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6 Big Time Money Wasters

Faith And Finance / Rob West
The Truth Network Radio
May 2, 2024 5:30 pm

6 Big Time Money Wasters

Faith And Finance / Rob West

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May 2, 2024 5:30 pm

Jesus told His followers to be wary of materialism—but we’re all guilty of it from time to time—wasting money on things we don’t really need. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will talk about 6 big time money wasters. Then he’ll answer your calls on various financial topics.

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and be in your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. Luke 12, 15.

I am Rob West. Jesus told his followers to be wary of materialism, but we're all guilty of it from time to time, wasting money on things we don't really need. I'll talk about six of them today, and then we'll take your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Okay, before we get into the specific money wasters, there's a general principle you should be aware of. If you're buying things that provide only a temporary sense of satisfaction, you're probably wasting money. Doesn't matter what it is, if it's not a necessity and you grow bored with it, it was a waste of money.

Check your closets for examples. Now, I'm not saying you should take a vow of poverty. The Lord wants us to enjoy the resources he's given us, but that must be tempered by the principle that we're merely stewards and we need to use his resources wisely. But of course, we live in a culture that promotes spending.

It's a big problem. One survey showed that the average adult spends around $1500 a month on non-essentials. No wonder so many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

Imagine what that kind of money would do if it were put into savings or invested for retirement. Alright, let's look at our six money wasters for today and what you can do about them. The first is one of the biggest, but also one of the easiest to fix, not preparing your own meals. It's okay to eat out occasionally, but too often it's just for convenience and not really necessary.

By some estimates, a restaurant prepared meal will cost you three times what you would pay for the same meal cooked at home. Money waster number two, upgrading your smartphone as soon as a new one comes out. For example, the iPhone 15 could cost you as much as $1600 or lock you into a long contract if your carrier provides it. Eventually a smartphone will have to be replaced, but the longer you delay upgrading, the more money you keep in your pocket. This year's red hot phone is next year's discount model. And you have to ask just how smart does your phone need to be?

Most of us don't use the features we have now. Okay, number three, clothing is another biggie. Wearing the latest fashion is expensive. By some estimates, the average American spends nearly $2000 a year on clothing and in a few months, whatever you buy will probably be out of fashion.

Clothes do wear out and need to be replaced, so you have to include that in your budget, but those spending decisions should be practical, not a way to boost your ego. Money waster number four, buying lottery tickets. The ads say you can't win if you don't play, but that's nonsense. You definitely will win if you don't play. You'll get to keep your money. You have better odds of being hit by lightning twice than winning the lottery. Plus you don't want to participate in something that disproportionately hurts the poor.

A bank rate report found that low income households spend as much as 13% of their income on lottery tickets, far more than higher income earners. Okay, number five, extended warranties, especially for automobiles. It's now a $40 billion a year industry, and it's really just an expensive form of insurance that you probably won't need. So instead of buying an extended warranty, do your homework to make sure you're buying a quality item to begin with.

Most will have an adequate manufacturers warranty anyway, and then make sure you have enough money in your emergency fund to cover any repairs you might need to make. And our number six big money waster is your cable or streaming package. If you're still paying for cable, it could be as much as $200 a month for internet and TV.

Do you really need 568 channels? More and more folks are dropping cable and satellite TV and using only streaming apps. But even there, you can waste a lot of money. A new survey by finance buzz showed that a quarter of households have at least three more streaming apps than they had two years ago, and one in 10 reported they have no idea how much they're spending on streaming. So keep track of what you're watching and if you're not getting your money's worth from an app, drop it.

That's one great thing about streaming apps, no service contract, drop it anytime you like. Okay, those are your six big time money wasters. I hope you find this helpful. And by the way, the best way to identify how you're doing in each one of these categories is to live on a spending plan and the FaithFi app can help with that.

You can download it on our website at All right, your calls are next 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and we'll be right back. Stick around. The opinions offered during this program represent the personal or professional opinions of the participants given for informational purposes only.

Any information provided is not intended to replace advice from a financial, medical, legal or other professional who understands your specific situation. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today on anything financial. The number to call is 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. We've got some lines open today and we'd love to dive into whatever you're considering in your financial life today. Give us a call. Let's begin today in Tennessee. Jane, you'll be our first caller. Go right ahead.

