We see it every day. College graduates (some of them not so recent) saddled with the repayment of school loans that is quite frankly eating their lunch. It is becoming apparent to me that we are not doing a good enough job helping our students do the simple math of the loans. The simple math of how much to borrow and what is will actually cost you to repay the loans. Borrowing is the easy part, repayment is the bear. It is obvious that the lending institutions are expecting the student to figure out how much to borrow and the students still live in the la-la land of “someday they will be making it big and will have plenty of money to repay whatever loans they incur”. What is worse is that many parents are taking a cavalier attitude towards preparing their students to navigate the loan game. Seems that everyone these day put themselves through school walking up hills both ways in the snow with a full time job. Continue reading “Are Students doing the Math on School Loans?”
Have you ever supported someone or some ministry for a long time at the very same amount? When I was on staff with a student ministry we had many families who locked into their $25 a month for 10 plus years. Now don’t get me wrong I appreciated their faithfulness, but someone who is that committed to our ministry has a lot of time, prayer and energy toward seeing us be successful. True partner kinda of folks. And I always wondered why they didn’t consider increasing over time. For some of them I don’t think it every crossed their mind. Now maybe I should have chatted with them about considering raising their support, but I didn’t always. What the point you ask? Continue reading “When should my missionary get a raise?”
- No mortgage payments.
- No car payments.
- No school loan payments.
- No consumer loan payments.
- No medical debt payments,
- No personal loans.
- Nothing. Notta. Zilch.
What does that feel like? Freedom? Liberation? Continue reading “Is it possible to be completely debt free?”
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about retirement. Unfortunately, I am one of those guys who didn’t listen real well in the Investment 101 class. Come to think of it, I am not sure I got invited to the Investment 101 class. I heard about it and even got some of my friends who shared some of their notes and highlights with me. Best I can remember, the curriculum is pretty simple: invest money early in your 40 year working life and that money grows over time and will hopefully grow enough to tide you over in your 20 years of retirement.
Let’s do the math on the American Dream. Young professional settles in to a working rhythm by age 25 and works 40 years till he hopefully retires at 65. Retiree enjoys healthy golden years and hopefully gets to put in another 20 years where he/she dies peacefully at ripe old age of 85. Because it is no longer cool for said retiree to depend on children or anybody else they must have saved enough money over the 40 years to help them remain “financially independent” till they die.
That sounds awesome. All I have to do is figure out what I want to live on and then save it. Simple right? Continue reading “One Million Dollars is a lot of Money to Save”
One of the things my partner says all the time is that we should be generous because God is generous. I know that to be true but it always strikes me when he says it. God loved the world so much that He gave…
On this Valentines weekend it is a good reminder that our opportunity to be generous to those around us has been modeled by the God who made us. Continue reading “God is Generous”
I have a new necessity in my routine… Shave Butter. Where have you been all my life? The makers of Shave Butter say that I have been “flying blind” all these years in my shaving. And I guess that’s true because I really can’t see my face with the old traditional foams and gels. But Shave Butter is clear and it “transforms the dread of shaving into the joy of softly wiping whiskers off your face”. Lest you think I jest, this stuff is pretty cool. But it adds yet another opportunity for me to express my discontentment. What happens when my $8 container of Shave Butter disappears? Can I ever go back to plain ole gel?
The modern world we live in is full of these kinds of things. We fill our homes, our cars and our lives with things designed to make life easier and then find ourselves cluttered with stuff. Sometimes we dream of the good old days when they didn’t have 17 choices of ketchup like we do in our super-duper markets. Continue reading “What is Modern Day Contentment?”
LET US BEGIN on a positive note. The up-side potential for good in U.S. Christian giving is immense, almost unimaginable. If American Christians were to give from their income generously—not lavishly, mind you, only generously—they could transform the world, starting right away. Ordinary American Christians have within their power the capacity to foster massive and unprecedented spiritual, social, cultural, and economic change that closely reflects their values and interests. In order to achieve such dramatic, world-transforming change, ordinary American Christians simply need to do one thing: start giving reasonably generously from their incomes, let us say 10 percent of post-tax income. Fostering such changes could begin immediately. It would not require getting Congress or the United Nations to act. It would not require a military mobilization or waiting for a majority turnover in the Supreme Court. It would only require ordinary Christians from one country to start doing something that seems entirely within their power and that most of them, according to the teachings of their own faith traditions, ought to already be doing anyway: giving generously from the financial resources with which they have been blessed. Continue reading “Giving to Change the World”