Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, you are serving the Lord Christ.
I am Rob West. That verse in Colossians 3 should remind us to be grateful every day that we have a job and the ability to earn a living, because both are blessings from God. I'll talk about that verse today, then it's on to your calls at 800. 525-7000. That's 800.
525-7000. This is MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Surveys show that a majority of Americans are consistently unhappy with their jobs. We've also talked recently about the great resignation. More workers are leaving their jobs than ever before, hoping to find something better.
Now, there's nothing wrong with that. We should always be trying to improve our job skills and take on new challenges. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to earn more, as long as just having more money isn't the real goal. And along the way, we have to remain grateful for the job we have. We often forget that God gave us our jobs in the first place.
Once we grasp that, it becomes the key to changing our whole attitude about the workplace. The Bible clearly shows that God ordained work, even before the fall. In the very first chapter of Genesis, He commands Adam and Eve, Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish in the sea, and the birds in the sky, and over every living creature that moves on the ground. And even after the fall, God gives us instructions about work. In Exodus 20, God says, Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. When you feel yourself wanting to grumble about work, remember that God isn't just some hard taskmaster ordering us to do work.
Rather, He's also our great provider. You might think your resume or work experience got you hired, but ultimately God provided your job. Not a single Adam moves in the universe without his sovereign direction, so we never want to be ungrateful for what the Lord has provided. And by the way, being grateful on the job provides an excellent opportunity to point others toward Christ. When everyone else is grumbling and you're going about your duties faithfully without gossiping about the boss or the workload, you're providing an excellent witness for Christ. Now, how do you rearrange your thinking if you're not happy on the job? Well, first, it's helpful to stop and think about what exactly you do on your job.
Look for the meaning in it, even if you think it's mundane. All honest work is honorable in God's eyes. It's easy to miss this, but the things you do on the job almost certainly make someone else's life better by providing a product or service. You're helping to solve someone else's problem and making their life better. That's certainly one reason why God ordained work, to make the world a better place. So take some satisfaction in that, just not the credit.
Psalm 29 says, ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name. You'll sometimes hear the expression managing expectations. It's something we should practice on the job. It means not promising others which you can't deliver, but it applies to our own thinking as well. Business by nature is competitive. Companies have to keep costs down so the final product or service is marketable. So don't expect your company to provide a Cadillac health plan, free daycare, and ping pong in the break room.
If you don't expect too much, you won't be disappointed. Keep this in mind too. If you're going around grumbling about problems all the time, you become one of them. Instead of grousing about problems, look for solutions instead. Look at every problem as an opportunity to improve things. Trying to come up with a solution gives you a chance to learn something and possibly become a more productive worker.
Suggest alternative ways to do things. Management might not act on your ideas, but at least the boss will know you're trying to help. Now, what if you're already doing those things and you know and act as though God is your true boss and you still don't feel satisfied with your job? Well, that certainly will happen at times and the Bible doesn't say you have to stay in the same job forever.
It could well be that God is leading you to something else. Just remember that changing jobs or careers can be stressful. You'll have a new boss, new co-workers, and usually new duties. And make no mistake, finding a new job won't help you if you carry the same negative thinking into it. So first put into practice the things we've been talking about and then with much thoughtful prayer and consideration, ask the Lord for guidance.
It could well be that he has a brand new opportunity for you and a new place where you can be a grateful worker. All right, your calls are next, 800-525-7000. You can call that number 24-7 on any financial topic. We'll look forward to hearing from you.
Here's the number again, 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and this is Money Wise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. We'll be right back.
Stay with us. Delighted to have you along with us today on Money Wise Live, where God owns it all, we're stewards and we want to apply the 2,300 verses we find in His Word to the financial decisions and choices we're dealing with today. The good news is God's Word is always right, always relevant.
It's never going to change. So we can apply those timeless principles and know that we're putting ourselves in a position to experience God's best. Now, does that mean we're going to be without any challenges along the way?
No, the apostle Paul said it clearly. There's going to be times of plenty. There's going to be times of want. We need to find contentment in all of it, accepting God's provision, living well within it, meaning living within our means. It doesn't mean we don't strive to improve our situation and earn more. That's fine.
But whatever provision God has provided today, are we living within that and being found faithful? Well, that's what all of us are wrestling with and trying to do each day. We want to help you do that here on this program. We've got some lines open.
