Friday, August 26, 2011

Money, Money, Money, pt. 1

God has our family at a certain place right now that is causing me to think a lot about money. If you do not know, almost seven months ago our family moved from Kansas to Ohio so I could become the Senior Pastor at Cornerstone Bible Church. This move has been hard, yet very rewarding. It took us five months, but we did eventually sell our house in Kansas. Now we are looking for a home here in Ohio. As we look for a home here in Ohio, the concept of money and money management keeps coming up in my mind.

I have taught a few classes in the past in different churches on stewardship and how to handle money. I have read several books on the issue of money and finance. There is even one book that I have read at least once a year, for the past four years (The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn). The one thing I have not done is to consult the one man who might be considered The King of Personal Finance, Dave Ramsey.

Supposedly, Dave Ramsey knows it all when it comes to personal financial issues. And since I have never read anything that he has done, I thought I would purchase a couple of his books and get started. I also wanted to do this to investigate the possibility of running one of classes for our church (I am unsure at this point whether I want to or not, but  want to investigate the possibility).

I really didn't know much about the books that he has written, so I did a little research. That was confusing. I settled on two books, only because they were the most familiar to me. I have started reading Financial Peace Revisited, which seems to be an updated version of his Financial Peace (at least that is what I thought, I guess it was updated in the late 90's). The second book I purchased is Total Money Makeover, which I look forward to getting to in the next couple of weeks.

My plan is to write several blog posts over the next couple weeks as to what I am learning as I read these books. This financial issue is a great reminder for me and hopefully will be very valuable for those of you who do not have the time to read the book. If ever we need to be good stewards of the money God has given us, it is now.

Let me end with just one thought about money. Or at least my heart when it comes to money. Very often, I tend to be impulsive when it comes to money. I think I get that from my parents. They made those impulse buy bins near the checkout lane for me. I can tell you some stories (my wife could tell better ones) about how I have been lured impulsively to purchase things. To that end, I found these points helpful that Ramsey makes towards the beginning of Financial Peace Revisited. These are not necessarily thoughts in regard to the candy bar at the end of check out lane, but larger purchases like buying a home. 
"First, remember that you are not helpless; so quit acting like it. You just need to be aware of this fact when making a 'significant' purchase. Second, you must carefully consider your buying motives when making purchasing decisions. Why do you want or think you need this item? Could you live without it? Do you want it for selfish reasons like showing up the neighbors or is the item of use to you? Third, purchasing decisions made slowly are invariably better decisions. If the purchase is a 'significant purchase,' you should never buy without waiting overnight. It sounds old-fashioned, not very nineties' advice. Well, so be it. The people of past generations didn't make the bad buying decisions we have made. They didn't have record foreclosures and bankruptcies, which are the norm today. Finally, you should seek counsel and look carefully for bargains." (42-3).
Question: Has Anyone Ever Been Through These Books? What Do You Think?

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