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A Budget Is Like a Fence

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore
The Truth Network Radio
January 9, 2024 5:48 pm

A Budget Is Like a Fence

MoneyWise / Rob West and Steve Moore

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January 9, 2024 5:48 pm

People come up with all kinds of reasons not to budget, but none of those reason are very good ones. On today's Faith & Finance Live, host Rob West will share some very good reasons why everyone should be using a spending plan to manage the money God has entrusted to them. Then he’ll answer your questions on various financial topics. 

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People come up with all kinds of reasons not to budget, but none of them are very good. Hi, I'm Rob West. Today we'll go over some of the many reasons folks come up with to live without a spending plan.

It's sort of like walking a tightrope. And I'll have some very good reasons why everyone should budget. Then it's on to your calls at 800-525-7000.

That's 800-525-7000. This is Faith and Finance Live, biblical wisdom for your financial journey. Okay, let's start with the biggest reason why you should budget, and that's because it's a biblical principle. Now, you won't find the word budget in the Bible, but it does say a lot about stewardship, and budgeting is stewardship. Having a spending plan and sticking to it is the only way to control your money, stay out of debt, and gain peace of mind about your finances. When you practice faithful stewardship, you no longer have to worry about your money because you've accepted that it's God's money.

He owns everything. So budgeting is a key part of stewardship. When you live on a budget, you know where your money is going because you've planned it ahead of time. Proverbs 27-23 puts it like this, Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds.

Of course, back when that was written, flocks and herds were money. And perhaps the verse most associated with budgeting is Proverbs 21-20, Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. People without a budget often end up living paycheck to paycheck. So those are just a few of the many reasons why everyone should budget.

Now, let's look at some of the reasons why folks say they don't. One that you'll hear a lot is, I'm terrible at math, so I can't budget. Well, good news, the Faithfi app will do all the math for you.

You can download it at faithfi.com or anywhere you get your apps. Just look for Faithfi, Faith and Finance. By using the app, you can set up a budget in no time. Another top excuse is, I make plenty of money, so I don't need to budget. Well, what if you suddenly stopped making plenty of money because you've lost your job?

People are surprised by layoffs every day, especially today, with predictions of a looming recession. That's why everyone needs three to six months living expenses in their emergency fund. Try saving that up without a budget.

Here's another one. I'll always have unemployment benefits if I lose my job. You would only think that's a good plan if you've never relied on unemployment benefits before. Odds are they won't come close to what you were making. So again, get on a budget and save up an emergency fund.

Now, this next one is probably true for a lot of folks. It's, I'm afraid to set up a budget. They don't want to know how much they've been spending on things they may not really need. It's always a shock to discover how much you are overspending on things like groceries and eating out.

But it's necessary because it gives you a starting point. By planning meals more carefully, you can trim your spending. That will free up discretionary income that you can put to better use somewhere else like your emergency fund. Here's another. Some folks say they've tried to budget, but it didn't work.

That dog won't hunt either. Almost everyone living successfully on a budget will tell you it didn't work at first. Your spending plan will always need to be adjusted at first. Just keep trying. Learning to live on a budget is a life-changing experience. It's worth the effort.

Okay, last one. I don't need to budget because I've always got money left over each month. Well, with the inflation we're seeing now, you've probably noticed you have less and less left over at the end of the month.

There's also something called lifestyle creep. It means the more money you have available, the more you tend to spend. Raises and tax refunds get gobbled up quickly. Then, if you suffer a loss of income, you'll wish you'd saved that money. If God has blessed you with more than you need right now, that's even more reason to use it wisely. A spending plan will also help you to be more intentional with your giving.

It's all God's money anyway, and we should use it to give glory to Him. What a lot of non-budgeters don't realize is that most people eventually do learn to live on a budget. If they don't do it voluntarily, they'll eventually be forced to by debt. The trick is to set up a plan for spending wisely before that happens.

