Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: saving money

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A lot of people are surprised to learn that Jesus devoted 15 percent of his recorded words to the subject of money, and that the Bible has more than 2,300 verses addressing it.

Money is of great importance because it fuels nearly all of our activities in some way and can be used for good or ill.   It is utterly necessary just for daily living, and its handling is a mark of character, again, for good or ill.

A common misnomer is that the Bible – and therefore God – regards money as evil.  But this is a misreading of 1 Timothy 6:10, in which the Apostle Paul warns: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Some Money Facts

In the United States, which is arguably the richest country in the world, the Treasury Department continually provides new bills and coins at a staggering rate.

The first coins minted in America were pennies created in 1792.  “Paper” money debuted in 1862 during the Civil War, when precious metals became scarce.  Then, as now, the bills were mostly made of cotton and linen, not paper, which is sturdier.

Today, the U.S. Department of Engraving and Printing, which has plants in Washington, D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas, uses between 10 and 18 tons of ink per day to print nearly 25 million notes worth $560 million, according to the Treasury website.  Some 95 percent of these merely replace old bills taken out of circulation – much of it overseas, where the American dollar is a widely used currency.

In the 1860s, “In God We Trust” was added for the first time to coinage, debuting on a two-cent piece.  Later, it was added to currency, such as $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and $100 bills.

Starting Good Habits Young

For Christians, money presents an opportunity to put our faith into action.  That begins with the radical notion that all of our money, not just 10 percent (a tithe) or whatever we are donating to the church, belongs to God.   This is the principle of stewardship.

When teaching children about money, it’s very important to begin with the foundational truth that it all belongs to God, and that while God is magnanimous toward us in inestimable ways, we have to operate as stewards of His riches.   Only when we do that can we properly handle money, please God and bless our families and others.

While many people in our culture of rugged individuality think of themselves as being in charge, the stewardship model begins in the Book of Genesis, when God assigned Adam and Eve the job of naming the animals and caring for the paradise around them.  They lived up to the task of stewardship until falling for the temptation to go beyond their God-given roles into a realm of power reserved only for God. We’ve all been working “by the sweat of our brow” ever since.

Throughout the Bible, we are advised to be good stewards of our Creator’s wealth, which includes our own lives and how we touch the lives of others.

“When it comes to a man’s (or woman’s) real nature, money is of first importance,” said former U.S. Senate Chaplain Richard Halverson.  “Money is an exact index to a man’s true character.  All through Scripture there is an intimate correlation between the development of a man’s character and how he handles his money.”

Whose Money?

If we view all money we acquire only as our own, we are tempted to believe that we don’t need God or Biblical guidance.  It’s the ultimate power trip – we call the shots, no one else.  But if we view ourselves as stewards of God’s provision for us, we learn the beauty and joy of giving back and can develop a healthy view of our finances.  Concentrating on acquiring money for its own sake can lead to soul-destroying greed and contempt for those less well off than ourselves.

As Jesus Himself warned, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)

In our free-market-based economy, we have many blessings unavailable to people who live under oppressive regimes that punish individual initiative.  But materialism, or the love of money, is a constant temptation in our culture, especially since we are pelted daily with advertising designed to make us discontented with what we have and aching to buy whatever they are selling so we can feel better.

Wealth can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how we view it and handle it.  For one thing, materialism can dull our appreciation for many of the best things in life that are free – including the gift of salvation.  As the Roman, North Africa-based Christian author Tertullian put it in 200 A.D., “Nothing that is God’s is obtainable by money.”

Love of money can lead to crime, as evidenced by the fact that motives linked to money or sex account for 80 percent of crimes in the United States, but money accounts for a ratio of 80 to 1 crimes over those incited by sex.   No wonder Jesus issued so many warnings about the power of money.

Employee theft is estimated to be $50 billion annually, which forces everybody to pay higher prices. (“Personal Property Crimes,” U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006) Insurance fraud is similarly in the billions, which costs everybody because of higher rates.  Materialism is such a powerful motivator that few can resist it without God’s help.

