The bad economy hits all of us. For those living paycheck to paycheck, it’s devastating. They literally choose which bills to pay and which to put off in order to keep food on the table and gas in the vehicles. Others have the ability to pay, but watch in dismay as investment values plummet and big totals mount up at the pump and grocery store.
Much of this is out of the “regular people’s” control, but many Americans could have entered this crisis in a better position. Overall, we are financially illiterate. Most of our public schools long ago stopped teaching basic economics. Most couples avoid discussing finances, even with each other. Many parents fail to teach their kids about money. Children simply observe and often handle money just like their parents do.
Thanks to credit cards and loans, as a society, we spend beyond our means to buy beyond our needs. Most households have no budget, or don’t follow the one they have. Individuals don’t know how to balance a checking account or use credit cards without going into debt. Kids enter adulthood without good money skills, having massive school debt and no idea of how to deal with it all.
In light of all this, we need to get money savvy and better position ourselves to weather the storm. If you are using The Family Vision Library, you are already on your way. Borrowing books and videos from TFV and shopping in our store saves you money you can use elsewhere.
Get started with Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money, available in our library and store. Ramsey, who lost everything financially but recovered, addresses it all. Learn to budget, save, pay down debt, invest, handle credit card, and more. This book, used in his Financial Peace University, would be great to work through as a family or use in a home school economics course. Similar to this is Larry Burkett’s Your Finances in Changing Times. It is a complete money guide for committed Christians on the same topics.
Do you need to fix your problems fast? Money for Life: Budgeting Success and Financial Fitness in Just 12 Weeks!, by Steven B. Smith, may help. Case studies in this book illustrate how to get on track, and quickly. The methods, while not complicated, require discipline and effort, but could empower you and help you change your financial life.
Perhaps you are okay financially but want to best use and preserve what you have, stretching your money in an inflated economy. Chrissy Pate and Kristin McKee wrote Be CentsAble: How to Cut Your Household Budget in Half. This book helps you save money, but without having to worry about every purchase. You don’t even have to give up products, brands, and services you enjoy. This book can be successfully used with any income level or family size.
Check consignment, too. The Kid’s Guide to Money is a great start for teaching your kids how to earn, save, spend, grow, and share their money. Your Money Counts teaches you how to Biblically manage money, pointing out that the Bible mentions money in 2,350 verses. Your handling of money can actually impact your relationship with God. No surprise. We know it impacts relationships with people. After all, money issues top the list of reasons for marital and relationship problems.
Are you ready to get on track, cut out the stress of unpaid bills and credit collectors? Do you want your kids to avoid the pitfalls that tripped you? Do you want to fight less with your spouse? Do you want to please God as a good steward of what He gives you? I hope you take advantage of some of these resources. The path ahead may be a little treacherous, but it will be easier to navigate with some good lights.
Reading is Rewarding!
Request the following titles from the Family Vision Library here:
Complete Guide to Money, by Dave Ramsey
Your Finances in Changing Times, by Larry Burkett
Money for Life: Budgeting Success and Financial Fitness in Just 12 Weeks!, by Steven B. Smith
Be CentsAble: How to Cut Your Household Budget in Half, by Kristin McKee
Your Money Counts, by Howard Dayton
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