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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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Why Stewardship Requires Humility

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis said, “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man... It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest.”

What convicting truth! Pride is one of the deadly sins and it's no question as to why. Stewardship requires humility. All the negative implications of living with pride can be counteracted with a positive reaction of humility.  

Pride abuses your wallet. Humility uses money for the Kingdom.

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3 Ways Pride is Killing Your Budget (and How to Stop It)

Andrew Murray said, “Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.”

Pride is a spiritual stronghold; a tool of the enemy used to set itself up against the knowledge of God. It controls, it entangles, and renders believers ineffective in their witness.

Beth Moore addressed it in her book, Praying God’s Word. She personifies pride as someone who cheats you of your destiny, contentment, knowledge, healing, holiness, vision, friendship, love, greatness in Heaven, and God's glory. 

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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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6 Ways to Prepare for Summer Vacation

Are you planning a summer vacation?

Allianz Travel Insurance reported that while fewer Americans planned to take a summer vacation in 2016, they would still spend $1,800 on average, making the total cost of summer vacation totaling nearly $90 billion.

Although vacations can be a wonderful time for family bonding and a break from the routine of work and school, the cost can be devastating if not well planned. Decide what you can spend without going into debt and ignore how the world tells you to vacation.

Here are some practical ways to have a wonderful summer vacation and save 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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What Kind of Gas Does Your Car Really Need?

Did you know Americans waste billions of dollars each year thinking they will improve fuel economy?

The AAA Premium Fuel Omnibus Survey estimates that 2.1 billion
dollars are wasted each year by drivers buying premium gas for cars designed to run on regular. My own wife bought into the premium myth for years!

Triple A (AAA) reports that premium gas is used in high-performance engines that are designed to operate on 93 octane fuel. Vehicles engineered to run on regular gas of 87 octane, cannot take advantage of the higher octane rating to produce more horsepower.

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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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6 Common Spending Triggers to Watch Out For

Emotional triggers cause you to spend money. Maggie McGrath at Forbes made a list of the most common ones. 

  • Alcohol or hunger can lower inhibitions and cause people to buy and regret it later.
  • Emotional turmoil causes people to spend in an effort to gain control and feel happy. But the short-term gratification won’t last long.
  • Loneliness leads to purchases that temporarily medicate. But a Journal of Consumer Research paper says there’s a “loneliness loop” in which materialism and loneliness create a self-reinforcing cycle.
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