And when you stick with it for a few months, you'll discover that it isn't really limiting, but liberating. You have the same amount of money, you're just deciding ahead of time where it goes. One financial commentator put it like this, a budget is like a fence around your money. It protects it from impulse spending. You can still spend money on things you enjoy as long as you stay on budget.

You can hide behind your budget fence and avoid a great deal of financial danger. By the way, again, you can download the FaithFi app at faithfi.com. All right, your calls are next, the number 800-525-7000. Call right now.

Well, I'm so glad you're with us today on Faith and Finance Live here on Moody Radio. I'm Rob West, and we're ready for your calls and questions today. That's right, Robert Sutherland ready to jump in today. Dan is here, Dan Anderson, Amy Rios. We've got our call screeners ready. Our team is ready. We just need you. The number to call is 800-525-7000.

Again, that's 800-525-7000. Also, coming up a little later in the broadcast, Bob Dahl stops by. Bob weighs in each week on this program with our market commentary. He's going to help us understand why the market's been under some pressure as we've started the year really strong into 2023. In fact, we saw a 15% move higher in just the last two months of the year. I mean, that's typically what you might see in 18 months.

We saw it in two months. And so obviously, the market giving back some of that as we start the year, at least on the S&P 500, slightly lower. However, Bob will share with us what the labor market's saying. What about the geopolitical tensions and the Red Sea?

How is that affecting oil prices? That and much more just around the corner. The number for your questions today though is 800-525-7000. We'd love to hear from you. All right, let's dive in today. We can begin in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Rita is listening on the Moody Radio app. Go right ahead. Hey, Rob.

Thanks for taking my call. Just wondering what is the best way to verify whether a financial advisor or corporation is legit? Is there like a website to book on?

There is, yes. So a great place to start would be investor.gov. That's the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

And you could search by name right there on the front, the top portion of that webpage, investor.gov. And any financial advisor who's a registered investment advisor is going to be registered typically with the Securities and Exchange Commission. There's another organization that's called FINRA and that's F-I-N-R-A. That's the Financial Insurance Regulatory Authority. That would be the other one and they have something called BrokerCheck and you could look at either of those, investor.org or BrokerCheck. If you just do a search in your search engine for BrokerCheck by FINRA, F-I-N-R-A, you'll see right there on their front page, it's brokercheck.finra.org. There's a place where you can search by the name of the individual or by the name of the firm as well. And both of those would tell you whether they're in good standing and they would also give you their regulatory history.

So if there was any disclosures because they had any kind of censure or any kind of client issue and anything like that will be reported on their BrokerCheck report. The other place I would direct you beyond that because C-K-A is not a regulatory authority like FINRA and the S-E-C, but we recommend the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation here at Faith Phi. These would be men and women who have met significant experience requirements. They've had a pastor and client reference. They've been trained to bring biblically wise financial advice.

They've met experience requirements, but also they have, they're in good standing with all of the regulatory bodies as well. And to find a C-K-A, you'd go to our website faithphi.com and then right there at the top of the page, you'll see the search box. So hopefully those are helpful to you. Very much. Well, thank you very much. God bless you. All right.

Very good. Thanks for calling Rita and mid Lord bless you as well. A few lines open 800-525-7000. You can call right now. Let's go to Chicago, W-M-B-I. Hi, Alex. Go ahead.

Hey, Rob. Thanks for taking the call. So my wife and I are getting ready to purchase a new vehicle. We have the financing to pay it off in full if we so choose, but doing so would be about 15 to 20% of our liquid net wealth amongst the two of us.

So I'm curious what your professional opinion would be to pay it off in full if we have the funds versus financing it and obviously paying more for the vehicle in the long run. Yeah. Yeah. It's a great question. Would you be buying new or are you looking to buy a used car? We'd be buying new. Okay.

Yeah. You know, I think as long as it doesn't put you in a financial strain, I mean, you're giving it the level you want. You're actively contributing to your retirement long term. And as long as when you draw down your savings, you'd still have at least three months expenses.

