4 Simple Ways To Make Budgeting Easy And Effective

by Monday, October 9, 2017

A lot of people treat budgets like New Year’s resolutions. They are lofty and unrealistic goals with only an 8% chance of becoming reality. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be.   Budgets are supposed to be personalized money management tools that help you take control of your finances. If you don’t have a greater sense of control and empowerment, then your budget isn’t working.   If you don’t have the kind of budget I’m talking about, then you really need one. Follow this link to learn how to make a budget that serves as a GPS and not a jail cell. Once you’ve got your GPS budget going, here are a few simple ways to make budgeting easy and effective: View post

Can You Still Receive Social Security Benefits Even After Opting Out?

by Monday, October 2, 2017

  Yes.   There you have it, shortest blog post ever.   But in all seriousness, this is an important matter that can make a huge difference during your retirement. If you didn’t take saving for retirement seriously during your early years, even just receiving a little help from the Social Security Administration could double your monthly income in retirement.   If it really is possible to still receive Social Security benefits after opting out, how does that work? Well, there are two ways: View post

How Does Trump’s Proposed Tax Reform Affect The Clergy Housing Allowance And 4361 Exemption?

by Thursday, September 28, 2017

  November 2, 2017 Update: Follow this link for a new post explaining how pastors will be affected by the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act proposed by the House GOP.   Yesterday, the GOP officially unveiled their "Unified Framework For Fixing Our Broken Tax Code." Many people are eager to know how they will personally be affected by tax reform, especially pastors who receive certain benefits not available to others. Right now you're probably wondering what, if any, changes will be made to the clergy housing allowance and your ability to opt out of Social Security.   Unfortunately, the framework does not answer any of your questions. It is a broad guide for congressional committee members to follow as they write out the details of tax reform. It will probably be months before we know anything specific. The Pastor's Wallet will make sure to inform you as soon as anything official regarding how the tax ...

How To Calculate How Much Life Insurance You Need

by Monday, September 25, 2017

It’s Life Insurance Awareness Month! I’ll be you weren’t aware of that. It’s ok, neither was I until this morning.   In honor of Life Insurance Awareness Month, I am going to finish off the month talking about…   Yep, you guessed it! Life Insurance!   Common Rule Of Thumb If you’re reading this blog, you probably already understand the value of life insurance. You want your family taken care of if anything happens to you. You already know the why. Your big question is probably more along the lines of how much. How much life insurance do I need? View post

Do You Know How To Use The F Word?

by Monday, September 18, 2017

I mean fiduciary. Why, what were you thinking?   Fiduciary, pronounced fi-DOO-she-air-ee. In the financial services industry, this is a very important word. It describes a kind of relationship. The kind of relationship you want to have with someone giving you financial advice. View post

Did Equifax Put You At Risk? (And What You Can Do About It)

by Monday, September 11, 2017

On September 7, Equifax, one of the three major credit reporting companies, announced that they had been hacked. Sometime between mid-May and July hackers exploited a vulnerability in their website in order to gain the personal information of about 143 million people.   The hackers got people’s names, social security numbers, birth dates, home addresses, and some drivers license information. They also got credit card information for about 209,000 consumers and dispute documents containing personal information for 182,000 people. View post

Are Millennials Really Worse With Money?

by Monday, September 4, 2017

It seems that in the media, Millennials are constantly getting a bad rap. They are lazy, entitled whiners living in their parents’ basements and sipping expensive coffee.   But we all know Millennials who are nothing like that. Like my son’s kindergarten teacher who spends all day shaping the hearts and minds of 20 little high-energy, snotty-nosed humans, then goes home to take care of her baby and husband (all while pregnant).   Sometimes the only way to reconcile our own experiences with what we hear in the media is with cold, hard facts. This is a money blog, so today we’re going to talk about money. Are Millennials really worse with money than everyone else? Or is that just something that old people say to feel better about themselves?   View post

How To Make A Budget That’s A GPS, Not A Jail

by Monday, August 28, 2017

Budget. It’s amazing how one simple word can elicit so many strong feelings. Bondage, boredom, failure. Restrictive, tedious, controlling. A lot of people only have negative connotations when they think of budgeting, because of what they have heard and experienced.   If you think of a budget as an 8 ½ x 11 (or digital) jail cell, I’m sorry. You’ve been mistaught and abused. It’s not supposed to be that way. View post

The Most Under Priced College Credit Out There

by Monday, August 21, 2017

Though it doesn’t feel like it yet, fall is on the way and colleges across the country are getting back into the swing of things. And parents and students alike are writing some of the biggest checks of their lives.   About 10 minutes from my house is WSU Vancouver, where classes start today. Over there, people are shelling out about $500/credit this term.   Would you believe me if I told you that you could earn credit towards their degrees for only $33/credit?   Yep, it’s true. I didn’t attend WSU specifically, but I earned 18 credits that they accept towards their degrees for only $33/credit. I even earned 6 credits for half that, a whopping $17 per credit.   Am I some sort of higher education financial contortionist? Not really, though it sounds cool. Am I blackmailing the dean? Never! (I’m offended that you’d even think such a thing!)   Then how did I accomplish this fiscal ...

What’s The Difference Between A 401(k) And A 403(b)?

by Monday, August 14, 2017

A lot of letters and numbers are often thrown around in reference to retirement plans. What are they and what differences and similarities do they have? View post