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Contentment Breeds Satisfaction

When Dave and Rachel touched on this topic in the book, I was hooked. We currently are battling this with our girls. It seems that no matter what you do, someone is unhappy. I laugh because it is no different from you and me with God. I am going through this right now. I know you all are perfect and holy, however, I still have to work this thing every day. It’s not that I am not grateful for what God has done. But I struggle with being happy where I am because I have a dream for our family. Then I went and read this book which spoke to me on how I could combat that.

No Mercy

With the typical Davism, Dave says to “show the enemy no mercy.” Discontentment is a disease that we should consider the enemy. It gets into the very core of a person and causes them to become unhappy and bitter.  How do you get rid of it? “Surgically remove it”, Dave says.  “Remind your kids that owning stuff is fine, but when your stuff owns you, when you define yourself by a purchase or an amount of money, you are on the road to becoming a disgusting human being.” Okay, so that sounds a little harsh but what he’s getting at is that it is toxic.

Don’t Join the Enemy

It’s real easy for you or me to get sucked into the media of the “I want” bug. However, if you allow it to happen, you will become exactly what you don’t want to. Paul talks about that in Romans 7:15 by saying, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.

Teachable Moments

Something that I am learning, as a parent, is that life is full of teachable moments.  For an example, Maleah just earned the ability to buy something that she has wanted for a long time. Instead of buying it on her behalf, which would have been easier, we sought out the moment.This great couple decided to help us with that when they sold the item. We met at a place to pick it up and the woman explained everything to Maleah that she was going to sell her. She then gave Maleah the option to buy or to pass.  Of course, she’s 5 so she bought it, but it was a teachable moment. When you save money, you get to buy something with it. At the same time, we are showing our children the art of giving. It breaks the chains of discontentment…well, almost. We are still working on that one.

Change Their Perspective

This is an important one. Rachel talks about this regarding a trip that she took to Peru. She talked about a time when she gave some stickers to a little girl who just lit up her world. It was something simple, but it was something that left an impact on her life. Use opportunities and teaching moments to change their perspective.  Maleah is slowly catching onto this one. I heard her say about a situation the other day, “it could always be worse.” It kind of caught me off guard and no one else really noticed it but I sure did.

The rest of the chapter, you are going to have to read on your own because it will challenge you to help your children get out of this disconentment.

Did you know that we are only one week away from launch day for the Smart Money, Smart Kids book? Where did the time go? Don’t waste time waiting to order this book because you have a week left to take advantage of these awesome gifts for pre-ordering! Click below to order.

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Don’t Graduate from IOU

I remember it like yesterday. I had great aspirations to go to the University of Memphis to get my business degree and open up a coffee shop while heading for my Master’s. Such a great plan, right? The only problem is that I try to do it the “easy” way. I took out student loans to fund it. Wait. That’s not the problem. I had to quit I didn’t have any more loans to get after I lost my job. Did I finish? Nope.
 
Let’s fast forward a few years later. I filed bankruptcy with a bunch of debt. Guess what debt wouldn’t go on the bankruptcy? The student loan. Really? Yep. Something I learned that I didn’t get while I was at the University of Memphis was this; you can borrow your way to education…especially when it will not secure a job for you. There is not statistical correlation to your little Junior or Junette getting a job because he/she has a degree. There are currently millions of people with Master’s degrees that are working the battlefield called fast food. Not to say that education isn’t important. Right now, I am currently finishing up the Associates side of my degree. I am doing it on scholarships now. I am also debt free now. Going into student loan debt did not help me to graduate but it hindered me.
 
I know, you’re thinking if you have children about sending those cherubs to school (or even going back to school yourself) and if you can’t take out a loan then what can you do. Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze give some great advice on how to fund your cherub’s education in the new Smart Money, Smart Kids book.
 
• Savings – ESA (Education Savings Account) which will allow you to put $2,000 per year per child. You can have it auto debited each month (166.66) into that account. What rocks? If you start from 0 to 18, you can save (with interest being approximate) 126,000. Good news? It grows tax free.