I like the idea of you paying cash for this. Right now, the interest rates, even the best rates right now for a new car, unless there's some incentive going on with the dealer, you're still probably going to be around five or six percent and a guaranteed five or six percent return. I mean, you can do a you can do that essentially in a CD, but that's going to be taxable.

So after you pay the taxes on it, you know, you're better off not paying that interest rate, which is guaranteed to be a return to you equal to the rate you would be paying. So I kind of like the idea of you keeping that, you know, yourself debt free and taking what you would have been sending to that car payment and just continuing to build back up your savings. But let me ask you, if you were to buy the car with cash, you said it would take 15 to 20 percent of your liquid savings. Would that leave you, Alex, with at least three months worth of expenses? Yeah, we'd still like, God forbid something happened, would be able to have at least three to six months of savings still left to finance our current lifestyle.

OK. Yeah, good. So I like you paying cash for it. I mean, I think you could go in and and look for somebody who would be willing, you know, perhaps you're at the end of the month. If you're willing to be patient, you know, if if they haven't met their quota, they might be willing to move some cars. And obviously it's not as attractive as somebody who's financing because they make money off of the financing as well. But if they're just looking to move some inventory, you're walking in as a cash buyer, you should be able to negotiate yourself a pretty good deal on that car.

So hopefully the savings plus the guaranteed savings equal to the interest rate you would have been paying with you still having plenty of liquidity left over makes me say, let's just buy this car outright. OK, great. Well, I appreciate the the advice. It helps a lot.

Absolutely. Alex, may the Lord bless you, bud. We appreciate you calling today. Well, folks, we're just getting started here on Faith and Finance Live.

We've still got a lot more to come on the program today, including your questions. We'd love to hear from you and understand what you're thinking about in your financial life today. You know, as we think about our role as stewards of managing God's money, our goal here on this program and really as a ministry at FaithFi is that all Christians would see God as their ultimate treasure.

You know, think about that for a second. You know, if God was our ultimate treasure, what would that do in terms of how we view our finances? Well, it makes it a means to an end. It's no longer an end. You know, the world would tell us that the money that we have will give us significance or security.

It will meet needs that it was never intended to meet, nor can it ever satisfy. And so as we recognize that God is our true treasure and we really pursue him with everything that we have and we use money as a tool to accomplish God's purposes, it's a game changer because it really allows us to focus on the eternal, get our eyes off the temporal and not get stuck in the comparison trap that is so prevalent in our society. We want to help encourage you toward that end each day on this program, but we also want to help you in light of that answer the practical financial decisions and questions you have today. So give us a call. We've got some lines open today. We're ready for you. The number 800-525-7000 back with your questions just around the corner.

Stay with us. Thanks for joining us today on faith and finance live. We've got some lines open today for your questions. 800-525-7000 you can call right now.

Let's head back to the phones to Youngstown, Ohio. Hi Linda. How can I help you? Hi, my friend's daughter is second year of high school, public school and he wants, they were doing some HomeEx things, nutrition, and he was thinking of finances and I thought I'd ask if you have a suggestion or resource where they could learn some basics of money and finance.

Yeah, very good. A couple of books come to mind. One is called, and all these you could get wherever you buy books. One of them is called Your Money Counts by Howard Dayton.

It's a fairly easy read, but it would really introduce them to the basic principles, both the financial literacy side of budgets and the dangers of debt and the power of compounding, but also from a biblical worldview, which would obviously be key. Again, it's called Your Money Counts and I'd be delighted to send you a copy of it Linda. If that would be helpful, you can pass it along to your friend and tell them it's a gift from us and so you can just stay on the line. We'll get your information and get that right out to you. Okay. Wonderful. Thank you. You're welcome.

Thanks for your call today. Hey, by the way, I was introduced to a brand new book series over the Christmas break that I'd love for you to check out. My friend Brad Formzma runs a ministry called I Like Giving.

That's right. It's called I Like Giving. They've been doing it for a number of years and they basically tell just really compelling stories about everyday generosity.

