How to Handle Your Finances

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H O W TO H A N D LE Y O U R FI N A N C E SE stablishing Godly Principles

with Your Finances

Teaching Notes by Joyce MeyerJoyce Meyer Ministries P.O. Box 655 Fenton, MO 63026 636-349-0303 1-800-727-9673 www.joycemeyer.org

TN182

Copyright 2005 Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored electronically, sold, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc.

April 7-9, 2005 Baton Rouge, Louisiana

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCESBecoming Debt FreeFoundation Scripture: II Chronicles 7:14 I. Some Facts About Money And Debt A. If money could talk, what would it say? 1. Im depressed and sad because I am tired of people abusing me, using me for wrong purposes, fighting over me, stealing me, and lying, cheating, and committing crimes to get me. I get blamed in some way for most divorces. Im tired of fighting with greed all the time. Im hoarded, Im stolen, and Im wasted most of the time. People think Im their security, and Im not. They act like Im God, and Im certainly not. I just wish people knew how much good they could do with me if they treated me right and how blessed their lives could be.

B.

There are approximately 2,000 verses in the Bible that talk about money. Jesus talked more about money than He did heaven and hell. At least one-half of the parables mention money. I Timothy 6:7-10 We brought nothing into the world and we will take nothing out. The LOVE of money is evil money is not evil. 1. James Dobson said he had a great revelation while playing the board game Monopoly. He was playing very aggressively, getting homes and turning them into hotels, and taking everything everyone had and putting them out of the game. Soon everyone had lost all they had and he had it all!1

C.

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCES

As he started putting the game away, he began throwing the pieces back in the box when he suddenly realized something. When our lives are over, everything we have gained will go back in the box (so to speak); and someone else will come along and start all over with it. Why not spend your life doing something that will last? 2. D. Luke 12:15-20

Matthew 6:19-21 Dont spend your life trying to gather wealth. Spend it in storing up treasure in heaven where nothing can destroy it. Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also. 1. 2. 3. 4. Psalm 37:4 (NIV) Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Proverbs 28:6, 8, 16, 20, 22, 25, 27 We are called to give and not to get. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Dont play Monopoly all your life, never caring whom you throw out of the game just to find at the end that you have to leave it all here anyway. If we make sure we are storing up treasure in heaven, God will take care of our treasure here on earth. Luke 16:13 You cannot serve God and money. Something has to come first and everything else must be after that.

5.

6. 7.

E.

Some statistics about debt: 1. Seventy-one percent of Americans say debt is making their home life unhappy. a. Debt is often connected to greed.2

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCES

b. c. 2. 3.

Proverbs 22:7 . . . the borrower (slave) is servant to the lender. Debt steals your freedom.

Seventy percent of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. In 1980 there were 500,000 bankruptcies, and last year there were close to 2,000,000. a. It was not people living under the bridge or an entrepreneur who got into trouble who filed bankruptcy. It was middle class, educated baby-boomers with large credit card debt. Out of 100 of your closest neighbors, approximately four to seven of them are at least three months behind on their house payments. Foreclosure has increased 200 percent since 1980.

b.

c. 4.

People should live thirty percent below their means if they ever intend to be financially secure, but most people live way beyond their means. A large majority of people regularly spend more than they make. Credit cards have made this possible, but they are an illusion. It takes approximately five years of spending more than you make before it catches up with you, but it always does. Anytime we charge anything we cannot pay for at the end of the month, we are spending tomorrows prosperity today; but what happens when tomorrow comes?

5.

6. 7.

Most Americans have an average of seven credit cards. One study said that every three months there are 15.4 billion credit-advertising impressions on the American public.3

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCES

8.

The top four credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) spend $567 billion or more in one year on advertising. Citibank (the largest credit card company in the world) spends $10 million a year marketing credit cards to your high school and college children. Some colleges earn money for letting the credit card companies advertise on campus.

9.

F.

Perhaps we need plastic surgery. If you cannot handle credit cards responsibly, then cut them up and never have one again. Most people have PROVEN they cannot handle them responsibly. 1. For convenience, debit cards might be a better option. What you spend is deducted from your checking account that evening.

G.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER put more on a credit card than you can pay in FULL at the end of the month.

II.

People Perish For A Lack Of Knowledge. A. Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge . . . 1. Virtually every high school graduate knows what an amoeba is when they graduate, but they dont have a clue how to balance their checking account or how dangerous credit cards can be if they are irresponsible with them. They dont know how to save or invest. Many of them dont even know how to work. They have no patience. They expect that they should have what their parents have spent fifty years getting and someone will be willing and happy to loan them the money to help them get it.

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCES

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2.

They probably dont know that if by the age of twenty-five they are saving only sixty-five dollars per month that they will be a millionaire by the time they are 65; plus if interest rates go up by then, it will be more than that. They have not been taught how to handle money. Most of the young people who are in trouble are just doing what they saw their parents do. Parents Teach your children how to WORK, GIVE, SAVE, and SPEND (in that order).

3.

4. B.

If you are not knowledgeable in these areas READ, READ, and then READ. Two books I recommend that I used for research are: Money Came By The House The Other Day by Robert Katz and Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. 1. Example of something I learned: Most credit cards have a variable interest rate, which means your debt will go up if interest rates do, but only seventeen percent of people with credit cards even know this.

C.

Most people dont realize that when someone offers them ninety days same as cash that interest has been built into the price of the product. 1. Seventy percent of people never pay within ninety days anyway and the lender who bought your contract from the store knows that. So you paid more for the product to start with to get the illusive ninety days same as cash. If you dont pay in ninety days, the lender who bought your contract from the seller now starts charging you interest dating back to the date of purchase. You signed a contract giving them the right to charge you interest for the ninety days if you did not pay off your purchase in ninety days. People sign contracts all the time without even understanding what they are signing.

