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God’s word has a lot to say about finances, in fact, there are more than 2,300 verses in the Bible on the topics of money and possessions!

God did not leave us alone to fight all the financial pressures and challenges we face without His wise guidance and trustworthy principles.

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What Should Valentine’s Day Cost You?

Chuck Bentley on 2/10/17 9:00 AM

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Originally posted on the Christian Post on February 10.

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,

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I wonder if it’s really necessary to spend a lot of money on a holiday that feels a bit made up. I’m feeling manipulated but I don’t want to disappoint my wife. Is Valentine’s Day worth celebrating, and how much is too much?

Husband Needs Help

Dear Husband,

As a husband myself, I understand that Valentine’s Day can be an expensive day! Last year an estimated $19 billion was spent on this holiday. As people who desire to be good stewards and still show our love, we can find budget-friendly, creative alternatives to honor those we hold dear.

So here is my advice for not breaking the bank to honor your love.

Read More...

Tis the Season for Charitable Giving

Originially posted on the Christian Post on December 23.

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,

My mail and email are full of requests for end-of-year donations, and there are so many good causes. But it’s hard to balance how to give at a time of year when I’m shopping for so many. How important is it to close out the year with charitable giving? What kind of choices need to be made? It’s hard to get the money together for Christmas, but I feel guilty when I see those financial needs piling up. How should I balance these things?

Charitably Challenged.

 

Dear Challenged,

Since there are so many great and worthy causes, I can understand your challenge. I will speak to the question of balance and priorities, but the importance of giving is the focus of my response.

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Holiday Havoc: Married to Ebenezer Scrooge, but I still love Christmas!

Originially posted on the Christian Post on December 9.

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,

My spouse and I are on the opposite sides of Christmas. He’s kind of an Ebenezer Scrooge, doesn’t want to spend any money and thinks most decorating is a waste of time and resources, but I love the excitement of the season, and gift giving is a way I like to show my affection. Every year, we end up having huge disagreements over how to celebrate the holiday. He is a Christian, and so we both share an appreciation of Christmas as a celebration of Jesus’ birth, but we are not on the same page at all on what that looks like … or how much money to spend. Can you help us?

Tired of Christmas Conflict

Dear Tired of Conflict,

If it makes you feel any better, you’re not the first person to ask me that question. Just because you and your husband share an appreciation of Christmas doesn’t mean that you naturally agree on how to mark this occasion (or other celebrations for that matter). My wife, Ann, and I have had to work through our own differences over the years as to how we prefer to mark this joyous occasion.

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HELP! I’m not Ready for the Holidays!

Originially posted on the Christian Post on November 25th.

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 cannot believe that it’s Thanksgiving week, and Christmas is coming in weeks. Most of the time, I feel more stressed than thankful at this time of year (unless you count how thankful I feel when it’s all over!). Have any advice about making Christmas more about Jesus’ birthday and less about a shop-til-you-drop time of year?!

Tis the Season for Stress

Dear Stressed,

Christmas is my favorite season of the year! It is the largest birthday celebration on Earth and appropriately so! Yet, we have tragically moved from worshiping a child lying in a borrowed manger that first Christmas Day to the modern extravaganza marked by frenzied shopping. Just this week my wife and I noticed a mammoth inflatable of Santa and his twelve reindeer on sale at the home improvement store. For only $299, this “yard decoration” could practically hide your entire house from view. Is there any end to these  needless expenses? I’ll step off my soapbox and get to your question...

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Should My Winnings go to a New a Car?

Chuck Bentley on 12/4/15 8:00 AM

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Originally posted at Christian Post December 4, 2015.

Dear Chuck,

I recently obtained a small court settlement and I am seeking the best way to handle my finances. I am particularly interested in what to do with my car. Should I pay it off and get a newer model or pay it off and keep it?!

Curious Car Buyer

Dear Curious,

Congratulations on winning your court case, but to answer your question, let me pose a few of my own because deciding whether to get a new car is a process that begins with evaluating your needs and budget. Many people don’t consider that the cost of an auto includes maintenance, payments (if you borrow money), repairs, gas, oil, tags, taxes, and insurance – and that shouldn’t exceed 15 percent of your net spendable income. So consider this:

  *   Are your employed?  Do you need your car for work or is public transportation or ride sharing a realistic option?

  *   What is the mileage and overall condition of you present car? Do you have reason to believe that a costly problem is on the horizon? Is it possible your present car can be repaired and continue for more years with minimal maintenance?

  *   Do you have an emergency savings account?

  *   Do you have any debt?

Read More...

Can the IRS Help You Fund Your Christmas Budget?

Chuck Bentley on 11/27/15 8:00 AM

0 comments

Originally posted at Christian Post November 27, 2015.

Dear Chuck,

I’m worried about how to cover the costs of Christmas. I know I should have been saving through the year, and I have some money set aside but do you have some suggestions on how to get some resources together to have more money available over the holidays?

A Concerned Mother

 

Dear Concerned Mom,

You’re not the only one thinking through how to make the best of the holidays. In fact, more than 90 percent of Americans will celebrate Christmas or another holiday this season, and many of us feel pressure to appropriately provide gifts for those we love. According to a recent Gallup poll, people are planning to spend an average of $830 this year on Christmas gifts. In an ideal world, that would mean that most of us would have set aside  $75 a month to be ready to go at the end of November when a lot of sales begin.

It’s important to start your shopping list with a clear plan and budget that you develop, as retailers will work hard to convince you to do more than you initially were comfortable purchasing. Retailers make about 20 percent of their annual profits at this time of year, so be careful to buy purposefully and avoid the glitter and pressures of the season!

Read More...

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