Money-Primed People Show Increased Self-Reliance and Are More Selfish

In the book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman shares some of the research work of Kathleen Vohs.  During the studies, individuals are exposed to different ‘primers’. Of interest to us today were the studies where people were exposed to primers related to money or reminders of money.  These triggers may be something as subtle as a stack of Monopoly money on a table or a screen saver of dollar … [Read more...]

Excessive Debt and Our Tendency to Read Into Scripture

I have written several articles about (what I believe to be) our misuse of Proverbs 22:7a.  You can read those here and here. As a reminder, here’s the Scripture in question: "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender." My argument against the direct transference of this phrase into our culture is three-fold: I believe we’re being melodramatic when we apply … [Read more...]

Warning! Frugality Can Become Greed. How to Protect Yourself.

Yesterday, I had a reader unsubscribe from my mailing list.  The reader allowed for the possibility that he might not be right, but did say, “I believe being to[o] frugal is like being to[o] greedy.”  He goes on to share stories of people he knows who have bought something from a yard sale only to try and return them at a department store.  While he wishes me the best, he warns me to be sure that … [Read more...]

My Hunts Tomato Can Looked Like it Might Explode So I Called the 1800 Number

When I got home, my wife told me to take a look in the box which was the former residence of 8 cans of Hunts Tomatoes. The last can looked like it was charred. I have no idea if the power went off at the manufacuting plant and the employees decided that they needed to keep warm from the heat of burning cans of Hunts Tomatoes, but this can had a serious problem. I did something that I’ve … [Read more...]

3 Gracious Ways God Works in Our Financial Hardship | A Phil. 4:13 Rant.

There’s a lot of health and wealth gospel and prosperity talk going on these days.   The health and wealth mantra is that if you’re a person of true faith, you won’t experience financial hardship.  Financial hardship is said to be the fruit of a lack of faith or the work of the Devil in your life. Not true.  False teaching. I wish I could count the number of times that people have mentioned Phil. … [Read more...]

5 Best Tips for Effective Budgeting

I’ve got budgeting on my mind. I’m going to be teaching a budgeting class at church this weekend, so I’ll be preparing some material for the class later this week.  Of course, my material preparation is simplified since I did all the leg work a couple of years ago when I wrote The Secret to a Successful Budget: Practical Advice for Creating a Budget That Lasts. In thinking of newbie … [Read more...]

The Art of Making Big Smart Decisions In Order to Minimize Small Dumb Decisions

This morning I did something dumb. I was taking folding chairs from my house back over to the church building.  When I was taking the chairs out of my car, I leaned them up against the car while shutting the door. Dumb choice: I leaned metal chairs against a car. Yup. You guess it.  I scratched the car. Yep. I should have known better. Nope. It didn’t ruin my day. Smart Decision: … [Read more...]

A Lack of Will Power May Not Be to Blame for Your Financial Meltdown

People say weird things. They’ll say: I want to change. I want to get out of debt. I want to create financial margin. I want to invest. I want to give more. I guess those aren’t weird things to say.  People do weird things. After saying those phrases, they'll: Go out and buy a new vehicle with payments they can’t afford. Spend $250 on a special night out. Buy a new … [Read more...]

Creating a Passion for Partnering in the Gospel

I believe the best gifts are the ones that come from a place of joy. For far too long, guilt has been the primary motivation for giving. The message is that you’re not giving enough.  Not donating enough.  Not putting enough in the collection basket. Guilt. Giving can also come from a  place of habitual obligation.  Perhaps we’ve done it for so long that we don’t attach any sort of … [Read more...]

2014 Suggested Bible Reading Plan

The best way you can develop a God-honoring financial plan is by reading your Bible.  This is a much better approach than simply searching for the word ‘money’ in your favorite commentary.  Indeed, the benefit of reading your Bible daily goes beyond simply learning about finances. For the last few years, I’ve experimented with different Bible reading plans.  While my 2013 plan wasn’t prefect, it … [Read more...]