The good news is that we don’t have to go it alone and that there are resources available to guide us.

God has much to say about money if we take the time to listen.

Written By Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author and Communications Advisor for Timothy Partners.  Some of this material was drawn from a curriculum from the Timothy Plan for family economics called “Stewardship:  God’s Plan for Financial Success.”

Written by Timothy Plan founder Art Ally, the 112-page workbook, which, along with brief video segments of a couple discussing their income and giving, offers a Gods-eye view of money, investing, giving and cultural impact.  Learn more at timothyplan.com.

Looking for more great articles about teaching your children how to manage and steward their money? Check out Pizza Prepares Kids To Make Sense Of Money, To Build Kid’s Money Handling Habits, Start Young, and Common Sense Savings Skills That Aren’t So Common in the Teach Them Diligently Blog.

 

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Of the many thoughts racing through a student’s mind as he approaches high school graduation, two of his preoccupations are likely, “What do I want to do for a career?” and “How do I pay for this?”

The affordability of a college education is a determining factor in whether a student goes to college at all. ‘Financial Aid’ is a broad term used by colleges to encapsulate all financial options – from scholarships to grants to loans. Knowing how to combine financial aid options with responsibility and hard work will provide students with an answer to the question, “How do I pay for this?”

Here are some tips:

1. Federal Grants and Loans

Most colleges and universities will ask your family for the FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a federal form based on your taxes from the previous year which allows the government to determine a students’ Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). Based on the EFC, the government will designate an eligible amount of aid to that student. Some of this aid will be grants (do not need to be paid back) and some of it may be loans (must be paid back starting six months after graduation).

Students should read the fine print on the awards they accept to determine whether the amount is indeed a grant or if it is a loan. If taking out loans, students should pay close attention to the Loan Entrance Counseling required by the government, and would be wise to seek financial counsel on how much to borrow. It is better to keep loans as a last resort when other options (discussed below) have been exhausted.

2. State/Organizational Grants and Scholarships

Some states, like Florida, give out ‘Promise Scholarships’ to high achieving students. These scholarships may have limitations (GPA, location, or attending a specific university/college) but are worth looking into! Organizational scholarships are awards specific to certain corporations and businesses. Walmart, General Electric, Associated Press have all been known to have scholarships available. Smaller groups such as the Rotary Club or local businesses are also willing to help out students who show ambition and creativity. Look for awards in your hometown or search out corporations you have connections with.

3. Work Study/Campus Jobs

Federal Work Study is a form of aid for which students qualify through the FAFSA. This aid caps at $4000 per year and is earned by working a campus job. The funds can be sent directly to your loans or student account, or they can be given to you like a regular paycheck. A student can also determine the percentage of his paycheck he wishes to send toward his student account: i.e., 60% to account, 40% via paycheck. Regardless of whether a student qualifies for work study, he can very likely acquire a job on campus to help pay for books and incidentals.

4. School Specific Scholarships

University aid is aid through the school itself. Academic scholarships specific to the university with their own GPA and test score qualifications, scholarships based on ethnicity, and association with certain extracurricular groups and societies (such as Phi Theta Kappa) are all opportunities for additional aid. Both state and private colleges will list a wide variety of scholarships for which students can apply. For instance – Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan offers an award of $500 per year to Polish-American students. That’s enough to cover books!

5. Spend Wisely

It is very easy to spend money in high school and college, especially when everyone around you seems to have a bottomless bank account. Starting financial responsibility in high school (or even earlier!) will create habits that will last through a student’s college years. Saving money, budgeting for fun expenditures (eating out, shopping, travel), and avoiding debt are great ways to both fund your college education and guarantee wise decisions when paying for school. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University is one option for financial education that comes highly recommended for soon-to-be college students!

 

Working hard and making wise decisions when it comes to college will pay off in the long run. Students who work for and through college tend to value their education more because it was earned! Be sure to check out sites like Fastweb.com for additional scholarships from outside organizations.