Hi, thank you for taking my call. My husband lived in Georgia for 19 years at a residence down there. We recently married in September of 2022. He has lived in Tennessee since. His plan is to sell the property in Georgia and pay off the remainder of the house here, which is about $58,000, to put a substantial amount more into some improvements here as well.

And the remainder he was looking at possibly putting into retirement. We're looking to see how we can avoid paying as much capital gains as possible, whether there's a time limit from when he moved here that he needs to get that property sold in Georgia, and then is there a time limit to invest the money that he would make off of that sale here? No. And so are you wondering about capital gains on the property? Yes. Okay.

Yeah. So the rule on that is if you take the date of the sale and go back five years from the date of the sale, as long as he lived in that, if he's the one on the deed, two out of the last five years, so five years back from the date of the sale, any two years of that period, then he would qualify for that capital gains exclusion of as a married filing as a single person up to $250,000 married filing joint up to $500,000 in gain that would not be subject to capital gains tax. And then anything beyond that would be and that's based on his taxable income as to which bracket he would fall in if the gain, not the selling price, but the gain is less than that 500 or 200, depending on whether he's joint or single filer, then there is no capital gain. And it doesn't matter what he does with the money after the sale that has nothing to do with it. Okay.

Okay. So he and there's no no time limit if he did fall into having a capital gain, is there a time limit that he has on any of that to invest it somewhere? And could he possibly, if there's a capital gain, invest the money into a retirement account? Or does that still come back against?

No, yeah. So the capital gains, what he does with it, the only time that it matters what happens after the sale is if he's doing a 1031 exchange where he's taking it out of an investment property and putting it into another investment property. And so you can essentially push the game down to a future sale by keeping it invested in a similar type property. And you've got a window of time, you got 45 days to identify the property and 180 days to close on it.

But that's not what's happening here. So there's nothing that relates to how he uses the money after the sale that affects capital gains in this case. So the only consideration is whether or not he's going to have a capital gain.

And that's going to come down to number one, how much gain does he have? And then number two, does he qualify for the exemption related to this being his primary residence for any of the two years prior to the date of the sale, and you that window of time goes back five years. And if that's the case, then he can set aside up to either 250 or 500,000 of the gain, and then pay gain on anything that goes above that. But if he qualifies for that, because he lived in it two out of the last five years prior to the sale, and he's under that threshold that's excluded, then he doesn't pay any capital gains.

And it has no bearing on what he does moving forward. Now, his ability to get that into a retirement plan moving forward just has to do with what retirement plan you're talking about. So you know, if it's an IRA, he can make a contribution.

If it's a 401k or a company sponsored plan, well, he could only put it in through salary deferral. But again, that has nothing to do with the sale of the property and whether or not he has capital gains on that sale. Does that make sense though, Jane? Yes, that does make sense. Now, he's lived here for the last 18 months. Is that a problem?

No. So long as you know, he if we take the date of the sale, go back five years, as long as he lived in that home that he's selling for two out of the last five now could be that for three years, he's lived somewhere else. But if you go back five years, the first two years, you know, he lived in that as his primary residence, he still qualifies. So you know, he's got a five year window from the date of the sale looking back.

And he's just has to be able to say I lived in that home for two out of these five years, regardless of what he's done the last 12, 18 or 24 months, if that makes sense. Okay, that's good. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Okay, you're very welcome. Hey, all the best to you. And we appreciate your call today.

Let's go to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hi, Anne, how can I help? Hello, good afternoon, Rob. I'm so very excited that I have the opportunity to ask you a very important question to me. Now, I've been studying the Bible for just a little over a year. And I do now have the understanding that with respect of tithing, I must recognize its holiness and return it to God. And Rob, I'm embarrassed to admit that I just started to tithe.

But I want to ensure that I'm doing it right. Who, according to the Bible, should be the recipient of my tithe? Hmm, yeah, it's a good question. So here's my perspective on that.

And first of all, I appreciate the diligence with which you're thinking through this. Clearly, you want to be found as a faithful steward of God's resources. I think that's the heart posture that God certainly wants. What we see in the New Testament, because we're under the law of Christ, not the law of Moses, we see giving that Jesus references many times that's, I think, sacrificial. We see that with his recognition, if you will, of the widow that gave out of her poverty, the widow's might. We see that we're to give proportionately. It says, to whom much is given, much is required. We see that we're to give freely and cheerfully. The Bible says we should give cheerfully, not under compulsion. And so we shouldn't do it out of a sense of obligation, but really, I believe, an overflow of our gratitude to God for what he's already provided for us before even the financial resources he's entrusted to us.

