First Half – Adult Children Moving Home
There are a number of reasons adult children may move back home but by far the most common one is…money.
So how much should you help your adult children and how much should you expect your parents to do for you? Here are the ground rules parents should establish:
Don't usurp the spouse if they are married – your advice is secondary to advice from their spouse. Don't use your money to control their lives. Keep in mind that if you help too much you may take away their initiative and hard work.
Distinguish between a gift and something that has strings attached – many hard feelings on both sides can be avoided by being sure both parties clearly understand this.
Establish household ground rules: Will the adult children pay rent? When is it due and how much is it? If there is no money for rent, are there projects around the house they can do to help cover their additional cost burden on mom and dad’s budget?
Who takes care of which day-to-day chores? Who makes dinner on which nights? Who cleans what area of the house? Does everyone take turns doing the all the family laundry or is everyone on their own?
Being clear about expectations on both sides can prevent many heartaches.
Second Half – Entitlement Attitude
Feeling like you deserve anything “just because” is part of an entitlement attitude. It’s easy to talk ourselves into getting what we want just because we “deserve it” but that attitude can often lead to financial disaster.
Splurging on something because you “deserve it” usually means you are spending money now that may be needed later. You are trading in your future security for unnecessary things in the present.
The flip side of entitlement is an abundance mindset. It is that sense that you already have “enough.” After all the poorest in America are richer than the rich in many other nations. The abundance mindset knows getting more stuff isn’t going to change your life significantly and although you may want something, do you really deserve it?
In the end, whenever you catch yourself thinking or saying that you deserve something, stop yourself. You already have an abundant life, filled with so many good things. Do you really deserve more?
The purpose of the Set Your House In Order Bible study is to help you create, update and organize all your important information (health care surrogate, power of attorney, passwords, advisors, assets, debts, will, insurance, etc.) If there is an accident, illness or death, the most important gift you can give your family is organized information.
This link will take you to an overview of the 5 week bible study, Set Your House in Order
Whether you are young or old, married or single, working or retired this Bible study will be helpful to you. Use this “contact us” link to request more information or call us at 844-447-6263.
It’s okay to build wealth as long as it’s a byproduct of being a faithful steward and getting rich is not your primary focus. The Bible warns us against the temptation to become rich in 1 Timothy 6:9, which states says, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and are caught in the trap of many foolish and harmful desires, which pull them down to ruin and destruction.”
Along with a godly attitude, the resources we need are:
Patience and time
Understanding your current situation and your personal financial pitfalls
Willingness to change bad habits (which can be hard and painful)
Here are some godly ways you can use the hard work, responsibility and self-control to build wealth with the proper attitude:
First Half – Being a Good Steward
Stewardship—perception is not reality. How many of you think that Stewardship is the pastor is asking for money or some other form of fundraising? In reality, stewardship is a way of life that puts God first in all things.
The Catechism tells us a good steward safe guards material and human resources, uses them responsibly and generously gives of their time, talent and treasure.
The US Bishops tell us that as good stewards we should receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others and return them with increase to the Lord
The first thing we should recognized is that God has blessed us with many gifts: the earth we live on; the air we breathe; the water we drink; the food that we eat; the talents we have; life itself.
Think of it this way, by being a good steward, you are putting God in first place and everything else is in second place.
Second Half – Using Credit Cards Wisely
Buying stuff using credit cards doesn’t feel like spending REAL money. But you do have to pay for those purchases with actual money. When you are using your credit card it’s important to stay within your means so that you don’t charge more than you can pay for.
Stay in control by tracking the credit charges in the categories of your spending plan/budget. This link: http://compasscatholic.org/customize-your-budget/ will give you a list of typical categories to use. Managing your credit card spending helps assure you will have the cash at the end of the month to pay the credit card bill in full.
If you don’t have the cash at the end of the month and you keep using your credit cards, you will soon be in over your head with debt.
Our suggestion is don’t charge your food purchases as this often leads to overspending. Don't take cash advances because they come with a higher interest rate than purchases, plus a cash advance fee. Cash advances are often a band aid on a larger problem of financial irresponsibility.
Don't buy any of the special services offered by the credit card companies as they are often overpriced.
You can use your credit card wisely if you have created a spending plan/budget and you know exactly how much money you have to spend in a given month in that category.
Sometimes there are emergencies and your credit card is the only way to resolve the issue, but having an emergency fund will help you stay financially solvent.
If you are using a credit card, pay the balance in full every month; pay on time; limit the number of cards you own; read the terms and conditions in the fine print, and keep track of your purchases in your spending plan. This lets YOU be in control of your finances.
We were prompted to talk about this topic based on an article regarding an elderly couple who jumped off a Las Vegas parking garage in a joint suicide because they saw no way to recover from the amount of debt they had accumulated.
