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4 Retirement Mistakes to Avoid

Originally posted on the Christian Post on May 5

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 wife and I have a 401(k) savings plan, and we are thinking of pulling out some of the money for home improvements. Our house is one of our major life investments, but do you think that is a good plan? It’s so hard to save up the resources recommended for retirement, but those resources could be useful today.

Rethinking Resources

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5 Lessons to Raise Money Genius Kids

Originally posted on the Christian Post on April 28

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 was raised in a home in which my parents talked very little about money, and my husband’s family didn’t say much about it either. For our parents, money was a private matter. I feel like that led to some financial mistakes when I got out on my own, through some trial and error. My husband and I want to do things differently with our children. Where do we begin? And how should we change our instruction as our kids grow up?

Puzzled Parents

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5 Things You Should Spend Money on to Save

Originally posted on the Christian Post on April 21

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 following Crown Financial Ministries for years and appreciate your advice on avoiding debt and putting God first through tithing, but is there ever a time when you SHOULD spend money?

Just Curious

 

Dear Curious,

The short answer to your question is YES. Let me offer two times when it is good and right to spend money.

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7 Ways to Save on Baby Costs

There are some alarming statistics about how much it costs to raise a child from birth to adulthood. Most of these numbers land somewhere in the $235,000 range, but that can be somewhat misleading.

Nevertheless, ask any parent if having a baby is cheap, and they’ll probably give you a nervous, exhausted laugh. Babies are expensive! On average, it costs $60 a month for baby clothes (with your first child). The average child will use somewhere around 3,360 disposable diapers in their first year of life alone, adding up to over $800 annually.

Beyond clothes and diapers, other major expenses include strollers and car seats, dirty-diaper-disposers, diaper bags, and a plethora of other baby gear. While there are some costs that you probably can’t avoid (doctor visits, bottles, etc.), Americans do tend to overspend when it comes to our kids.

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Can You Actually Pay for Your Phone?

It’s been said, that today, if our phones fall down, we panic. If our friend falls down, we laugh.

If you’ve ever dropped your cell phone, then perhaps you can identify with that panic feeling!

Assurant is one of the world’s leading providers of mobile phone protection plans.

CEO, Alan Colberg, stated on Bloomberg TV that he believes his services are likely to surge in demand as carriers charge customers more to replace their devices because, “The reality is, half of Americans can’t afford to write a $500 check.”

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Saving for Retirement vs Giving to the Lord

Originally posted on the Christian Post on March 30

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,

Both my husband and I grew up with parents now living on a pension; thus, no real need to have "saved" that half a million bucks for retirement. This seems to be a new need for my generation. But beside that frustration, my real question is about the balance for someone in saving that much and giving to the Lord. Do I give to the Lord (a tithe) or save, especially considering a tight budget, and the large amounts needed later? Where is the fine line of trusting in the Lord for our future provision and providing for ourselves through savings, which could actually slide into relying on our money instead of God? It seems that this is a modern day dilemma, since the older generation never had to have such a huge savings account.

Pondering the Lack of Pensions

Dear Pondering,

Thank you for an excellent question. You have asked how to balance the commands to both give and save while fully trusting God. Many of us feel this same tension so I appreciate the opportunity to address it.

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Lessons from Millennials on Buying vs. Leasing Cars

Originally posted on the Christian Post on March 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,

I’m in the market for a car, and I’m trying to decide between owning and leasing. I’m just out of college and want to keep my obligations low, and I’ve heard that leasing can be really cost effective. There are lots of great deals and promotions advertised for leases in every car commercial, making it seem like it’s worth a try. What do you think?

Looking at Leasing

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6 Ways to Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

Originally posted on the Christian Post on March 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,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In thinking about going green, I’m wondering if there are any principles to keep in mind and any ways to go green cheaply?

An Irish Wish

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The Biggest Financial Regrets of Americans...And How To Avoid Them

Catey Hill at Marketwatch.com recently reported, “Many Americans are filled with regrets – financial regrets.” In fact, 3 out of 4 harbor regrets, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.com.

Sadly, the biggest regret is not saving enough for retirement early enough. The other regrets in descending order are:

  1. Not saving enough for emergency expenses
  2. Taking on too much student loan debt
  3. Taking on too much credit card debt
  4. Not saving enough for children’s education
  5. Buying a bigger house than they could afford
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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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