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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Financial Peace (Evening C.L. Mtg)

Our first meeting of the New Year was Tuesday the 10th of January.  We were happy to welcome back many faces who were plagued with the winter viruses last meeting.  We touched on resolutions that many people make this time of year.  Our evening devotion was all about putting into action today what we would usually put off until tomorrow.  How fitting for motivating us in our newly defined goals!  
 
Along those same lines, our featured speaker for the night was Tiffany Dick who shared with us financial budgeting.  She used material from Dave Ramsey as a foundation.  The first step to financial peace is establishing a budget.  That means you have to first identify where all of your income goes each month.  For those just starting off, this may need to be tracked a few months before sitting down (with your spouse) and determining what is a reasonable budget for you.  We had several examples to ponder…with some astonishing recommended percentages in some categories!  One of the main take home points is that our culture lives way beyond our means.  We should be down-sizing our homes and cars, making responsible decisions and not maxing out our credit limits.  We should consider living differently than those around us.
 
One of the most helpful tips was Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps for living in financial peace.  The first is to establish an emergency fund, so you don’ have to diminish savings or go into debt for those unforeseen events like car repairs, hot water heater replacement, etc.  The next step is to focus on paying off debt, starting with the lowest balance.  That way success is easier to obtain and you would be more likely to continue the trend.  Next is building savings, then investments, saving for college, paying off your home early and finally building wealth to give more. 
 
Another thought provoking topic was realizing the responsibility we have to teach our kids about money.  It could be done by giving an allowance, or by paying for chores. Each side has an interesting point and counter-point.  We should be teaching by example, and making sure to include a 10% tithe. 
 
Our small groups then met to discuss a few questions…and hopefully we will be able to put into practice some new principles to work towards financial peace and living frugally.
~ Lisa Frantz

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