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Fasting for a Financially Fit Future (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2021 6:00 am

Fasting for a Financially Fit Future (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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October 11, 2021 6:00 am

In a discussion based on her book "The 21-Day Financial Fast," Michelle Singletary offers expert guidance for managing your money wisely so that you'll experience financial freedom and peace. (Part 1 of 2)

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I think initially, they have to have a plan so I would think it index cards social sample get index card and write down your number one financial quote doesn't matter if you have enough money to even think you but I have enough this write down medical.

It could be to pass my house before I retire is semi-key is the college butchered save enough for one months emergency and invited on the card and let that be the beginning of saving for you. Michelle Singletary is a personal finance columnist for the Washington Post and she has a good word of advice for the person whose living paycheck to paycheck. While it sounds simple doesn't it. Michelle Singletary has some great insights for you even if you think I can't get there show up are ways you can on today's episode of Focus on the Family your hostess focus presidents and author Jim Daly I'm John Fuller and Jim for so many families and so many individuals can sure feel like the money comes in and the money goes right back out.

What does especially with inflation. Sometimes I'm shocked when I'm paying the bills, car insurance, medical bills and gas bills of the cost. Just go on and on.

Right. And those things keep going up. It's hard to keep up with it and whether you have a lot of money or little. It's a huge point of stress. Conflicts about money are one of the top contributors to marital strife and maybe will uncover what's behind that stress today and as I said I Michelle Singletary writes for the Washington Post. She's written a number of books including the 21 day financial fast and we do have copies of that here at the ministry. The details are in the episode notes. Let's go ahead and jump into the conversation with Michelle on today's episode of Focus on the Family. What Michelle and they welcome you to focus on thinking I'm on it on my goodness, I'm so happy you working time at the Washington Post creating that column to help people with their money issues. What something that you see in that position working with a broad spectrum of people what they say is causing them heartache.

I think two major things. Their inability to say in their debt load and it's just Wayne so happily on folks that they don't see a way out and they just they do they just know their hands up because they can't save enough and then they can save enough because they have so much to know where you and I I mean that sincerely are you saying that you look at $130 energy bill per month and you're looking at a couple hundred dollars auto insurance and you're trying to pay your rent which varies around the country. I get that. But even here in Colorado Springs. I mean your plan maybe 1400 to rent an apartment.

Those are big expenses. How do you get ahead when you're again barely making it. I mean it's like to bring an end of 3000 a month and your spending 3000 a month on those essential site using analogy church. We have all to call everything and not the people sit there and they say to themselves, I'm not ready to go. I'm not good enough to go and and they they delay and it's the same thing with the money people think. I just can't do it and absolutely the bills are high. The rent is high energy is high but you can't wait till you're ready to do it just like you can't wait ready to accept Christ. So you have to just leave out there and what does that mean it means making different choices. It may mean that you can't live in that apartment by yourself.

It may mean that you can't handle state for college. They have to go in-state and stay on campus, so you know that you gotta make better choices. Just like when you choose to accept what you gotta make better choices which come perfect in sustaining we can remove that from people that I can't spirit you gotta get rid of that I can't spare you will be able to do you think it's fair to say that people live in categories. I hate to say that but when you're, you know, just making enough to pay the bills and then there's those that have a little more discretionary income in their making. Perhaps poor choices and then even you are so funny when you talk to financial experts. I'm sure you're right in there as a financial expert to talk to people that make what seemed like quite a bit of money maybe six figures hundred thousand maybe hundred 50,000. They seem to be struggling to yeah bed is struggling.

How does that happen. I know some making $50,000 year would look at somebody making 150,000 that say if I had that I would be fine. You talk to those that have undergone squeezed how to say the more you make the more you spend, and if you remember all of us. We started out our first job. We thought goodness and start making my many, what did you start doing you elevate your standard of living, so that you started to live up to what you make it. I was my grandmother called me mama, my mama raised by my grandmother. We call big Momma is funny thing is, she was a big woman in all but big in my eyes and she made minimum weight and she took in final, but that was five grandchildren. She took and I was one of the five and she made what we would consider life and yet my grandmother was able to save and pay offer cause early and when she retired. Her home was paid off.

