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Excuses for Not Budgeting

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
May 13, 2022 5:41 pm

Excuses for Not Budgeting

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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May 13, 2022 5:41 pm

Having a budget is the only way to get control of your finances. So, why do some people still come up with excuses for not having one? On today's MoneyWise Live, host Rob West will share some of the top excuses he’s heard for not having a spending plan in place. Then he’ll answer your calls and questions on various financial topics. 

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Rob West and Steve Moore

How do you forgive a dead man, particularly when he's your grandfather? I'm Brian Dolan and in a brand new podcast called The Grandfather Effect, I hope to find out. Head over to The Grandfather Effect and subscribe today.

My laptop kept crashing and it would never get published anyway. Hi, I'm Rob West. It's easy to come up with excuses. And when it comes to not having a budget, well, around here, we've probably heard them all. I'll give you some of the top excuses for not having a spending plan today. And then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000. That's 800-525-7000.

Call that number 24 7. This is Money Wise Live biblical wisdom for your financial journey. So kidding aside, budgeting is a serious topic and it's the only way to get control of your finances, not to mention it'll help you sleep better at night. Now, what a lot of non-budgeters don't realize is that most people eventually do get around to living on a budget. The trick is to set up a plan for spending wisely before you're forced to by overwhelming debt. Okay, let's get into our top excuses for not having a budget. First up, I stink in math, so I can't budget. Sorry, you don't have to be Albert Einstein to set up a spending plan. The free Money Wise app not only gives you three different options for setting up a spending plan, it does all the math for you.

Download it wherever you get your apps and search for Money Wise biblical finance. Another top excuse is, my job's secure, so I don't have to budget. Okay, we still have a low unemployment rate and workers are in great demand, but that doesn't mean your job is bulletproof. Companies fail and people get laid off every day, no matter what the economy's doing. That's why everyone needs three to six months living expenses in their emergency fund and that's just about impossible without a spending plan.

Here's another one. I can always fall back on unemployment benefits if I lose my job. If you checked out unemployment benefits in your state, they're usually just a fraction of your regular income and oh, by the way, they run out.

If you're living on a budget and saving, you can make any income go much further. How about this one? It won't happen to me. Talk about putting your head in the sand. We live in a fallen world and bad things happen to people all the time.

In Matthew 5, we find, for he makes his son rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. So again, you have to be prepared with a budget and an emergency fund. Now, some folks cringe just hearing the word budget. They say things like a budget means you can't have any fun. Well, so don't call it a budget. We like spending plan better anyway. And if you stick to one for a few months, you'll see that just the opposite is true. Living on a spending plan is actually liberating. You have the same amount of money.

You're just deciding ahead of time where it goes. So you still get to enjoy life even more so because you're not running out of money or going into a lot of debt to do it. A spending plan means peace of mind. That Friday night pizza tastes even better when it's in your spending plan.

Now, here's an excuse that in many cases is actually true. It's I'm afraid to set up a spending plan. Those folks don't want to find out how much they've been spending on things they don't really need. But you have to face up to it to enjoy the reward.

In John 8, Jesus says, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. You'll probably be shocked to find out how much you spend on things like groceries and eating out. But that's a good thing because it gives you something to work with. By trimming and planning your meals, you can free up a lot of discretionary income that you can put to better use. Here's another excuse for not budgeting that we hear a lot. I've tried to budget and it didn't work.

Well, that shouldn't be a surprise. What life changing practices work the first time you try them? So try, try again and be encouraged that learning to live on a spending plan truly will change your life for the better. Just brush yourself off and keep trying.

Okay, last one. I don't need to budget because I've always got money left over each month. Well, that may be true for now, but it's usually temporary.

There's something called lifestyle creep. It means the more money you have available, the more you spend. Raises and tax refunds get gobbled up quickly. Then if you suffer a loss of income, you'll wish you had that money. If God has blessed you with more than you need right now, that's even more reason to use it wisely. This spending plan will help you be more intentional about your giving. It's all God's money anyway, and we should always use it to give him glory. So those are your top excuses for not living on a budget.

We hope you're not using any of them. By the way, if you need help setting up a budget, you can sign up with one of our volunteer coaches at You can download the Money Wise app in your app store.

Search for Money Wise Biblical Finance. Your calls are next, 800-525-7000. I'm Rob West and this is Money Wise Live. We'll be right back.

