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What is your most precious possession? Would you be willing to give it away?

Three books of the Gospel record an event that demonstrated such love and sacrifice, that Judas, the disciple in charge of the moneybag, questioned the action. 

Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, broke an alabaster jar of nard, poured it over Jesus’ head and feet, then wiped His feet with her hair. Nard, a powerful perfume from a plant grown in India was valued at more than a year’s wages. It was sealed in a jar that had to be broken in order to access the perfume. This possession may have been a family heirloom. Perhaps it was her dowry.

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5 Financial Tips for Newlyweds

My wife, Ann, and I got married at Christmas our senior year in college. This year we will celebrate 39 years of marraige! Unfortunately, it took us 21 years before we were on the same page financially.

A Crown Study was what finally got us on the same page about our money in 1999. There is so much freedom when spouses are united around what the Bible says about money and setting proper goals. But that doesn't make it easy! 

No matter how long you have been married, it is difficult to get on the same page as your spouse about money. But there's no better time to start than now, especially for young couples.

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8 Tips for an Affordable Wedding

Weddings are expensive! With the average cost of a wedding at $26,645, I am very thankful to have 4 boys! My church recently
announced the upcoming wedding of a young couple. The event will take place after our morning service, followed by a potluck and wedding cake provided by the ladies in the church. How practical is that!

A simple, beautiful and memorable celebration is possible if you ignore what the world says you need. Here are is my advice for throwing an affordable wedding and tips from Trent Hamm at TheSimpleDollar.com:

1. Decide how much you can spend. A specific and intentional budget is a must for planning a wedding. There are a lot of helpful guides online that you can use as a reference to how much you need to budget. No matter how tempting, don't spend more than you have budgeted for! 

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3 Surprising Steps to Getting Out of Debt

Originally posted on the Christian Post on February 24.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

 

Dear Chuck,

Credit cards are killing me, and it feels like getting a handle on money is some kind of 12-step program. Where do I begin?

Feeling Overwhelmed.

Dear Overwhelmed,

Well, I have some good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s not the credit cards that are killing you. The bad news is that it’s the lack of savings!

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Satchel Paige once asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”

That’s a good question. Age sneaks up on us, and retirement is a chapter in life that many are unprepared for.

People in the world believe retirement is the time in life to withdraw from the demands of work and labor to pursue enjoyment free of obligations, commitments or worries. Fulfilling their desires is a reward for how hard they’ve worked. But, Hugh Welchel, Executive Director of the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics strongly disagrees. Welchel explains that the only thing looking like retirement in the Bible is found in Numbers 8:23-26. Here, God told Moses, that the Levites were allowed to work from 25 until mandatory retirement at the age of 50.

After their temple service, they were expected to mentor the younger men by providing wisdom and leadership gained through their experience. They were available to advise and counsel the younger generation.

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Do you worry about outliving your retirement funds?

If you’re worried, you are not alone. Maurie Backman with the Motley Fool says retirement tops the list of Americans’ financial concerns.

In 2016, 64% of the population admitted fear in not having enough funds to cover living expenses in retirement. An estimated 33% have no retirement savings at all, and those who are relying on Social Security need to realize that it replaces just 40% of the average worker’s pre-retirement income. An Allianz study reveals that 60% of baby boomers fear running out of money in retirement more than dying.

Analyze your living situation. It may be worth downsizing to a smaller home. Less square footage and acreage may ease pressure on the budget and the stress of maintenance. By downsizing, you have the  opportunity to earn money by selling items you no longer need. You also may be able to get by with just one car to further cut your expenses.

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Do you love your neighbor?

Martin Luther once said,

“A true Christian lives and labors on earth not for himself but for his neighbor; Therefore the whole spirit of his life compels him to do even that which he needs not do, but which is profitable and necessary for his neighbor.”

As one who is interested in economic history, it is a little known fact that the global economy remained relatively flat until the Protestant Reformation. Not only did the Bible begin to be distributed into the hands of commoners, it set in motion what became known as the protestant work ethic and economic growth began to explode. History shows that the economic growth of the West correlates with the spread and adoption of God’s Word.

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4 tips to raise your children to become financially independent

Third John 1:4 says, “I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the Truth.” Amen to that!  I would add my own corollary. I have no greater relief than to see my children able to pay their own way when they become adults.

We all want to help our children financially, but it is more important to teach them to become financially independent.

Here are some tips:

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4 Steps to Ask for a Raise

Originally posted on the Christian Post on February 17.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

 

Dear Chuck,

I’ve been at my job for a while now, and I know that I make a valuable contribution to my company, but I don’t know how to go about asking for a raise. Employers seem to be able to say vague things about the economy being sluggish and rush past any conversation that involves compensation. What does the Bible have to say about how to have an uncomfortable conversation about compensation? Is it more “Christian” to take a lower salary and give up worldly riches?

Stuck with Sluggish Salary

Dear Stuck,

This will be fun! Hopefully this will cover the questions you are wrestling with and give you some tips for seeking a raise so you will be on track for a healthy increase in pay soon!

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4 Signs You May Need to Switch Jobs

Tough jobs can stretch us and prepare us for the future. But Liz Ryan at Forbes.com says certain signs reveal when it may be time to change jobs.

1. If you experience stress that wakes you up in the middle of the night, or stress that doesn’t go away after you finish a big project, you need to seriously consider finding a different position in the company or a totally different job. Ask yourself, does this job require the best use of my time and talents? If not, begin searching elsewhere.

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