A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Quick Hits: Trusting an online bank. What “organic” means. Legos are impressive.

  • Child's plaything or instrument of pain?I’ve been trying to figure out where I should stick our Emergency Fund to get a little bit better return. I know it isn’t supposed to be an investment, but it is a sizable chuck of change, and I don’t want it to sit an languish at the lowest interest rate possible while we wait for the next crisis. Maybe an online bank is a possibility. Their interest rates tend to be higher, they’re FDIC insured, and you don’t sacrifice accessibility…but my inner Luddite is having trouble with a bank that you can’t physically walk into. Am I being foolish?
  • The trend towards food labeled “organic” is interesting, especially if you actually take time to learn anything about what “organic” means. For example, when a food is labeled “organic,” it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been treated with pesticides. In fact, it doesn’t even mean that it’s been treated with less pesticides than non-“organic” food, or even less toxic pesticides than non-“organic” food. The truth is, an “organic” label has nothing to do with being healthy, it just means that the grower jumped through all the hoops that are required to be certified as “organic” by the governing bureaucracies, which doesn’t always result in what you’re thinking when you read “organic.” So, maybe you want to research and rethink your decision. You can eat organic (AKA ‘carbon-based’) food without paying the “organic” (AKA ‘bulls**t-based’) prices.

June 13, 2013 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits: Trusting an online bank. What “organic” means. Legos are impressive.

FPU Lesson 2 – Relating with Money

The second week of class is all about you and your family and how all of you relate with money. Below are my notes from the lesson, including the key points that I highlight from the video when leading the class, and some supplemental material that I think could help the class go further on this topic.

Financial Peace Unversity

Lesson 2, Relating with Money

Key Points

Men and women tend to think very differently about money. Don’t act so shocked, you already knew this. Men use money as a way to measure success. But for a woman, it’s a source of security. In the midst of a crisis, each needs to be reassured in area of their fear.

The saver, spender, nerd and free spirit must get on the same page. You both make the financial decisions together! There’s a tendency to acquiesce and allow the more “responsible” or “numbers smart” partner to do all of the money management in a family. It’s bad for a relationship to have only one person acting like the adult. Both spouses get a vote on how the money is made and spent, and compromise is key to success.

If you’re single, find an accountability partner to discuss your finances with. Being alone can make it much harder to win with money. Pick a wise friend who is willing to hurt your feelings, and then allow them to do it. Don’t make a major money decision ($250 or more) without talking to them about it.

Teach your children how to manage money so they make smart decisions. It’s time to put an end to this bad habit we have of not talking to our kids about sex or money. It’s not the school’s responsibility to teach your kids about good money practices, it’s yours. Learn them, and pass them on.

Challenges

Start Saving. Begin putting something aside every month for an emergency. It doesn’t matter how much. You’ll be amazed how excited you’ll feel when you see that first $100 sitting in your savings account.

Checkbook Test. Where your money goes tells us what is important to you. What does your money say about you?

Problems Equal Opportunities. If money management problems are the top cause of tension in your life and marriage, they are the top area where you have an opportunity to improve.

Accountability. If you don’t have it, get it. Even if you are a couple. If you can’t be accountable to one another, then it’s time to get some outside help.

Go Deeper

Dave Ramsey reads a lot of books, and he often references them during each class. If there’s a text that I think the class would really benefit from, I try to include it as a part of the notes that I share.

  • Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray
  • The DNA of Relationships by Gary Smalley

Next week, Lesson 3 – Cash Flow Planning. Making your budget work.

March 13, 2013 Posted by | Christ and Church, Marriage and Family, Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , , | 1 Comment

FPU Lesson 1 – Super Savings

Ever since my I wised up and started taking my family’s money seriously, I’ve become intentionally focused on teaching more and more people how to do the same. Currently, I coordinate a session of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University twice a year through a local church. It’s an awesome way to give people the basic financial building blocks they need to start changing their lives.

I’m in the middle of leading another session of FPU even as I type this, and I thought it would be interesting to share my notes from each lesson here. These are the key points that I highlight from the video when leading the class, plus any supplemental material that I think could help the class go further on the topic we’re covering.

Financial Peace Unversity

Lesson 1, Super Savings, is all about the practice of saving money. The video covers the excuses we have for not saving, the reasons why we should save, and what kinds of things we should be saving money for.

Key Points

Saving must become a priority. You must learn to pay yourself first*. Savings have to come off the top of your stack when it first comes in, not from the bottom.You can’t effectively save from what remains after you pay for everything else in your day to day life.

*Standard Christian Disclaimer (SCD):  after your tithe.

You must save for an emergency fund, major purchases and wealth building. There are three things that money has to be set aside for:

  • An Emergency Fund is insurance that guards you against major negative financial events. Start with $1000, eventually build it up to number representing several months of expenses.
  • When you can’t pay for something out of your regular monthly income, that’s a Major Purchase. Make a plan to save up for several months and pay cash for it, instead of going into debt to have it now, which will always cost you more.
  • Don’t neglect Building Wealth for the future. Given a reasonable income and the power of compound interest, hardly anyone should ever reach old age broke.

Money is amoral, but you must approach it with the right attitude. Having a lot of money will not automatically make you greedy, stingy or evil. The attitude you have with few resources will be same attitude you will have with many resources. Learn the right approach now.

It’s not over until you quit. You must start saving NOW. It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 85, saving is a fundamental part of healthy money management. It’s never too late to start saving.

Next week we’ll cover Lesson 2 – Relating with Money. How to make discussions about money a healthy part of your relationships.

March 6, 2013 Posted by | Christ and Church, Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , , | Comments Off on FPU Lesson 1 – Super Savings