He's given us the free gift of eternal life through the shed blood of Jesus and his death and resurrection that, and when we place our trust in him, now we're then reconciled to the Father in a right relationship with him. Well, just out of gratitude for that, I think we should look to be giving to support the work of the Lord. And as we think about being a manager of what's God's, not 90% is ours and 10% is God's, 100% is God's. So with that understanding, I like the idea of using the guideline of the tithe from the Old Testament and referenced in the New on our increase as a starting point. And I think that's what it should be.

We should give beyond that, but using that as a starting point. Now, we see reference to the storehouse. The Israelites had a storehouse in the temple where they kept the tithes of food for the priests and Levites.

We see that the storehouse was part of God's provision for the priests who served in the temple and the Levites who had no land of their own in Deuteronomy. So I think the best representation of that today is our local church. And I would say at the end of all of this, that's where we ought to give our tithe and then look to give beyond that other places on the heart of God. Stay on the line. We'll talk a bit more. We'll be right back.

Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live. I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions today. I've got lines open.

Perhaps you have questions and we'll try to give you some answers. Give us a call. Eight hundred five two five seven thousand.

Again, that's eight hundred five two five seven thousand. You can call right now. Let's go to Miami, Florida. Hi, Norma. Thanks for calling. Go ahead. Hi, Rob. Thank you for taking my call.

I have two questions. One of the questions is that next year I'll be turning 65 and I want to stop working. But I was seeing that if I start collecting, I'm going to have a difference because my full income is a little bit higher. So I was thinking of getting money from the 401k for at least a year and get some of the money that I haven't saved. Or another question that I have is I also owe like one hundred and twenty thousand dollars on my mortgage. And I was thinking also getting some of that money and pay off my mortgage.

Yeah. What is the my husband 401k? So we'll be a little bit, you know, with the 401k that he has. OK, very good.

So a couple of questions. So you said when you retire, you will be 65. Is that right?

Right. OK. And what do you have in the 401k is if you combine yours plus your husband's whatever retirement accounts you have, what is the total? It's going to be around six hundred thousand. OK. And when you retire, what you're telling me is that as soon as you stop working, that without taking Social Security, what will your gap be and whatever income sources you have at that point without Social Security? That gap will be like fifteen hundred.

Fifteen hundred a month. OK. All right. And so you're saying where are you going to get that from? And you're you're saying I've really got three options. One is I could pay off the mortgage and that would eliminate the mortgage payment, which would help. Second option is you could pull fifteen hundred a month from your 401k. And the third option is you could take Social Security early. Are those the three options you're considering? Yes. Yes. OK. Got it. Now, what is the interest rate on that mortgage?

Three point seven five. OK. And will your husband still be working when you retire at that point? I think he's going to retire almost the same because his job is not work is not doing that well. So they think they're going to lay off a lot of people by the end of the year. So hopefully he's still working, but we don't know. So that's why I'm calling ahead of time.

Sure. And if he were not working, what would that fifteen hundred a month shortfall go up to at that point? I think it will be. I think it will be like two thousand dollars with him, you know, not working.

OK. Because I think a little bit more when I. OK, very good. Yeah, I mean, here's the thing. You know, I don't think you should pull the money out of the 401k to pay off the mortgage. You know, I like you all continuing to pay that off. I mean, if anything, I might throw a fourth option in the equation here. And that is you continuing to work a little bit longer and using that as an opportunity to accelerate the mortgage payoff out of your current cash flow, you know, beyond what you were expecting received because you're not retiring as early. Now, I realize there's a lot that goes into that decision. So that may not be an option you're either willing to consider or able to consider if you just feel like you can't do it physically anymore.

But, you know, that's certainly one option to put on the table. But let's say you do retire at 65. I don't like you pulling out one hundred twenty thousand out of the mortgage or excuse me, out of the 401k, because it's going to add it all to your taxable income. Number one and number two is you still have a very low interest rate and you should be able to do better than that in the market. And so you could just continue to pay off this mortgage over time and not create a lot of taxable income, especially in a year where you've you've got your income from your W-2 and that withdrawal from your 401k would be on top of that.