I'm Rob West, your host. We're so glad you're along with us today, and we've got some lines open. We'd love to hear from you.

The number to call to get in on the conversation is 800-525-7000. We started today by talking about what's going on in the world of budgeting and why perhaps you're not budgeting. If you'd like to get started budgeting, well, an easy way to do that is with the Money Wise app. We'd love for you to download it. Check it out. Use one of our three different systems for managing money.

Just one perhaps uniquely suited to your personality. You'll find it in your app store. Just search for Money Wise Biblical Finance, and you can get started today. By the way, we have coaches that'll help you get it set up, get your spending plan worked out, and walk with you in that journey.

Again, in your app store, search for Money Wise Biblical Finance. All right, 800-525-7000. Let's head to the phones. Illinois, Stephanie, thank you for calling. Go right ahead. Hello.

Thank you so much. I am doing some home repairs on our house, on the outside sidings, roofs, outside doors. The company that's doing our repairs for us is offering us to finance us for 7%.

I believe it's for nine years. And I wanted to find out if it would be a wiser decision to go through them or through my own bank. The company that's offering our repairs is saying that we would save a lot more money going through them versus the bank because of their fees that they would concur for their loan. Just seeing your interest of advice on what you think.

Yeah, that's a great question. I'd probably shop it around. I think the key is, what is the rate you're looking at? Yes, the fees are important, but then also the term, and you would be looking for no prepayment penalties so that even if you got a term that was longer than seven years, you could certainly match it.

Right now, if you look at and look at perhaps the very best loan programs out there, you'll find you could get a home equity loan around 5.5%, somewhere between 5.5% and 6% depending upon what your credit score is. And I think the key is you're just looking to get that as low as possible and you can probably do better than 7%. You do need to compare the total costs and they'll give you a document that will provide you all of those costs to make sure that you aren't accruing additional costs. And then you could just compare the total amount that you'd spend over the life of the loan versus what they're offering by financing it in-house. And you may find that if the rates are comparable, that you may have some additional fees with a home equity loan that would push it above what they're offering.

But it's certainly worth doing your homework. So I would get them to give you all the details of exactly what that APR is, annual percentage rate, any fees that they'll be adding to it, and then look for three different or perhaps two others at a minimum offers online, probably with online lenders, probably online banks. And would be a great place to go to look at that. If I were you, Stephanie, I'd be looking for home equity loan rates, not home equity line of credit rates. The reason being a line of credit is going to make a certain amount available to you. It will continue to be available. You can use it, pay it back as long as the line's open.

That's convenient. The challenge is it's going to have a variable interest rate. And especially in this rising interest rate environment, we don't want a variable interest rate.

You want a fixed rate, which would come with a home equity loan where you'd get a specific amount specifically tied to the purpose of this renovation and the dollar amount that's necessary. But the key is you'd have the ability to compare these offers to what the financing is being made available through the company. Does that make sense? It does. Thank you very much. I appreciate that.

I didn't even take the variable rate into account. So thank you so much for your wise wisdom words. I appreciate it. Absolutely, Stephanie. All the best to you guys.

And make sure you do the homework to make sure it fits in the budget with whatever direction you go before you do it. And God bless you. Let's head to Ohio, WCRF. Annie, thank you for calling. Go right ahead. Okay.

I really appreciate your show. And I like guessing what you're going to advise people and see if I say what you say. Okay. Well, you may get it right sometimes, and I don't. Who knows, right?

I doubt it. Okay, go right ahead. I have a $40,000 IRA that I've wanted to transfer to Vanguard for years, and I've just dragged my feet.

I finally did it a few weeks ago. And the bank that I had the IRA at charged me $175 to transfer it. Is that exorbitant? I think it is, but I don't know. Yeah. All right, so what do you think I'm going to say? I'm hoping you'll say yes, but I'm fearing you'll say they can charge whatever they want.

Yeah, and that's the truth. You will find transfer fees. That is normal and customary. They will vary. Is $175 transfer fee a little high?

Probably. I would have expected it to be somewhere around $50 or $100, but obviously it's in the fine print somewhere. They would tell you that if you try to transfer it out, there's going to be a fee imposed. There's probably not a whole lot you could do. You can ask them to waive it. It never hurts to ask, but if they don't or won't, there's probably not a whole lot of recourse. It is $40,000, so it's a negligible amount of money.