We'd love to hear from you. The number is 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. Before we head to the phones, we had a call a moment ago from a caller who did not want to be on the air.
Let me just ask her question. She says, what is the best route to get out of debt? I have $35,000 in credit card debt. There was fraudulent charges on my credit card. And what I would say to the caller is, first, let's deal with the fraudulent charges. Obviously, if there are fraudulent charges, you should be able to dispute those charges and they should be removed.
One of the benefits of credit card is the liability is limited. So long as you identify those fraudulent charges in a timely manner and report them to the credit bureau, they will be removed and they will go after the fraudulent party. If these are appearing on your credit report, which by the way, if you've had some fraudulent charges, I would encourage you to pull a copy of your credit report from each of the three bureaus at annualcreditreport.com.
Despite the many websites that will offer you a credit report, that's the only one that's the government issued site and you absolutely get those credit reports free, annualcreditreport.com. When you pull them, see if the fraudulent information is appearing there. Of course, if it's not yours, you can dispute it. And according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you will, once disputed, you'll then wait for the credit reporting agency to either verify that they're accurate or when they can't, delete it. And that has to happen within 30 or 60 days.
So check that out. Now, with any debt that you're left with that is actually yours, there's a couple of approaches. Number one, if you want to handle it yourself, the balance is small, you're living on a budget, you've got margin, meaning excess over and above the bills, then you can snowball the debt. I would go pay the minimums on all of them, go smallest to largest balance, take every available extra dollar that you have beyond the minimum payments and all your bills and apply it to the single smallest balanced credit card. The great news is you'll get that one paid off quickly and then you can take that money and apply it to the next one.
The psychological boost that comes with knocking out that first account quickly will give you the motivation you need to keep going. Now, if this seems a bit out of reach, perhaps you have a bit more debt than you can handle on your own, I recommend debt management. ChristianCreditCounselors.org is our trusted source. They're wonderful folks.
They're believers. They'll come alongside you, get those interest rates reduced. And with one single monthly payment over the life of the payback, you'll pay the debt back 80% faster.
Again, ChristianCreditCounselors.org. All right, we've got some lines open. We're heading to the phones next. 800-525-7000 is the number to call.
We're going to start today in Fort Myers, Florida. Hi, June. Thank you for calling. How can I help you?
Yes, hi. I was calling because I wanted to know, my husband and I were on a one household income at the moment. And we would like, so that way I can be able to stay home and tend to the home. But we have the mortgage that we feel that we wouldn't really be able to pay the mortgage. And with the market booming, we're thinking about possibly selling the house to make a profit. And at least in that way, we can kind of assess accordingly as far as how we should move forward. So I wanted to know if you think that that was, like, what are your thoughts on that?
Yeah, it's a great question, June. I appreciate you giving me the background on that. My first question to you would be, are you a dual income family and you're moving to one income? So you're going to have a drop in income that you're trying to account for? No, we're actually, we are not a dual income at the moment. We were when we originally purchased the home, but that has changed since COVID.
And so we realize the advantage of that. Yes. All right. So you're trying to sustain yourself on one income, which means you're going to have to right size the budget. How much are you under water every month? So when you take all of your fixed and discretionary spending, you total it up, make the cuts where you can cut back, except for the home. What is your shortfall?
It's about it's about six to 700. Okay. All right. Now, do you have any savings, any emergency funds at all?
Or do you use those? Oh, we did. Up until today, we had an unexpected purchase that we had to make for our air conditioner. And we're just realizing that with things dwindling down, what are our what are what are the best options that we have before us?
Yeah, well, I'm glad you had that in the first place. At least it was able to cover this latest unexpected expense. But I agree, it's critical that we get this budget right size. So you all are falling behind each month now that the savings has been depleted. The only concern I have June is just where you would go from here. Obviously, you're going to pull, you know, quite a bit of equity out of the home. You've you're going to benefit from the increasing housing market.
The challenge is, where do you go next? And you know, rental prices are elevated right now. If that's your plan, you just got to have to look and see what would you be happy with that would fit your family in the right location with the right size and lifestyle that you're looking for, and then figure out exactly what that's going to cost you. You might be surprised at that that's even more, or at least the same than the current mortgage that you're paying.