I mean, maybe if you did it in future years, that'd be better, but certainly not in a year where you were working. So in that case, I think the good news is that, you know, we generally say think about taking no more than four percent a year from your retirement accounts, because that way you'll ensure that, you know, you don't run out of money if it's invested properly. So with a properly diversified portfolio, maybe 60 percent bonds, 40 percent stocks, 70 percent bonds, 30 percent stocks, you know, something that's fairly conservative, you know, over a 10 or 20 year period, which is, you know, at least your time horizon at 65.

You really need to be thinking in terms of three decades or 30 years, just because, you know, if the Lord Terry's and you're in good health, you could certainly live into your 90s. Then the idea would be that, you know, you still have some stock exposure to create a growth component and then you have more stable investments through the bonds and you should be able to offset a four percent withdrawal rate. So you kind of over time maintain that 600,000 and you don't dip below that. The good news is that, you know, if you take four percent a year on 600,000, that's 24,000 a year.

It's almost exactly what you need, which is two thousand a month. So the idea would be, what if we did that just until you reached full retirement age, get your Social Security checkup a little bit higher, you know, by about eight percent a year, guaranteed. And then at that point, you know, flip from pulling it out of your 401k to now getting it from Social Security. And then from that point forward, you could just let the 401k continue to grow. Does that make sense, though? OK.

Yes. So right now, my 401k, I have it like really like a money market. I was afraid the market could crash or something. I haven't been invested.

I'm not making money. I don't want to risk it. I think I should risk it a little bit. Well, I think you need an advisor kind of to help you evaluate your options. And certainly once you retire, I would, because then you could roll it to an IRA.

Yeah. I mean, as somebody who's 60 years old, I mean, you really need to be you know, the rule of thumb says that you should have about 50 percent in stocks and 50 percent in bonds and fixed income. And I realize there's a lot of volatility that could come with that and uncertainty. But you've got a long time horizon here.

I mean, you could live another 40 years, 30 to 40 years. And so you need to invest accordingly. Let's talk a little bit more off the air. We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. Hey, we've still got half the program remaining and we've got some lines open. So you have a financial question today.

We'd love to hear from you. The number 800-525-7000. Again, that's 800-525-7000.

You can call right now before we head back to the phones. You know, Norma said something right there at the tail end that I think is important and that is she said, you know, I got a little scared and I went to money market because I just didn't think I could risk losing it. And I certainly get that.

I mean, that is real. And I think it does underscore, first of all, this idea that, you know what, when we look historically at the performance of the stock and bond market, so long as we're properly diversified, we don't have all of our eggs in one basket. So long as we're taking the long view, meaning we're not investing for a short term return and we stay invested, we're not trying to jump in and out. Then what wins over time, at least based on the historical trends, is being invested with the right allocation based on your age and risk tolerance.

Despite the Great Depression, despite the crash of 87, despite the dot com bubble burst in 99-2000, despite the financial crisis in 07-08, despite the pandemic, the market has recovered and moved to new highs. And as long as we're getting more conservative over time and therefore we've got the time horizon to let, let's say that stock portion recover and rely on the fixed income portion to provide stable income that we might pull from to support our lifestyle, then that's really the prudent strategy. But here's what that often requires. It often requires an advisor who can make those decisions for you, who's not making an emotional decision to get in or out of the market because it's not their money.

There's an arm's length relationship and they're able to take a more prudent rules based approach to buying and selling an asset allocation and not kind of at the whim of the financial media or, you know, something else that's driving an emotional decision. I realize that's not easy to do, but I think that's the role of a trusted advisor. And then on top of that, somebody who shares your values, who understands this is all God's, who understands that money can't be our aim, that God and making him our ultimate treasure is our focus.

Somebody who understands that we should give generously and maybe even do some hilarious, maybe a little bit scary giving when the Lord leads from time to time and we should define enough. And you know what? An advisor can ask hard questions and hold you accountable in a way that you can't do for yourself. So I think that's something to consider just as you're thinking about navigating, especially kind of a tumultuous time where there's a lot of uncertainty. There's a lot of fear in the system. We're in an election year. We've got geopolitical concerns. We've got inflation.