While this is an extreme example of how people deal with financial issues, please don’t ever let money problems become that overwhelming. No matter how much debt you have or how many mistakes you have made, it’s not worth your life.
For confidential support call National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.
If you’re having trouble paying your bills, consider these possibilities before considering bankruptcy:
Talk with your creditors. They may be willing to work out a modified payment plan even if you have been turned down previously. The telephone number is on your credit card statement. Be persistent and polite. Explain your situation and your proposed solution. Your goal is to work out a modified payment plan that reduces your payments to a level you can manage.
Be careful about quick fixes. If you see advertisements that offer quick fixes, they may be ads for a bankruptcy attorney. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cautions consumers to read between the lines when faced with ads in newspapers or magazines that say things like:
“Consolidate your bills into one easy payment without borrowing.”
“STOP credit harassment, foreclosures, repossessions, tax levies, and garnishments.”
“Keep Your Property.”
“Wipe out your debts!”
Phrases like this often involve filing for bankruptcy relief, which can hurt your credit and cost you attorneys’ fees.
Instead of jumping onto bankruptcy, consider working with a credit counseling service. These organizations work with you and your creditors to develop debt repayment plans. Such plans require you to deposit money each month with the counseling service. The service then pays your creditors. Some nonprofit organizations charge little or nothing for their services.
Choose a Credit Counseling Organization carefully. A reputable credit counseling agency should send you free information about itself and the services it provides without requiring you to provide any details about your situation. If a firm doesn't do that, consider it a red flag and go elsewhere for help. Once you've got a list of counseling agencies check them out with your state Attorney General and local consumer protection agency.
Also look at the The United States Trustee website which keeps a list of credit counseling agencies approved to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling in each state.
Even if you are ready to declare bankruptcy, a recent change to the bankruptcy laws require you to get credit counseling from a government-approved organization within six months before you file for any bankruptcy relief.
However, the consequences of bankruptcy are significant and require careful consideration. For more information, visit:
There are two primary types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 13 and Chapter 7.
Consumers have more incentive to seek bankruptcy relief under Chapter 13 rather than Chapter 7.
Chapter 13 allows you, if you have a steady income, to keep property, such as a mortgaged house or car, that you might otherwise lose. In Chapter 13, the court approves a repayment plan that allows you to use your future income to pay off your debts during a three-to-five-year period, rather than surrender any property. After you have made all the payments under the plan, you receive a discharge of your debts.
Chapter 7, known as straight bankruptcy, involves the sale of all assets that are not exempt. Exempt property may include cars, work-related tools, and basic household furnishings. Some of your property may be sold by a court-appointed official — a trustee — or turned over to your creditors.
Also, before you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you must satisfy a “means test.” This test requires you to confirm that your income does not exceed a certain amount. The amount varies by state and is publicized by the U.S. Trustee Program at www.usdoj.gov/ust.
For a different perspective on finances, take our 9-week small group Bible study, Navigating Your Finances God’s Way. Click here for more information: http://compasscatholic.org/financial-bible-study/. Talk to your pastor about having this study at your parish. Or do what so many other have, invite friends and family and have the bible study in your home.
First Half – Ways to Spend Money
If you have trouble overspending, then you are better off using cash for your spending. If you only carry a certain amount of cash, your spending is naturally capped at that amount, which is a good way to control spending. Don’t use any form of electronic payment until you can stay within your spending plan categories.
Paying with checks may seem a bit old fashioned but you can still do it. Avoid overspending which results in overdraft charges, and can sometimes be as much as your purchase. When using checks, your identity could be at risk since your bank routing, account numbers and personal contact information, like your address and phone number, appear on your checks.
Using a credit card is not always a bad thing as long as your purchases are budgeted and your charges can be paid in full each month. The risk with credit cards is running up a balance and accruing interest on top of your purchases. The benefit of using credit cards is that you are protected from fraud if an unauthorized person uses your credit card (typically you are protected for anything over $50.) Additional benefits may include cash-back or bonus point offers.
Prepaid credit cards can be a good idea if you are having trouble paying your credit card bills at the end of the month. You can only charge the amount you prepaid on the card. This can also be a good way to teach a teen how to use credit wisely.
When you use your debit card, the funds come out of your bank account immediately so there is no chance of overdrafts. The downside of debit cards is that they do not have a strong fraud protection plan. If your card and PIN are stolen, your bank account can be wiped out. The positive side of debit cards is that you are not acquiring debt.
No matter which method you use, spend wisely and remember these words from Pope Francis: “Money must serve, not rule.”
