Money Matters - 05/13/14

  Money matters, it really does.  Don't get me wrong.  I get that.  However, the truth is most of our money problems are self induced. 
  Take the NFL for example.  I have a story in my Saving You Money segment tonight related to the recent NFL Draft and the millions draftees suddenly have placed in their laps.  Sports Illustrated did an analysis and found that 78% of former NFL players are bankrupt or close to it.  It's not how much you make.  It's what you do with it.
    My sweet niece is getting ready to graduate from high school and asked me for some financial pointers as she meets this milestone.  Her questions were part of a Bible class she's taking.  As I answered them in writing, it forced me to revisit so many moments in my adult life that could have been financially devastating.  They weren't because of the fiscal philosophy we live by at our house.
    What follows is an excerpt from our correspondence. Pass it on if you think it can help someone you know.   

  Mentor Assignment #2

1. Niece: What advice would you give me in the area of finances?

Stacy:  Well,  this is an important topic for sure.  The Bible is pretty specific on financial matters.   In short, the Bible says you should not  go into debt, you should save & that we have to be good stewards of what God has blessed us with.   It's important to remember as you start your adult life not to rely on others to meet your needs.  You have to work for what you earn and nothing in this world is free.   If you don't spend more than you have, then you won't ever go into debt.  This is completely in your control.  People always try to complicate money and it's really not complicated at all.  You simply don't spend what you don't have.... you don't live beyond your means (what God has blessed you with.)  If you think you want something you can't afford, work to save for it.  You'll have a greater self satisfaction in your soul if you earn your own way and prove to yourself you can do it. Sometimes, this means not being able to go do things or buy things others are buying.  I remember when I started my career, I was only making $14 thousand dollars A YEAR!!  I was broke, yet I never felt broke because I made a budget based on $14K and I never went over it.  I couldn't always go out to eat, go shopping for clothes, etc.... but I was pursuing my dream and I didn't care what I made.  Do what you love and the money will come.  Here are some scriptures I like:

Luke 14:28"30
"For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it"lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish'?"

Debt scripture:   Matthew 6:24
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."

Proverbs 22:7 "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender."


2.  Niece:  What has been the hardest time of your life financially and how did you make it through it?

Stacy:  Well, as a news gal... you know I'm all about the statistics.  Arguing about money is the top predictor of divorce.  45% of divorces are caused by money issues.  65% of couples argue about money.  Uncle Chris and I don't argue about money.  Early on, when he proposed to me 20 something years ago... he was in debt.  He had gotten into debt in college because credit card companies send you lots of credit card offers in college.  Not knowing any better, Uncle Chris signed up for them.  So, I told Uncle Chris I would not marry him until he paid off all of his debt.  I did not want to take on his debt because I had no debt and planned to live a debt free life.   He quickly got busy paying off his debt and through this process  developed a deep and lasting passion for financial responsibility.  It's why he changed careers many years ago from being a sportscaster to helping professional athletes safeguard their fortunes.  He had seen so many heartaches and tragedies that could have easily been avoided.   He felt there were so many people who were sabotaging their families and their futures by not being good stewards of what God had blessed them with.
   However, the hardest financial time was in fact, when Uncle Chris changed careers because at that same time I had also left CBS News and was freelancing (making a fraction of what I had been making.)   I needed to be home with the kiddos more and needed more work flexibility.  By changing careers, Uncle Chris also was making less initially as he built a new business set on leaving a legacy.  But, we had prayed through all of those decisions making sure we were in God's will with these career decisions and God has in turn blessed those decisions.  We simply sat down, made out a new budget based on our smaller income and stuck to it.  We stopped going out to eat, I bought the kids' clothes at consignment stores, I couponed, etc....   I might also add that also during this time, we had a health crisis on our hands and a flooded basement.   We made it just fine and never had any trouble paying our bills because we lived within our means.    Our 'means' and everyone's 'means' changes during seasons of life.. it ebbs and flows depending on the economy, career choices and changes, family considerations, illness, emergencies, natural disaster, etc. So whatever you're making at any given time.... live within your means and be happy right there.. 