 

Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships - eBook - By: Alex Chediak

 

 

For more on financial assistance and preparing for college, you may want to look at the eBook, “Preparing Your Teens for College: Helping Them Face the Challenges: Faith, Finances, and Friendships“, available in the Teach Them Diligently store.

 

 

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Article contribution by, Phylicia Duran, who is a 2008 home school graduate and alum of Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university. Her educational background includes dual enrollment, CLEP testing, community college, online courses and residential study. She has filled the roles of Admissions Counselor, Social Media Coordinator and currently Coordinator of Group Visits at Liberty University and is passionate about spiritual and vocational discipleship, especially as related to home education.

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Let’s be honest; not everyone is good with money. Some folks never learned the basics of balancing a checkbook, let alone controlling impulsive buying habits. So, for someone who struggles with finances, the idea of teaching kids about money and stewardship can seem overwhelming.

If that’s you, it’s not too late to still teach your children some solid financial skills. Not only can you prepare them for their future in ways you wish you had learned, but coaching them can give you the leg up you need to become a better money manager yourself.

Here are three tips to help financially challenged parents raise money-smart kids.

Have regular discussions about money

Although money is one of the most referenced topics in the Bible, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding how to use it. One reason may be that we simply don’t talk about it enough.

Children need to learn about the value of delayed gratification and telling themselves no.

As they get older, they need to learn not only the mechanics of managing their finances (budgeting and bank accounts) but also the importance of being vigilant about responsible saving and spending.  They can learn just as much from a parent who’s honest about their own money missteps as they can from a hyper-organized CPA—and those lessons might have a better chance of sticking. So, don’t be afraid to talk to your kids about how you have sought out resources to teach you the ropes.

Want to learn more: Check out this easy way to connect with your kids while teaching them banking basics.

Create a budget together

Understanding how to create and manage a budget is a critical money-management skill. When you take the time to sit down together as a family to prioritize your expenses and income, you create an opportunity for learning and bonding that can empower your kids as they realize where your money goes.

Fortunately, with the digital tools now available, you won’t have to keep track of your spending in a dog-eared notebook. There are banking accounts designed to help you to work together with your kids, creating budgeting categories and helping them monitor their spending trends.

For instance, Start Young Accounts from Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) come with a free app that gives you and your kids hands-on tools for saving and spending responsibly, while also helping them build and maintain a budget.

 Learn as you teach

Maybe you’re strong on self-discipline, but you don’t know a lot about banking, interest rates or student loans. As any teacher can tell you, instructing your kids is a great way to process new information or learn a new skill. Knowing that you’re going to be talking about a specific financial concept can stimulate you to research and remember even more than usual—and you benefit from the knowledge just as much as they will.

So, talk to them about how banking works. Teach them about protecting their financial information. Show them how to use a debit card, make purchases online, and use services like bill pay.

Learn More: Here’s an easy way to train your kids to use debit cards responsibly

Don’t be afraid of your shortcomings!

 Money will play an integral part in your child’s life, so don’t let your insecurities stop you from helping them (and yourself) learn how to become a money master. All the knowledge and skills you gather and pass on will enrich your life, too!

Start Young If you’re not sure how to get started, check out Start Young Saving and Spending Accounts. They’re chock full of banking features that will teach your child to save and spend responsibly while offering you the peace of mind of controlling their account access and spending limits.

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Angela Burtis is a wife, mother, grandma, and blogger living in Speculator, New York. She has a burden to see young people grow in their love and knowledge of God’s Word—starting with her own family. In today’s post, she explains why a Bible Institute was a perfect launching pad and first step for her kids’ college careers. Grab some coffee, get comfy, and listen to one mother’s heart about why she wholeheartedly recommends a Higher Ed Bible education, from one parent to another.

“If you are a parent who is against or on the fence about your child giving a year of their life to an intense study of God’s Word, I’d love to spend a few minutes telling you why I, a fellow concerned and caring parent, absolutely, wholeheartedly, without reservation recommend you send your child to a Bible Institute for a year (or two).”

What is the right response to our high school graduate who expresses a desire to attend a Bible school for a year?

“It has nothing to do with your career choice.”

