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March 30, 2008


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There are obvious if unpalatable solutions for the sluggard and the overspender, but what's the solution for the working poor?

Choosing a better career.

Um, how would a middle-aged (or older) person change careers?

It's not as if a hamburger flipper can just sign up for an accounting job.

Be smart with the money you do earn and listen to people who have done well with their money.

Back in the day when I was in a serious financial hole, I had a really serious problem with avoidance. I would get bills in the mail and stuff them somewhere without looking at them. Sometimes I'd open it later in time to pay it, sometimes I wouldn't. I'd ALWAYS feel sick to my stomach when I'd open it.

I was particularly bad about avoiding my student loan statements. I was in graduate school and I would attend for a few quarters then take a quarter off at random, so I was constantly being faced with older student loans that they were ready for me to repay and having to request yet another deferment. I couldn't bear to actually look at the paperwork, and so repeatedly ran into trouble with the loans coming past due.

Nowadays, things aren't like this. I have gotten on a regular budget, pay all bills when they first come due and have plenty of cash flow to pay all my bills. It's a significant turnaround. Opening bills isn't scary anymore and I normally don't avoid it.

Yet occasionally I still have these moments of fear, usually right after I've gone and splurged on something, which usually means spending an unplanned $100 at the bookstore (which my budget can still absorb). Since I pay for everything on credit card and then pay the expense off right away, when I've been a little spendy I feel that drag again to just avoid looking at my balance. Just avoid it.....just avoid it......not real if you don't look at the balance....

It's like a little demon sitting on my shoulder. That's when I have to force myself to look at my balance and recommit to the program. It's sort of like AA for debtors.

NEVER stop tithing! We had some really tough times- including three (3) mortgages and no buyers or renters for our houses, a new job, a mission trip that required taking time off without pay (new job) and two small kids. We had gone through our savings. It was tough to write that tithe check. We did it anyway. God NEVER left us. My family never missed a meal or anything else. He provided. That is all there is to it. Where we had been faithful in the past of helping others out, He allowed others to help us out. Now that we have moved on, we have a whole new perspective on our finances and others. God is now allowing us to help others, again. What a privilege!

Be smart with the money you do earn and listen to people who have done well with their money.

How does this help the working poor change careers? I'm talking about people who have just enopugh money to pay their bills on time but nothing left over to save. Frugality won't make these people wealthy.

How about:

The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me" (Matthew 26:11)

It's the responsibility of those who can help them, to help and I'm not sure that help means telling them to "get a better career". We have to make sure no one is suffering because everyone is needed.

Anyone who has outstanding debt - is in Financial Bondage. America, as a nation, is in financial bondage. All 7 deadly signs are true of our nation and therefore we are all responsible to our nations debtors. The National Debt Clock,, shows that each individual owns 31 thousand dollars.

Its not enough to get yourself out of financial bondage. We need to get our families, neighbors, friends and government out of debt. Financial bondage is like a plage and its to going to be very hard to get rid of. Most American's are still living in la-la land, planning their next vacation or the purchase of their next SUV. This recession is real and has the potential to become a global recession or even a depression. God help us.

As an athiest, NOT tithing has actually brought me out of financial bondage. By not spending 10% on the church, I was able to invest that money in addition to the other 20% I was investing. Now I am worth $5 mil!!

So my favorite troll, 'minimum wage' wrote this : "

Be smart with the money you do earn and listen to people who have done well with their money.

How does this help the working poor change careers? I'm talking about people who have just enopugh money to pay their bills on time but nothing left over to save. Frugality won't make these people wealthy.

Why should a goal be to be wealthy? This post is talking about the seven deadly signs of financial bondage. The working poor do not need to be in financial bondage. They can still live debt free and need to adjust their expenses accordingly. If they are that bad off that they cannot eat within their means (and there are plenty of people who are able to live at the poverty level or below, some who even make more but choose to live that way). So if you define wealthy as having more money than you require to live, then the working poor may have a tougher time reaching that level.

I notice you post a lot on here with negative one or two line comments. I would like to hear some of your suggestions. Maybe FMF can give you a guest post one day? You seem to complain and whine about the working poor not living according to some standard that you have setup for them to want to live to.

I do agree that charity is important. I do believe that part of following the Biblical financial means helping those out who need help. I also believe that a Biblical financial principle is working for what you need. If someone is working to their ability and capacity and they do not make enough to live or live as well as they want they can also cut their expenses. If someone is still not able to make it and they have tried everything (from moving to an area where they can survive better or have a lower cost, to training for advanced career opportunities, etc.) and they still can't get ahead then they need to ask for help. And not just a handout designed to redistribute wealth but true help that gives them training required, helps them make better financial decisions, etc.

What do you see as the true answer? A true answer that both helps folks out and allows people to be an active part in helping themselves and provides positive self image at the same time?

Also a personal testimony.

After having just given a small check here and there to church but being in consumer debt and spending foolishly I finally decided to start living by Biblical principles.

I made a budget, but my tithe (10%) first and made it work. I had to cut corners but as time went on I realized I was actually saving more, paying down CC debt more and actively managing my finances much better. Now I have no consumer debt, am working on paying down the car loans and giving a lot more to my 401(k) then I have ever thought possible.

I am far better off without that 10%. By giving the 10% I think it helps me remember who is first and who owns the whole 100% of my income (God). By giving obedience with the first fruits of my labor to God, I am much more obedient with the rest and as such am able to provide more than the 10%, save for expenses and be like the ant, working hard and storing up food for winter (while not storing up treasures that I don't "need" and able to give offerings in addition to the tithe).

The Lord has blessed me in return, I feel. Now I am not giving expecting prosperity (financially). The reward I'll get in heaven far outweighs and reward I could get here, and I would rather receive my reward there than get unexpected money here. That being said, I have been blessed with unexpected raises, unexpected bonuses and small unexpected bonuses from medical insurance paying for something they originally said we were not qualified for (not elective, just a coverage dates issue)

I can honestly answer yes to at least 2 of the questions. I am in financial debt, but I am trying to lessen it and do away with it all together.

I work full time as an accounting clerk while I attend school part time, during the evening, to earn an Associates's degree in Accounting. I have also taken on a part time job that will be season through the summer, in order to pay down my debt. My husband handles the big things that need paying, as he was taught well about finances, and I was not. I am getting myself in over my head again, which I've done before, but I am willing to give up a little of my time now, in order to enjoy my time later, with a little extra cash flow and lower debt.

It is harder to changer careers when you have worked 30 years of your life or more already. However, you may not need to chagen careers, but simply take on something part time, for a short time, to earn some extra money to either pay down bills, pay them off, or to have funds to invest, or save.

If you want something bad enough, and you have faith, you will get your answers. There is one saying I always try to remember when praying for things:

If the request isn't right, God says "no".
If the time isn't right, God says "slow".
If you aren't right, god says "grow".
When the request is right, the time is right and you are right, God says "GO!"

One word, 3 syllables - ATTITUDE

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