Well, they've just started kind of a spinoff of their ministry called Generous Family. You can learn more at generousfamily.com and they've just introduced a brand new book club called the Generous Kids Book Club and these are early readers. So these are, think, you know, four to eight years old hardback picture books that would be great to read with your kids.

They come with, you know, coloring sheets and a whole host of things. But over this series that goes throughout an entire year, you'll get a different book every month that's a part of the Generous Kids Book Club and you can sit down and really teach some valuable lessons and biblical values to your kids around what it means to live a generous life. So I'd love for you to check it out today. Brad sent me the very first book. It's beautifully illustrated and it was just a fun and wonderful message that teaches biblical values and so I can't wait to see the rest of them. But if you'd like to check it out, maybe even give it as a gift, maybe you're a grandparent listening today and you'd like to give it as a gift to a child in your life, maybe your grandchild, check it out. GenerousFamily.com. Just click on Generous Kids Book Club. I'd love for you to check it out. All right, let's go back to the phones. We're going to go to Idaho. Hi, Sherrilyn.

How can I help? Hi. I owe the IRS about $12,000 and I just sold a house and bought another or paid for another one. I'm trying to pay down the mortgage. So I'm not going to have a lot of money left over but I have enough to pay them cash. But when I called them to talk about it and to make sure of my payoff, they suggested an offer in compromise.

And in reading that, I don't know for sure if I qualify and I keep getting information from friends that we, my little prayer group, we pray about it. And they said one of my friends was trying to get me to call one of those tax people you know that reduces your taxes, supposedly a real reputable one. And I don't know why but I've always steered away from them. Yes. This whole thing was actually, I'm sorry, this whole thing shouldn't have been so big in the first place. I kind of got ripped off to Covered California.

It's a long story I won't go into but so the statute of limitations, I won but I lost because of the time limit. Okay. That's the short story. Yeah.

Very good. Well, they do have a tool on their website that might be helpful for you, Cheryl Lynn. It's basically an offer in compromise pre-qualifier. And so if you just do a search in whatever search engine you use and just search for offer in compromise pre-qualifier, it'll take you to an IRS website. And basically, you'll just start answering the questions that it provides to you and it'll tell you whether you qualify. Typically, it would be somebody who's fallen behind on their tax returns.

You've received a bill from them. You don't have to be in bankruptcy. There's a number of things there that will determine whether or not you qualify for this.

But I would use that tool and I think that'll give you a pretty clear answer as to whether or not this is something you should look into. Yeah, because it kind of sounds like I'm not qualifying for a lot of that. It sounds like you said that it's more of a hardship thing. And mine is just that I kind of have a bone to pick with them because it's a long story. Like I said, I won't go into it, but it's not so much their fault.

It was the insurance company's fault. But anyway, but yeah, well, actually, yeah, I mean, you have to be it probably may you may qualify quicker than you think because, you know, you can't be in bankruptcy. You have to be current on your tax returns.

I mean, there's a number of things there that would prevent you. But if none of those things are true, you may, in fact, still be able to qualify. So I think it's worth your time to at least go through this pre qualifier, answer the questions.

It won't take you long. They'll ask you about your assets and your income and expenses. And then at the end of it, they'll tell you whether or not it would be helpful to ask for a proposal from them. Otherwise, you just make the payment and be done with it. But they're certainly willing to work with you.

And I would probably take the time to check it out. Cheryl, thanks for your call today. We appreciate it. Let's go to Nashville, Tennessee. Hi, Pat.

How can we help? I bought an I bond last year. I think it was December 29th. When I was looking at it this December, it went from six to like it's five point thirty five point five. It didn't drop a huge amount. But then I was also reading some things that suggested that until it drops more to just hold on to it so that the three month penalty will not be as large. Yeah, that's right. Because the three month penalty is based on the prevailing rate. So if you got three months into the next rate, which we expect it to come down, that would result in a lower payment.