So I just want to make sure you have a good plan as to where you'd go next. If you're looking to downsize and buy something, you know, and have either a smaller mortgage payment or something like that. Again, you just need to look and see what the cost of what you're looking for even something smaller is going to go for, and then make sure that you are in fact solving the problem because the last thing I'd want to do is you to, you know, sell the home, pull all this profit out, feel better because now your savings account is padded with all this home equity that you pulled out.
You go to rent, your budget's still upside down except a year or two from now. Now we've kind of run through that profit that we got out of the house and we still have the same issue which is we're living beyond our means. So talk to me about how you'd solve for all of that including your living situation and right sizing the budget. No, actually everything that you said is kind of what we've been discussing and so we're trying to, we're really prayerfully trying to just make a decision as far as what that's going to look like, but everything that you've mentioned is exactly what we need to do is prior to actually making the decision to sell the home is where do we go from here.
That's really where we're at right now. Well, I think that really is something you need to prayerfully and thoughtfully consider, June, before you sell this house because it's likely going to sell quick, but you need to have a plan and we need to make sure we're not treating the symptoms but we're actually treating the issue. So the question is, you know, based on the income that you have and your desire to stay home, which is great, you know, how do we build a budget that lives within that? That means we're covering all of our fixed expenses, we're covering our discretionary expenses, we're able to, you know, have some margin so we can prioritize rebuilding our emergency savings that we're giving regularly, that we're putting something in a way for retirement and we're not going to accumulate debt and we're not going to kind of run through all of this profit from the house.
So I think that's the place to go next, June, is to really do some hard work on that budget and then do some homework with regard to where you would go from here from a housing situation and figure out what those real numbers are so you can plug that into the budget to make sure it all works before you make the decision to sell the house. We'll ask the Lord to give you some wisdom on that as you move forward and our MoneyWise coaches would be happy to help as well. You can visit MoneyWiseLive.org to learn more. You know, this is a challenging situation and so much of our financial life, once we recognize that God owns it all, comes down to this big idea of living within our means.
It sounds simple, much harder to do, but the spending plan is your friend because if we can't make it work on paper, we're not going to make it work in real life. This is MoneyWise Live. We'll be right back. Welcome back to MoneyWise Live. Delighted to have you along with us today as we tackle your financial questions and apply biblical principles to what you're dealing with. We've got some lines open.
Perhaps one is for you. Here's the number, 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000. Give us a call right now, whether it's savings related, getting out of debt, perhaps you're dealing with that pesky credit score or saving for the future or maybe it's giving. Whatever's on your mind today again, 800-525-7000.
Let's head right back to the phones. Troy is in Lee's Summit, Missouri. Troy, how can I help you? Yeah, I have a question. I appreciate you guys and all you do.
Obviously, you're doing a great job. I know it's affected us a lot of ways, in good ways. I have about $45,000 I'd like to invest and I'm not quite ready to do another investment property. I was looking at the Treasury Direct website and it has an I savings bonds. It says they start up to April. It's seven point something percent. I haven't really read on them and I was on the road and I thought I'd just call you guys to see if I get a little bit more insight because some of that sounds almost too good to be true. I'm not sure how long that lasts and everything.
Yeah, very good. No, it's a great option and this is a great time to be looking at it. You'll have to leave the money in there for a while, but you're exactly right. The current rate is just over seven point one percent.
You are limited to $10,000 per calendar year and so you wouldn't be able to put the whole thing in. But this is a great option right now as we've seen inflation tick up. We may not see these bonds pay this forever, but at least for right now it's a great option for you to go ahead and get some extra yield. And I don't think this elevated inflation at least elevated beyond what we've been accustomed to at two percent annualized. I don't think that's going away. I think it's going to come down to more moderate levels.
We'll probably be back to a more of a three percent plus sustained rate I think over the next couple of years. But this would be a great option for you to get a bit more yield on this money. Obviously, it's backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government and you can do that at treasurydirect.gov.
So, Lee, excuse me, Troy, I think you're on the right track. Our friends at soundmindinvesting.org have done quite a bit of writing on the I-Bonds. So if you're looking for lots of details on kind of what are they and how should I go about them, how should I think about them, check that out. Again, soundmindinvesting.org.
If you just search for the word I-Bond, you can do some great reading on it. But I think this would be a great move for you with the money you have parked on the side. We appreciate your call today. Barrington, Illinois. Hi, Andrew. How can I help you? I hope I can stump you guys because you guys usually don't get stumped easily. But hopefully this is a hard question for you guys. But probably not. All right.