3.  Niece:   How has your perspective of money changed from when you were a teenager to where you are now?

Stacy: My parents were sticklers about being responsible with finances, so they taught me everything I know. Now, Uncle Chris is better at it than me, so he's teaching me new and better ways to make money go further.  In short though, these ideals were placed in me at an early age by my parents, so not much has changed in terms of my perspective of money.  My parents had me work early on doing chores and earning money and had me get a job when I was old enough so that I could learn the sheer satisfaction of making my own way in this world.  They wanted me to learn how to be responsible for myself and to learn the value of a dollar.  They also wanted me to learn that I could not depend on others to pay my way. I had to earn it,  every single cent of it and this takes sacrifice.
    My parents taught me to live on about 50% of what I make, save about 30% and give the rest away.  That's tithing, charity, etc...  Chris and I have lived by this and we've always kept a minimum of 3 months' emergency fund in place.  It's important to live this way because as humans we really don't need all 'the stuff' we think we need.
    I was scared of credit cards in early adulthood.  My parents had drilled into my head that they were bad and I should not get one.  So, I did not get one until I was about 28.  Uncle Chris and I decided together we would get one and we would do this with one prerequisite... that we were making a pact to pay off the entire balance (not just the minimum payment) every single month and never carry a debt over from month to month.   If there was ever a time when we thought we wouldn't be able to pay it off at the end of the month... then we didn't charge it to the card.  It just takes discipline.  Today, we like having a credit card because we get frequent flyer miles for every dollar we charge (and pay off each month) then we take free flights. This also gives us a detailed accounting of our expenditures for tax purposes.

I love you!!!!!
Aunt Stacy


 

 

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Last Update on August 28, 2015 14:37 GMT

RICK SPRINGFIELD-YOUR BUTT IS FINE WITH US

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Rock musician Rick Springfield was a big hit at the opening day of the 2015 New York State Fair. So was his tush.

The singer best known for his 1981 No. 1 hit "Jessie's Girl" had been sued by a New York woman who said she suffered serious head injuries when Springfield's buttocks hit her after he fell off the stage during a concert at the suburban Syracuse fairgrounds in 2004.

In January, he won the seven-year legal battle when a state Supreme Court judge in Syracuse said the performer didn't injure the concert-goer.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports that during last night's performance Springfield, who turned 66 Sunday, thanked fans for supporting him during the trial. One fan held up a sign that read: "`'Rick your butt can fall on me anytime."

PREGNANT METEOROLOGIST GIVES BIRTH TO TWINS

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A Philadelphia meteorologist who went online to fight back against "haters" critical of her pregnant appearance has given birth to twin girls.

KYW-TV says Katie Fehlinger (FEH'-lin-jer) went into labor after her morning shift Tuesday and delivered the girls Wednesday afternoon.

Parker Janice was born at 12:58 p.m. She weighed 4 pounds, 15 ounces. Kaeden Faye arrived a minute later, weighing 3 pounds, 12 ounces

Fehlinger shot back at critics last week in a Facebook post, attracting national attention and support from thousands of people.

She wrote that the industry makes her an easy target for criticism. But she said it crosses the line to post "nastygrams" about pregnant women.

Fehlinger, a Lehigh Valley native, has been with the station since 2011.

WOMAN TICKETED FOR BREAST FEEDING WHILE DRIVING

SEATTLE (AP) -- A 43-year-old Washington woman was given a $136 ticket this week for breast-feeding while driving.

The Seattle Times reports (http://is.gd/nxbX7D ) the woman was pulled over on Interstate 5 around 7 p.m. Wednesday after someone called 911 to report a child sitting in a driver's lap.

State Patrol spokesman Mark Francis says that when the trooper approached the car, he could tell that the woman was breast-feeding.

The woman admitted she was breast feeding and had done it before because her 1-year-old son screams uncontrollably when he's hungry.

Francis says they had a talk about safety and parental responsibility and the officer issued a ticket for child-restraint violation.

Court records show the woman has a history of driving infractions, including using a cellphone while driving, speeding and following too closely.

NEBRASKA LOTTERY- SCRATCH AND SNIFF

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Even if it isn't a winner -- a Nebraska lottery ticket could still give you a good whiff.

The Nebraska Lottery says it will be selling Sriracha-scented scratch tickets as part of a new $2 scratch game.

It's called Hot Sriracha, and each ticket contains a scent replicating that of the famous Asian sauce. The game offers three $15,000 top prizes and a total of more than $468,000 in cash prizes.

Acting Nebraska Lottery director Jill Marshall says in a news release that lottery officials think the new game "is the first Sriracha-scented scratch game ever made."

Lottery spokesman Neil Watson said Thursday that tickets are being distributed and may be purchased wherever they're offered.

POLICE TO COMPILE FREQUENT-DRUNKARD LIST

AURORA, Illinois (AP) -- The police department in an Illinois city is going to compile a "habitual drunkard" list to help fight public intoxication.

Aurora Police Department Sgt. Tom McNamara says the list will have "certain clientele" whom police and fire departments see regularly. The (Aurora) Beacon-News reports (http://trib.in/1IhxoVp ) that includes people whom police and fire personnel transport six times or more in a 120-day period.

The City Council approved keeping the list this week as part of an overhaul to city liquor laws. Aurora is west of Chicago.

Police say the goal is public safety. Those on the list won't be able to purchase liquor in Aurora and local businesses are expected to comply.

Authorities say they got the idea from Madison, Wisconsin, which has a similar policy.

 
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