Your Financial Questions”
Here is a bit about what you can expect from this blog. Money is perhaps the least understood yet most discussed topic in our society today. Thousands of families daily make financial decisions based on bad advice.
In reality, the only totally reliable spiritual and financial advice comes from God’s Word–the Bible. I have found that the Bible addresses virtually every financial decision you or I will ever have to make. This Blog is dedicated help you make those financial decisions–whether great or small. Here you will find many of the financial questions folks ask every day, along with Bible-based responses. These questions and responses are are based on experiences and materials gleaned from more than 25 years of prayerful service as a certified teacher, trainer, counselor and/or coach representing the Dave Ramsey organization, the John Maxwell Team, Crown Ministries, and Christian Financial Concepts (Mr. Larry Burkett–praise the Lord for Larry Burkett. In his all-to-brief lifetime Larry surely forgot more than I’ll ever know about how to deal with what the Bible has to say about money!)
Our 501-c-3 non-profit ministry is Christian Financial Ministries (www.christianfinancialministries.org). We offer you the Holy Spirit inspired and led, Bible-based, Financial Freedom God’s Way Online Academy. Our motto is “Financial Freedom God’s Way: learn it, live it, and lead others to it.”
So, please scroll down, read, comment, share with others, and be blessed in the Lord!
January 12th, 2018 by Bob Louder
Question: Should a child have an allowance? Response: Proverbs 3:12 says, “…because the LORD disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delight in.” Don’t teach your children to expect allowances, rather teach them to work and earn money. The term “allowance” implies something is given rather than earned. If God doesn’t provide us with an allowance, and he doesn’t, then we probably should not provide allowances to our children. If you have a child who demonstrates discipline in handling money and you want to hive him or her a gift from time to time, that’s great. Just be certain that you’re establishing long-term values in your children that will guide them when they are adults.
Posted in Children and Money
November 13th, 2017 by Bob Louder
Question: I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I find that our budget is short about $450 a month. I would like to start a home business. I’ve read in magazine ads that there are companies that will pay me for stuffing envelopes, but I have to pay them a $500 sign-up fee. Is this advisable? Response: In the vast majority of cases, any offer that requires you to pay up front is a scam, and I recommend that you stay away from all such “deals.” If a legitimate business wants to hire you as a stay-at-home employee, it provides the necessary materials, you provide the labor, and they pay you for your efforts. You should not have to pay any money up front. I suspect the company you’re referring to is selling people the idea of getting into a home business. There are legitimate enterprises that hire folks to do specific tasks at home; generally, though, it’s not stuffing envelopes. Again, remember this rule: If you have to pay, it’s a good deal for the company, a bad deal for you.
Posted in Scam Alerts
November 3rd, 2017 by Bob Louder
Question: We have the option to join our company’s group health insurance plan, but it’s going to cost quite a bit per month and our budget is very tight. Is this a good buy? Response: Let me assure you that whatever private insurance you could buy that would have comparable benefits is likely going to cost a lot more than what a group insurance plan normally will cost. Group rates usually are lower and the benefits are often better. Personally, I would make the budget sacrifice to join the group plan if possible. Many families gamble by not having insurance, but one major medical expense–one child with leukemia, one heart attack, one major accident–can wipe out their finances for a very long time. In my opinion, if you have the option to put your spouse and children on your company group insurance plan, you should do it. you may have to sacrifice in other areas to do it, but it will be well worth it.
Posted in Insurance
October 27th, 2017 by Bob Louder
|I know that many who read this blog are helping others learn and apply what the Bible has to say about finances–praise the Lord for you! Well, the Lord and I had another great quiet time together this morning…He’s been showing me something I thought I’d pass along to you. When God gives us a chance to share with others what He’s sharing with us as part of His “Financial Freedom God’s Way Online Academy,” we need to share a word from God, not a sermon on finances. People don’t need another sermon. They need a divine message. This really makes sense when you think about the fact that today, more sermons are preached every week than at any other time in history. Today we have countless churches, worship services, Christian television and radio programs, Christian books, Christian conferences, and special ministries. Yet the spiritual condition of North America and the world continues to deteriorate. Jesus claimed in John 8:32 that the truth would set people free, yet despite the plethora of sermons and the technology to make them easily available, people are experiencing increasing bondage. We need to remember to ask the Holy Spirit to speak a message from God through us and not just deliver a sermon/teaching on finances. Eloquent words don’t changes lives; divine words do.
Posted in Coaching
July 11th, 2017 by Bob Louder
Question: My wife and I are selling our house. We have been through some tough financial times. I am a planner and want to take the profits from the house and keep them in a joint account where we can use the funds to start generating future wealth. My wife wants to split the profits and put half into an account for herself that she can spend anyway she sees fit. My argument is that when God said two should become one, that meant share everything. I think that having two separate accounts goes against biblical teaching. What is your opinion? Response: In my opinion, having separate/exclusive accounts/assets isn’t what God had in mind when He set up the marriage relationship. The Bible teaches that husbands and wives are to be one (see Genesis 2:24). Couples should pool their finances and their bills and have a common budget and common goals. A short-term goal would be a consolidated budget; long-term would be things like college education for your children, getting debt free, and ultimately retirement. You can’t achieve these goals as long as your function like two individuals living together–that’s not a picture of a biblical marriage. I believe the Lord would have you and your wife mutually agree on how to manage ALL of your funds/assets. If you can’t agree on how to handle the profits from the sale then I suggest you first agree to pray together about what you are to do, then discuss what the Lord gives each of you—look for a way to compromise to meet her goals yet keep the accounts joint. If you are still in disagreement I suggest you seek some professional help (not friends) in your area. Suggest your pastor or perhaps a Dave Ramsey (www.daveramsey.com) or Crown Financial Ministries (www.crown.org) representative in your area. You must merge your finances and make a commitment to doing this God’s way or it won’t work. You can’t make a partial commitment.
