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Why You Should Read

Martin Luther once said, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” Eric Metaxas adds, “If you want to change your world, pick up a book and read.”

Warren Buffet attributes his success to reading...500 pages a day!
He says reading causes knowledge to accumulate like compound interest. But, not many people follow his advice.

Charles Chu, at QZ.com, tells how he tried. He admits to not making 500 pages a day, but he read 400 books in 2 years.

And, the result?

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The Secret to a Fulfilling Life

“How do you spell ‘love’?” asked Piglet. “You don’t spell it….you feel it.” answered Pooh

Pooh knew what he was talking about! But, it took Harvard 75 years to prove it.

Melanie Curtin at Inc.com recently reported on the secret to leading a fulfilling life.

Harvard’s (Grant and Glueck) study tracked the physical and emotional wellbeing of poor men growing up in Boston and male graduates from Harvard. It required multiple generations of researchers, analysis of blood samples, brain scans, self-reported surveys and interactions with the men to compile their findings.

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Do you need an attitude adjustment?

Are you feeling defeated or overwhelmed by your financial circumstances? Then maybe you need to look up and give thanks.

Paul told the Thessalonians to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Paul says to give thanks in ALL circumstances. Not just the good. Why? Gratitude changes our perspective. It gets our eyes off ourselves and onto the great I AM, the One who is, who was and is to come. He promises to work all things together for good and disciplines us out of love for us.

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What Should Valentine’s Day Cost You?

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.

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We are all fighting a spiritual battle. But perhaps yours is even fiercer.

The U.S. military makes sacrifices every day. According to NBCnews.com, military families carry more debt and have fewer assets than civilians.

If you are one of those, Winnie Sun at Forbes.com offers several tips.

First, use your education benefits wisely. The GI bill is a perk that covers in-state tuition for up to 36 months and a limited dollar amount for private colleges for veterans. Although the benefits can be transferred to other family members, you may have to serve an extra 4 years. Research and request it early in your career.

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Do you care more about how long your car will last or how fast it will go?

According to AAA, 35% of the drivers in America have skipped or delayed a recommended service or repair. And, yet, the most effective way to keep repair costs down is to avoid them in the first place.

I’ve got a few tips for you.

Follow your owner’s manual for tasks like oil changes and tire rotations. Thankfully, newer vehicles are programmed with maintenance reminders. Just don’t ignore them. 

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Have your or your family experienced an unexpected expense in the past 12 months?

Jill Cornfield at Bankrate.com says the most common surprise expenses are related to vehicles, appliances, home-repairs, injury or
 illness. Unfortunately, nearly 6 in 10 Americans don’t have enough savings to cover an unexpected bill of $500.


This is a problem across our nation. When people pay with a credit card, the original expense can grow monumentally if not paid off at the end of the month due to high interest rates. Some turn to friends or family for help with the hope of paying them back. Others cut expenses in order to pay the bill.

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Have you already blown your New Year budget? Don’t give up!

Allison Martin at MoneyTalksNews.com reports that it’s the small expenses that add up to blow a budget and ruin a spending plan. There are several main culprits.

Food is one of the biggest expenditures in America. If you spend $10 a day for lunch, that quickly adds up to $200 per month! Stop! Buy a cool lunch tote, pack your food, and start a new trend at your workplace.

Snacks and daily treats also drain the budget. Stock up on healthy items to carry with you and treat yourself to that special coffee only on special occasions. 

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Help! I'm caught between church and credit cards

Originally posted on the Christian Post on February 3.

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 need some help. I am a 50 year-old widow with a teenager at home, and I’m using credit cards to survive, drowning in late fees. I am over extended and miserable. My income cannot support my obligations so I decided to find a part-time job in the evenings and weekends. But now I am taken away from my weekly involvement and support system in church, leaving me very unhappy. Still, I don't have any other way of paying off these credit cards. What should I do? Please help.

Struggling Widow

 

Dear Widow,

My team and I will pray for you as you and your child go forward in life. Please know you can contact us for more personal help.

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Do you struggle to make ends meet? And wonder how to budget when you have so little?

Those with little must budget the same way as those with much:  Diligently!

Simply track your income and expenses: that is the money you bring in and the money that goes out.  Account for every single penny. Write down your non-variable costs – things that are the same every month like rent or mortgage. Then, estimate your variable costs like groceries, utilities and entertainment. Subtract your expenses from your income and see where you can adjust those variable costs.

To avoid borrowing and begin saving, you must earn more money, cut your expenses, or possibly both.

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