Lesson 2 - Homework

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SCRIPTURE MEMORY

Choose the ONE verse that BEST RELATES to you and commit it to memory.

“Disorganization is an accumulation of little bad habits all strung together and it is the major enemy of personal success.”
-- LARRY BURKETT


PRACTICAL APPLICATION

1. Start tracking daily income and expenses using your preferred tracking tool. This is an essential step in every financial plan.

2. If you haven’t done so already, complete your budget using your preferred budgeting tool. If we do not have a plan for making and managing money, we may encounter very serious challenges and obstacles.

3. Spend one evening this week coming up with cost-saving ideas. (If you have a family, do this together.) Use the “Tips for Living on Less” article found in the section below as a starting point, and commit to make one lifestyle change to rein in your spending.

4. Use the Life Insurance Calculator above to determine your life insurance needs. If you have a family, do you have appropriate coverage?

HOMEWORK QUESTIONS


  • Understand biblical financial principles
  • Create a budget (spending plan)
  • Spend less than you earn
  • Have clear financial goals

1.Use your preferred method (online app, computer software, or paper and pencil) to track every expenditure you make. Do this as a couple if you are married. Review the spending categories so you know where the money is going. Continue this habit until you have control of spontaneous, non-essential expenses.

2. Wait. Learn to wait 30 days before any major purchase and to shop for a bargain on every purchase.

3. Spend less on utilities. Adjust the thermostat to be a little uncomfortable or turn it off and open the windows; deliver your garbage to the landfill instead of paying for a service.

4. Drive smarter. Bundle your trips so that you drive less; shop for the best prices on gasoline. 

5. Buy more to spend less. Join a food co-op or buy a warehouse membership; buy in bulk items you frequently use. 

6. Use less entertainment. Cable TV, Internet, movies, iTunes, sporting events and eating out are expensive forms of entertainment that can be eliminated and replaced with trips to the library, a walk in the park, or a picnic with friends or family as you develop an appreciation for less noise and more beauty.

7. Buy used. Shop at thrift stores and garage sales. Check for items on craigslist and eBay from reputable sellers.

8. Homemade is better. Learn to make things yourself that you once thought you had to purchase, such as clothes, gifts, cards, meals and treats.

9. Do it yourself. Don’t pay for services you can do yourself, such as taxes, maintenance, cleaning, and home improvement projects. Check out “How To” manuals from the library and sign up for free classes at home improvement stores to learn new skills. 

10. Think differently. Ask yourself, “How can I get this done for less? What would I do if I had no money to pay for this but still needed it? Who do I know that may have advice or resources to help me with this need? What can I exchange or barter to get what I need?”

11. Clear your mind. Walk more, ride a bike, cancel magazine subscriptions and stop watching television commercials that create a desire for more things.

Read Proverbs 21:20

The Lord instructs us to be content when our basic needs are met. “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Timothy 6:8). It is important to understand the difference between a need, a want and a desire. Needs are the basic necessities of life—food, clothing, and shelter. Wants are useful, but not necessary for survival, while desires are typically more extravagant. God may allow us to have some of our wants and desires, but He has not promised to provide all of them.

    Read Luke 12:15 : Hebrews 13:5


    Some use comparison to justify spending more than they should. Many have suffered financially because they insisted on “keeping up with the Joneses,” even though they could not afford it. Someone once said, “You can never keep up with the Joneses. Just about the time you’ve caught them, they go deeper in debt to buy more stuff!”

    Freely Enjoy Whatever God Allows You to Purchase

    Prayerfully submit spending decisions to God. Seeking His direction does not mean spending only for basic necessities. “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving” (1 Timothy 4:4).

    Make an Effort to Live More Simply

    Every possession requires time, and often money, both to use and maintain. Too many or the wrong types of possessions can demand so much time or money that they harm our relationship with God and others. A quiet, simple life allows us to invest time serving God’s purposes. “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, NIV).

    Read Luke 14:33.

    Read Proverbs 16:1-3; 19:21

    The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:8: “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” Our society operates on the assumption that possessions equal happiness and more is always better. Six of the seven times the word “contentment” appears in the Bible, it involves money. Paul wrote, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:11-13, NASB). Paul “learned” to be content. He was not born with this instinct, and neither are we; we must deliberately develop it.

    It is said that marketers need only six words or images to create discontent and desire for purchase: bigger, faster, better, more, cheaper, quicker. They work, don’t they?

    The diagram below illustrates three elements to the secret of contentment.

    Merely knowing God’s requirements is never enough to bring contentment; doing them is the key. We can trust our loving Heavenly Father to provide exactly what He knows is best for us at any particular time—whether much or little. Biblical contentment has nothing to do with laziness or apathy. Because we serve the living and dynamic God, Christians should seek opportunities for growth. 

    Contentment is not complacency, and so it does not exclude properly motivated ambition. Instead, faithfully maximize the talents and possessions entrusted to you. Biblical contentment is an inner peace that accepts what God has chosen for our present vocation and financial situation. “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you’" (Hebrews 13:5).




      Read Philippians 4:11-13.


      Read Proverbs 15:22.

      1. Ask three to five people who are known for their godly wisdom and excellent financial management.

      2. Be sure that no one has a conflict of interest and that everyone is willing to offer you advice without any expectation of where or how you will repay them.

      3. Meet with your advisors to confidentially disclose your financial condition and seek their godly counsel. Take your MoneyLife® Indicator results and your budget with you to discuss your areas of greatest need

      Two questions are often asked: “Is insurance scriptural?” and “Does owning insurance reflect a lack of faith?” The answer is both yes and no. Insurance is not specifically defined in Scripture; however, the principle of future provision is. 

      A Christian must believe that all resources belong to God. Therefore, the resources that are in control of an insurance company are still God’s. 

      God’s Word teaches provision, not protection. Insurance can be used to provide where a potential loss would be excessive. This is especially true when another’s loss must be considered, as in automobile liability coverage. “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naïve proceed and pay the penalty” (Proverbs 27:12, NASB).

      *Please note: Crown recommends insurance coverage be integrated into your financial plan.


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