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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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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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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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Are you financially prepared for the unexpected? Could you comfortably replace your washing machine, pay for new tires, or repair your leaky roof?

Kathryn Vasel at CNNmoney recently stated that 6 out of 10 Americans do NOT have $500 - $1,000 saved in an emergency fund. When faced with a need, she reports that:

20% would put it on a credit card.

20% would cut spending.

11% would borrow from friends or family.

And, yet, nearly half of Americans reported that they or their immediate family had an unexpected bill last year. So says Jill Cornfield at Bankrate.com.

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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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Did you happen to notice any financial lessons in Christmas carols this year?

Duke Wenceslas ruled Bohemia in the year 923. He was known for his kind treatment of the poor. John Mason Neale penned Good King Wenceslas in 1853. Please listen to the great financial lesson in these lyrics:

“Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen,

When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even;

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