I'm not saying it's insignificant, but versus what's there. And I think what's most important, Annie, is that you get it somewhere where you feel like you've got a good relationship with somebody, or at the very least you have access to very high-quality, low-cost investments that will be right for you moving forward, so you can get this money positioned the way you want it according to your age and risk tolerance and just let it go. And if we hit a recession a year from now, as long as your time horizon is right, as long as you're in the right investments, just keep going. In fact, it would be a great opportunity for you to continue to contribute to this IRA because as you invest now, you're certainly buying in at points lower than three months ago or six, and that's a good thing. We don't always want to buy at the top, but as you dollar-cost average in with additional contributions that are then invested, you're going to pick up more shares at lower prices, which as the economy rebounds and the market moves higher, whenever that is for the next bull market, which is historically the way the market works in cycles, you'll be ready to capture the upside.

But again, you've got to keep a long time horizon, and I think you being with a company that you're satisfied with, with good quality investments, is probably more important than the fee that's a bit annoying, but nevertheless is pretty typical. Okay. Thank you, Rob. Okay, Annie.

God bless you. Thanks for calling today. Well, folks, we've already covered a lot of ground, but we've still got more to go, and I've got a few lines open. So I'd love to hear from you, and we've got some great questions coming up on bond funds and pension plans, and somebody who's retired and wanting to know about how do you budget on a fixed income. We'll deal with that, plus your questions.

800-525-7000 with a few lines open. We're going to apply God's wisdom to your financial decisions and choices. Let's do that together. That's what we do each afternoon here on MoneyWise Live. Stay with us.

We'll be right back. Thanks for tuning in to MoneyWise Live, biblical wisdom for your financial decisions. Hey, MoneyWise Live is listener supported. That means we do what we do as a result of your financial support. And if you'd like to perhaps consider a gift to the ministry, we'd be grateful. It's a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which means your gift may be tax-deductible, and we'd love for you to consider giving today. You can do that at Just click the donate button. You can give online. You can find the mailing address to send a check through the mail to our team, or call toll-free, and somebody would be able to take your gift over the phone. Again, Just click donate.

Thank you in advance. All right, let's head back to the phones. By the way, just a few lines open today, 800-525-7000. We're going to head to Indiana. Paul, thank you for calling, sir.

Go right ahead. Thanks for taking my call. My question relates to the use of three-year fixed deferred annuities versus bond funds in IRAs. It was suggested to me that I convert some of my bond funds under this current environment to these three-year fixed deferred annuities that have no fees in my IRAs, and I didn't know what the downside of that might be that I hadn't thought about.

Yeah. You know, not necessarily a downside. I mean, one of the benefits of an annuity is it's a tax-deferred environment, so you've already got it in the tax-deferred environment, so really the question is not kind of the tax benefit there. It's really about whether or not you are going to get the right return with the proper amount of safety that you're looking for. One of the reasons you may have been suggested to do that is because we're seeing, as interest rates head up, bond prices are falling, so the bond funds that you're in are probably declining in value even though you're going to continue to earn some interest as those bonds are paid back. The interest is paid back to the fund and then distributed to you versus a fixed annuity where you might be guaranteed, I don't know what they're going to guarantee you, maybe three and a half, somewhere upwards of 4% a year. If that matches the return you're looking for and you are willing to kind of turn over the money, so to speak, and lose some access to it without surrender charges and you want to transfer the risk of the overall performance of the portfolio to the insurance company as opposed to assuming that yourself, then it can be a good option in that season of life if that's what you're looking for.

Guaranteed return with no downside. The opportunity you have outside of an annuity when you invest through an IRA would be to say, okay, we're going to position the portfolio in a way that's going to potentially earn a little bit more over the long haul. It's going to have some volatility and yes, you're going to have risk to the downside, both in the bonds as well as perhaps a smaller stock allocation, but you have full access to your money and you get to enjoy 100% of the upside based on the investment strategy, but you have to be willing to accept the ebbs and flows along the way, especially in a choppy market right now which can make retirees a bit anxious. It's certainly something to consider.

I wouldn't say eliminate that option. I would just say is that going to satisfy you over the long haul, that return and giving up some access liquidity to the money or would you rather keep that outside it, have a well thought out investment strategy perhaps managed by somebody else, but still have full access to the money? Okay, yeah, this would be for bond funds that are inside of the IRA. And then it was suggested, okay, so take it for three years when the bond funds probably could be losing value. Yeah, I think the key would just be what's going to happen at the end of that three years with this annuity and is there still going to be a surrender charge if you wanted to pull it back out. The IRA is just the vehicle that keeps the taxes from impacting the investments inside it.

