047: Gratitude Aug21

047: Gratitude

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/47-Gratitude-with-Jeannette-.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:38 — 23.5MB)Jeannette Slater & Dr. Deb discuss a cure to many ills and stresses: gratitude! The episode is full of reminders and perspective that we often lose as we experience everyday life. Jeannette read Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life by Arrien Angeles, internalized it and added her own reflections and experiences to discuss this important topic.   Check out Angeles books and try using the table above for a self-reflective exercise. Angeles Arrien. (2013). Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life Angeles Arrien. (2013). Living in Gratitude: Mastering the Art of Giving Thanks Every Day, A Month-by-Month Guide Angeles Arrien. (2006). The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of...

What Does It Mean?

These few days are undoubtedly the most important in the Christian calendar; they are centerpieces of the faith. But there is no one-way to view the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. That said, I think it’s important to think about. I contend that how you view Jesus’ death and resurrection reflects on your view of God and how you related to the Divine. In his book, Across the Spectrum: Understanding issues in Evangelical Theology, Greg Boyd and Paul Eddy devote an entire chapter on “The Atonement Debate.” There they outline the three main perspectives: The Christus Victor View (Christ destroyed Satan and his works) The Penal Substitution View (Christ dies in our place) The Moral Government View (Christ displayed God’s wrath against sin) Here, in a nutshell, is an overview of these perspectives. Then I will make a case for something more simplistic that may work even better for you. According to Boyd and Eddy, the Christus Victor view was the most popular until the Middle Ages. It was based on the idea that, “Jesus’ death and resurrection defeated Satan and thus set humankind free from his oppressive rule” (Boyd & Eddy, p. 114). Later John Calvin and Martin Luther developed the Penal Substitution view, that Jesus took on the punishment that humankind deserved. One must understand, however, that Calvin was an attorney, so he saw everything in legal terms. For him, there was a debt to be paid, and Jesus paid it. The problem I have with this view is that it turns our relationship with God into a transaction. A transaction is that I put down money at the store and I get to take the milk home. However, everything about scripture tells me that God is interested in transformation,...

You Need A Budget Jul28

You Need A Budget

I am on a quest to be financially healthy. And for me to be successful in any area of my life, I need a SYSTEM that helps me accomplish my goals. It must be easy to use and convenient. At the beginning of 2012, I began looking for a program to keep track of my money, and was so pleased when I found You Need A Budget, or “YNAB” for short. My readers can get a $6 discount  on the software by linking from this site. And students can get the software for FREE with proof of school registration! I had used Quicken to balance my checkbook for years. But when a computer upgrade made the program unusable, I was forced to find an alternative. What I found does so much more. And Lord knows I needed more. YNAB has software for both your computer (Mac or PC) and smartphone (iPhone, Android or Kindle Fire), syncing all your devices effortlessly via Cloud Sync. Not only does it keep track of your checking account, but ALL your accounts including savings, credit cards, and Pay Pal. It also contains your budget, so you can keep track of what comes in and what goes out. Reports show you exactly what your money is doing. YNAB money management so simple, even I can do it! And I’m numerically challenged! However, YNAB is much more than software. The company offers free live and recorded classes to teach you how to use the software and the method. They teach a four-rule method to help you stop living pay check to pay check, get out of debt and save more money. They are: Rule #1 – Give every dollar a job Rule #2 – Save for a rainy day Rule #3...

When A Bargain Isn’t A Bargain Nov25

When A Bargain Isn’t A Bargain

I love bargains. In fact, I have such a reputation among my friends, they sometimes ask me to help them shop; I truly am “Dealtime Deb.” I love the hunt of finding just what I need at the best price. I’ve written previously about practical ways to save money. It just makes sense to shop around to make your limited resources go further. However there are times, many times, when a bargain is not a bargain. I have stuff in my house I never use. I made the mistake of falling for a deal when I really didn’t need it or could not afford it. How do you know when a deal is a deal? Here are some reasons our justifications may not be justifiable at all: You don’t need it. Buying something because it seems like good deal—but is something you would otherwise not even consider purchasing—is no deal at all. Sometimes this involves saying no to a high-pressure salesperson. You get what you pay for, which often means “cheap.” Some things may be a good price, but their inferior quality means they will not last. Think back to something you were excited to get as a child, only to be disappointed when it broke. It’s often a better deal to spend a bit more for quality. You didn’t budget for it. Financial advisors like Dave Ramsey are sticklers about making a written budget and sticking to it. While I’m not so fanatic (perhaps I should be), I think there is wisdom in it. The idea in making a budget is that you set priorities. Rationally telling your money where to go each month is safer than giving in to situational temptation when walking past a store item or finding a deal online. The power of budgeting is that you spend your money on paper before you’re exposed to the emotions of a deal that just presented itself. You put it on a credit card or you cause your checking account to be overdrawn because you don’t have the money. Paying 10 or 20% interest or getting slapped with an overdrawn fee can easily eat up whatever savings you think you got on an item. A good principle is to live on last month’s income. When you put things on credit, you’re spending next month (or next year’s) income. While we rejoice in our perceived savings on a bargain, we too easily dismiss the interest we’re paying. Only use a credit card if you can afford the item and will pay off the bill when it’s due. You buy on impulse. The retail business knows you better than you know yourself. They know they can get you into a store or to a site with the offer of a “deal you can’t pass up.” However, once there, you find lots of other enticing products or services. Grocery stores know this too well, which is why they put candy bars and magazines by the checkout counter. If you see something you think you need at a killer price, sleep on it. You believe the deal will be gone. This is perhaps the most enticing temptation of all. The deal is for a limited time, and if you don’t get it now, you’ll never get such a deal again. This is rarely true. But we are emotional beings and start to believe we must get something now or we will have lost out. We rarely lose out by waiting. You deserve a break today. That was not only a McDonald’s ad campaign, it’s something we all battle with. We work hard. We’re stressed. We deserve that thing. Sometimes it is good to reward yourself. But buying things you can’t afford is not giving yourself a break; it’s often mortgaging your future. You don’t think about the long-term cost. For example, you could spend $5,000 on new furniture. Assuming you didn’t...

