Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Day #10, Tips to Teaching Your Girl About Money: Get to Give {#youandyourgirl}

Day 10- Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money: GET TO GIVEOur culture constantly blasts the messages of success and more. Ads for online college, expensive cars and diamond jewelry define how to get ahead and what it looks like when you arrive.

Maybe you have watched someone climb the ladder, move up the ranks. Can you honestly say having stuff has brought the happiness and peace they expected?

We are teaching our kids to work hard to take care of your needs. But also work hard so you can contribute to taking care of the needs of others.

Ephesians 4:28 says, “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”

Paul is not encouraging the Ephesians to work hard to take care of those who also need to learn to work hard. He challenges them to labor in a way that builds their own confidence and self-esteem and also allows them to help another to do the same.

When our motivation for achievement comes from a place other than getting to get more, God can bless the work of our hands and give glory to Himself. Let’s teach our kids to get more so they can give more.

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Lynn

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Day #9, Tips to Teaching Your Girl About Money: More Will Never Be Enough {#YouAndYourGirl}

Day 9 Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money: More Will Never Be EnoughHeavy with shoes, boots and clothing of every style, I drug the bags down the stairs, through the hall and hoisted it in my truck. Another bag of out-of-style everything was on its way to the thrift shop. From my closet and our girls’, the enormity of all we no longer wanted overwhelmed me.

It felt like just yesterday we needed all this stuff. One year it was boots. Another season it was a specific backpack or jacket. Every year in middle school, there was something they just had to have.

If Christmas or a birthday was near, they often got the item they wanted. But sometimes, by the time this special day came around, the crowd was wearing something new and our girls had moved on to a different “need.” Or if they did get the thing they so desperately wanted, all too soon it was out of style.

As they matured they began to see, more will never be enough. As soon as you get the more you want, you have a new more to work on.

More is never enough is a lesson I have to keep teaching myself. Watching the “fixer upper” shows, I suddenly find myself needing new paint, new stools, new rugs. An hour ago they were all fine! Just as soon as the new purchase is brought through the door, a line is crossed through the list in my head and I am on to the next shiny thing.

More is never enough…and it never will be. It is not bad to want something new. The problem comes when the new takes hold of us; becomes the focus of our motivation or the scheming of our days.

Solomon brings us his wisdom on “the mores” in Ecclesiastes 5:10 “Whoever loves money will never have enough money; whoever loves wealth will not be satisfied with it.” Paul shares how to overcome “the mores”: “…I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens. I know how to live when I am poor and I know how to live when I am happy.” Philippians 4:11-12

Lord, teach us how to be content and find Your joy in giving away rather than getting more. Empower us to pass this powerful truth onto our children. Amen

Lynn

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day #7, Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money: Wait 24 Hours {#youandyourgirl}

Day 7- Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money

Yes, today I am going to throw myself under the bus…again!

As the time for our first-born grew closer, Greg and I knew the 2-door sporty car I was not going to work when our baby arrived. But I wasn’t quite ready to give up the cool factor yet!

So on a Saturday afternoon when Greg was out golfing, I decided to get a head start on our search for the perfect vehicle. Of course, I found it at the first lot. The kind salesman suggested I take it to show hubby and see what he thought.

There I sat, on the 9th hole in the big red SUV with gold trim, waiting for Greg’s approval. The approval, which I didn’t get…at first.

He knew this brand of car; knew it was known for very expensive breakdowns.

But I wanted this car! And our baby needed it!

Wanting to give me what I wanted, against his better judgment, he finally said, “yes” to his pushing wife.

You know the ending, don’t you? Greg was right. That car was a piece of junk! I can’t tell you how many times he could have said, “I told you so” as we hauled it into a shop again. He never did.

Since that time, we’ve learned to wait on bigger decisions. Maybe I should say I have learned to wait. Allowing ourselves 24 hours to process, we can think through and let our emotions settle down before we make a purchase we might regret.

Isaiah 49:23 says “ those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.” Of course, God is not talking about buying a used car, but I believe His wisdom applies here. If we will wait, we have a better shot at not making decisions we will regret down the road.

Let’s teach our kids to push past being impulsive. Help them to take their time to make decisions and have a better shot at making right ones the first time.

Lynn

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Day 6, Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money: No Cash, No Carry {#youandyourgirl}

Day 6- Tips to Teach Your Girl About MoneyI had found it! After having used furniture for quite some time, I was more than ready to buy a new couch. Not only was the sofa big enough to have our whole small group sit on, it was on sale! I couldn’t wait to get home and give Greg the great news!

But the news I thought was so great, he didn’t. We had a principal we were living by: if we couldn’t pay cash, we couldn’t carry the purchase home.

I knew that is how we did things, but I thought the whole premise was to avoid interest. This store offered no interest for six months! Free money!

I quickly learned interest wasn’t the only thing we were avoiding. Greg was helping us to avoid debt as well. Romans 13:8 says, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other…” It wasn’t only a matter of not paying money to use money. The goal was to not owe anyone anything.

I was so disappointed that day, but can I just tell you 26 years later, I am so happy we lived out this principal of no cash; no carry. If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for.

As the credit card applications fly into my mailbox for our adult children, I share with them Paul’s wise words. Be a debtor to no one.

