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Discussion in 'Money Talk$' started by Salty, Jan 15, 2012.
Most of Americians are in the top 10% of earning income.
If I understood the article you linked too I would say that I, and likely most of us on this board, are in the top 1%, globally speaking.
It takes a great deal of effort to change our thinking on finance and possessions. Last week I preached on what it means to worship in spirit and truth. I asked the audience to let God show them what their gods were, all the things that get in the way of really living a life sold out to God. Today our senior pastor preached on Romans 12:1 and being a living sacrifice. He asked to think about what we would give up to fully follow Christ.
God is not against wealth or the wealthy. Neither am I. The question is, do we enjoy the blessings of God, or do we allow them to rule us? I cannot answer for anyone but me.
I just may ask you to hop on I-90, get off at NY exit 34 and have you preach that message at Canastota! :thumbs:
LOL Brother Bob, I am sure you can handle that message. I don't know that that is one that is best received when preached by an outsider.
But it may be one that is needed! raying:
It's probably one we need as a nation.
I did lead our family, and later members of our church, through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course. It was well received and helpful.
That's fine if one actually wants to live outside the US, Go for it!. Most people drawing Social Security could live upscale compare to the locals in most parts of the world, if you call that living.
Many Americans complain they don't have enough money.
But what are they spending it on. Sure, you need a house to live in, but why rent a 3 bedroom if you can get by with 2BR. Is a second car an absolute necessity? We must all have not only cable, but cable +. When shopping at the grocery store - whats wrong with the store brands. I have heard - but not sure that the store brands are actually produced by the national brand and packaged separately. (can someone get a link for that?)
There have been times it was actually more expensive for the wife to work - when you figure in baby sitting, extra car, clothes, meals ect....
Is it really necessary to go to a well know college when a community college may be just as good.
Do we really need to spend $300 per person for Christmas? In the ole days it was one gift to wear, to read, to eat and one for fun.
Lets not forget cigarettes and other "sin items" Does a couple really need to spend $300 a month on cancer sticks?
Suppose a person smokes about 12 sticks a day x 7 days = 90/wk at an average of $6 / pack = $54 /wk = average $230 per month
Another words - there are plenty of options to save money - but as Americans - "We must keep up with the Jones"
Would love to hear from some of our non-USA friends. Would you say that my example is similar in your country.
I contend we need to look at the entire situation before we say we are poor.
Bottom line - what are our reasonable priorities?
I am a Jones, and if you want to keep up, it would be a good thing, I think.
I led our family through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University stuff almost 2 years ago. Last fall I led some couples from our church through it.
We have paid almost $50k towards debt in two years. That does include the mortgage, but also includes paying off a bunch. The only thing left is the house and student loans now.
We don't have cable, but we do have the internet.
We do have 2 cars, both paid off. The newest one is a '97. My 91 has 126,000 miles on it.
The only time we eat out is for church related functions, and many of those are still done in homes or potluck style. But you and I know pastors need to be ready to take someone out for coffee etc on quick notice, not to mention association lunches and the like.
Groceries....we do buy store brands, but be careful because these days many times they are a worse value than name brand.
We have no credit cards...at all. We do use debit cards, but those require cash to be in the account and still give you buyer protections.
We really don't have any wiggle room left in our monthly expenses. We may be able to refinance, but that will require paying an appraiser and making some repairs, and still not guaranteed to have the value in the house to make the new loan work. The last time I checked was 3 years ago and our home had lost about $30k in value and ate up all our equity, plus a little.
When my kids have "wants" we talk about how they are going to earn the money and what they are willing to sell to get it.
We are teaching our boys to budget and figure in saving and giving with the money they earn.
I know some people have done a lot better than us. Some have been more disciplined and went to really restrictive diets and things like that to keep expenses down. I applaud them and encourage them to keep at it. I know it will be worth it in the long run.
I wonder if people even consider how much their personal debt is at play in the national debt?
Are we willing to change the way we live in order to be responsible stewards and honor God with His provisions?
I admit my motives are tied to ministry. I don't want my past poor financial decisions to hamper my ability to answer when God calls me to a senior pastorate. I also want to set a good example to the people that God has placed in my care now....and that includes my family.
I thank God for convicting me about this a few years ago and helping me do this. He had change not just my heart, but also my brides. He has been faithful!
I agree with the tone of the thread somewhat. A lot of Americans depend too much on money, spend too much of their money on useless items (doodads) and need to follow the advice of Dave Ramsey. But, I think it is wrong to “be proud to be poor.”
I am part of the 1% (yes, my net worth is well over 7 figures). And, because I have been blessed financially, I can fund several crusades a year in other countries. I can help in church plants. I can use a lot of my free time to help grow the Kingdom of God because I don’t need to spend 40-60 hours a week trying to make ends meet.