Second Half – Retirement
Check out our Retirement Calculators at - http://compasscatholic.org/calculators/
Even of you are 20 or 30 years away from retirement, it’s not too early to plan. First thing is to look into the various options you have for retirement income, including:
Social Security – if you are within 5-10 years of retirement you definitely need to know how uch income you will get from Social Security. Log on to “SSA.gov” then click on “My Social Security.” From here you can determine how much you will receive on a monthly basis depending on when you begin taking your benefit. If you qualify and decide to take your benefit at age 62, it can be reduced by 20-30% compared to what you would receive if you waited until full retirement age.
Pension – although company funded pensions are quickly becoming a thing of the past, be sure to check with each of your employers to see if you might be eligible for a monthly pension check.
401K – if you have been investing in a retirement plan, look at the total you have saved and use one of our retirement calculators to see how long your money will last.
If you are married, do the same exercises for both you and your spouse.
Now comes the eye opener, compare what you have available as retirement income to your current monthly spending. This will help you see how much more you need to save each year from now till retirement to sustain the same lifestyle.
Part 1: Do You Struggle with Money?
Are you struggling with money? Track your spending and create a budget—it’s the only true way that you will know exactly where your money is going. Click the link below to download a spreadsheet to track your income and outgo. Open and save it before you fill in any information: 30 Day Tracking-Income and Expense
Once you have tracked your money for a few months, then put together a budget. Make sure that you are discussing this with your spouse so you are both on the same page and there are no surprises coming. Here are some recommended ways to categorize your spending: Spending Plan Categories
How are you doing when it comes to funding your retirement account? These retirement calculators will help you see how much you will need in retirement, and help you figure out a savings goal. Click this link and scroll down to the retirement calculators. http://compasscatholic.org/calculators/
The average Social Security check is $1180 a month, that’s $14,160 a year, which may not be enough to live on. Click on https://www.ssa.gov/retire/estimator.html to access the Social Security site and estimate your benefits.
Insight into what the Bible tells us are the best practices for handling money is available via a FREE eBook Your Money Counts…Click on the Green Box “Available As Compass EBook” link to access it.
Part 2: God, Marriage & Money
Couples preparing for marriage spend hours discussing the plans for their wedding day, but most will spend little if any time discussing how they will handle finances every day for the rest of their lives. This small workbook has been designed to open the lines of communication about finances. Learn how to uncover those unanswered issues in your relationship that are related to money and possessions.
Learn more about God, Marriage & Money here: http://compasscatholic.org/book-store/
The book Your Money Counts is read prior to the first meeting and is the topic of discussion for the first meeting. In Your Money Counts you will learn that the Bible has a lot to say about money. There are about 2,500 verses that address everything you need to know about handling money. This makes an excellent gift for newlyweds or young adults on their own for the first time. You can buy it from the Compass Catholic website: http://compasscatholic.org/book-store/ and on that same page you can access a FREE copy of the eBook.
To get a quick start on the Bible study, this spreadsheet is a link to the practical applications that we discussed today. For tracking your expenses, download 30 Day Tracking-Income and Expense.
If you would like more information on Navigating Your Finances God’s Way, call us at 844-447-6263 or use the website contact form http://compasscatholic.org/contact/ and we will be calling you.
Find out more about the Bible study we discussed on the show.
First Half – Mistakes Parents make teaching kids about money.
Parents know all the things they have to teach their kids: stranger danger, manners, prayers, and respect for authority, but too often they don’t even think about teaching their kids financial basics. Lack of financial knowledge means the kids will learn money management from our culture, which may make them good consumers but not necessarily good stewards.
Here’s the list of the most common mistakes parents make:
Second Half – Christmas 2017 is coming – plan now
Christmas 2016 is over and Christmas 2017 is on its way!
Planning now for Christmas is a good way to stay out of debt. Start by looking at your bank and credit card statements to figure out what you spent on Christmas 2016. Add up all the numbers and divide by 12. That’s how much you need to save each month to have a debt free Christmas in 2017.
It also helps to talk to family about the best things in Christmas 2016 – what did they enjoy the most what did the like the least. Then you can plan to do more of the good and less of the not so good.
Keeping your eyes open all year for presents helps ease the financial burden at the end of the year. For example, if you take a really special picture of someone, you can print it and frame it for their Christmas present. Or if an item catches your eye during the year that is just perfect for someone, buy it and put it aside for a Christmas present. Red cookie tins and platters will be on sale after Valentines Day and The 4th of July. Buy them on sale and use them for your Christmas baking gifts. Be aware of potential items for Christmas as you go through the year. By spreading out your Christmas spending and by saving something each month, you can avoid the hectic rush and the money drain during the holidays.
Join the Beans for informative and practical discussions about money: how to earn it, spend it, manage it, give it, save it, invest it, and even how to train our children to be money smart.