Hi, Faith and you. All right. So I bought a car three years ago. I put about 42,000 miles on it. I currently owe nothing on the vehicle. CarMax is offering me 100% of what I pay for it, tax, title, everything out the door.
So that was kind of enticing. So I started looking at new cars because I bought this car new three years ago. And with the current market the way it is, I would be adding about $8,000 into debt to buy the new vehicle. So seeing that I would be getting a brand new warranty, brand new car, brand new tires, which I haven't had to put new tires or do much maintenance on the other car, which direction should I go? Should I keep the car or should I add that $8,000 into debt and get a new car and kind of restart the life of a car? Yeah.
Yeah. Well, obviously we're in a really unique car buying environment right now. The average used car is up quite a bit in the last year, 15% plus over what they were previously.
And that's just because of the lack of inventory that's going on right now. In terms of CarMax, many of them are paying top dollar for these cars just because of what's going on in the marketplace. I mean, normally you would get trade in value, which you could typically do better than that with a private sale. But because of this unique environment right now, many of them are paying, again, top dollar, which is allowing you to essentially get out of this two year old car for exactly what you put into it. The question is, what are you going to do with it? And you're telling me that although you're debt free now, you're going to have to take on $8,000 in debt to kind of essentially replace this car.
And I would just ask why? If you've got a good quality car, I don't see a reason to take on that additional debt. I realize you're starting the warranty over, you're starting over in terms of the car, but you should be able to, cars these days, I mean, 100,000 miles is nothing.
We turned our last car in at 250,000 miles, and they run for a long time if it's a good quality car. So I guess my preference, Andrew, would be you just continue driving this car. And if you've got some money that you would have put toward that $8,000 in debt for a monthly payment, what if you start paying that toward yourself? So you begin to bank that money. And then when it is truly time to replace it down the road, it starts to give you problems. You've got some repairs creeping up on you.
Now you can sell it as an older model used car, get still something back out of it, but the money that you've saved allows you to buy that new car without taking on anything yet. And then you avoid that altogether. I've got just a few seconds left. What are your thoughts on that?
You crushed it. That was one thing. That was something two other people have said. You're the third person that gave me that same advice. I'm going to use it as a confirmation.
That's what I need to do then. I like it. Hey, thanks for absolutely, Andrew. Thanks for checking in with us.
All the best to you, my friend. Call us back anytime. This is Money Wise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Lines are open right now. 800-525-7000.
We'll be right back. Thanks for joining us today on Money Wise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Hey, just got a note on Facebook from Diana. She wants to offer some advice on the recommendation I made to be pulling your credit report regularly. She says we go to annualcreditreport.com and we pull one of the three bureaus every four months. And that ensures that we're just four months away from the next one because you get one a year at no cost. And so I think that's a good strategy. You want to stay on top of all three and perhaps by spacing them out like that, you'll ensure that if something's going to be on there that you didn't know about, that you need to dispute, you're only just a few months away from getting your next look.
Annualcreditreport.com. Take that advice and pull one every four months. I think that's a great suggestion. All right, heading back to the phones today to help you with your financial questions. By the way, I've got a spot for you.
We've got some lines open. The number to call is 800-525-7000. Eric is standing by today taking your calls as our call screener today. If you're lucky, you might even be able to talk to Amy Rios, our producer. 800-525-7000.
Patricia's in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, my hometown. Patricia, how can I help you? Hi, how are you? Good. Thank you.
I'm good. I wanted to know the best way for me to go back there to get a house. Should I rent to own or should I buy it?
Because I'm in a two bedroom and I'm going to pay in $1,250 and now they raised it to $1,394. So I'm tired of wasting my money like that, so I think my best option is to be in a home. But I don't know if you can come about it by rent to own or just by buying it or...
Yes. Well, if you can rent to own, I mean, that would be one option. A lot of times, those are confusing contracts, those rent to own agreements. There may be fees.
The timeline is a consideration. Are you willing to wait to become a homeowner? It can be a great way to slowly make some progress, but you just need to make sure that the seller is not making promises without any evidence that they won't follow through. You know, I think the key is you're sensing, Patricia, that you're kind of throwing money away, not building any equity by paying these rental payments, especially since rents have gone up so much along with the rising housing market. So given the supply constraints, the lack of inventory, we've seen the housing market up 22% last year.
