Tag Archives: finance

The valley of the shadow of debt

The causes of bankruptcy tell a deep dark tale. Every year, government agencies which administers bankruptcies publish a list of the top reasons people give for going bust.  It usually universal throughout the world.

Here are the usual suspects, but the number one reason given by bankrupts was unemployment or loss of income. Then there are adverse legal action as a result of having guaranteed a debt, relationship breakdown, excessive use of credit facilities and ill health plus a lack of medical insurance.

If there is one attitude that should be changed, it’s this: never underestimate the power of debt. It’s a slippery slope that’s hard to climb. Some even call it a curse. People fail under it, so make sure you know what you’re up against.

Secondly, bad things happen to indebted people. There seems to be an attraction (or opening) for more bad stuff.  Some say it’s a law of attraction. Maybe that’s why it’s called a curse. But if you borrow money you owe it to yourself to ensure you can pay it whatever happens.  This means factoring in the cost of taking out credit insurance into your borrowing. (sound ironic). But be aware it can prove expensive.  This is possibly the most profitable form of insurance ever invented.

It is especially important to take debt seriously if you have kids, although loading up with debt for luxuries can have a big impact on your ability to own a roof that’s over your kids’ head.

Thirdly, don’t be fooled into the blurred lines of good debt versus bad debt. The case for good debt would be appreciating assets like houses and student loans, bad debt would be for cars, boat and LCD TV screens. No doubt there is some true in the case for good debt, but it is a pretty fuzzy line to cross. House prices can fall, student loans can be a self-justified reason to get a car. Ultimately, can you control the debt, or will debt eventually control you. But without doubt, debt is such a serious burden it should not be taken on “miscellaneous” expenses like mag wheels, cosmetic surgery or fashionable clothes.

What is often overlooked is the interest incurred especially when you purchase an item by instalments. Debt is what you use today to buy what you can’t afford tomorrow while you’re still paying for yesterday. Eventually, you’ll get so tied up paying, it will result in an uncontrollable spin downwards.

And the sad truth is that there are two groups of debtors – those who get indebted by choice and those who do so as a result of a family crisis but because they are on low incomes and have no savings it is impossible to cope without borrowing. It’s tough to plan for the future when you are too busy fixing the things you did yesterday.

Money borrowed today must be repaid tomorrow. Borrowing money has its price – and it is a cost far greater than you realise. Anytime you use credit to borrow money, you pre-commit your future income. The effects of such a decision can range from simple inconvenience to financial disaster. Indebtedness is not something that seems to really bother Americans – until a financial crisis strikes.

If the financial situation is dire, and the financial forecast calls for difficult times ahead, you should work to get rid of all your debt. To do otherwise is to presume upon the future. If you want to ride out your own financial crisis and prepare for the next economic crisis, it stands to reason that we will want to operate from a position of financial freedom.

Getting out of debt may be hard, but it is not impossible. And it has a high price to pay. The best way to get out of debt is to cut spending. Cancel that magazine subscription, or high speed broadband access, or cable television service, forego restaurants and movies. Frugality will eventually pay off. In uncertain times, gone are the days where you “shop till you drop”, but instead, be frugal till you pay off your debts.

Establish a realistic repayment plan and discipline yourself to follow it. Establishing and following this plan is critical to the success of your debt-retirement strategy. There is no quick or painless way to get rid of debt. Once your plan is in place, you will need to take the long walk of self-discipline to make it work.

Never use your credit cards to pay for debt. The debt amount will just keep mounting. Many people justify indebtedness with the thought that they are making an investment when they purchase items. That’s an unwise assumption. And don’t apply for new credit cards you don’t need.

Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can download the Small Groups kit from our Store.

Today’s Bottom Line

It pays to be debt free and financially free. Be a debtor to no man.

Transfer of wealth – a study

Wealth transfer is indeed scriptural, and it is truly real. That should be wonderful news, isn’t it? So the question you probably have is “where’s mine?” A legitimate question. However, so many Christians fail to understand that, according to the bible, you need to go through a process.

But first, let’s check out the most quoted verse from the bible about wealth transfer:

and the wealth of the sinner [finds its way eventually] into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up. Pro 13:22 (AMP)

On the surface, it sounds great. Money and wealth are being tucked away by others and for you. However, so many Christians interpret this verse and all the other passages to mean that they don’t have to do anything but wait. And “wait” is all they do. They say: “I’m righteous, so the money is being stored up for me.” And then they start to get impatient.

They want God to hurry and send them that lottery ticket. And when the money doesn’t flow in, they say things like: “It’s all in God’s time…” or “maybe God is teaching me how to be patient first.” I’m sure you heard phrases like that a million times.

The problem here is that they aren’t following the process of God’s plan.

The Wealth Plan

One of the greatest examples in the Bible about the transfer of wealth is the life of Joseph. Like Joseph, there are promises and dreams in the Bible about blessings and God’s plan to prosper His children.

