When we think about improving financial situation or reducing debt, the focus is around spending, credit card interest rates and other financial topics. Yet, this is just ½ the battle. The real battle is with your thoughts, emotions and beliefs about money. Do you feel fear, anxiety, worry, stress or anger when you think about money or your retirement? Would you rather feel more peace, love and joy around money? Of course, but how can you do this? Many believe that if we change the event (debt, income, etc.) that our feelings will change. To a certain point this is true because you are reducing a cause of the emotion (debt), however the feeling will pop-up somewhere else. To feel better about money takes changing our conscious and unconscious beliefs about money.
The first two parts of Gifts of Tithing discussed:
• Part I – The basics premise of tithing is what we give is what we receive whether it is anger, money or love. Yet, the law of tithing goes further in that what we focus on (abundance or lack) is what we receive. Thus, we can be giving money, yet is the focus is on lack then lack is what we receive.
• Part II – How we give is just as important as what we give. If we give reluctantly, sparingly, expectantly, etc., the focus is on lack and that is what we receive. If the focus is on giving lovingly, joyfully, willingly and freely than we will receive what we give.
The third gift of tithing is that tithing showing us that we are already abundant. Yet, how many of us really believe this? Usually, it is about if I had just a little bit more for (fill in blank) then everything will be o.k. Yet, money is not going to make us feel prosperous and happy. Studies have been done on what would a typical American need to feel prosperous? The answer may be $1 million. Then a millionaire is asked what he needs to feel prosperous, the answer may mean $5 million. So the issue is not the money, yet believing that we need a little more to be happy. And, as I discussed before, we get what we have not what we want. So if we want a little more, it isn’t going to happen unless the focus is on the abundance that we already have.
Recent articles have been writing about rolling over an IRA into a Roth IRA especially in 2010 when the exemption to convert an IRA to a Roth IRA for people making more than $100,000 is removed. Some of the reasons to covert to a Roth IRA include:
• Tax rates are bound to increase, thus it is better to get taxed now before they become higher
• Roth IRA account can be used as an emergency fund
• Payments from a Roth IRA do not need to begin at age 70½ unlike an IRA account; thus the Roth IRA account can continue to grow tax free
• Roth IRA income is not included in income test for determining if taxes are paid on Social Security income
Yet, is it this easy of a decision for everyone? No.
Are we human beings having a spiritual experience or are we spiritual beings having a human experience? This is an old philosophical question. Yet, it made a lot of sense to me in class that I am taking. The instructor asked do we need to “do to have to be” or do we need to “be to have to do”. Instantly, I thought of a lot of financial advice about debt. Many think that we need to do something (reduce debt – or work) to have something (money) to be something (rich). Yet, it is actually reversed. We need to first focus on who we are (child of our creator – God, Buddha, Allah, etc.) and think about the person we want to be.
I received a comment regarding “Is Refund of Premium Rider for Insurance Policies Worth the Cost?”, on how some people would pay the additional costs just to have an automated savings plan because they could not save on their own. It reminded me of all the advice these days focusing on American’s inability to save. Thus, the focus of financial advice is on the virtues of automatic savings plans, 401(k)/403(b)’s, bi-weekly mortgage plans, etc. that are plans meant to increase the savings rate. When discussing the reasons for these plans the focus is sometimes on how Americans will spend the money if they do not automatically save it. Yet, is this the best way to deal with the issue?
In my opinion dealing with savings without dealing with the spending or other issues is not solving the problem, just masking the problem. Continue reading
A large misunderstanding about tithing is the reason why we give. Many give, expecting to receive something back. With tithing, some people expect recognition for giving, expect the “riches of heaven” or expect to receive prosperity by giving. Expecting something back is especially true when we give in the act of shopping. You may be thinking that shopping is not tithing so what does it have to do with tithing. I find giving in all forms, related. It is like saying that being spiritual only matters in church and it does not matter how we live our lives outside of church. It is important to look at all areas of giving because it is in tithing and other aspects of our lives that will determine what we receive. For example, if one gives freely at church and then is a miser outside of church, the focus on lack (being a miser) will expand and can cancel out the effects of tithing at church.
Sorry for the slow week on this blog. I have had computer problems and other personal issues that have limit my work on this site for the past few weeks. I will post again soon.
For those who are interested, Oprah has been doing a debt diet show this week. There is another show tomorrow (Friday) and more shows to come. There is also a message board at Oprah.com that discusses real issues that people are having with their debt and how to solve it.
As the saying goes, as we give, so shall we receive. Yet, what does this really mean? When asked, most people may relate it to money and how the more money that we give, the more that we will receive. Yet, this many not be exactly right. We focus on money, yet tithing is more than money.
The law of tithing also applies to feelings like kindness, love, resentments and anger. The more love and kindness we give to the world, the more we will see and receive back. The more anger we give to the word, the more we will also see and receive back. And, it can be a circular cycle and it may not necessarily come right back in the same form. Like the story goes, the father comes home angry from work and takes it out on his son. His son then goes and kicks the dog to retaliate for his dad getting angry at him. The dog then goes and bites the father the next morning. The father then goes in and takes his anger out at work Thus, when one person gets angry, the anger spreads.
When you hear of an insurance policy havings a refund of premium option, you may think that this is a nothing to lose. With these policies you get the insurance protection and receive a refund of the premiums you paid in if you have not filed a claim on the policy when the policy coverage period expires. Thus, it makes the purchase seem like a simple no brain decision. If you are thinking this, you should think again.
In response to the article “Young & Broke”, LaserTroly pointed out that my approach was good in theory but was not really practical in raising teenagers. For me having a plan of action on how I want to raise my children is important. Teens do have choices and can (and usually do) make different choices than what we plan on. Yet, teaching from a plan (whether it will work only in theory or not) is still better than no plan at all because when our children see that their way did not work (e.g., when they are struggling with huge debt or struggling to pay for college) then they will start to realize that we actually may have known what we were talking about. And, having been taught good financial habits initially (even if they moan and groan about it) will give them a basis to turn to rather than having no direction at all.