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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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5 Tips for a No-Spend Weekend

When you are down to your last few dollars, it may be time you have a No-Spend Weekend. Amanda, creator of CentsiblyRich.com says it’s a super way to save a little cash.

Impossible this weekend? Then, aim for another. Recruit friends to do it with you. You will be shocked at the fun you have while not spending a cent.

Make sure you have ingredients to eat all your meals at home. Cook things the whole family will enjoy. If you have activities to attend with your children, then prepare snacks and drinks so you won’t buy food while you’re out.

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What are your plans for Valentine's Day?

Valentine’s Day can be an expensive day! Last year an estimated $19 billion was spent on this man-made holiday. As people who desire to steward well, yet 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:

  • Instead of going out, try cooking new recipes together.
  • Support a local coffee shop and try some new flavors.
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I have seen some jaw-dropping tattoos and piercings in my travels. How about you?

Genesis 1:31 reads “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good”.

He created man with beautiful skin and perfectly formed ears and a nose. But, the world has tried to alter that which He called “good”. According to a 2012 Pew Research study, an estimated 36% of Americans have at least one piercing somewhere other than an earlobe and that percentage may be higher for those 17-25 years old.

But now, millennials seeking professional jobs, and entering a new, more conservative phase of life want things filled in or removed. A job interview or the opportunity in a boardroom is causing many to reverse decisions made by peer pressure or impulse. The piercings and tattoos accumulated in younger years just don’t cut it in the classic work force. 

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This New Year, make Christ-honoring financial choices.

We are inundated with financial advice. The list of sources for the latest and greatest on how to make and manage money is all around us.  The vast majority of what I read can be condensed to this formula – do this or that to increase your earnings and to have more money. It is stated or packaged or even disguised in thousands of ways, but the common denominator is usually the same.  

However, The Bible does not offer this advice. The Scripture tells us primarily what we are to believe about money. This is a profound difference than telling us what to do.   

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