And we're still competitive with what's out there today on CDs and high yield savings. I've got to hit a break here. Pat stay on the line. We'll finish up off the air. We'll be right back. So glad you're with us today on faith and finance live here on Moody Radio.

I'm Rob West. We're taking your calls and questions eight hundred five to five seven thousand. Coming up in the next segment, Bob Dole will stop by. He'll give us an update on the markets and the economy.

Tell us what you can expect in the weeks and months ahead. But in the meantime, let's head right back to the phones to Noblesville, Indiana. Hi, Rick.

Go ahead, sir. All right. Question I've got.

I've got a daughter that's in eighth grade and she's got some health issues that she'd like to go to college in four years once she graduates high school. We're not sure. So we're looking at a five. Yeah, we're we're losing you here, Rick. Let's see if we can maybe get you in a better spot.

Maybe move one direction or the other. Let's try it again. I heard you.

You've got a daughter of some money in a 529 looking to go to college in the next four years or so. Is that right? All right. Let's do this. I'm going to put you on hold.

My team will work with you and see if we can get that line cleared up and we'll get you right back on. We'd love to hear your question. Let's go to Georgia. Hi, Gail. Go right ahead. Hi.

Thank you for taking my call. My question is this. I'm 76 years old and I'm driving a car that's 13 years old. It still runs well, but the AC conked out, which is not a problem now, but it was very uncomfortable last summer in Georgia.

Sure. I've gotten two estimates on the repair. It's quite a job and it would be anything from seventeen hundred to nineteen hundred dollars to fix it. And the car, according to Kelly Blue Book, is only worth four thousand dollars, which I think is a high price because there's a little wear and tear on the body. So and it would probably go my experience with this type of car.

It's fairly reliable. Go for two hundred thousand miles. It's got one hundred thirty nine on it now. So my grandson and I are going to look at another car, which is even more reliable, but it's a twenty nineteen, which is newer and it's thirteen thousand dollars and it's got seventy eight thousand miles. But it's a type of car that was known to go for three hundred thousand miles.

So I I would have to withdraw the money from my IRA and my financial consultant says she thinks she can do that in such a way that I won't have to pay taxes. So should I go ahead and go for the the repair, which is less than a car, but then have a car that won't go for as long? Or should I go ahead and take the plunge? And if I'm going to drive the car and my grandson's going to look at it for me, see if I should go ahead with that purchase.

Yeah, very good. Well, I can certainly appreciate your dilemma here, Gail. And obviously when it comes to cars, it's just so hard to know. I mean, is this going to be the beginning of many substantial repairs or could you repair this AC and spend a significant sum of money? But then you've got a car that you could drive for the foreseeable future. There's just no way to know the rule of thumb around this.

And that's all it is. I mean, that doesn't mean you automatically go with this, but it's at least one data point. The rule of thumb is that if the repair is going to be more than half the car's value, then it makes sense to go ahead and replace the car. And you're getting close to that because if you're saying Kelly Blue Book's showing $4,000 and you've got to spend $1,700 and you think the $4,000 is high just based on the condition of the car, let's say it's really worth $3,500, then you're pretty much there in terms of having an expense that's about half of the car's value.

And so I think it's worthwhile to certainly look at the possibility of replacing it. Now, you get an independent mechanic that you trust to look at it and say, listen, this thing is in great shape and you replace the AC and you should be able to get quite a bit of additional mileage out of this. You may decide to hang on to your money and continue to drive it, especially because car prices have been coming down, including used car prices.

They were very high. We had 16 percent plus increases in used car values year over year a couple of years ago. But last year we started to see those numbers come down just as the new car inventories were replenished following that trip chip shortage that led to the new car shortage. So because of that, we're seeing a better car buying environment. I think it'll be even better yet next year. So I think you're right on the bubble.

I think it would probably you could go either way and probably not say it's a bad decision. How many miles did you say are on the car? Over a little over one hundred thirty nine thousand. And I had another car like this that went for two hundred thousand. Yeah. Yeah.