2. D.

Do you know the state of your own finances?5

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCES

1.

Proverbs 27:23 Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds . . . a. In other words, know at all times how much you own and how much you owe. Most people are sadly more concerned with what they own than what they owe. They are not being responsible. Remember: You dont really own something if you owe on it.

b. 2.

Satan is the deceiver. The Bible says to be especially careful in the last days because deception will increase. Did you know that 100 years ago anyone who owed somebody else was considered to be poor; they were pitied, and sometimes even not respected. Nobody even knew what a credit card was until about fifty or sixty years ago. The battle for your finances is a spiritual battle. Satan wants you in debt, miserable, pressured, afraid, worried, and anxious. He can STEAL YOUR POWER if he can STEAL YOUR PEACE.

3. 4.

5.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus came that we might have life not debt, which sounds frighteningly close to death. GET MAD! The only way you will ever beat the devil and get out of debt is if you get downright MAD and DETERMINED to do something about it.

6.

E.

Planning your prison break includes: 1. Thoroughly understanding your financial condition. It may frighten you when you actually face it, but the only way out is through.6

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCES

2. 3.

Prepare a balance sheet that lists all of your assets (all you own) and all your liabilities (all you owe). Separate current assets (money you can get your hands on right away) from fixed assets (things that are worth money if and when they are sold). Example: You might own an expensive antique; but if you cannot sell it, then it wont do you much good.

4.

Prepare an income statement. This is a statement of how much money you regularly make, NOT what you would like to make or what you hope you make after your next raise. Be realistic HOW MUCH MONEY ARE YOU ACTUALLY MAKING?

5.

Next, make a list of your expenses. Learn to separate needs from wants. If you keep incurring expenses for things you merely want but dont need, you will have to cut them out in order to get out of debt. Needs are things like: a. b. c. d. e. f. Tithe, taxes, and savings. Home mortgage or apartment rent. Repairs and maintenance (everything you own will require some upkeep). Automobile payment, insurance, gas, and repairs to automobile. Food, clothing, and utilities. Medical, dental, etc.

6.

7.

Wants are things like: a. Vacations.7

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCES

b. c. d. e.

Entertainment. Continued education. Health and beauty. Second mortgage. (You probably did not have to take out a second mortgage. You did it to get something you wanted.) Most loans to finance companies were for the same types of things (furniture or appliances you could have waited for). Before you start judging everyone and deciding what they need and dont need, let me say that what is one persons want may be anothers need.

f.

8.

Take the total of ALL your income, deduct the total of ALL your expenses, and what you have left (plus or minus) is your balance sheet. MOST PEOPLE ARE OUT OF BALANCE.

9.

I Peter 5:8 Be well balanced for your adversary the devil roams about like a lion roaring in fierce hunger seeking whom he may devour.

F.

The real root of the problem is a lack of willingness to delay gratification and pleasure. Discipline has become a dirty word. We need power over purchase, and we need to be delivered from what Dave Ramsey calls the STUFFITS. The bottom line is: We are CONSUMER CRAZY, and we absolutely love STUFF.

G.

Get ready to dig your way out of debt with a spoon. 1. If a person wanted to break out of prison, he would have to keep his focus on freedom, not digging.

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCES

8

Digging 100 yards at night with a spoon while others are sleeping will not be fun. But if he keeps digging, he will get free (at least that is what happens in the movies). 2. 3. 4. Make a plan to get out of debt and stick to your plan. The first step to freedom is to STOP BUYING! Dont buy anything you dont absolutely have to have. Consider getting an extra job for a while. Put all the money you make toward paying off your smallest debt. It will get paid off faster than some of the large ones and you will be encouraged. Now, take the money from that payment and add it to what you are already paying on the next smallest debt, and so on down the line. Pretty soon you will be making double, and even triple, payments on some of the larger debts and in a few years you can be DEBT FREE. If you took out a second mortgage on your home to get a boat, sell the boat and pay off your second mortgage. Take the money you were using to make that payment, and add it to another payment. Dont EVER make minimum payments; and if there is any way you can, pay extra on the loan balance. Story: The Rooster And The Hen Said the Little Red Rooster, Believe me, things are tough! Seems the worms are getter scarcer And I cannot find enough. Whats become of all those fat ones? Its a mystery to me. There were thousands through that rainy spell, But now, where can they be? But the Old Black Hen who heard him Didnt grumble or complain. She had lived through lots of dry spells.

5.

6.

7.

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She had lived through floods of rain. She picked a new and undug spot; The ground was hard and firm. I must go to the worms, she said. The worms wont come to me. The Rooster vainly spent his days Through habit, by the ways Where fat round worms had passed in squads Back in the rainy days. When nightfall found him supperless, He growled in accents rough, Im hungry as a fowl can be; Conditions sure are tough. But the Old Black Hen hopped to her perch And dropped her eyes to sleep And murmured in a drowsy tone, Young man, hear this and weep. Im full of worms and happy For Ive eaten like a pig. The worms were there as always But, boy, I had to dig!! H. I. J. Realize from the beginning that impatience got you into trouble, and only patience will get you out. Realize it is going to take time to get back to the Land of Even, and you have to get there before you can get to the Land of Plenty. Keep your eyes on the goal, not the gold. 1. I John 2:15-17 Dont forget: When the game is over, all the pieces (stuff) go back into the box and someone else will come along to play the game.

HOW TO HANDLE YOUR FINANCES

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