And so when I look at her and I think all she could do it back in the 40s. My grandmother passed away in the early 90s so when I talk and when you know bread was no five cents and I just look at her as the example because she never elevated herself up to where her salary was on and so you could be making $20,000 and still find something to say and you can be making $200,000 and you absolutely should be finding something to say and I work with people at all income levels. And it does astound me that people making six figures. I know making 20 or $30,000 when some of those big decisions they make dinner ends up costing them a lot by your house is bigger cars in that trap. How if something falls apart like their job really in trouble. I do want to push a little bit Michelle with big mama. I love it is so fun in your book the 21 day financial fast you reference though kind of the residue of living and growing up in big mama's house because she was very thrifty and it made you if I'm saying it correctly fearful of spending and being poor. Talk about that and how you manage that you know I always describe my grandmother is a cross between a drill sergeant and a guardian angel. And so the drill sergeant and her taught me how to handle money. Amazingly, so I say that my grandmother told a penny and make the Lincoln screen drill sergeant angel part of her when she showered down on me, though, however, was to be afraid.

She was great money manager. She was afraid of something happening when you die level, losing your job is stating because you know you don't share savings, but maybe not enough to raise five grandchildren still me a fear fear spending and so even though I made as I make more money cannot grant money out of my hands. I'm standing in fact there shot down the CFO because if it was left up to me. Anything we would not be money well but you know really to learn because I know some folks out there who are good stewards over their money to learn that it's okay if you have all your financial ducks in a row which I do. It's okay that when it comes time for your 15-year-old car still run another car you know it's okay to feel good about my 055 more years and have jokes to break and that's why I wrote the book and my yoke with fear. You know I always had this little bag lady syndrome that I did up to the Bagley particle big mama I would never be that woman, but I was was fearful so for me I had to learn to be okay with the wealth that I've accumulated through the grace of God and so that's my other folks have different yokes is something I think that's a great problem to have, but to be miserly and I'm miserly but I always fight against that, and so that's the thing that I challenge myself to make sure I'm in my house and I very generous and we tie and so forth. But you know when I first started and I do.

And so that's what I've been struggling with struggle. Let me ask you this before I do get there to wonder about that, but no when you're coming from really tight resources.

That was my mom. She was a single-parent mom after she and my dad divorced.

We lived in some bad neighborhoods.

I went to third grade in Compton, my point in saying all that that was just whether you're coming from.

I poor white community of African-American community. Poor Latino community.

It doesn't race doesn't matter. I experienced that these things these principles are important to embrace but talk about the distinction sometimes we feel the load is too much and we look for reasons as to why maybe opportunity isn't quite the same for everybody. I don't mind talking about that too but talk about just the idea of the poor and what we need to be thinking about you know that you asked that question because whenever I speak there's always someone who will stand up challenging me. Well, you know there's a lot of poor people.

So how can you tell him to save money will just tell them as an alternative because no matter what you are.

You gotta figure out a way to live with it and that means now had different messages when I try to help them get a better education and better scalability about it. Like Paul said, learn to live when I don't have a lot and when I have a lot in that message resonates. Whether you are poor or wealthy. And that's the message I try to get out the post to be poor it's like to actually be hungry and so I know what they're going through with it.

But I also know that I had a grandmother who had a minimum wage job in children. She did not take welfare and still was able to save and feed us that maybe we enough for second right so either you know, I know that I know abundance, but she always had little on a table and close enough backs. May we choose that we had a parachute and now that I'm living better. I don't talk from the advantage of someone who grew up with a silver spoon and so it's funny because whenever I talk to people like I like the poster child for every possible demographic.

I'm African-American I'm woman I married. I grew up poor and wealthy. You know my son has autism, so I know what it's like to live with a disability. I had a disability. I had to help my grandmother in her later years that she was dying, I've been a caretaker because my brother had my my my brothers had epilepsy, so I had to take care of him, both physically and financially.