Very good. Has the mechanic that she's been looking at it that gave you the estimate on the AC? Did that mechanic weigh in on the status of the car? Did did he feel like it would continue to you know, it was in pretty good shape?

Well, he didn't really do that. He just gave me an estimate for the repair. My grandson, who knows something about cars, drove it and he agrees with me that it's it's running good. He did detect a rattle that he doesn't think is anything big, a big repair.

OK, so he also suggested that I could probably sell it to a teenager or something for he thinks I could get at least three thousand for it, which would also reduce the price of paying for the other one. Yeah. Yeah. Very good.

Well, again, I think, you know, if that's all you believe, you'll get out of it. Three thousand plus. You know, obviously, a seventeen hundred dollar repair is pretty significant, but it does give you a car that if you feel like is in good working order. And I would agree a car properly maintained these days should run two hundred thousand miles. Our last car we turned in had two hundred and thirty thousand miles. It was a Honda Odyssey minivan.

So, you know, I could go either way. I think if your grandson is, you know, has some knowledge around cars, maybe have him check out this new car you're looking at, you know, take another look at the one that you have now. If you feel like it's in good working order. You know, the thing I would get concerned about is just you at 76 being out driving in a car that's not reliable.

I just want to make sure, you know, you have good, reliable transportation. So if at any point you're starting to feel like I just feel like it's time to upgrade to something newer, you know, obviously, if you can pull that out of the IRA and that's not money you're depending on, that's probably a good use of those funds. And you're not talking about being exorbitant here.

I mean, a 13000 dollar car purchase is very modest. So, you know, I think you're right on the edge there, Gail. And it ultimately is going to come down to, you know, evaluating what you've got now and whether or not it can be, you know, folks who are knowledgeable think it could continue to be a reliable car versus you spending the money to upgrade.

I could probably go either way on this one. So I just prayed through and asked the Lord to give you some wisdom and then make that decision. Okay, thank you so much. I appreciate your advice and your wisdom. I enjoy your show too. Thank you very much, Gail. Thanks for calling today. We appreciate you very much.

Well, folks, just around the corner, we're going to be taking our next break and we'll be talking to Bob Doll and then Mary Ann, Jonathan, coming your way as well. You know, as we think about our role in managing God's money, at the end of the day, there are some basic principles that we need to follow. And it starts with living on less than we earn. You know, living within your means is the key to every financial success. And here at the beginning of a new year, one of the very best ways to do that is by living on a budget.

You know, we started the program by talking about that today and just the importance of having that spending plan. And if you've purposed yourself to get on a budget once and for all and stick to it in 2024, we'd love for you to check out the Faithfi app. You can do that on our website when you head to faithfi.com. That's faithfi.com.

And just click on the app tab. You can learn a whole lot more right there. All right, we're going to take this break back with Bob Doll and more of your questions here on Faith and Finance Live just around the corner. Stay with us. So glad you're with us today on Faith and Finance Live. Let's head right back to the phones today. We'll take as many questions as we can here on the broadcast.

800-525-7000 to Newport Ritchie, Florida. Hi, Mary Ann. Go right ahead.

Top of the afternoon. I appreciate your ministry. My question, I have two IRAs. One is normal, the other one is a Roth. My question, upon my passing away demise, do my children inherit that money tax-free with no problem? Yeah, the Roth IRA? Correct.

I've got $95,000 in it. I want to know if—I have right now, it's split up between my son and my daughter—if they inherit that money, do they have to pay taxes on that money? They do not, no.

Withdrawals of contributions from an inherited Roth IRA are tax-free. Guess what? That's wonderful. Well, good. I'm glad to hear that. That's wonderful.

I've been thinking about that. Yeah, I want to know how that went down. Yeah. Now, the key is, there are some exceptions to the earnings on it, but as long as it's over five years old, there should not be any taxes that are due on that. You'll always want to check with your CPA just to make sure, but you should be in good shape. It's one of the great benefits of the Roth IRA. Now, do you have up-to-date beneficiaries on those, Mary Ann?