And as a result of that, rents have followed. So I realize the strain that's putting on your budget and the frustration that you're not getting anything for it. The only problem is, if you take that frustration and buy a home too quickly, one that you can't afford, you'd make a bad situation worse by putting yourself in real financial, you know, potential hardship. So I would want to make sure you're ready to buy that house, meaning, number one, that you have at least 20% for a down payment. So if you're looking to spend $200,000, I would make sure you have at least $40,000 for a down payment, which may mean that you need to push the pause button, continue to rent as much as you'd like to buy, and save. I also want to make sure that that mortgage payment is no more than 25% of your take-home pay for principal interest, taxes, and insurance. That's going to ensure that you have plenty left over for the rest of your bills. There's plenty of mortgage calculators out there so you can figure out what that number is. And basically, it's going to be, you know, $50 for every $10,000 you're borrowing at current interest rates. So you're borrowing $100,000, that's $500. Now, that's just for the mortgage payment, then you got to add the taxes and the insurance. So I do your homework, check your budget, figure out what you can afford, and make sure you have that 20% down payment. If you don't, as much as you'd like to be a homeowner, Patricia, I would wait it out.
Perhaps the housing market will cool a bit, give you a bit more time to save, and make sure you go in when you're financially ready. I wouldn't want you to get yourself into a difficult spot. We appreciate your call today.
All the best to you in the days ahead. 800-525-7000. We've got some lines open. Pat is just north of Patricia.
She's in Sarasota. Pat, how can I help you? Yes, we were trying to think about downsizing. And we were told that if, when we sold our house, because of the equity we had in it, that when we sold it, we'd be having a capital gain tax.
And we were kind of concerned what we needed to do about that. Yeah, this was your primary residence, Pat? Yes, sir. All right. And have you been there two out of the last five years? Oh yes, sir.
We've been there over 10 years. Okay. Then you're not going to pay any capital gains unless you have more than $500,000 in profit, in gain. So you'd take your selling price minus your original purchase price minus any improvements you made to the property that increased the value that stays with the property. And whatever that number is, is essentially, for all intents and purposes, your profit. And if that number is less than a half a million dollars as a married couple filing jointly for your primary residence, you do not have any capital gains whatsoever.
Oh, okay. Because they told us like we paid $259,000 for the house. And we were told by a real estate person that we'd probably, at the price now, get over $500,000. So he had told us, well, if you sell it for that much, you're going to get taxed a lot of money when you sell it. No, homeowners are exempt, of course, thanks to the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. So no capital gains on the first $500,000 in profit as a married couple filing jointly.
That is profit, the excess over the cost basis, which is, you know, your selling price minus your purchasing price, purchase price and improvements. Okay. That's good news. Yes, it is. Yeah, you're buying lunch next time I'm in Sarasota because you just saved a lot of money. No, I'm just kidding. But we appreciate your call today. A Merry Christmas to you, Pat. Willoughby Hills, Ohio is where Cheryl is.
Cheryl, how can I help you? I just have a question about home equity loan versus a home equity loan. I mean, a home equity line of credit and a loan. I have a line of credit right now, which was my mother's, and she passed away six years ago. So I've been paying on it. And, you know, the monthly is low. It's $4.31 a month, and it's $70,000 I owe on it.
I went through, I called Fellowship Home Loans, and they told me that, you know, they can help me and we could do a loan on the line of credit. And the interest rate is going to be like 2.84, and I'm paying like 3.16 right now. And of course, the interest is going to go up. And I'm just concerned because my payments going to double because I'm going to have it paid off in 15 years.
So instead of 431, it's going to be closer than 900 because my insurance and my property tax is going to be included. Okay, so this is your only mortgage on this property? Or is this in addition to a first mortgage? No, this is the only mortgage, and the house is worth about $180,000.
And the balance on the HELOC is 42? Is $70,000. Oh, $70,000. My apologies. $70,000. Yeah. All right.
And would you refinance it to a new first mortgage, a conventional mortgage? I'm not sure how they're doing it. He sent me all the paperwork. I'm not sure what to even ask him. So what should I ask him?
Well, here's what I would be looking for. We have just a few seconds and we can talk more off the air. I'd be looking at refinancing this with a new first mortgage to get a fixed low rate, no longer variable. And let's do the amortization schedule, meaning figure out the payment that fits your budget where you can pay it off as quickly as possible.
