June 2015 Good $ense Newsletter: The Priority of Planning
Years ago when I first visited south Florida, I found it Ugly (Yes, that’s ugly with a capital U!). All the swamps and huge bugs that never die were a real turn off. But when I experienced the plans Florida entrepreneurs such as Walt Disney and others envisioned and implemented I realized how Florida has transformed itself from swampland to a tourism and retirement hot spot. Excellent restaurants and entertainment coupled with relaxing sunset views, ocean beaches, palm trees, and year-round sunshine have coalesced to endear South Florida as a tropical paradise for me too.
This past week as I drove through the swamps of “Alligator Alley” (connecting Naples and Miami) it hit me that our financial lives can be similarly transformed. It is possible to move from where we are now to Freed-Up Financial Living with some intentional planning, if those plans are committed to God. Proverbs 16:3 encourages us to “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans”. Planning change in our lives is so much more hope-filled when God is part of it.
Luke 14:28-29 highlights the importance of planning: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you.”
Part of laying the foundation for a solid financial plan involves understanding how we are motivated with regard to money. The four most common emotional money motivations are freedom, security, power, and love. None of these are bad – unless they take priority over our dependence on God to help us plan and implement those plans.
Our Freed-up Financial Living curriculum includes a “money motivation quiz” to help you understand your relationship with money. Knowing our financial motivations and understanding the spiritual and biblical basis for financial planning will equip us to implement plans for earning, giving, saving, spending, and debt in our own lives and in the lives of those we serve. Why not take the quiz today? You may download it now at Freed-up Financial Living pre-work, pages 15-16.
President, Good Sense Movement
Transforming Finances! Transforming Lives!
Plan Now, Celebrate Later!
Truths That Transform: Plan Now, Celebrate Later!
The evening had come, and everyone was excited. The coming of the bridegroom would start off a great celebration. But as time went by, the girls keeping watch began to get drowsy, and eventually they fell asleep.
Late at night, the bridegroom finally arrived. The celebration was about to begin! The girls went to light their lamps; but only five of them would light. The other five girls suddenly realized that they had forgotten to put oil in their lamps. How foolish! Desperately, they begged the five whose lamps were lit to give them some of their oil, but there wasn’t enough to go around. So the five went off to town to buy some oil, but by the time they returned, the celebration had begun and they were left out.
What a difference preparedness makes! Jesus told this parable to illustrate the importance of being prepared for his return by having a relationship with him. But the idea of preparedness carries over into our finances as well. Just as the bridegroom came when he wasn’t expected, so unexpected events will occur in our lives. We may not be able to prevent these events, but planning and preparation can help put us in a position to weather the storms.
Here’s a checklist of short-term and longer-term items to help you gauge and improve your preparedness.
- Budget: Do you know where your money is going? A budget is the first step toward financial preparedness.
- Windfall Income: Do you have a plan for what you would do with windfall income if God provided it? Plan now, and avoid regrets later.
- Savings: Does your plan include sufficient emergency, replacement, and long-term savings?
- Credit report: Do you know what your credit report says? Protect yourself against unexpected credit issues by keeping track of your report.
- Insurance: Does your financial plan include sufficient insurance, including (but not limited to) health, life, home, auto, and identity theft protection?
- Estate: Do you have a will that clearly outlines how your estate will be handled?
What’s your next step of planning and preparedness?
Good Sense Movement Team
Good Sense Movement
Transforming Finances! Transforming Lives!
IRS Hacked; 100,000 Tax Accounts Compromised
News You Can Use: IRS Hacked; 100,000 Tax Accounts Compromised
The IRS has announced that criminals gained unauthorized access to its “Get Transcript” application between February and mid-May. Approximately 100,000 tax accounts were accessed.
To get this access, the people involved gained information from an outside source before attempting to access the IRS site. The IRS believes that this information, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status, and street address. According to Rob Roy, chief technology officer of HP Enterprise Security Products, the information that the hackers used to gain access to the IRS site was probably previously stolen by other hackers and then sold on the open market.
Was my information compromised?
The IRS is in the process of notifying all taxpayers whose information was accessed. They will provide free credit monitoring for these taxpayers. Additionally, the Get Transcript application has been shut down.
What should I do?
According to IBM, over 1 billion records containing personally identifiable information were compromised in 2014. Medical records aren’t immune – half a million people were victims of medical identity theft in 2014. Identity theft is becoming less a question of “if” and more a question of “when”.
Good $ense recommends that part of any well-rounded insurance plan should include identity theft protection. For more information related to identity theft and some steps you can take to protect yourself, see http://blog.credit.com/2015/05/5-identity-theft-facts-that-will-terrify-you-116875/.
Information in this article was taken from