Bye Bye Consumer Debt Aug23

Bye Bye Consumer Debt...

This is a significant week for me because I paid off my last credit card! The debt was not from spending sprees, expensive electronics or a new car. In fact, I drive a 23-year-old car that I bought new and plan to drive for 300,000 miles. The debt was from emergencies, like dental work, mission trips that went over budget, and life. It was also from new windows and buying things that seemed like a good deal on sale. I think I have had some sort of consumer debt for more than 20 years. Now I say, Adios! Au revoir! さようなら and до свидания and Arrivederci! As the bible says, the borrower is slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). I certainly feel more free than I did a week ago! So how did I do it? I listened to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. The course if offered thousands of times across the US every year and is available online. I borrowed the CDs from my niece who took it. I got serious about getting out of debt. Ramsey calls this, “gazelle intensity.” A gazelle being chased by a predator runs for its life—as fast as it can to get away from the problem. Until I realized how important it was to clean up the mess, I lacked the motivation to do it. I followed up by listening to Ramsey as often as possible, on the radio while driving, and to his podcasts. An addict needs constant encouragement to do the right thing. I was addicted to debt and needed help. I followed Ramsey’s advice to save up $1,000 in an emergency fund. Now when I need dental work or car repairs, there is some money there and I don’t have to reach for...

Crushing Debt: The Ramsey Method Aug06

Crushing Debt: The Ramsey Method...

Dave Ramsey is a very successful financial coach, author, teacher and radio host. He made money in real estate and went broke twice. Then he figured out what went wrong, learned from his mistakes, and set out to help others. I have listened to Ramsey’s Financial Peace University lessons as well as his radio show regularly. He has made a tremendous difference in my life, helping me solve my personal financial issues. Dave’s plan is quite simple. But like most choices in life, it takes willpower, commitment and what he calls gazelle intensity. (Think how fast a gazelle runs for its life when it’s being chased by a predator; people in debt should run like hell for their lives with the same intensity. He preaches the need to get on a written budget, then only spend money that has been pre-allocated. I’m still working on this one! To get out of debt, Ramsey teaches what he calls baby steps. I am implementing them and seeing a HUGE difference in my financial health. 1. Set up an emergency fund of $1,000. This is for dental visits, flat tires and all those things that WILL happen as part of life. You have to plan for them. 2. Pay off all debt using the debt snowball. To do this you start making minimum payments on all your debts except the smallest one. Then you attack that smallest debt by throwing every dollar you can at it, increasing your income through extra jobs and selling stuff. (You pay off all debts in this way, starting with the smallest, then going to the next one and the next one.) You DON’T start with the highest interest, rather the smallest balance. As Dave Ramsey says, this is an emotional issue;...

Do You Need A Life Coach?...

Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” During the past year I have been training to be a lay life coach. In addition to studying, I’ve also had the privileged of being coached myself; It’s been an incredibly life-giving and transformational experience, one that’s taken me to the next level in several aspects of my life. So I asked my own coach, Jeannette Slater, if she would write an article on this strategy in hopes that you might look for your own coach and give it a try. – Dr Deb. How many times have you come away from a conversation, a seminar, a good book or any other learning event thinking, “Wow, I would love to implement that in my life! It would make all the difference!”…and then the phone rings with the latest urgency and months later something is tickling in the back of your mind….”Oh yeah, I had good intentions…oh well…” Perhaps you need a personal life coach. A life coach is one who comes alongside you to help you clarify what your goals are. Then the coach helps you discern the next steps to reach your goals. They’re also there to cheer you on as you live out your plan. Coaching is all about helping you take what you hope for, dream, or imagine and making it become a reality. A life coach doesn’t come with direction or the answers.  Their role is not to tell you what to do, but to help you find the answers that are in you that you don’t know are there! They are more like a midwife than a counselor. The coach’s role is to listen and ask good questions that uncover the keys...

Vacation Spending Jun22

Vacation Spending

We tend to spend too much money on vacation. It’s like we cast our logic to the wind. Maybe we’re in the “I deserve it” mode. Then things end up costing more than we thought. Check out this great article by Dave Ramsey so you don’t end up bringing your vacation home with you (in the way of credit card debt)....

Goals for 2013 Mar11

Goals for 2013

Link – How are you doing on your 2013 goals? I’m a big fan of financial guru, Dave Ramsey. He is the author of multiple books including the best seller, The Total Money Makeover. I listen to Dave’s radio show and audio podcasts as often as I can because it helps me keep on course to make wise financial decisions. Most of us live in cultures where the predominant messages are, “SPEND! SPEND! SPEND” Ramsey teaches God’s way (which turns out to be the best way–go figure) for handling money. Here is a short article he released titled, How to Set the Wrong Goals. Check it...