You know, we see the stock market volatility. I think that's where having a trusted, wise counselor alongside us is really key. Think about that. Maybe pray about that as you consider your own financial decisions. Give us a call if you have a question today.

Eight hundred five two five seven thousand. We'd love to hear from you. Let's go to Ohio. Hi, Penny. Go ahead.

Hi. Thank you for taking my call. We recently purchased a used vehicle just this past weekend.

It'll be a vehicle that our son will be using as he goes off to college. We purchased the extended warranty with it. And I just would like your thoughts on that, because I'm kind of like thinking maybe that wasn't a good move. And the finance person that we met with said we could always cancel that.

OK. Yeah. You know, what's interesting is if you look at Consumer Reports, you know, what they'll show is that most people don't benefit from extended warranties and that only about 30 percent of them would buy them again. Now, does that mean that you will be in the category that, you know, that doesn't can't take full advantage of it? Not necessarily. You may be in that category where you have a major problem and, you know, the fine print doesn't take away your ability to get that repair done.

And it's well worth every dollar you put into it. It's just based on the surveys I've read. That's not the norm that in most cases, you know, what folks find is they tend to be a little bit overpriced.

They don't get used as often as people think. And a lot of times the fine print kind of takes away what you think you're going to be getting either in part or in full. And so I think the other option is to say, OK, I'm just going to go ahead and put that same amount of money in my emergency fund every month, maybe a separate fund just for car repairs. And if I were to put that same amount in that account, let it grow with interest, you know, I may have to replenish it over time, but I may not.

And at least I've got that money available. So, you know, I think that's something to consider. You know, at the very least, I just do my due diligence and make sure you understand exactly what you're getting and what you're not getting. And then, you know, kind of read some reviews on it.

But, you know, I think you could go either way. This is a used car. Did you say is that right? Yes, it is. OK. And how old is it?

It's a 2016 Kia. OK. Yeah. And did you have it checked out by an independent mechanic? Yes. OK. Yeah.

He didn't find anything. Yeah. OK. And then do you know kind of what the the extended warranty on this used vehicle covers, you know, as you kind of dig down into the fine print? So we just purchased it to cover basically the powertrain. Yeah. Yeah. So we didn't buy like a full extended warranty.

Got it. OK. And and what did you spend on that? It came. Well, and that's why I'm calling because it once I got home and like reread the papers, I'm like, oh, well, that came out higher than I thought it was going to be.

So it came to twenty one hundred. OK. Yeah. You know, so I think, again, it's just a matter of kind of looking at what what are we actually getting and, you know, are we going to benefit from that?

And there's just no way of knowing. I think the key is, you know, what if you were to take that same amount of money and just kind of stick it aside and just continue to let that grow over time? But also, you can't place a price on just the peace of mind that's coming with, you know, let's say you had a transmission go out.

Well, first of all, is that covered by this? And if so, you know, and you had to take advantage of that, then obviously it would be well worth it. But I think the data says, at least from the studies I've read, that more often than not, you are not going to get the benefit back out from that. And so you just have to take that and decide kind of which you would prioritize.

Would you rather have the peace of mind that comes with spending that money or would you rather have that money in your pocket and just hang on to it and use it either for car repairs or something else at the end of the day? Does that make sense? It does.

It does. And I have one other question if I can ask, please. So the finance person also suggested to us, because I had mentioned to my husband while we were signing papers, that, you know, my intention is always to pay extra, not just the minimum monthly payment. So we paid off quicker. And the finance person heard me say that and he said, you should set that money aside for now because in a few months the interest rates will drop and then you can come back and refinance your loan.

Yeah, got it. All right, let's do this. I've got to take a quick break, but when we come back, I'd love to tackle that. And we'll talk about what that looks like in terms of your possibility of refinancing versus setting that money aside and how you should think about that.

It's a great question, Penny. More to come on Faith and Finance Live in our final segment. Stay with us. We'll be right back. Great to have you with us today on Faith and Finance Live.

I'm Rob West. Here in our final segment, we're taking your calls and questions today. Before the break, we were talking to Penny in Ohio about extended warranties. But Penny had a second question and that is that she and her husband just bought a used vehicle and they got a rate consistent with today's rates. And she was wanting to add some extra to the payment on a monthly basis directly to principal to try to get that loan down. And the finance person at the dealership said, I wouldn't do that because you can refinance this when rates go down.