Posted in Husbands and Wives
July 8th, 2017 by Bob Louder
Question: Dr. Bob, do you believe that it’s OK for a Christian to borrow money from a non-Christian, or is that prohibited scripturally? Response: God’s Word simply says that whatever you borrow you must repay. I don’t see anywhere that God specifies whether or not it’s OK to borrow from a non-believer–it doesn’t make any difference, as far as repayment is concerned. However, a caution does appear in Proverbs 22:7 where we are told that a lender become an authority over a borrower. This might be particularly important where a church or another ministry is concerned.
Posted in Borrowing & Debt
June 29th, 2017 by Bob Louder
Question: Bob, in your opinion, is it necessary to have life insurance on my wife and children? I am the primary wage earner, and I have adequate insurance on myself. Response: There seem to me to be two logical reasons to have insurance on your wife. One is for burial expenses. The other is to provide extra funds to care for the children, if necessary. The amount of insurance on your wife would normally be substantially less than that on yourself. Also, I don’t believe insurance for children is necessary except to cover the cost of burial. An argument often made for insurance on children is to guarantee their insurability in later years. However, only a small fraction of folks are uninsurable at the time they marry; therefore, I believe the potential risk does not justify the cost of buying insurance at a young age.
Posted in Buying and Selling
June 22nd, 2017 by Bob Louder
Question: We’re a young couple, and we’ve just opened our first checking account. The banker told us about a helpful service called “automatic overdraft protection.” He said if we ever overdraw our checking account, the automatic overdraft covers the deficiency. This sees like a good idea, but I know that it must have some pitfalls. Can you help us understand better? Response: BEWARE OF AUTOMATIC OVERDRAFTS! Why? Because they present two distinct problems: (1) They can encourage you not to balance your checking account because you know that you have overdraft “protection.” (2) An automatic overdraft is also an automatic loan. It comes out of a credit account, and you’re charged interest as well as a fee for using it. In my opinion, the automatic overdraft is one of the worst services in the banking industry and certainly one of the quickest sources of debt for undisciplined folks who don’t balance their checkbooks. A proverb says it well: “The naive proceed and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12b).
Posted in Borrowing & Debt
June 16th, 2017 by Bob Louder
Question: I have been told there are 3 tithes mentioned in the Old Testament(one being the 10% that many Christians practice). Would you please explain what the other 2 are and do they have relevance today? Response: It appears that there were 3 tithes mentioned in the Torah. The first, called the Lord’s tithe, consisted of the 10% of the harvest that went to support the priests and Levites since they were given no inheritance of land. (Numbers 18:21) Then there was a 2nd tithe on the remaining 90% that the people consumed themselves each year at the Feast of Tabernacles in a nationwide celebration of God’s provision. (Deut. 14:22-27) It was called the Festival tithe. The 3rd tithe was the tithe for the poor. It was given every third year to help the poor and indigent. (Deut 14:28-29) There is a difference of opinion on this one, some believing that the 3rd tithe was the same as the 2nd, but was given to the poor instead of being consumed at the feast one year out of three. Today the vast majority of those who teach that tithing is still required by God are usually referring to the Lord’s tithe, saying its purpose is to support all the Lord’s work in the world today. Since the other tithes were designed to recognize and celebrate the Lord’s provision (Festival tithe) and promote a spirit of generosity among God’s people (Tithe for the Poor) some (myself included) believe that true financial blessing comes only to those who voluntarily and joyfully maintain the spirit of the 2nd and 3rd tithes in their giving by going beyond the Lord’s Tithe. As it is with all things pertaining to the Lord, it’s the motives of our heart that really matter. Those who give sparingly and begrudgingly are missing both the point of giving and the blessings associated therewith. “With the measure you use it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38) (From “Grace Through Faith” Monday, October 15, 2007)
Posted in Giving
June 12th, 2017 by Bob Louder
Question: I’m from a school of thought that says use other people’s money (OPM); in other words, borrow to do whatever you want. it’s a hard mentality to shake, even though I now understand it’s contrary to God’s Word. I was recently at a meeting in which fund raisers recommended that people in a congregation borrow to give to the church building program. That sounds more reasonable to me than the church itself borrowing. What do you think? Response: Larry Burkett once wrote, “If you knowingly violate biblical principles, it’s wrong, no matter how noble the purpose. I don’t believe God would direct anyone to violate His Word to accomplish His work. The principle of surety says that we’re not to borrow against an unknown contingency. The idea of using other people’s money has bee greatly overplayed in our society, especially within the church. I believe that God has provided us Christians all the money necessary to do anything we want if we are committed to it. Borrowing should never play a part in giving. We should always give what belongs to us, not what belongs to somebody else.“ Thank you yet again Larry! I agree–don’t borrow to give to your church.
Posted in Borrowing & Debt