We’ve made it no secret on this blog that we are Christians who believe in God. We’ve also mentioned on occasion that our faith affects our view of money. But we’ve never actually shared how. So in this post today, I thought I’d share how my faith provides a framework through which I process my financial decisions. Perhaps you can resonate with some of these points, maybe you’ve got additional input that can help sharpen my thinking. I’d love to get your thoughts. I know whole books have been written on this subject, so I’ve distilled my thoughts into 10 brief points. [Read more…]
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve written multiple times about cellphones already. First, I explained how I got my parents each an iPhone 5s for half off with Glyde. Then I wrote a review of the whole experience with the pros and cons of Glyde. Finally, I shared how we got a Cricket prepaid contract-less cellphone plan that gives us unlimited talk, text, and data for only $20 per line a month. (I highly recommend you catch up on those posts if you are in the market for a new phone or new plan, it might save you thousands of dollars.)
So if you’ve followed my story thus far, you know that I got my iPhone 5 two years ago and that I intend to hold on to it for a while longer since it’s a very expensive $600+ supercomputer not a throwaway toy. Well, a little over a month ago (right after I released my post on why we shouldn’t be upgrading new smartphones all the time, ironically) my trusty iPhone 5’s battery started glitching out on me. Without going through the boring details of its symptoms and problems, I discovered that my battery actually had less than 30% of its original capacity left in it. In other words, this battery was kaput. [Read more…]
2014 is in the books so it’s time to take a look back at our finances for the year. In a previous post, Our Finances Exposed we gave a synopsis of our finances for 2011-2013, and in Revealing Our Monthly Budget we gave more detail about what we spent from month-to-month in specific categories plus our budgeting philosophy. Check those out first if you haven’t read them before, as they will be helpful for context as we dive into our 2014 numbers here.
Why Share So Much?
Many people have asked us why we’re so open in sharing our numbers like this, especially since we’re rather private people. Talking about money is taboo in most of US society, so it’s no wonder that people are surprised. We share our personal financial information for the simple reason that we feel it is the best way to actually help people. I can share theories and principles until I’m blue in the face, but there’s so much more power in saying, “This is what I ACTUALLY do.” Then the influence is further compounded when I can show through the objective measure of our real-life numbers our actual (hopefully successful!) results. [Read more…]
This week I attended a Christian youth conference and one of the speakers challenged all the attendees to save at least $1 a week for the next year to contribute to a special missions project. Assuming there were about 4000 people attending, that multiplies out to be $208,000 for the year. If the average went up to $5 a week per person, that crowd would generate over $1 million dollars for missions! It’s really remarkable to think that such a small effort like socking away $1-5 a week could amount to such huge results, but it can. That’s exactly why we shouldn’t disrespect the crumbs! You can revisit a post about this very topic called The Power of the Crumbs where we discuss it. Moreover, I was thrilled to see such a practical appeal for giving systematically (since you know I’m all for that)! [Read more…]
Gas prices are the lowest they’ve been in recent memory. We fueled up for $2.01 a gallon two days before Christmas, and we have friends telling us that they saw it as low as $1.89! If the news reports are to be believed, this may not be the end of the decline either. The news also tells me that this sudden decrease in gas prices should tempt me to do the following:
- Spend more money buying junk I don’t need because it cost me less to get to the store.
- Spend more money by driving more for the holidays since it costs less per gallon to get there.
- Spend more money by foregoing the fuel-efficient vehicles and opt for the gas-guzzling SUVs again since gas is so cheap now.
- Spend more money by buying that big gas-guzzling SUV so I can fill it with more junk that I can bring to our family on our extra-long holiday road trip.
Yay! Cheap gas prices will stimulate the economy because people will have more money to spend! Whoopee! Let’s celebrate! Ugh…
If you feel a rant coming on, you’re right, because this kind of talk is pure nonsense. [Read more…]