But in this low rate environment, there's no reason to stick with a variable rate. You stay on the line. We'll talk a bit more off the air and I'll give you the finer details. We appreciate your call today. We're going to pause 800-525-7000 is the number to call. Lines are open and we'll be right back.
Welcome back to MoneyWise Live. I'm Rob West, your host. Delighted to have you along with us today. Let's head right back to the phones.
Emma is in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emma, thank you for calling. How can I help you? Hi, how are you today? I'm very well, thank you.
Glad to hear it. Go right ahead. I was actually calling because I needed some advice. I'm getting ready to turn 25 here in January and I'm in the point of my life where I'm about to buy a home. And I was wondering, like, where do I even start? Do I need to put a percentage down for a first time homeowner? Do I need to hire a realtor, possibly? Yeah, well, I think the first question is, are you ready to buy a house? So tell me what you're thinking in terms of, first of all, what have you saved for a down payment that's over and above your emergency fund? And then second, what, you know, can you afford in terms of a monthly payment? Yeah, so right now for the home, other than my emergency fund, I have about 10 grand saved for the home. And then right now for my apartment, I'm paying almost a grand.
My credit score is good enough, I believe, that I should be able to get a payment below that. So anything below $1,000 is ideal for me. Okay.
All right. And what would you be looking to spend? Have you looked around at the area you'd like to be in, the size place you'd want? What would you need to be able to spend to get that? Yeah, so I was, I'm in the price range, roughly about $160,000 to $190,000. That's what I've found kind of fits what I would prefer.
Okay, yeah. You know, I'd love for you to have, you know, more like $32,000, you know, upwards of $38,000 for the down payment, because I'd really love for you to go in with 20% equity. I realize that would require you to delay this purchase for a while.
That's going to ensure that, you know, you've got, you're never going to be upside down. You know, we're not in a situation where you're going to pay private mortgage insurance, which is an expense that doesn't benefit you in any way. And that would be my preference, number one. And then number two, I'd want to make sure, Emma, that the resulting mortgage payment is certainly better than, you know, where you're at right now, or at least the same, but no more than 25% of your take home pay.
So I kind of think long and hard about this. And if you're going to jump into this sooner than, you know, having 20% down, I would just understand the implications of that. Secondly, you know, it really all comes down to your budget. And I think right now, what you need to be looking to do is make sure you're living well within your means. That means that you've got a not only a spending plan, but a system in place to control the flow of money in terms of the priority use of your margin. That is, you know, whatever's left over after the bills are paid.
And hopefully there is something and will be even after this purchase, you want to make sure you're fully funded your emergency fund three to six months expenses, then I'd be looking if you have a retirement plan at work to get at least the matching portion if there is if any, up to 10 to 15% of your take home pay going into your retirement plan. And then look at other short term and medium term goals that you might have, you know, if you need to replace your car, you know, perhaps you're starting to fund your replacement savings account. If there's any other goals that you have, be looking at those as well.
So it really comes down to kind of stepping back, asking the Lord to give you a vision for where he's taking you, thinking about what are your goals short term and long term in light of your values, and then allocating your finances so you're living within your means. And then you can prioritize the use of your margin around those goals and some of the things that I mentioned, but give me your thoughts on that. I believe it or not, I've been praying to hear exactly what you said, because I've been in an internal debate, whether I wanted to wait or whether I wanted to, you know, jump the gun and kind of go for it. But I believe that, you know, having a 20% down payment and having that equity right off the bat will be definitely beneficial. So everything that you said definitely is where I was leaning towards. So I really do appreciate that.
Well, I'm delighted to hear that. And I think, you know, you can't go wrong, as frustrating as it is to think, really, I'm going to continue to pay rent, and I'm not building any equity, and I'd love to be a homeowner. The last thing you want to do is jump the gun and, you know, get into something too quickly when you're not ready financially, and then you pay the price for that down the road. So I don't think you can ever go wrong waiting, going slow and building a solid financial foundation under you.
Hey, you stay on the line. I'm going to send you a copy of a Ron Blues book, Master Your Money. It's chock full of biblical wisdom that I think will really get you pointed in the right direction.
There's a lot of great practical advice as well. So we appreciate your call. Hang on the line.
We'll get that book right out to you. And Merry Christmas to you. Lauren is in Ford Myers. Lauren, how can we help you? Hi, hello. How are you? I'm great. Thanks. I hope you're well. Thank you.