I hear pastors all the time pray for funds to work on whatever it is that God has placed on their hearts. And this is right. But, where do you think the funds come from? They come from people, usually Christians, that God has blessed monetarily. God has placed money in their hands and made them stewards to distribute those funds (where they have been led) to build His Kingdom.
I apologize if there was an implication of being "proud to be poor". That was not my intent at all, brother. God does bless people with finances, and it is so that they can in turn be a blessing. The goal is, of course, to be content and honor God in all things. That means recognizing that we have made some foolish mistakes and work to correct them, as is the nature of repentance. We know God will bless that. How He chooses to bless us is up to Him, and I am good with that.
Dave Ramsey makes no bones about his stupid mistakes. He talks openly about living like no one else (making deep sacrifices to overcome our stupidity) so that later he could live like no one else (be rich and be able to give as God places things on his heart).
Our financial state is not a sin issue. The place we give finances in our life is where we get into trouble.
One thing that is rarely spoken about when the topic of how "rich" we Americans are is the simple fact that in our culture money does not buy us much and we don't have the means to live like most of the 3rd world does, nor do we want to, no matter how guilty some make us feel about the whole situation.
I promise that if some of the 3rd world people were not enslaved to a religious system that intentionally held them down they would be far more wealthy than we are -- for most of them work like slaves to earn a stale scrap of bread. Imagine what they would do for a paycheck -- in fact, just check out the immigrants who come here and start immediately making money...
When religion says that one cannot rise above his or her caste, or when religion says that tilling a field and removing the rocks and stumps will upset the spirits who will kill the crops, and when religion says that cleaning the water that gets pumped from a slime hole is a bad thing, then yes, the world's people will be poor beyond belief.
Here in America, our religion says that we can work hard and be well off. A few people can even get rich, whatever that means these days (you have more than your neighbor, I guess). And yet, WE are too lazy to take advantage of the situation and we sit with hands out begging some President to give us a chicken for our pot.
Shame on us...
>Sure, you need a house to live in, but why rent a 3 bedroom if you can get by with 2BR.
I suppose some people used the same logic when farmers started to install indoor plumbing.
Exactly how does that help someone in a 3rd world nation?
Truth, people in third world countries have to learn to help themselves by themselves. Like freedom, common sense and a cooperate and/or capitalist mind set can't be given away.
Trillions have been dumped into helping the poor in the US but all it has done is adding a couple of generations to the families who have been on welfare since welfare was invented.
I have great sympathy for the working poor who are being scammed by the "American Dream" but have no sympathy for generational losers.
I find the root cause of the class envy directed toward the wealthy to be nothing more than an emotional appeal to make those who have a "little bit more" than their neighbor to cause them to be on board with Marxist redistribution of wealth schemes.
That is not to say that the Bible does not have some things to say about the poor and the responsibility of the believer to assist when all other means fail (such as "work" and "family" both of which come first in the scriptures over benevolence), it does,
But those to whom this effort is mostly directed are not typically Bible believers nor are they doing what the scriptures say to do about the poor among us, so the entire issue is nothing more than a sham to cause class envy and eventually class warfare.
I completely agree with this 100%. I look at so many people in my county who are on welfare. They know how to work the system so that they will get their free check each month while the rest of us go to work to support that free check they receive. Back n my college days I wrote a paper on the current welfare system and how much it needs an overhaul. If welfare was truly designed as a "hand up" and not a "handout", then it would work. But sadly, the way the system is now it's easy for people to stay on it instead of getting off it and getting a job.
There are times that people need the welfare system, but sometimes those who need it can't get it. For example, I know a lady who got divorced. She and her daughter moved in with her mom for a time until she could get on her feet. She had no job at the time of the divorce, and therefore had no income. Her ex wasn't paying child support so she went to the county to try to get on food stamps so she could feed her daughter. But the county denied her food stamps, claiming that they had to count the income of all people living in the house. So they counted her mom's income, which was over $50K a year. The poor lady wasn't able to get food stamps or any government support while she looked for a job. Yet you have people who intentionally will quit their jobs so they can stay on welfare and get that free check. Situations like that annoy me to no end. The government doesn't take care of those who really need the help, but give free handouts to people who are more than capable of getting a job and supporting themselves.
Seriously, the whole system needs an overhaul!
$34,000 - the top world 1% - is about $15/hour.
"The annual median wage fell in 2010 for the second year in a row to $26,364, a 1.2 percent drop from 2009, and the lowest level since 1999, according to David Cay Johnston at Reuters."
So more than half of all Americans are not in the world top 1%.
In the Seattle metro area $26K is poverty level.