Joseph moved from a position of hopelessness, to a position of not just great wealth, but great authority. However, there needs to be a process. A moulding. The testing of your faith. Understand also, the purpose for this transfer of wealth. It’s not about hoarding wealth for yourself, but for helping others and the saving of lives. For building schools and orphanages, for missions and evangelism. Freely receiving, freely giving. It’s about your faithfulness.

Joseph was given the wealth of the entire nation. He was even given control of all of Egypt’s business and economy. That plan, as laid out by Jesus in the parable of the ten Minas in Luke 19, is straight forward:

“‘And he said to him, Well done, excellent bond servant! Because you have been faithful and trustworthy in a very little [thing], you shall have authority over ten cities.’ Luke 19:16-17 (AMP)

God is looking for people He can trust with this wealth. That is why Paul the apostle wrote, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). This promise deals with God giving to us today as well as in the coming days of wealth transfer.

 

Transfer of wealth

The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they gave them what they asked. And they stripped the Egyptians [of those things].Exodus 12:36 (AMP)

 

God promised Moses that when the Israelites came out of Egypt, they would leave with the wealth of the Egyptians. And it says God gave them favor. Favor? Think of what it was like when the Israelites went to the Egyptians, who had just lost sons and been ruined by all the plagues. Yet these same Egyptians gave them their wealth. Yet, God released huge amounts of wealth  from the pagan Egyptians to His people. They did not earn this money from making  bricks without straw. It was a supernatural transference.

 

Real Wealth

Often, we are given the word so we can contend to see it fulfilled. It is important to remember the enemy does not want you to reap the benefits of the promises of God, so spiritual warfare may be needed. The word gives us hope to stand and believe in the midst of adverse circumstances. Though our prayers are immediately answered by the Lord in the spiritual realm, it takes persistent prayer for those answers to manifest in the physical realm.

Remember the story of Daniel. After praying and fasting for the freedom of Israel from Babylon, an angel finally arrived. He told Daniel that God had heard his prayers, but a principality, who was the ruling power of darkness over the region, had held him back for 21 days. Though Daniel’s prayers were heard and acted upon instantly, it was his prayers of perseverance that allowed the angel to ultimately break through!

What if Daniel had become frustrated before his breakthrough and given up? He would have never seen God’s plan fulfilled. So therefore it is important that you commit everything to persistent prayer if you really want to see breakthrough.

 

 

Credit rating: For mature audience only

A US credit-rating cut would  raise the nation’s borrowing costs by  increasing Treasury yields by 60 to 70 basis points over the “medium term. The average American may not care. But the truth is, American households are dealing with plenty of   their own problems, and the debt issues weighing down the nation are similar to those facing consumers.

An individual’s credit score, along with his credit report, affects his or her ability to borrow money through financial institutions such   as banks. The factors that may influence a person’s credit score are:

  • ability to pay a loan
  • interest
  • amount of credit used
  • spending patterns
  • debt

Your credit score serves as a key determinant of the costs of some of the most   important and substantial purchases you’ll make–like buying a home or car–as   well as the interest rates that accompany your credit cards. Damaged credit can   affect how much you pay for services such as insurance, and some employers even   look to credit histories before extending job offers.

The best way to improve your credit score is to pay down your revolving (or   credit card) debt, because having a high balance/credit limit ratio doesn’t bode   well for your credit score. If you have a card that is close to being maxed out,   consider transferring part of the balance to other cards. That’s because it’s   generally better to have smaller balances on a few cards than a big balance just   on one. Also keep your charges to 30% or less of a card’s limit; 10% is ideal.   If you’re having trouble sticking to the limits, set up e-mail or text alerts   with credit card companies to let you know when you’re approaching a limit   you’ve set.

Banks have been forced to write off record levels of credit card debt, so things are going to get rougher. So make sure you pay your credit card bills in full every month and on time. Late payments will lower your credit score and may even trigger an automated increase in rates. Moreover, it could result in a vicious cycle of credit-card debts.

Most people tend to look for credit cards that give you tempting rewards like travel incentives, or discounts at expensive restaurants. But most of these perks are not your regular bills and payments. Unless you fly often on business trips, travel rewards are aimed at getting you to spend more. Choose credit cards that comes with discounts to your regular bills, like gas, groceries, regular payments, things that require you to pay regularly.

Never use your credit cards to pay for debt. The debt amount will just keep mounting. Many   people justify indebtedness with the thought that they are making an investment   when they purchase items. That’s an unwise assumption. And don’t apply for new credit cards you don’t need.

The Bible does show many ways to overcome any financial crisis and reach financial freedom. Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can  download the Small Groups kit from our Store.

Bottom Line

If you haven’t already done so, check your credit report. And make sure you clean your credit cards.

The Bible does show many ways to overcome any financial crisis. Many of these principles are laid out in our successful course, the Scriptural Financial Freedom series. To learn more, you can  download the Small Groups kit from our Store.