Bloomberg reports the average U.S. household will pay $5,200 more this year — and escalating gas prices extends this to $6,000!
I'm not a fanatical penny-pincher or fearmonger, but I am committed to contentment, generosity and frugality no matter the circumstances.
"Isaac sowed in that land [of famine] and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; the LORD blessed him. The man became rich and continued to prosper" (Gen. 26:12-13, MEV).
Millions of people lose their health trying to gain wealth in the first half of life only to lose their wealth trying to regain health in the last half!
John D. Rockefeller, considered the wealthiest American of all time, learned this lesson the hard way. At age 52, he was at death's door. Then he discovered, "Give, and it will be given to you" (Luke 6:38, MEV). He recalibrated his life according to God's plan as the sands in the hourglass dropped, and in so doing, he miraculously lived until the age of 97!
Remember, by saving money we can maintain financial freedom, plus we have opportunities to direct more money to help with special needs children, pregnancy centers, adoptions, humanitarian efforts and missions. Don't be P.O.O.R. — Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly!
"Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not give up" (Gal. 6:9, MEV).
Last week I gave you 10 ways to save big amidst Biden's budget-busting boondoggle. Here are 10 more:
1. Reaffirm God's design for the dignity of work in attaining wealth, and reject progressive entitlements. Don't live beneath the revealed will of God for your life, depriving yourself of blessings while succumbing to socialist seduction. Giving needy people a hand up (not a handout) is biblical, but "if any will not work, neither shall he eat" (2 Thess. 3:10, MEV).
Leftist politicians dole out "free" government housing, checks, medical services, education, childcare, loan forgiveness, reparations and "open border" giveaways. We embrace equal opportunity, not equal outcome, and by doing so we can earn and save thousands even in Biden's messed-up economy.
An exemplary cashier at a store greeted me today saying she was promoted to manager over nine Subway shops at $60,000 plus vehicle and medical! "The soul of the sluggard craves, and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied" (Prov. 13:4, RSV).
2. Save and invest wealth wisely to multiply it. Through prayer and personal counsel from godly advisors, we can do this with minimum risk and maximum return. Jesus taught a parable (Luke 19:11-27) where two individuals doubled their money and were rewarded, but one buried it and was rebuked and fired!
With explosive inflation, money left sitting in checking accounts loses value. Once invested, stay in like the experts — don't panic with market fluctuations. S&P Index 500 mutual funds records for 5 years, 2017-21, were 21% up, 4% loss, 31% up, 18% up and 29% up.
Get godly counsel and be creative if you're skittish about stocks. Oprah Winfrey invests in art and made $60 million selling one painting. Pray, obey and believe for financial freedom and God's favor in saving and investing.
3. Speak up courteously but confidently and ask for discounts and deals. Jesus said, "Ask, and you will receive" (Matt. 7:7, GW). "You do not have, because you do not ask" (Jas. 4:2, MEV).
I spoke with a friend last week who said he got a contract renewal at the same price because he asked, plus an interest-free payment plan on a major household expense, enabling him to invest the money gaining! Another friend told me yesterday he's appealed three times to a board over the years on proposed property tax increases and his appeals all went through, saving him over $100,000!
4. Resist peer pressure in purchases and recognize creative alternatives. Parents with sons wait in lines at our mall to get their latest $175 pair of Air Jordans. Yards away, the American Girl designer doll store lures with "must have" Corinne for $120. My tech assistant's daughter clings to her lovable Journey doll from Walmart. Cost? $20.00.
5. Be careful with car care and repairs. Dealers charge top dollar due to showrooms, advertising and overhead. A trustworthy local mechanic can save you tons!
Last month I needed two headlights costing $1,000 plus $300 labor. I ordered online and saved! $270 + mechanic installed, $230. SAVINGS: $800!
Years back the dashboard light indicated a transmission problem. The estimate given for a "needed" rebuilt transmission: over $1,000. My father-in-law (like Jethro with Moses) counseled me to check elsewhere, where a mechanic said it was simply a defective sensor — $26.
Watch out for oil changes! They'll tell you $30 every 3,000 miles plus more for oil filter, air filter, etc. But you can go 5,000-7,000 mile intervals on conventional oil and 10,000-15,000 miles on synthetic oil (just check your oil level every 5,000 miles) to save hundreds yearly!
6. Save on electricity. LED bulbs last longer and use less wattage (14 versus 1500), and in emergencies they won't drain a generator. Wisest decision we've ever made: installed an attic fan that draws out upstairs heat and draws in cooler outside air. Also, wait until you have full loads in the washer and dishwasher, shorten showers, use fans, close blinds and turn off lights.
7. Decimate debt now. Monthly debt payments are the worst "money suck" (18% interest on credit cards!). The average U.S. household's revolving debt is $6,000!
"The borrower is the slave of the lender" (Prov. 22:7, ESV). "Owe no one anything" (Rom. 13:8, NKJV). If you're in debt, get out of it. Have a plastectomy (cutting up your cards), but if you use them for record keeping, pay every month like us and my brother-in-law, who has not paid any interest in 46 years!
8. Be prudent about purchasing a car. New cars are up 15%, plus they depreciate 10% immediately when driven off the lot.
Irv Gordon drove his Volvo 3.2 million miles! When asked the secret, he simply said, "I read the instruction manual and followed it from day one." We really don't need new cars every couple years.
Consider buying quality vehicles (Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, etc.) that can last 200,000 to 300,000 miles when consistently maintained. You can have no car payment, and car insurance is much less.
9. Look at your lawn care. "Lawn care professionals" charge an average of $75 to $145 for basic weekly mowing, adding up to nearly $3,000 yearly. They make lots more money by influencing you to pay for aeration, fertilizer, landscaping, pest control, seeding and weeding, bringing homeowner costs to $4,000+ depending on lawn size.
We pay a high school student $20 to mow and clean up while we continue to do the weed whacking, seeding and fertilizing after hiring an inexpensive company for aeration and weed control. Saving close to $2,000 enables us to help support a special needs child.
10. Still keep a home security system? Because there are many types and component costs vary, but the average amount is between $700 and $1,900 plus monthly fees of about $30.
How about Psalm 91 promises; developing strong ties with neighbors — getting mail and packages, and watching for suspicious activity; inexpensive light timers; leaving a car in your driveway when you're away as a deterrent; and yard signs (purchased online) that say, "This home protected by ... security system"?
And remember Jesus told the disciples to buy a sword for protection (Luke 22:38).
Here's the Deal: "A penny saved is a penny earned." Go for it.
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Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 50 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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