Here are some articles that caught my eye this week…
Great list. Take charge of your life. Paying off debt. Saving. Learning to work together with your spouse. Raising kids that become responsible adults. Avoiding the temptations of advertising and practicing contentment and gratitude. These things are hard; there is no question. But the alternatives are hard too. Taking responsibility for your life in these areas will lead you to a life that is worth the struggles that it takes to get there.
Have you ever been tempted to cut a corner here or there? Integrity is often defined by what we do when we know we are unlikely to be caught. Taxes are one area where it can be especially tempting. The state where I live has a line item where you declare out-of-state purchases for which state sales tax was not collected. Items like this are a test of your integrity. If you “forget” a few purchases who would ever know? But what is the price of integrity?
I am convinced that our obsession with new cars is perhaps the number one reason most of us will never reach financial freedom. I read recently that the average car payment in America is now $492 and most of us have at least 2 cars sitting in the driveway. If you are not a millionaire, it’s pretty hard to get financial traction when you have $1,000 a month going out in payments. Throw in student loans, credit cards, and other debt payments and it is little wonder so many reach retirement age and have very little to show for a life’s work. Debt is a thief. It does not bring blessings to your life.
Debt in almost any form is dangerous because of the risk it brings to our lives. But some forms of debt are especially bad. In my mind payday lenders and title lenders are among the worst as they take advantage of those who are in the most need. When I think of Jesus words “what you have done for the least of these you have done for me”, I think many of these lenders will have much to answer for. Don’t get trapped in these awful products.
Very cool idea. What creative ideas could you come up to add a little extra to your savings?
I notice that keeping track of who got the rose or who was voted off the island didn’t show up on the list. Take advantage of your youth to do some of these things that will set you up for a lifetime of success.