So think of it as the umbrella and the rain as the taxes coming down and the umbrella causes the taxes to kind of slip off the sides around the investments so it doesn't impact the underlying investments. And then you have to choose what type of investments you want inside that IRA and you're saying today you have bond funds and you'd be looking at exchanging that for a fixed annuity. And I think the key is you've just got to compare giving up access to the funds with a guaranteed rate of return.

Is that what's going to make me happy and accomplish my goals and objectives? And then what's the cost to get that money back out at some point in the future, one year, three years, five years down the road? And that surrender charge will go away at some point but you need to understand what that is versus being able to invest it inside the portfolio, having full access to all types of investments, which during a market like this not only we'd be looking at staying with a small allocation to stocks but you could look at federal bond funds, municipal bond funds, corporate bonds, money markets. You could look at utility mutual funds and dividend paying funds. I mean, so there's all kinds of options that could be used to build a properly diversified portfolio but at the end of the day there is risk associated with it.

And if you want to eliminate that, I think that's where this fixed annuity could be a great option for you. Okay, great. Thanks.

All right. You're very welcome, Paul. Thanks for calling today. God bless you. Let's head to Chattanooga next.

Patty, thank you for calling. Go right ahead. Hey, kind of listen to what you said to the gentleman before me so maybe sort of some of that can be answered with mine too.

Okay. Anyway, my company pension program is being terminated and we have until June the 3rd for a one-time option to either elect to do a lump sum, monthly payment, or go to an annuity with an insurance company. And I am 65 years old hoping to retire.

My goal is when my house is paid off and I'm hoping in the next two years that will be possible. So I want to retire at 67. So I don't know, I'm leaning towards rolling it over to my 401k but then I go, I don't have an IRA so maybe I should get an IRA. Or either go with that annuity.

I'm very confused of what I should do. I think rolling it to the 401k is a great option. That's a 401k that's already in place and are you actively contributing to that currently or no? Yes, I am. You are.

Okay. And it's with the same company where the pension's being eliminated? Yes. Well, it's fidelity to the 401k. Right, but it's provided by your current employer. Yeah.

So what I would do is roll it to that 401k then you've got all the funds together and then when you're ready to retire, that's the time to roll it all out to an IRA and you can make your investment decisions at that point. We're going to take a break. You stay right there, Patty. We'll talk a bit more off the air and we'll be right back on Money Well. We're thrilled to have you with us today on MoneyWise Live. Are you looking for a financial advisor, somebody who shares your values but also has met high standards and experience competency and character? Well, we trust the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation and hope you will too.

You can head to our website at, click find a CKA to locate a Certified Kingdom Advisor in your area. All right, back to the phones we go. By the way, we've got some lines open, perhaps one for you. We'd love to hear from you at 800-525-7000. You can call right now. Our team is standing by.

South Florida is where Carlos is located, waiting patiently. Go right ahead, sir. Yes, thank you so much for taking my call. So my mom is purchasing a vehicle.

It's a cash purchase through an auction, an auction broker. And I'm just trying to help her to see what would be the best option. Being that gas prices are so high, I'm kind of looking into the possibility of one of those hybrid vehicles. And I just wanted to get your take on that because there's just so many different variables. You know, the battery is expensive and, you know, versus, so it's kind of like a trade-off. You get the, you save money on the gas, but then you have to pay a high price for the battery. What's your take on that?

Yeah, yeah. Well, I think the key would be to the battery point is to get a warranty on that battery. You know, hybrid cars come with a special battery, which means it's more expensive to replace. So I would try to find a warranty on it.

Of course, if you're buying used, you always want to track the car's history and look into buying pre-certified, although if you're buying from an auction, you know, that's not going to be an option. But at least understand what it is and be able to review the service record, test drive the vehicle. You know, I'd have an independent hybrid expert do an inspection if you have the ability to do that, just to be able to check it out. And then I perhaps might get her to go try a few hybrids just to, you know, experience the differences. You know, some people say the acceleration feels a little different, maybe even slightly delayed. The braking feels different, you know, because it's grabbing the, you know, inertia energy and putting it into the battery.

And, you know, some people don't like the sounds that they make. So I think you just need to, you know, make sure she's, you know, perhaps experienced that. But, you know, clearly with gas prices where they are right now, I think there's a benefit, you know, to having, you know, the hybrid and not relying solely on gasoline.