When I graduate from college. My grandmother turned over the care of him to me and I had to take care of him until he passed away his early 30s from a massive seizure cross possible you know demographic is so I completely understand one sentence I and so I think the message has to be both personal responsibility but also compassion while they are helping themselves. We need to put things in place to help and I speak to middle income and upper income because you know if you're wealthy, you need to be getting back to me. The families in this country who are doing well for themselves, but I use the example of Joseph not Jesus father Joseph and Jess's who say you we thought of that story is a financial story. People think of it as you know, living your dream and following got started because not say on the time of plenty. His father would've told his brothers that he did while you go get it because we be back here. Save time when he did, they wouldn't of been reunited story for yourself which have more you need to safely just not just for your family but your extended family for your community and for the world. I love you that right there you just said so much that is worth talking more deeply about we do get this out of balance. Don't we would tend to lean in one direction or the other direction and then increase political battles when it doesn't really need to be there.

I like that idea of maintaining generosity while teaching self-control and responsibility in those things Michelle Singletary are just today and Focus on the Family with her book the 21 day financial fast.

I think we've set it up.

Now where did you connect with this idea about fasting and applying it to your money. How well my church and I belong to First Baptist Church of Maryland in the passage John Caton can see you wonderful and so a lot of the ministries that I try to begin the you do the Daniel fast and for those not familiar with the data fast. You basically fast from meats and sweets and artificial anything and just fruits and vegetables is a healthy way fast you looking to God you praying we centering yourself and you getting yokes and things that you have things that tug on you like that you should give it up so every year we did get your way through stagnant about how much I was thinking about how much I was thinking you know what this is really healthier and I'm okay and I was joking about you know and it's right and that once I came off the fast. I wanted to be sure to keep the focus on vegetables and healthy eating and wonder if something similar with people and I had them from unnecessary spending and credit so that you completely shut it down because when you shut something down, you start to really think about what you been doing with your life. In one case of the sloop and always unconsciously thinking about spending and not even realizing it, which is consciously and somewhere get coffee or getting a Bono getting ship sort and I were running the stuff is that we don't think the pack stuff healthy. We just going to fast ration we can think about what this is costing us 21 days shut down all of that most of joking old. I pay my rent stuff and crazy inventor fast what you pay your bill. You will get your stuff on everything. What you don't do is unnecessary spending and restores because lots of issues overspent at the grocery store so you have to have a tight budget and you can only use Because the cash because people think the new cast people think, but the card is the same as cash because thank there studies that show that when you use plastic debit or credit you spend more than if you had cancer so most of us take multiple runs on a week and all those runs mostly to fill your milk fast was right down the milk and some eggs and some veggies and ice cream.

Products like you, you lose you three things because you got because you are you can overspent and I want to get with limitations limitations limitations limitations and so obviously to get you started. Think about that easy I could do differently when it is about day three getting emails of people like crazy because we just weeks so we'll talk about how much she was spending which is a expensive habit. I was spending enough on lunch thing. Most financial experts will say expensive coffee cut out that you'll save millions which is the math doesn't work any of that is the difference with me, you decide what is important for your budget and getting expensive nicely brew coffee in the morning is what you like and it will keep you fetal mice from slapping your coworkers because that copy but you can't get the coffee or lunch at bile the close by the cards and you can do it all go broke because you got limits on the fast help to shut we shut down everything when it comes time to reboot. You have now figured out what really matters to you really like that coffee. But you know what I can make my lunch. That's what the fast that some trade-offs and then you are going and I want to go as I want take you back to something so my mind is right there with limiting the amount of cash you take to the grocery store I think is what you're implying. I never thought about that because I just young guys and women to purses and wallets we have plastic we got a given cash. We got in there but if I said to myself I just need these four things and then take just that amount of cash roughly, calculated four bucks for milk. Whatever else. Just put that much cash. Don't spin the credit card that does give you the discipline. Absolutely, that's exactly what I'm talking about.

And when I think these days you take that day that we take and the thing is we get rid of this we think about it now.

