see you go through the process and start a new tradition. Expound upon one of the golden rules about giving and CHEERFULLY SAVE YOURSELF!

Dreaming of a Debt Free Christmas

The holiday season can really become a burden for some families. Magnifymoney.com states, “between gifts, hosting parties, family emergencies, and for some, fewer work hours, it’s easy for debt to add up if you don’t have savings on hand. While the $986 of those surveyed added to their debt on average is a manageable amount, it can easily snowball (1).” In a time where building wealth and living a comfortable life is top priority in many households, the want to shower loved ones with expensive Christmas gifts does not fade. The Christian doctrine preaches that the “reason for the season” is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior through charitable works and goodwill toward mankind, but it’s just words, if no real action is practiced. Christians can make an impact on the war against debt by simply leading with our faith. Family leaders can create new traditions that will promote healthy financial decisions and deter common debt occurred during the holiday season.

model: Alyssa Banister photographer: Emajhn Johnson
model: Alyssa Banister
photographer: Emajhn Johnson

 

Start shopping early. Striving for a debt-free Christmas does not have to mean a ban on gifts. One of the common fails of creating debt is families struggling to come up with large sums of cash to get gifts. Millions of people prepare for the Christmas sales, when some of the same discounts are offered all year. Catch the Valentine’s specials or the special coupons for Mother’s Day and purchase a few Christmas gifts during that time. Spreading the costs over time will lighten the load on your finances and decrease the need to borrow or charge large amounts to credit cards. Slow and steady shopping will relieve the stress of impulse spending and may even create a more pleasurable and economical giving experience.

Give repurposed gifts. Repurposing has become a hidden treat amongst the craftier people of the world. With the help of Pinterest, Instagram and other social media, recycling has become cool again! The key to this new trend, is to take old items and change them to be used in a way other than its intended use. Here are a few examples to try.

Turn an old picture frame into an earring holder. A person that loves jewelry would appreciate a thoughtful gift such as this. You’ll need some sort of wire (picture wire works really well) to hang your earrings on. Just run the wire across the frame and then hang up your earrings. This is a great gift idea for girls of all ages and you can run as much wire, making as many levels, as you want. If you have longer earrings that dangle, make longer levels.

 

Instead of hauling that old entertainment center off to the dump, take a couple of hours and turn it into an adorable play kitchen for your little girl. The center doesn’t have to be in perfect condition as you can reinforce anything that needs it and it won’t really be expected to hold much weight, anyway. Just a little paint and imagination are really all you need to turn that old eyesore into something that any little girl will get hours of pleasure from. Plus, it’s a great place to store all those play cooking toys.

Pay it forward. Charitable acts usually peak during the holiday season, but there is always room for more community service. Start a tradition of some special charitable act that your family can enjoy together. Proverbs 19:17 states that “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.” Following the example of this scripture emanates the very essence of the reason for the season. The name Christian or “Of Christ” compels us to be the Good Samaritan. Find a local soup kitchen or church that is serving the less fortunate for Christmas. Utilize this time to create fun memories and instill a desire to help those in need along with the family celebration.

The burden of debt eats at our destined happiness and creates the type of stress that is not easily shaken. Refuse or release the shackles of debt, by adjusting habits and traditions and relax into financial freedom. Once debt is eliminated from the picture, a white Christmas can once again invade our dreams!