I do. My children, 50-50, but I was thinking if something would happen to me when they inherit that money, they really don't have to report it, correct? Well, right. So they would get that outside of probate, and then they would take those withdrawals. And no, I don't think they would.

They would want to check with their CPA, but because there's no taxes due, as long as the account was at least five years old, they would not have any taxes at all, and therefore wouldn't report it on their tax return. Okay, guess what? You have made my day, Mr. Roth. You're wonderful. Happy New Year. Well, I'm glad to hear that. Thank you. Happy New Year to you, Mary Ann. We appreciate your call. Let's go to Kansas City. Hi, Jonathan. How can I help? Hi.

Good afternoon. Just had a quick question for you related to your thoughts on the growing cost of private Christian tuition. For a family that's decided that they feel led to put their kids in Christian education, I know that the cost of tuition has risen astronomically, and according to recent articles I've read, that will soon be something that the upper middle class will no longer be able to afford, as they're calling a luxury for private tuition of any kind, but especially in Christian education.

Do you have any thoughts on ways that families can subsidize that increased cost? And then what are your thoughts on, there's a growing trend of circles that I'm around where they are re-diverting their giving to the local church to that tuition. So do you have any thoughts on any of that?

Yeah, I do, Jonathan. I mean, I'm a big fan of Christian education. I serve on the board of a Christian school, and I'll tell you, it's just incredible to be able to have the benefit of giving, getting a good education and doing it from a biblical worldview.

I also recognize it's expensive, and not everybody has that ability to do that, and I certainly understand that. You know, when we talk about giving, it's always between you and the Lord, so I wouldn't want to weigh in on that one way or the other. I would just say New Testament giving is really giving cheerfully, not under compulsion.

And so it's really about a heart posture. So I wouldn't be, for me, looking for kind of quote unquote loopholes for me to kind of redirect my giving other places. I want to give freely as unto the Lord, starting with the local church and living modestly, living simply so that we can free up more to give beyond that. Now, whether or not somebody had a conviction that they really felt like, you know, it was really important for their child to have a Christian education and there was just no other way to do that, they wanted to direct their giving, again, that's something that they would have to approach in prayer, I think, before the Lord. It's not something I would be encouraging folks to do.

What do we do about it? Well, you know, there are other options. There may not be in your city, but for instance, the school that I'm on the board of, it's a hybrid education. Kids are home three days in school, too. And it's, you know, they still offer all the sports, but it's at a reduced cost. And it becomes, you know, more budget friendly than a lot of the five day Christian schools that, you know, are having to charge because of the plant and the upkeeps and upkeep in the buildings. They're charging $17,000 or $20,000 a year. And I realize, I mean, that's like paying for college, you know, five times over by the time you graduate.

And that can be really challenging. The other thing is, hopefully we'll see more states follow suit with the state of Florida. You know, you may not be aware Governor Ron DeSantis signed, I believe it was in last year, it might have been the year before, the universal school choice bill into law where basically it provides vouchers. So if you're eligible for public school in the state of Florida, you can take a scholarship worth around $7700 and attend a private school better suited to your academic needs, including a Christian school. And obviously, that's an enormous blessing to the students in the state of Florida that want to be able to choose where their kids go to school. And so it's created all kinds of opportunity. Well, if we were to see more states kind of follow suit on what Florida has done, that would obviously be an enormous blessing.

So I don't have kind of a one size fits all answer. I think, you know, ultimately, you need to pray through that with the Lord, I would not be kind of using your giving as the starting point by any means to fund that I would look for other ways, get creative, look at other schooling options. And, and let's pray we see more school choice spreading across the country. Does that all make sense? So absolutely, my wife and I tend to concur with with what you say.