You also need to take into account kind of the location. Now, it could be that for her, if she's in South Florida, that's not as big of a deal, but the mileage for these cars isn't as good in the winter because they're less efficient in the cold. So hopefully that gives you some things to think about and talk to her about so she can go maybe test drive something before she makes a decision, get it reviewed thoroughly, look for that warranty on the battery, and then make a decision at that point. But I'm glad you're walking alongside her in this decision. I'm sure it's a big one. And I'm sure she's grateful for your assistance. Thanks for your call today.

Greensburg, Indiana. Leah, thank you for calling. Go right ahead. Okay. I heard you about a week ago talk about an investment in a federal fund with pretty good interest, and I just wanted to know a little bit more how to get a hold of that.

Yeah. What we were probably talking about, Leah, are called I bonds, which stands for inflation bonds that are issued by the United States government. So backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, they're bonds pegged to inflation where there's two components that make up the rate, one that's tied to CPI, the consumer price index. And because of this environment we're in right now with inflation being really high, higher than it's been in 40 years, these things are paying an incredible rate. In fact, right now it's at nine point six percent per year. Now, that adjusts every six months. So that particular rate is good. And through October of this year, at which point it will adjust again based on inflation, the CPI.

And it will likely come down some, but still be, I would think, a great rate because most economists think, I think elevated inflation, that is inflation above our target of around two percent, will be above that for some time. So it could be a great option. The only potential drawback, Leah, is you can only put in up to $10,000. There's a way to get an additional $5,000 in through a tax refund. But essentially you can only put in $10,000.

So it'd be great if you could put in a lot more than that, but at least it's something. And you have to hold them for at least a year so you can't get the money back for 12 months. If you take it out within five years, after a year but before five, you'll give up the three months' worth of interest. So whatever that total interest is for the year, you take three months of that and you'll give that up when you take it out. But other than that, it's essentially risk-free because it's backed by the U.S. government and it's paying a credible interest rate when you compare it to anything else. So where you would get these is on the U.S. Treasury's website that they have for bond purchases, which is called, and you can actually do it all electronically.

You would transfer the money in with your routing number and bank information to buy the bonds, and you can put in up to $10,000 a year. Does that make sense? Sort of. I'm technically not too sharp. Sure.

Do you have a family member or friend that could navigate this for you? Possibly. So I would, on a computer... Web browser? Yes. Treasury Direct. That's all one word?.gov? Yes, ma', which is the web extension for the U.S. government. Yep,, and then you'd want to find the I bonds and you'd want to buy $10,000 worth of bonds. And I think having somebody perhaps help you navigate this, whether it's a friend from church or a family member, you know, a lot of times, you know, teenagers are really good at this kind of stuff because it's so second nature to them if you have a grandchild or something like that.

But nevertheless, I think this could be a great option for you, and these are paying phenomenal interest rates, and with the safety backed by the U.S. government, you can't beat it. So definitely something to look at, Leah, and I'm glad you called today. God bless you.

To Tennessee we go. Hey, Jessica, thanks for calling. Go right ahead. Hey, how are you?

I'm doing great. I was calling because I've been saving to go back to school, and I have about $10,000 that I just have in a regular savings account, and I was wondering where can I put the money to make like a better interest rate or get more of a return on it. Yeah, when do you need the money? Maybe by this fall. I'm not sure yet. Yeah, but you need to get to it with it perhaps quicker than a year from now, is that right? Yes.

Okay. So I'd just be looking at a high yield savings account. You know, right now they're paying, most of them, the online banks are paying around 0.6%, 0.60, so a little more than one half of 1%. You may find them as high as 0.7%, but as interest rates head higher and they will continue to move up, the Federal Reserve Chairman Powell has already said we're going to see multiple rate increases this year, and as the Fed funds rate moves up, the savings interest rates will move up as well.

It's already begun to happen. So I'd go online to either or Capital One 360 or Ally Bank. Any one of those three are online banks. They have FDIC insurance from the U.S. government, and they're going to give you no fees for a savings account. You can link it electronically to your checking account wherever you bank and put it in their high yield savings, which will be safe, completely liquid, and you'll get at least a decent interest rate.

But given the time horizon, that's about all I would look at if I were you. Thanks for your call today. We'll be right back on MoneyWise Live.

