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5 Key Questions for Family Caregivers

In a recent article by Kelli B. Grant at CNBC, an estimated 43.5 million American adults work as unpaid caregivers; most are age 50 and above.

It used to be that large families pulled together resources to care for parents and grandparents, but with today’s smaller families, the care is spread among fewer children. Yes, we face a situation today of fewer caregivers for a growing population of the elderly!

$5,500 is the average out of pocket expense for caregivers, but a TD Ameritrade survey puts the annual support figure closer to $13,000 to help mom and $8,500 for dad.

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Packing List for Emergency Evacuations

If you only had 15 minutes to prepare for an emergency, an evacuation box could spare you from panicking and possibly save lives.

A number of years ago, my wife and I had to take emergency cover from a tornado headed our way. We had little time to react so Ann rushed around grabbing everything she thought was important to preserve. I remember being in the tornado shelter and Ann holding our checkbook and our wedding pictures. 

Tyra, at PreparednessMama.com, assembled a list of items you should store in an easy to carry, covered container. Regardless of whether you ever need it for an emergency, you will have it organized for other purposes.

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Have you had the (money) talk with your kids?

Many families struggle with when to let their children in on their
conversations about money. Or how to approach their parents in the desire to help or rest in the knowledge they have prepared financially.

My advice? The earlier, the better.

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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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Are you familiar with house flipping? A barrage of books, seminars, and TV shows are enticing people to get in on the action.

House flipping is an investment strategy where properties are purchased with the goal of reselling for a profit. This profit occurs either through a hot housing market or from renovations and improvements made prior to reselling.

In an article on December 28th at MarketWatch.com, Kirsten Grind reported that this is a great time to be in the house-flipping business. She states that the number of investors who flipped a house in the first nine months of 2016 reached the highest level since 2007. 

One third of those were financed by debt.

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Do you enjoy tipping at restaurants? Or, do you painstakingly compute the percentage down to the penny?

On December 20th, KPHO in Phoenix reported that a 29-year-old, pregnant server was given a generous $900 tip. The unmarried woman, expecting her first child in early January, stated that a written note on the bill simply read, “This is God's money - He gave it to us so we could give it to you. God bless.” The bill was only $61.

Can you imagine her surprise? Her joy?

The obedient act of one saint following the Lord’s urging to help a young woman brought glory to God and attention through news outlets across our country.

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Interested in a fun way of boosting your savings in 2017? How about by fives?

People around the world desire to save money for a variety of things like a car, college, wedding, house, vacation, adoption, or to pay off debt. 

Marie Franklin decided to get serious about saving. Taking the
theory of paying herself first she saved every $5 bill that she encountered. And, over a period of 12 years, she saved $36,000...all in $5 bills. 

In an article from time.com she says, “The number one reason most people don’t save is that they don’t have a savings plan.” She theorized that by spending cash she could collect every $5 bill that she would never see if using a debit or credit card.

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We are two weeks into a new year. Are you discouraged by the state of your financial affairs?

ZeroHedge.com recently revealed the states where consumers accumulated the greatest revolving debt. Hopefully, you were not among those who woke up regretting the addition of thousands of dollars to your credit cards over the holidays (at a 30% interest rate nonetheless).

Minnesota and Wisconsin dominate the list of cities with the top 10 best credit scores, while cities in California, Texas, and Louisiana account for 8 out of 10 of the worst scores.

According to MarketWatch, the average family in the worst states would be required to apply 15% of their median income toward debt repayment and it will take them over a year and a half to pay off their credit card debt.

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Not only do you and I have to live within a budget, but so do institutions of higher education. So, what do they do when things get tight?

According to a recent article at MarketWatch, when public colleges are strapped for cash, they go international.

The article reported that for every 10% drop in state funding provided to public universities between 1996 and 2012, public research campuses increased enrollment of foreign students by 12%, and those colleges that spend the most on their students raised international enrollment by 17%. 

ALL colleges do not resort to this approach, but it is a true reflection of those institutions with an international reputation and those hardest hit by state cuts.

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How do you spend time with your children? I’ve got a great activity that doesn’t cost a dime.

Our lives are so busy that by the time everyone arrives home in the evening, we may be tempted to “veg” out. But did you know that reading aloud is one of the best things you can do with your children?

According to Sally Clarkson,“Reading aloud is… meant to be a delightful, bonding time together and a fantastic way to disciple your children through stories.”

She and her husband never made the children just sit and listen, but encouraged them in quiet activities.

Drawing, working puzzles, building Legos, knitting or painting are all acceptable ways of working the hands while listening.

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