So it's, it's just been interesting trying to get creative and, and find those opportunities without that school choice bill. So yeah, thanks for that advice. Appreciate it and appreciate your show. All right. Thanks, Jonathan. We appreciate it. Hey, it's beginning of the week here and Bob doll checks in with us at either Monday or Tuesday to give us the update on the markets and the economy. Bob, good afternoon. And the same to you, sir.

Hey, give us an update here. Obviously, incredible strength that you're in. We're seeing a little bit of that given back, I guess, so we shouldn't be surprised. But what's what do you make of the markets these days? You know, it's, you know, your ends are funny sorts of things. It's an artificial day, as it were, because the markets don't know it's your end. But somehow this year and it did know after that 15% run up in November and December, which is equivalent to like a year and a half's worth of average performance, we got it in two months, I think the market entered the new year and was at a hangover and was a little tired. And so we've done some selling off and people squaring positions, maybe realizing fundamentally that it's, you know, it's not a perfect world out there. And there'll be some earnings disappointments. And so we've had a bit of a sell off since the close of December 31st.

Yeah, there's no question about that. Obviously, it's early, though, we'll continue to watch and see how the year plays out. But looks like you're already off to the races on your 10 predictions. I know one of them was that the idea of double digit earnings growth was a bit excessive. And we're already seeing that ratcheted down, right?

Yes, we are since the first of the year. EPS for the S&P 500 has come down by a dollar more of that to come. It's just expectations about the ability of companies to have strong sales growth, rising profit margins if they're already pretty high and they have some cost pressures and maybe can't raise prices like they did. I think that's going to cause a little sloppiness in earnings. I still think it'll be up for the year, Rob, but not double digits. Yeah.

All right. Bob, one of the things that hits close to home, despite the fact that it's being influenced by geopolitical tensions in other parts of the world, is oil prices. When we show up at the gas pump, obviously a lot going on. The real concerns over what's happening there in the Middle East, as well as the Red Sea with regard to shipping. What's the latest there and where do you see oil going from here? After dipping in the fourth quarter as oil prices sagged and people saw that at the pump where they moved down from their highs quite noticeably coming into the new year, some tensions in the Middle East, the uncertainties rising, insurance costs, all that because people are worried about will the conflict in the Middle East spread to oil in the Middle East? As you probably know, Rob, about 12 percent of global trade passes through the Red Sea. That's a big number.

And to the extent that slows down or is more expensive, that makes things a little more difficult. That's what's going on there. I think we'll see a lot of toing and froing. But my view is there'll be enough economic strength globally and enough political uncertainty that oil prices probably remain firm.

All right. And then finally, mixed bag on the jobs report and wages. So what did you make of that? You know, like so many things, the bulls interpret something one way and the bears the other way. In the case of the jobs report reported last Friday for the month of December, the bulls said, look, we had more jobs created than expected. And the bears said, well, wait a minute.

But we had big reductions in revisions from prior months. And the bulls say, well, wait a minute. Wage growth is over 4 percent. That's good for the consumer. And the bear says, but wait a minute, that's not good news for inflation.

So you've got these these cross currents that I think are going to exist for a while in lots of those macroeconomic statistics. All right, Bob. Well, as always, we appreciate your insights.

Thanks for stopping by. We'll talk to you next week. Have a great week.

All right. That's Bob Dollies, chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments. We look forward to having him on each week just to update us on what's happening in these markets. Well, folks, looks like that's going to do it for us today. We are out of time, but so thankful to have you along with us today. We covered a lot of ground today and always love the opportunity to unpack God's word and get into your lives and your stories and be able to weigh in on what you're wrestling with in your financial life. At the end of the day, we need to recognize that God owns everything and he's given us money, the resources that we have as a gift, as a blessing. And so let's use them for God's glory each day as we give and live and oh, and grow God's money. Thanks for being along with us today. On behalf of my team, Gabby T, Dan, Amy and Robert, I'm Rob West. This has been Faith in Finance Live, and we'll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-09 19:05:59 / 2024-01-09 19:22:54 / 17

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