Check out some of my recent articles that have been published over on my friend, John Frainee’s site, The Christian Dollar.
I recently came across an article from Smart Money magazine that discussed six financial mistakes that couples make. For the most part I thought their comments were right on track, although in a couple of cases I would take an even stronger stance than what they proposed.
Tim Sanders is the former Chief Solutions Officer at Yahoo.com and a New York Times best-selling author. I heard a terrific interview with him recently where he was discussing his new book Today We Are Rich. The title comes from an experience he had when he was a kid being raised by his grandmother. A down-on-his-luck drifter was coming through town and stopped, asking if there was some work he could do on their farm to earn some money. He worked hard and they were able to help him on his way even though they didn’t have a lot either. When the drifter left, his grandmother commented “today we are rich”.
Sanders’ life took a turn for the worse for several years after his father was murdered when Tim was in college. Eventually it was coming back to some of the sound, common sense, Godly principles that his grandmother had instilled in him as a child that led him to get his life back together and put him on the path to the success he has found today. In the book he distills those lessons from his grandmother down into 7 basic principles for success. It’s a good book. We can often learn a lot from our grandparents’ wisdom and Sanders appears to have had a terrific grandmother.
Many financial advisors draw a distinction between “good” debt and “bad” debt. While I will agree that some debts are less bad than others, I really take an exception to the term “good debt”. I think this legitimizes and normalizes debt to the point that many people don’t even consider the possibility that there might be other alternatives. All debt is dangerous to a degree because it adds risk to your life. Proverbs 22:7 doesn’t say, “The borrower is a slave to the lender, unless of course you can rationalize your debt as good debt, then it’s not so bad.” The price of debt is always a little piece of your freedom. Part of the problem is that when we lay out those “good debt” scenarios we usually do so in a world where everything goes as planned, but life seldom works that way. In this article I discussed some problems with this kind of thinking and some examples of alternatives.