Stick around. Thanks for joining us today on MoneyWise Live. We're grateful to have you along with us today, taking your calls and questions on anything financial. Let's head right back to the phones. Nick is in Chicago. Nick, go right ahead, sir.

Hi, Rob. I just discovered your show fairly recently, and I like it. And I noticed that you often mention giving your money to God. And so outside of a tithing to your church, I was wondering, like, how that would how that could manifest in other ways.

You know, seeing that you can't directly give your money to God, but could you give some examples or recommendations or? Yes. Yeah.

Well, are you talking specifically about financial gifts or are you also looking about talking about how to be generous in other ways, non-financially? Well, both, I suppose. I guess I was primarily thinking of money. Yeah.

OK, very good. Well, I think the starting point is to recognize, Nick, as we realize our role is that of steward or manager of God's resources, and therefore he's the owner. The question is, we want to reflect his heart, right? When we think about the parable of the talents, the stewards of those talents that were they were entrusted by the master, the one who invested 10 and the five talents knew the heart of the master.

They knew what he would do with the money, and they purposed themselves to align their handling of those monies with his heart. And when we look at the heart of our father, we serve an incredibly generous God and all this belongs to him. You know, he's the ultimate giver. He gave us his son, right, that we might be reconciled back to him through his son's death and resurrection. And so he's incredibly generous and he gives bountifully. And so I like to say we're most like him when we're giving. So I think that's the beginning point, that if we want to reflect the heart of the owner, which is God himself, as we manage his resources, then clearly we're going to be generous. And I think that's the starting point. You know, so often we look at the role of the money that God entrusts to us first as that which we use to provide for our families.

And certainly there's an element of that to it. But if we start with provision, we're never going to get past our endless list of needs and wants to really what I think is clearly on the heart of God. And that is the opportunity to be generous, to hold it loosely and to give generously and to be a pipeline into God's activity as opposed to a reservoir where God's provision stops with us.

And so if we start there, then it changes the question. The question is not, how much should I give? The question becomes, how much should I keep, right? And so if we begin there, then we say, well, Lord, what would you have me to keep to use on my lifestyle and providing for my family? And therefore I should be perhaps giving a lot more because it's not that 10% belongs to God and 90% is ours.

It's all his. So I think the generosity opportunity is really a chance that God gives us as a blessing to us because of the joy that follows to be connected back into his activity. So it's not a matter of me or anyone else telling you how much you need to give. It's not about checking a box to say, yeah, I gave my 10% tithe, so I'm done. It's about you being, I think, on your knees, just like all of us, saying, Lord, what would you have me to do and how much should I keep? Because I want to be as generous as I can because my brief stay on this earth before you call me home is just a vapor. But where I can have the most significance is when I connect my story into God's grand story, which is from everlasting to everlasting. And that's where I can have purpose and meaning through my relationship with Jesus, but also as I use his resources to connect to his activity.

So what does that look like for you? I think it means praying and asking the Lord, what should I do systematically? How much should I be giving just as a regular course of your provision? What should I make available spontaneously? The way you give to the maximum is you have a plan to do it. And oftentimes that's going to involve giving off of your balance sheet instead of cash because that's where 90% of our wealth is held. So it's businesses and stock portfolios and assets, not cash and income.

And the only way we're going to do that is to have a plan to be able to do that and build that in. And what I have experienced is that as you experience the joy that comes from being able to be generous and being a part of God's activity, that it's only a matter of time before you're reordering your finances so you can do even more. Because money is just a tool. It's a means to an end. And that end is most powerful, most effective when it's something other than us.

So what does that look like for you and for me? Well, that's a question I think we each have to answer with the Lord. But when we have a kingdom vision for our giving and we have a plan to give maximally, and we have relationships around us that are encouraging us in our generosity, it's incredible to see what can be done. And then we begin to read the stories of people like R.G. Letourneau, who did what I call a reverse tithe, where he essentially gave away 90% and lived on 10%. And a gentleman named Alan Barnhart, go Google him, U.S. Crane and Rigging, he's sent hundreds of millions of dollars to missions all over the world because he made a decision when he was just starting, not after he had made a fortune, when he was just starting, that he wanted to live on the median income for his city, and he was going to give 100% of away. He actually signed his business over to the Lord through a donor-advised fund. And God's just blessed it, and he's been able to give just hundreds of millions of dollars away.