I think the key here, Penny, is those things are not mutually exclusive in the sense that if you've got the ability, you've already got your emergency fund in place and you know, you're contributing to your retirement plan, you're giving at the level you're comfortable with and you've got some surplus. I like the idea of you paying this down. I mean, your your interest rates, what, like seven or eight percent, maybe more? Yeah, it's nine point five, nine.

OK, nine point five. So, you know, as soon as you pay down the principal, even if you're going to finance it down the road, that's now interest you're saving because the principal on a simple interest auto loan, it's the outstanding principal balance multiplied by the daily interest rate, which is your interest rate divided by three hundred sixty five to calculate your interest payment. And so essentially you pay interest based on the how much principal you still owe and the number of days that you owe it. So by reducing that principal, you're immediately saving interest, regardless of whether or not two years down the road, you're now going to replace that nine and a half percent loan with a six percent loan and then ride that out for the rest of the loan and end up saving several thousand dollars.

I think that may, in fact, be a very real possibility. And I would make sure you're saving at least two to three percent before you do it. But in the meantime, why not pay it down and just reduce the amount of of principal you still owe and therefore eliminate extra interest that's being accrued in the meantime?

Does that make sense? OK, so go ahead and start the monthly payment start next month, obviously, to pay extra, but then also look into refinancing when interest rates drop. Exactly. And I would look to save at least two points on it before you did it. And in the meantime, I think there's a it makes a lot of sense for you to be reducing that principal because, you know, you pay prints, you pay interest based on how much principal you still owe. And so if you can get rid of some of the principal, you're going to pay less interest while you're waiting to refinance when rates come down.

OK, OK, perfect. Now, here's the only thing I would throw out is be careful when you refinance. Let's try not to extend the term because you may end up, number one, getting a lower payment. Now, if you're going to continue making the same payment regardless, that's fine. That will help you. But let's not push the term out where, you know, we got a five year loan and then we pay out of two years and refinance and we get another five years.

So let's keep bringing that term down consistent with what's remaining to take full advantage of that drop in interest rate. Does that make sense? It does.

It does. OK. And so is there is there a fee when you refinance? Like, is there a fee involved in the refinance? Like when you refinance a mortgage, you can and you may end up playing closing costs again. Is there an expense to refinancing an auto loan? There is.

Yes. So, you know, there I mean, it just depends on the lender you're working with. A lot of times they'll charge an application fee. And so there are some fees associated with it. It's not going to be like a refinancing a mortgage, but it is worth shopping around and just understanding what are those fees before you make the decision, because it's not the interest rate alone.

You know, you are going to have potentially some fees and you just need to be aware of those and factor them into the equation to make sure that it is, in fact, going to save you money in the long run. OK, got it. OK. OK. Yeah. Thank you so much. You're welcome. I'm a new listener to your show and I have learned so much in just a few months and I am so appreciative. I'm so glad to hear that. Thanks for saying that, Penny. And call any time. May the Lord bless you. Let's go to Orlando. Caroline, you've been waiting patiently.

Go ahead. Yes, I was telling her earlier, my husband died two years ago. We married young. I was 18 when I was when I first married him and he was 24. So we were young and we was married for 42, 42, 42 years.

It would have been 40 to 40 fold now. Well, he died two years. He died two years ago.

Yes. And my my my and I'm disabled. I'm disabled.

And plus, I get some of his Social Security, you know, as his wife. But I wanted to know. I don't mind being tired now because we've been tired for 40 years. So I'm not trying to get out of it. And I do pay time now. But some people say I'm not struggling to pay my bills. But my medicine is out. I'm on insulin. I'm on I'm on a lot of different medication, about five different medications for my blood pressure. But I'm just on a lot of medication. And and I was talking to my sister.

She she's she's a person that's helping me out. She said something about a doughnut hole because my insulin is so high. She said you could but she was just telling me, you know, do than it don't. And I got kind of nervous.

And I heard the caller before me asking you about time. But see, I don't work. Some people tell me you're supposed to tap out of your disability.

And some people say you don't suppose to tap out of your disability. And I don't I don't know. I want to do right.