They set up credit and plastic debit. It's so easy, that member today myself to put out the machine to put the cart and walked past machines with your kids. Lastly card with not done without thought, because they have people who study how to reduce the amount of time it takes for you to pay.

So if it's really quick.

You making a cancellation in your mind expensive cash for cars must be driving for focus. Focus is relatively cheap because if you had to lay out all that money you know just a big screen TVs big screen TV for 2000, maybe a nice one 3000 store and hand out those hundred dollar bills. About five dollars you thinking really need this TV and saying don't get the big screen TV. I'm just saying we need to think about how much we are spending before we spend it, let me ask you this in with the 2030 somethings is more of a problem because they're more inclined to use technology to pay their bills.

Sometimes my kids will laugh at me that I'm writing a check and you don't have to write a check that the other day we were to deposit a check at the bank and said it was one of those young women talking to an older woman moment when you know you can just take a photo of the check and deposit straight through us with a photo from your house like I felt like I was so really do most people do it now that does prove the point. There's so much technology 2030 somethings or so into it doesn't reduce their ability to say no.

Are you seeing more of the need for financial counseling within that community reps and older communities that did it the old-fashioned way, you know, honestly, now I see financial literacy and inability money from people were 15 to people who are hundred I mean like maybe 90 counseling now. I think it's not the age it's society. And so I see young folks who will go with their money.

I see with them.

I see middle-age folks who are awful with their money and with the money. I've seen it across the board and my challenge is to get rid of those messages that they have, to overspent what what I'd like to do is come back next time you talk about an acronym pay and I want to start next time with that but tell us now what pay means.

So try to do is build and things that help people doing the fast and so you want to start out by praying about what you want times we think we want something and we really aren't doing what it takes to get that enzyme know every beginning is usually one chapter a day is like the beginning of each day in each chapter, I want you to pray and asked what is God's will for your life when it comes to your finances and then at the end of every chapter.

Every day there is an assignment that I give you because Christian Lord, make away while I don't want to talk about the whole armor of God when it says when you've done that you can write and then you stand see people forget that first part when you done all that you can then you stay he's got your back but something that you have to dig and so you got so for example I think they said you actually have to do actually have no problems.

It talks about how they work all year around the store outlasted by the grasshopper everybody have a good old time on somebody I mix it with the same thing you gotta pray you have to act and then he'll need to do thing about that yielding is lots of times when I go to forms. People talk about. For example, as it should be and I believe not everybody because God's will is for you to be a teacher will strive to be a counselor you got to figure out where you're supposed to be money accordingly for my daughter. I was to be a teacher. She wants to be education. So what's the first thing people say was almost busy charging you for the but you know what the people who make the biggest difference in my life. Educators discourage my child from being an educator because she may not earn six figures went on to teach my child to pray and sing yield so that she will have enough money for what she was to do in life is all about good Michelle Singletary author the book the 21 day financial fast. Let's pick it up next time. I've got some more hopefully hard questions and sure Caroline is fun and engaging conversation Michelle Singletary and I do hope you been inspired by her idea of a 21 day financial fast to get your money situation in order get a copy of that book by Michelle and follow the outline on how to do that, you'll find the daily challenges and Journal prompts are a great roadmap for saving and getting out of debt and making your financial goals a reality. Get your copy of that book. The 21 day financial fast a week of the details in the episode notes and Michelle talked about generosity and the importance of giving to your local church and other important organizations such trust. Focus on the Family is one of those organizations that you consider worthy of your support.

Every day we come into work ready to come alongside millions of folks worldwide like you who are looking for biblical trusted advice and we need your help to continue in that mission all invite you today to make a difference in the lives of others by joining or supporting and you can donate today when you call it hundred 80 family 800-232-6459 or will have a link in the episode's and when you contribute a gift of any amount they will send a copy of the 21 day financial fast is our way of saying thanks for being a part of on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire Focus on the Family staff.

Thanks for joining us today. I'm John Fuller inviting you back again help you and your family thrive in Christ and I knew my marriage was falling apart.

I just did not affix.

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