 
• The 529 Plan – It’s the big brother of the ESA and will allow you to put more into it in a mutual fund.
 
• Choose a State School – Most out of state schools charge an expensive fee for you going to another college out of state. There are some exceptions to the rule (some states have clauses where they will waive it for certain states. Look into it with the college you are looking to send your child to).
 
• Scholarships- There are millions of dollars that go untapped every year for college students. For an example, I saw an ad in the paper to apply for a scholarship program through my school. I went online and filled out all the applications that I could fill. One of them that I did win was a bank scholarship that wasn’t advertised publically. You have to go and search for them.
 o There are some programs that you can buy to search these out. I am not skilled in these. However, do your research and check them out.

 • FASFA- Proceed with caution but you can get a Pell Grant and other scholarships from this program. That’s how I was able to attend completely debt free the 2nd go around. Becareful not to choose the one where you have to pay it back.

 • Pedigree- Many well meaning parents and some students believe that going to Yale or some high end school will ensure that someone will get a great job. This is a myth. There are schools that are less pricey and will save you money yet give you the same amount of education.

 
Our children are currently being taught the value of money and education. They are pretty young, but I know that they will remember when they go to school that it pays to go without debt. They won’t have a problem going to school without worrying about having to pay for it for years and years. I heard Dave Ramsey say often that most people “keep their student loans around so long they think it’s a pet.” Most pets….are more fun to play with.

Pssst….. here’s a free book from Dave Ramsey!

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Blueprint of Life

Have you ever had a moment when you were driving somewhere and got lost?  Of course, the joke is that man would rather drive for hours instead of asking for directions that would get him somewhere in five minutes. Wait…men don’t ask for directions. We recently put together a new pantry that required a PhD in engineering.  Seriously, who puts these directions together anyway?  There have to be some oompa loompa who put these things into the boxes and laugh as they seal them shut.   That’s another story for another blog.

The directions that we used to put it together helped us to make it a quicker process. I am sure we would have figured it out without the directions but with them, our marriage was kept in tact.

As I have been reading the Smart Money, Smart Kids book, I have been seeing the thread throughout the book that planning is essential to life.  Linking it with the Word of God, we can see that Jesus even mentions it in the book of Luke 14:28-30.

“For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it?Otherwise, when he has laid the foundation and is unable to complete [the building], all who see it will begin to mock and jeer at him,Saying, This man began to build and was not able (worth enough) to finish.”

Teaching our children about money is the same way. In order to be successful at anything, we have to plan.  Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying “if you fail to plan, plan to fail.” Sara and I have a plan in place to open a coffee shop.  A lot of well meaning people have suggested taking out a loan or just follow our dreams.  Those are all great ideas for those who don’t think about the future or think about what could be.  The stats already stack against the new business owner with 85% of all small businesses failing in 18 months. Why?  Stats show because of cash flow problems.  This all stems back to failing to plan.

Will, what does this have to do with children and money? I am believing that one day I am going to leave this business to them or someone so I might as well manage it well now and plan now while I can. Dave and Rachel talk plenty about budgeting and planning throughout this book. You and I have a responsibility to our children to help them to learn how to budget and plan where their money goes. As our kids are growing up, it becomes more evident to us too.

In a few weeks, Smart Money, Smart Kids will be hitting the shelves. If you pre-order through Dave Ramsey or Rachel Cruze, you get $50 worth of goodies on top of it.

 

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Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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What Will People Say….

This post was originally written on August 1, 2013.  Christine Nitzche was a great friend of ours and went home to be with the Lord suddenly the previous week. Today would have been her 50th birthday on earth and this is my way of paying honor where honor is due.  I know that in heaven there is no time but if there were, there would be one heck of a party for this great lady.  Please keep her family in prayer. Now, without further ado…

 

Last week I wrote about leaving a legacy for your children. On Saturday, Sara and I lost a great friend suddenly and it brought me back here for this week’s thought. Over and over again when people were talking about Chris, it would come up about how much she invested in other people’s lives. Chris was a wonderful mother and loving wife as well as a great member of our church to whom we had the honor of serving with. In our lives, she and her husband were responsible for getting us on the Dave Ramsey plan to get us out of debt and was our cheerleader while we were doing so. I recall her encouraging words, her sarcasm to what I would say because that was just how Chris was, and her heart to serve whenever or wherever she could.