That's why I'm asking. Well, Caroline, I really appreciate that. And I'm so sorry to hear of your husband's passing. Obviously, you have honored the Lord with how you've managed his money for a long, long time. And ultimately, how you decide to give unto the Lord is between you and the Lord. Remember, God doesn't need your money.

It all belongs to him. I think we should be givers. And we clearly see that in the Old and New Testament that, you know, we should not allow God's provision to stop with us, but we should give proportionately to what God has entrusted to us back to his kingdom, starting with the local church. You know, it is a little more challenging with the tithe. You know, it's simpler when we're, you know, we receive an inheritance or a gift or a salary from a work from our job because we know absolutely that's all our increase. With Social Security, it's a little different because you paid a portion of what's being sent to you every month.

You paid in. And if you were tithing all along the way for 40 years on your gross income, then you've already tithed on that money and the government's just returning it back to you. Now, they're returning more to you proportionately than you paid in, in the sense that, you know, part of it was paid in by your employer because you if you were a W-2 employer, your husband was, then half of that that was paid into FICA for Social Security came from the employer. Half comes from you, the employee. And so they paid half of it. And then there's some growth component to what's in there, because if you live a long time, they're probably, you know, there's a good chance they're going to pay you back more than you paid in.

And that's just because they took it and invested it. So, you know, ultimately that's between you and the Lord. I think I would pray about that and just establish your own conviction. You can't outgive God a simple way is just to say, listen, everything I receive is a gracious gift from the Lord. And so I'm just going to continue to tithe on this money as I receive it and just say, Lord, thank you for your provision. Another approach is to say, listen, a portion of this, I've really already, you know, given unto the Lord as I received it and now I'm getting it back. And so maybe you say, listen, I'm going to treat half of this Social Security check as money that's being returned to me and therefore I've already tithed on it.

And the other half I'm going to see is as part of my increase, because I realize a portion of it came from the employer and a portion of it, you know, Social Security is invested and you know, that's part of the increase. And so I'm going to kind of tithe on half of it. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here. I think it really is ultimately just something I would ask you to pray about. Maybe over a couple of weeks time, ask the Lord, Lord, what should I do here? And then just establish your own conviction on it and then give generously. Does that make sense? Yes. And I will tell you this right here, because I am a tither in the church that I go to.

It's a small church. And I was going to, I wanted to do, make sure I'm doing right. But if I pulled back, because like I said, my medicine is really expensive. I mean, I bought a house after my husband passed, but everything just went up, bam, bam, bam. My insurance went from $2,500 a year to $5,000. I had no accident.

I'm 65 years old. It just seemed like everything just turned around for me. And I know that's a trick of the enemy now, but God has always taken care of us. We never, ever, never miss paying our tithes. Me and my husband together when he was living, we paid over $2,000 a month because he made good money. He worked at a prospect mine. He made good money.

Yes. So we don't mind doing it. Well, I completely understand that. And I would just say that's how God's economy works. We know God is faithful.

You know, crank it through your calculator. It doesn't make sense. And yet we know that, you know, we're to give unto the Lord. And God is our provider, not the U.S. government, not your employer. No one else is your provider other than the Lord.

That's clear in scripture. And I think your ability to continue to give faithfully and recognize that God will continue to provide for your needs is an opportunity we have to trust the Lord, to show our gratitude for what he's done for us, and also just to be a part of his activity through your small local congregation and to other things that you're giving to either through your church or outside of your church. So again, I don't think you can outgive God. And I would just say that it sounds like to me you would like to continue to give at the level you have been. And I would say if that's the case, then go for it. But I would say if you have needs beyond, you know, what you can cover right now, because you're right, it's medications up and car insurance premiums are up and it seems like everything's up and you're living on a fixed income and a portion of this income you're receiving is Social Security that you've already tithed on. Well, I think that's between you and the Lord. If you were decided to say, you know what, I need to cut back because, you know, I just can't make it all work. So I would just say, Caroline, ask the Lord what he would have you to do and then follow his leading.

And we'll pray that the Lord gives you some wisdom in that. Thanks for calling today. Carol, Susan, let's see if we can get you on tomorrow. Faith and Finance Live's a partnership between Moody Radio and FaithFi. Thank you to Lynn, Tahira, Amy and Jim. We'll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-02 18:22:13 / 2024-05-02 18:38:52 / 17

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