Now that's not going to be each of our stories, but the question is, what is our role and what is God calling us to do? And that's something I think we need to take to him in prayer. But I've thrown a lot at you, Nick.

Give me your thoughts. Well, you have, but I think you answered my question. And so what I was looking for, I guess, was, from what I understood, what you were saying is maybe to try to get in contact with God and see where your purposes lie. And I think that was the answer that I was looking for, but your answer was very comprehensive and it was good, and that's all that I was looking for, and I thank you for it.

Well, I'm happy to do it. The other thing I would say is just begin to read the Scriptures, and this whole theme of generosity will just jump off the page at you. In fact, I'd love to send you a gift today, Nick, just for being a part of the program. It's called the Stewardship Bible. It's a project that our friends at the American Bible Society did with Compass Finances God's Way years ago. It's a beautiful Bible, but it's actually every passage that relates to money and possessions is highlighted in green.

And so as you just read through the Scriptures, not commentaries and somebody's opinion, just God's Word, but as you see those highlighted passages, I think you'll begin to see this theme kind of jump off the page. And maybe as you meditate on Scripture and think through what God would have you to do in this area of generosity, it'll be something that'll really be powerful. The last thing I will recommend to you, because you're interested in this area and want to explore it, and I mean this for everybody who's listening right now, one of the most powerful tools there is for you to go on a journey with God in this area of generosity is a 24-hour experience that's put on by our friends at Generous Giving, which is a ministry located in Orlando, but they've been around for decades.

Many of you probably have never heard of them. And they have something called a Journey of Generosity. It's a 24-hour experience with usually 8 to 12 other people, where you just explore these ideas about generosity, and it's incredible. And it will change your whole view on this. So go to to read more about Generous Giving.

You can watch some of their videos and stories and then check out the Journey of Generosity, which is that 24-hour experience I was talking about. And Nick, you stay on the line, we'll get your information, and get that Stewardship Bible right out to you. And thank you for calling, and I'm glad you're a new listener. All right, we're going to head to Florida. That's where Cynthia is located. You go right ahead. Just curious if this is a good time to take out my requirement on distribution, or should I wait two or three or four months to see if the rates sort of go better? Yeah, so Cynthia, you're obviously at an age where you have to take this out this year, correct? Oh yeah, we've been taking it out for several years. Okay, great. And the portion that you're taking it out, are you going to be pulling it out of the money market or the cash portion, or are you actually having to liquidate investments to do it?

I'm not sure how they do it. Mine is in Guidestone. Okay, all right, great.

Yeah, I love Guidestone. They have some wonderful faith-based investment options. I would probably just go ahead and do it. I mean, I think we're going to be in for a pretty choppy market this year. A lot of experts think in the next year we're going to hit a recession, which don't let that scare you. That just means two consecutive quarters of declining growth here in this country. We go through them every 12 or so years, and it's been a while since we've had one.

They usually last 11 months on average, and we'll get through it and move to higher ground. But yeah, I would say this is probably a good time for you to go ahead and do the RMD. The only other thing I would consider is, are you familiar with something called a qualified charitable distribution? No, I don't think so. Okay, so I'll just throw this out.

You can talk to our friends at Guidestone about this. But if you normally do your giving out of cash, so you write a check to your church every week or every month, and you might send a check to a ministry or charity that you love, if you normally do that out of your checking account, you can actually do that from your IRA and satisfy your required minimum distribution at the same time. The benefit is that's not added to your AGI, your adjusted gross income for the year, as it normally would be when you take it out for the RMD. So you get the money to the charity, they get the full benefit of the amount.

You're doing the same giving you were going to do anyway, but you don't incur any additional taxes. Does that make sense? It does. We have done that for my husband.

His is just with a financial broker. But Guidestone does not allow that. Oh, they don't? Okay. I wasn't aware of that. Okay.

Well, I think then back to your original question, this would be a great time to do it, especially in light of what we might be in for this year with some bumpy stock market returns. So thanks for your call today, Cynthia. God bless you. Let me say thank you to my team today.

I couldn't do it without them. Gabby T., producing today, so thankful for her. Dan Anderson, engineering. Jim Henry, providing research, managing our phones. Today was Melody.

MoneyWise Live is a partnership between Moody Radio and MoneyWise Media. Hey, thanks for putting up with my voice that's fleeting ever so quickly. Come back and join us on Monday. Bye bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-18 23:22:01 / 2023-04-18 23:38:55 / 17

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