As she left this earth with a great legacy, it stands to memorialize her heart and also reflect about our own legacy for our children.  As fathers, we have a great opportunity to change our family tree whether it is in finances, health, etc.  If I had a microphone planted for me to hear what people say at my memorial service, I would want to hear about the great legacy that I leave behind. I want to hear that I was a great man of God who loved his family and loved people. I want to hear them celebrating my life and celebrating what legacy I am leaving behind. Don’t you? Wouldn’t you want people writing things about you that reflected a great character? I sure would. I would want to see the love of Christ oozing out of my life and into the lives of others.

This is in memory of Christine Nitzche. Her family requests any memorials be given in her memory to Downs Syndrome Association of St. Louis.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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An Open Hand

 

God doesn’t need your money. It is just that simple. The lights of heaven aren’t going to shut off because you didn’t send in your tithe check. The gates of heaven aren’t going to be locked because a parishioner didn’t provide a check to pay for the repairs. The tree of life won’t wither if you don’t send your seed in. You then may ask, “then why all the hoopla about giving?” Giving is not just a matter of your checkbook but the matter of the heart. Jesus even made this as His example “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:21)” It changed my way of thinking on the art of giving when I heard this. My heart is to take care of those in need then my wallet or checkbook should follow suit. I love how Rachel Cruze wrote this John D. Rockefeller quote in the Smart Money, Smart Kids book, “I n ever would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 a week.” Isn’t that the truth? If you won’t give to God when you have little then you won’t do it when you have many.

Our kids follow our example in this area. It is proven that the younger a child is when they give, the more that they will give away. The older they are, the more likely they are to keep it for themselves. It’s all a matter of following what they have been taught. Dave would probably say it better like this that “Kids are like sponges” and it’s true. Let out a swear word around your kids and see what happens in the next few days.

Our church teaches kids how to give. Right there, many of you would scoff and say that the church is all about money. Not true. It teaches them this principle; the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. If it is His, we are managing it. If we are managing the money of the One who is the ultimate Giver, then should we not be ready and willing to pass that on to our children? Teaching your kids to give is just as important as teaching your kids how to save money and stay out of debt. Why? It breaks the entitlement gene that we find in ourselves. “The church is all about money and all those preachers do is ask for money….” I find it funny that you never say that about McDonalds when you go through the line to get food or Shell when you get gas (although it feels like it sometimes).

What am I saying? We need to teach our children the right attitude when it comes to giving. We rephrase it in our house. We don’t have to give…we are blessed to give.

William Howell

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s Going Going Gone!

In light of the opening day, I cannot miss an opportunity on using some sort of baseball gorgon. I know many of my counterparts are rooting for Boston and the like but I, for one, am rooting for the Cardinals. My wife would have it no other way. Of course, I have spent a lot of time watching it even as I grew up. I remember spending time at my grandparent’s house and my Granddaddy would have that on the television. Of course, at that time, I didn’t pay too much attention to it. But I remember a few times when the announcer would yell over the mic “it’s going….it’s going….it’s gone! That’s a homer for the Cardinals….!”

In this season, there aren’t many days that I can catch a good game on television because we are saving up and paying off our house. It’s a small price…I know… Something that I caught myself in the habit of was being reluctant to spend money. We recently had a car repair that was necessary and I held off until I could hold off no more. Some of you know that feeling of “do I really want to fork out $800?” With that, I had to start working on showing what is a need and a want. In the midst of that, we have been teaching our kids about what it takes to run our house. They are often shocked that it takes money to make the world go around. I wish I could make it all appear out of thin air but unfortunately I can’t do that.