So I have a question. Together with my husband, we have an income of about $48,000 a month. And right now we are saved up to $20,000, but that's including our emergency fund. And we are about $37,000 in debt for our student loans and our cars.
And right now we're just trying to, like, decide what should we do, pay off student loans, pay off car, or just keep saving because we're trying to buy a home. I see. Okay. So you said you have $4,800 a month in income.
Is that right? Yes. Okay. And do you have anything left over after the bills are paid? Yes, we have about $500. About $500.
Okay. And so you're spending about $4,200, give or take. So you've got, you know, at least four months expenses there, which is great that you all have, you know, saved that up. And well, not quite, maybe a little less than four months, but over three.
So that's really good. I think in terms of the student loans and the car, I would love for you to get those paid off, you know, as quickly as you can. I'd probably prioritize the student loan in terms of where you're going to apply your surplus. But if your goal is to be saving to buy a house and you've factored in, you know, the repayment of the student loans and the car into your plan, I certainly don't have a problem with you guys beginning that process of starting to put away for the house because I realized that's going to take some time.
It's probably something you'd love to have sooner rather than later. And, you know, getting rid of the car and the student loans in its entirety is going to take you quite a while. So if you built your budget where you're giving, you've got something going toward retirement, you're funding the debt service on the car and the student loans, you're on track to pay off the car loan and whatever that term is, and you can pay off the student loans in 10 years, then I would say let's just freeze that emergency fund right where it is and take that 500 a month and start funding that down payment savings account so that you can get up to 20% down for the house.
Does all that sound good? Okay, so you're basically recommending just keep paying student loans and cars the monthly minimum and just say whatever extra we have for a down payment on the house. I think that's right because you've got your emergency fund in place, which is great. It's going to take you quite a while to pay off the car and the house, years, and that's going to delay, I mean, and the student loan, so that's going to delay that house purchase quite a while. So I think as long as you're on track to pay off the student loans in 10 years and you're on track to pay off the car and whatever the term is of the loan, then I would say at that point I would be comfortable with you redirecting your surplus toward the down payment savings account for the home. And I think you guys will be glad that you're making some progress and if at any point God convicts you to get out of debt, well, you'll be able to take that savings and apply it right toward either one of those balances. But that would be my best advice. Lauren, we appreciate you calling today. We're going to finish today with Eugenia in Boca Raton.
Hi there, how can I help? Hi, I was calling, we have some extra money and I did hear about the IBANs and you said it's $10,000 per year that you can invest. Is that per person or is it for household, the IBANs? Yes, you know that is a good question and I'm not, I believe it's per person, but I would want to check on that.
I can't remember right off hand, Eugenia, whether there is a provision that allows you to do that per person. So I would check that out. The best website to get all the information on the IBANs is treasurydirect.gov, which is the government's website. You can read about it.
Also soundmindinvesting.org has some great articles on the IBANs, currently paying 7.12. Now if you get out with it, they're 30-year bonds, but if you get out in less than five years, you will give up some of the interest and you've got to hold it for at least a year. But I would check on whether or not that is per person or per household.
I'm hesitant to say because I can't remember offhand. So you've stumped me today. treasurydirect.gov or soundmindinvesting.org should give you the information you're looking for. But I will tell you, Eugenia, I am a big fan of the IBANs, especially in this environment. It's nice to find safety with some real yield.
And I would say north of 7% is quite a bit of yield. So you check that out. We appreciate your call today. Well, folks, that's going to do it for us. So we've covered a lot of ground today. We've talked about paying down debt and credit cards and spending plans and bonds and investing.
You know, here's the good news is that everything we do fits into one of four categories. There's the money we live on, the money we give, the money we owe, and the money we grow. And God's Word speaks to all of them. And the key is when we recognize our proper position as steward, that God owns it all and therefore, our spending is ultimately spiritual because we're managing money for the Creator of the universe. It puts money in its proper context. It's a tool to accomplish God's purposes. So we need to constantly be asking the Father, Lord, what would you have me to do?
And then respond accordingly. Hey, MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. I want to say thank you to my team today answering phones. Mr. Eric Tidwell, engineering today, was Dan Anderson providing research, was the amazing Robert Sutherland, my awesome producer, Amy Rios here today as well. Thank you for being here. I hope you'll come back and join us tomorrow. We'll do this all over again. We'll look forward to seeing you then. And God bless you. Bye-bye.
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