This probably comes off strange right after our post on hiring escorts Friday, but what can I say – we’re an equal opportunity blog here :) And truth be told, this stuff is much more aligned with my own views and lifestyle, despite it not being as sexy (quite literally!).
I got this email from another reader of our site – we’ll call her “Gloria” – and loved how many nuggets were jam packed in this puppy… Thought I’d share it and then break it down afterwards.
I was inspired to go on your site today after hearing my pastor preach yesterday about the bible stating in many places that God does not want us to be in debt. That debt is foolish.
This pastor talked about how he was smart and invested his money into retirement funds early on in his 20’s even though he made little money and it is now worth a lot now that he is in his 50’s. He said the bible mentions specifically, not hints at, that we are dumber than ants about money and should plan ahead. He said he met with many couples and counseled them on managing money more responsibly usually at a point of financial crisis. Also, said there are people nearing retirement with little to nothing saved.
But he did not mention any positive, inspiring, or encouraging financial nuggets. He said the lowest income parishioners tithe 3% and most wealthy tithe less than 1%. He wants to start a mission to raise the amount they tithe.
After listening carefully for even one positive note, but not hearing any, I immediately tried to speak to him personally. However, he brushed me off indicating that his sermon was not meant to be a financial class. I asked my husband what his impression on this sermon was, but he felt good about it because the day before I had updated him on our healthy financial status, which was much higher than he expected since we are still in debt but pay ourselves first by investing into our retirement accounts regardless of our debt.
I decided today to prove the pastor wrong and to give parishioners hope. I want them to know that financial independence or financial security is reachable at most any age, and to teach them that money does not have to be a scary topic, not something to avoid, and it is certainly never too late to start saving, buying less, being more frugal and aware of money so we do not act “dumb as ants”.
I am spreading the word about your website and its many, many resources and links to help people feel in control, positive, and better about the entire topic. Additionally, I am an adult basic education instructor helping those on welfare (transitional assistance/SNAP/cash benefits/food stamps) or who have dropped out of school due to many reasons like unplanned pregnancies, and my goal is to educate them as well.
There is no need to be poor forever or just because your family is poor going generations back, or because they just assume they are not the chosen ones.
Personal finance blogs, articles, podcasts, etc. are not just for the rich wanting to get richer or the greedy who just want more for themselves. You do not have to worship money to want to have control over it. For me personally, it’s actually lots of fun when you get to watch it grow by making only small changes that you don’t even think about.
So much good stuff here, let’s break it down…
“You do not have to worship money to want to have control over it.”
That’s exactly right. It’s only the devil if you worship it! And news flash – billions of dollars float around the world feeding the hungry or clothing the poor and eradicating diseases all around us. All things that very much cost money.
(Kinda reminds me of this email we got a while back too: “I Used to Be an Anti-Money Anarchist” ;))
“God does not want us to be in debt… debt is foolish.”
YES! Anytime you’re a slave to something it’s not good. Especially when it’s our own foolish choices that brought us there. But unlike other issues in life, this one we usually have control of! Which means there’s not only hope, but also a finish line out there in the future for us – so long as we up our game and go after it. It’s one thing to be in debt, and a whole other to be in debt and do nothing about it!
“This pastor talked about how he was smart and invested his money into retirement funds early on in his 20’s even though he made little money, and it is now worth a lot now that he is in his 50’s.”
The power of compounding, baby! Those little beans turn into bean stalks years later. Remember the story of the doubling penny?? Tricks the layfolk every time!
This is also what “money working for you” means vs you always working for money. Once you invest it, it becomes your own little employee hustling away every hour of the day! Here’s an example of what that looks like from that article I just linked to above:
“Last month I spent 0 hours on my investments and made a whopping $32,687.28. In one month. For doing absolutely nothing. That equates to 3,268 hours of mowing lawns, 653 weekends of working at a restaurant, 218 weeks working at the college bookstore, 65 weeks at my first full-time job, 33 weeks after I climbed up the ladder, and 22 weeks when I first became self-employed.”
It’s so amazing it’s scary. (And remember, it works in the opposite direction as well with debt! Yet another reason it sucks to carry it around – every day it’s compounding against us :()
“We are dumber than ants about money and should plan ahead. He said he met with many couples and counseled them on managing money more responsibly usually at a point of financial crisis.”
Unfortunately that’s when most of us have that epiphany, isn’t it? When we’re smack in the middle of all the doo doo around us? On the plus side it finally gets us to DO SOMETHING about it, but obviously the sooner we can care about this stuff the better. And you certainly don’t have to be a nerd about it either like some of us are :) You just have to squirrel away the nuts when the financial times are good so you’re all prepared for when the winter hits! Nothing’s ever permanent!
“I decided today to prove the pastor wrong and to give parishioners hope. I want them to know that financial independence or financial security is reachable at most any age, and to teach them that money does not have to be a scary topic, not something to avoid, and it is certainly never too late to start saving, buying less, being more frugal and aware of money.”
YES YES YES!!! That’s one of the things I hate about going to church sometimes – being killed with guilt and fear without much recourse of hope or action. You gotta hit us with both sides so we actually *do something about it* or what’s the point? Shock us with reality, that’s fine, but then come back and tell us we can change, please.
But what a reminder of why personal finance blogs are flourishing these days. There’s a reason there’s now over 1,100 of them out there – they offer encouragement! And hope, action items, tricks, tips, stories, love, happiness, reality, plans, and numbers. All of which combine to make one tasty financial pie that our family can feast on forever and ever, amen.
Money does not have to be scary or hard to figure out. And it is most definitely not something to avoid. God does not want us to be a slave to debt. He wants us to be secure. (Or “poor,” depending on what passage you read, haha, but certainly not in debt! ;))
“There is no need to be poor forever or just because your family is poor going generations back, or because they just assume they are not the chosen ones.”
Probably my favorite line of the entire email. Most of us have *choice* in our lives. Not everyone, but most of us (and especially those with an internet connection reading this). Every day we choose where to spend our money, where to spend our time, and where to spend our energy. Those who do it well trend up in the Game of Life, and those who don’t fall further behind.
But every day is a chance to start over again and work our way towards the life we really dream about. It’s not easy, and takes gobs of time and self-control, but it is possible. There is no need to be poor forever if you don’t want to be.
“I am an adult basic education instructor helping those on welfare (transitional assistance/SNAP/cash benefits/food stamps) or who have dropped out of school due to many reasons like unplanned pregnancies, and my goal is to educate them as well.”
God bless you, Gloria – and thanks for sharing your note with us today and allowing me to post it up! We need more people like you spreading around the financial faith :)
If you ever start your own blog, please let us know so we can help pass it around for you. You’d join the 32 other Christian financial bloggers using it as a vessel to amplify the good word and would love it.
To all my other financial friends reading this – keep working your way out of ant dumbness! We can all build hills together for the greater of our communities!