When it comes to the spending budget, it would be easier to get the credit card out and just spend like Congress. But unfortunately, in our reality, we wouldn’t be able to get a bail out. Our household has to budget that spending money and when it’s gone, it’s gone. Dave drove this principle out in the Smart Money, Smart Kids book. He and Rachel both spoke about the time they went to Opryland and Rachel spent her money before they even got through the park. She got to a game and realized she had no more spending money. Thinking that her dad or mom would bail her out, she asked. Their response? “When it’s gone…it’s gone.” It’s a hard pill to swallow when you’re out having fun and reach into your pocket only to find…there’s no more money.

Spending is a lot of fun and you should do it often but within balance. You can’t rob Peter to pay Paul in order to spend. We, as a microwave generation, have to train our kids to spend and do it within reason but have fun doing it. It’s fun to spend when you have the ability to do so without breaking the bank.

 

 

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Four Letter Word That No One Wants To Talk About

William Howell

In today’s society, there’s a four letter word that no one wants to talk about. It’s a word that puts to shame many individuals. So much shame that they avoid the word completely in their every day life. What is this word that could bring so much controversy and disdain? Work. I know that I may be stepping on a few toes here and that’s fine, when you operate your blog you can write about what you want to write about…but that may require work so I don’t know how that’s going to pan out for you. Anyway, in today’s world just showing up on time for your job makes you a highly marketable asset to the work place. If you have a job, it’s a miracle that you utilize your 40 hour work week to do what the boss asks you to do in that time frame without clocking out early.

I, like many of you who read this blog and follow leaders like Dave Ramsey, John Maxwell, and the like, know what the true meaning of work is. I honestly don’t think that you or I would have as great of an appreciation for something if it were handed to us. Now, I didn’t learn this from a get rich quick scheme or a book on entitlement. I got this message growing up in a household that required you to work. I started “working” at a very young age. I remember it just like it was yesterday. My mom had been working at an optometrist office for a while and I had to go to work with her sometimes. The doctor’s wife took this as an advantage for “free” labor. I am only kidding partially because she paid me under the table here and there. But here’s the thing that it taught me, work starts when you make it happen.

Sara and I have been teaching our kids over the last few weeks about the value of working to earn money. We purchased Financial Peace Junior (supposed to be one per child but on our budget…we made it work for all three) and started showing them what to do. A few people have made the assumption that we are hard on our children because we started so young on making them work (doing chores around the house.) We had a situation arise that Dave Ramsey would have used as a life lesson. Maleah has always been a hard worker but for some reason or another she decided that she didn’t want to help. When it came to “pay day” for them, Joanna had more than her. She was upset and started to throw a fit about it. This became a teaching moment. I kindly reminded her that if she wanted to make the money, she had to work. We don’t give allowances. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.

Now, before you send me your hate mail, know that our girls get a dime for each chore they do and they have 10 throughout the whole week. Don’t have a cow. But it is important that we teach our children early on that work is not a curse word. As Dave would say, “it’s the number one get rich scheme.”

Dave and Rachel tackle this topic in the new book Smart Money, Smart Kids. Many folks will see this being abuse because they think you tie them up in a camp and make them work for their food. That’s not the case at all. One of things that Rachel mentioned was that when you have a child under 5, you tend to do all the work except for a few toys and you make a huge deal out of it. Your child will see the reward and do it again. Our kids, for the vast majority, keep their toy room clean and make their beds. They also help Sara put laundry in the washing machine and put their laundry away (within reason.)

In short, your kids won’t die if they learn to work. Contrary to the societal push to “pass-the-buck” or live a life of “mediocrity”, your kids will survive and thrive if they work. It’s a four letter word that you cannot afford to not talk about.

What are you doing to show your kids how to work?

 

The book Smart Money, Smart Kids will be available April 22nd for purchase and I highly recommend it as a gift for a newlywed, new parent, an old parent, or for yourself! You get $50 worth of free goodies when you buy the book!

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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