“It will set you behind schedule for your degree.”

“We can’t afford an extra year of college.”

In essence, it’s a waste of time and money.

No, a Christian parent wouldn’t actually say out loud that a year of studying the Bible is a waste of time, but aren’t all the above responses actually reflecting that sentiment to some degree?

Maybe it simply doesn’t make sense to us. After all, we aren’t expecting our child to be a pastor or a missionary. Why prolong a different desired path?

With two kids in college and a third graduated, I get it. Often times we just see dollar signs when considering our kids’ futures. Whether we’ve set aside money for their education or not, the ever increasing tuition fees and subsequent debt load are frightening. We literally can’t afford any more than is necessary.

I have great news that you might not be aware of.

A great place to start

At many Bible institutes a one-year Bible program is transferrable to most other Christian colleges. There is no losing time. It all counts, and in my experience, these programs are actually less expensive than spending a year at any of the mainstream Christian colleges/universities, making that first year of study quite a bargain. Please don’t let any of those above notions hinder your consideration.

That’s not the reason I’m writing today, though. If you are a parent who is against or on the fence about your child giving a year of their life to an intense study of God’s Word, I’d love to spend a few minutes telling you why I, a fellow concerned and caring parent, absolutely, wholeheartedly, without reservation recommend you send your child(ren) to Word of Life Bible Institute for a year (or two).

When my firstborn was a senior in high school, the yearbook committee asked for a verse to put with his picture. The verse we chose is one we hoped would be in front of him for his whole life.

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to His Word.” Psalm 119:9

Because does anything else really matter? Though not always easy or popular, we’ve resisted the American cultural temptation to wish our kids’ goals to be progressive jobs, increasing salaries or security in anything this world has to offer.

Quite the opposite actually.

A growing desire to increase their faith, a hunger and thirst for righteousness (right living), and giving their lives in service to God through serving others is what would scream success to us. Namely, as their father has often prayed, “that our children would do greater things for God than we ever could.”

“… as their father has often prayed, “that our children would do greater things for God than we ever could.”

It was a given that our boy’s next step would be college. The only problem was that he didn’t know what he wanted to do. I don’t think many 18-year-olds are really ready to commit to one career path. As a family, we discussed him spending that first year at Word of Life. Having camped there for years, we were very familiar with the ministry.

And the thing we especially love about Word of Life is that no one, and I mean no one, is doing what Word of Life does.

Word in. Service out.

  • Nine months of studying God’s Word only.
  • Three months of putting in practice (summer ministry at one of many camps as both counselors and work supervisors).
  • Open Air Evangelism training.
  • Trip to New York City to witness on the streets.
  • Counseling/Sharing Faith training.
  • Eight weekends of Snow Camp (ministering to youth groups on retreat).

I jokingly, but affectionately, have been known to say that at Word of Life, you get the Bible pumped through your veins for a year!

Who couldn’t benefit from that? I was thrilled our boy was leaning in that direction. No matter the cost or sacrifice to us, we believed by faith that our son would be in the perfect environment and posture for him to listen to God and discover the next step in the path He had in mind.

“No one, and I mean no one, is doing what Word of Life does.”

About half way through the year he called with a strong desire and future college major locked. Eventually, after two years at WOLBI, he would transfer to Clarks Summit University as a junior. No time lost. Less than half the cost.

Word of Life Bible InstituteMore importantly, he fell in love with the Bible. What he learned transferred all that he was taught in our home and a childhood of Sunday School classes into a working Biblical worldview that laid the foundation for his adulthood.

Prayers answered.

In our current culture’s hostile environment toward anything Christian, may I gently encourage you that this understanding alone is the most important ‘skill’ a young man or woman can learn at the beginning of their academic or work career? In my humble opinion, there’s no price too high for what is gained in just one year at Word of Life.

“No matter the cost or sacrifice to us, we believed by faith that our son would be in the perfect environment and posture for him to listen to God and discover the next step in the path He had in mind.”

And that’s only one of the reasons! Looks like we are going to need another visit.

Read part two here of this story here!

 

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