SHOW NOTES: for April 22, 2017
First Half – Middle Class Money Mistakes
If you were going to be charged an extra 15% for everything that you buy, would you still buy? Probably not. But you spend an extra 15% (or more, depending on your interest rate) when you buy items with credit cards and don’t pay the balance in full each month. If you are paying more than the price for what you buy, checkout our debt payoff calculators here.
Nearly six in 10 Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500 or $1,000 unplanned expense. An emergency fund is a must if you are trying to stay out of debt and avoid long-term financial damage.
A lot of financial mistakes can be avoided if you just stop, think and evaluate the difference between wants and needs. It’s not glamorous and it may not be fun but steady plodding keeps you on track: Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent end in profit, but those of the hasty end in loss.”
Second Half – Extra Ordinary Effort
You can accomplish almost anything if you are willing to sacrifice. Sacrifice is a good “Catholic” word, isn’t it? When paying off debt and trying to save, sacrifice is necessary. It will take time and hard work, but it can be accomplished with effort and dedication.
And therein lies the problem! Some people don’t try, some people do try and succeed, and some people try and quit when it becomes difficult. We challenge you to go one whole week without spending anything. No stopping at the grocery, or the big box store, or even the gas station!
Try a spending fast for one week and write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what happened.
SHOW NOTES: for April 15, 2017 How Much Debt is Too Much and Financial Literacy
First Half – How Much Debt is Too Much?
Debt is a way of life in America – mortgages; car payments; medical bills; credit cards; student loans; loans from relatives; notes we have cosigned. Being in debt assumes that we will have enough money to make the monthly payments. But what happens when we don’t?
Getting out of debt won’t happen overnight, but the process can’t begin until you decide it’s time to stop being a slave. “Just as the rich rule the poor, the borrower is slave to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7.
Use our debt calculators to help you get totally out of debt.
Second Half – Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works in the world: how money is earned, managed, invested and donated to help others.
Here’s a pop quiz to get you started – http://www.usfinancialcapability.org/quiz.php
To help you understand how to manage your money we have a series of calculators for you to use: http://compasscatholic.org/calculators/. If you are currently paying off your mortgage click on the mortgage calculator and see the amount of interest you will save over the course of the loan if you added an extra $25, $50, $100 or more each month. Let me ask you, wouldn’t you rather have the money in your pocket than pay interest? Click on the retirement calculators to see if your savings are on track and to get a ball park estimate of the savings you need to have when you retire.
Show Notes for April 8, 2017 – Tax Saving Ideas & Balancing Time, Energy and Money
Part 1 – Easter:
On Thursday we begin the Easter Triduum which is the shortest liturgical season in the year. It is also the holiest three days of the year as we recall the suffering death and resurrection of Jesus. It begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, and closes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday. As you celebrate this holy season, think of all the blessings God has given to you. Are you a consumer of these blessings or a steward of God’s gracious bounty? We can learn from Jesus how to be a good steward.
Part 2 – Acknowledge Before Change:
Let’s face it, wanting to change is a lot easier than actually making a change. Although I am not a Dr. Phil fan, I do agree with his statement that you cannot change what you do not acknowledge. If you want to make changes to the way you are handling your finances, whether it’s a huge turnaround or a little tweak, you need to look into the following facts:
1. What is your take home pay and where do you spend it each month?
2. What is your net worth – is it positive or negative?
3. Based on the most likely personal financial crisis, how long will your emergency fund last?
4. What are your financial goals – this month, this year, over the next 5 and 10 years?
5. What is your credit score and do you need to improve it?
6. How much debt do you have from all sources – credit cards, car loans, student loans, the mortgage, loans from relatives and even loans for which you have cosigned.
Check out the Compass Catholic financial calculators and spreadsheets to help you gather facts and figures. Once you have the facts, you’ll have the information you need to make those all important changes.
Show Notes for April 1, 2017 – Tax Saving Ideas & Balancing Time, Energy and Money
Part 1 – TAX SAVING IDEAS
in Mark 12:17. Jesus said to pay to Caesar what belongs to him, but if Caesar creates rules that allow you to lower your taxes . . . then take advantage of those opportunities! Here are some tax saving ideas.
Give yourself a raise – be sure the number of dependents claimed on your W4 form keep you tax neutral. Using your tax refund as a savings tool is not a good idea.
Boost your retirement savings and reduce your taxes by contributing to a qualified retirement plan.
Take advantage of a health spending account and a child-care reimbursement account if your employer offers them. You avoid both income and Social Security tax on the money, and that can save you 20% to 35% or more compared with spending after-tax money.
A child born, or adopted, is a blessed event for your tax return. An added dependency exemption will knock $4,050 off your taxable income, and you may be able to qualify for the $1,000 child credit, based on your income and other factors as defined by the IRS.
Saving money on your taxes isn’t just an April 15th tax day exercise. Monitor your income and expenses to save on your taxes all year long.
Part 2 – TIME ENERGY AND MONEY:
Time, energy and money. Sometimes you have more of one than the other. Here are some ideas to help you with the balancing act.
Downsize the house. If you are planning a move, evaluate the size you really need and consider downsizing. A smaller house will save money on the maintenance, utilities, mortgage, and insurance. Think about the time you will save doing basic jobs like grass cutting and cleaning. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average male spends 1 hour and 22 minutes a day on household activities, the female 2 hours and 9 minutes. A smaller house means less work for both of you.
Plan leftovers into your menu to save time when you are on the go, and also save a little money on the cost of the meal.
Plan shopping around sales to save time, money and energy
Spot clean on a semi-regular basis to save energy and time
Take bottled water with you in the car to eliminate stopping to purchase drinks.
Keep a shopping list updated and in a handy location so when you go to the store you know exactly what you need. You won’t waste money buying something you don’t need or waste time having to go back to the store for something you forgot to buy.
Time Energy and Money come at a premium, use them wisely!