Lynn

Friday, April 17, 2015

Day 5, Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money: Recycle to Cycle Up Savings {#youandyourgirl}

Day 5- Teach YD about moneyI couldn’t wait to furnish our first house! Every place I had ever lived was communal, whether it was the bedroom with my sisters or the dorm room at school. Now, I finally had a place for just Greg and I.

I only lacked one thing – money! Our very small savings wouldn’t have bought us even a new couch and what money we did have we had bigger plans for. So we began the game!

Leaning on friends, family, thrift store, we learned the art of hunting down the treasure. The cliché is true: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Recycling other’s cast offs meant Greg and I could continue to cycle money into our savings and have a space we loved to come home too. It just took some creativity!

Within months, our place was cozy and our savings had grown! We quickly learned: you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a home.

This past fall, Greg and I had the opportunity to watch our daughter set up her first home. While keeping their money in savings, she and her roommate created a space they can relax in after school and work. (And it is very cool!)

Whether it is furniture, a car or clothes, let’s teach our kids recycling allows them to keep cycling money into their savings! To be cool, it doesn’t have to be new.

Lynn

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Day 4, Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money: Give Away What isn’t Yours {#youandyourgirl}

Day 4- You and Your Girl, Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money: GIVE AWAY WHAT ISN'T YOURSHe demonstrated it from the time we started dating.

Having lived on a minuscule income while in school, my wardrobe couldn’t even be called small. That would have been too big of a word. So, without drawing any attention to my lack, one day early in our dating, Greg planned an out-of-town adventure ending with a trip to the mall. I still remember my mother’s comment when we came home and I showed her Greg’s generosity, “He’s going to spoil you!”

That day clued me in to who this man of mine was. Ever since that day, he has been teaching me to be generous. Most of all, he has taught our kids and me the fun in giving to others.

Through his actions, Greg is teaching our kids to give extravagantly, never looking for recognition, but simply giving for the sheer joy of giving. Because here is what he knows…

“…For everything is from you, and we only give you what we have received from you.” 1 Chronicles 29:14

When we give to others, we are simply transporting God’s goodness from Himself to others. God gives us the amazing opportunity to participate in His generosity.

Practice generosity; to those in need and to those who need to know someone cares. Whether you have a little or a lot, give what you have and be a blessing to others. Discover the joy, then teach the joy, in giving away!

 

*** The winner of the combo from yesterday’s post is Michelle who posted on 4/15/15 at 7:31 a.m. Congratulations! Please email me at Lynn@LynnCowell.com and I’ll get the books shipped right out to you! ***

Lynn

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Danger of an Empty Heart {Give Away Day}

Trade

If you are joining me here from my Encouragement for Today devotion with Proverbs 31 Ministries, welcome! I am so glad you stopped by!

I’d love to connect with you more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. This month on my social media #youandyourgirl series we discovering 10 Tips to Teach Your Girl about Money.

 

“You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16 (NIV)

Take a moment and read today’s key verse out loud. You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Let that truth soak in your heart. God, the Creator of all things, opens His hand to us. Listen to the generosity there in the One who holds all things. This One is the one opening His hand to you today.

What is in He offering?

Exactly what satisfies our desires.

When we are filled, by Jesus, our hearts are sated, not on the edge of giving in to temptation to give up the best of later for the quick fix of now. The tantalizing pull of the unwise decision weakens when we’re not grasping for what we think will gratify us.

When my heart is filled with His love, I have the ability to slow down when it comes to decisions that come my way.

Desperation doesn’t determine my steps. 

Oh how I want that! I am going after being a wise woman not prone to making decisions based on how I feel, but determined by what is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. I want to be beautiful like that and the only way I can become that type of woman is to be filled by Jesus so His Holy Spirit pours out of me.

I’ve got to be a smart business woman making only wise trades!

Today, I’m giving away a “Wise Choice” bundle which includes a copy of The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst,and my book Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants to empower us to be make only wise trades. To be entered to win this combo, just comment below (or if you are getting this via email, please go to www.LynnCowell.com) and share one trade you feel is wise. If you are in a hurry, simply say, “I’m in!”.

I’ll announce the winner tomorrow during my series 10 Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money (now we’re talking smart trading!)

10 tips to teach YD about money

Is this message of making wise choices a message you would like to bring to the women or girls in your community? If so, click here to learn more about bringing me to speak at your group!

Lynn

Day 3, Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money: Give, Save, Spend {#youandyourgirl}

Day 3- Teach YD about moneyAfter learning about tithing, my parents taught me the rest of their system.

Step 1: Give
Step 2: Save
Step 3: Spend

From the perspective of a teen, I didn’t see any arguing or even a whole lot of planning when it came to my parent’s money. It seemed they simply followed the three steps and we always had enough.

When my father passed away pre-maturely, it was then that I truly saw the wisdom my father had when it came to finances. Working two manual labor jobs to take care of his wife and eight children, he still managed to set aside enough funds to more than provide for my mother for the rest of her life. Mom was a beneficiary of Dad’s wisdom.

Proverbs 6:6-8 compares wise men like my dad to the ant:

“Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest.” Proverbs 6:6-8

I don’t know how my dad calculated what to save and what to spend, but from our first day of pre-marital counseling, Greg and I started saving the recommended 10% of our income. We gave 10%, saved 10% and lived on the rest.

And we’ve always had enough.

We need to teach our kids to prepare for tomorrow and that begins with saving. Systematically setting aside funds so we’re ready for what may lay ahead.

Lynn

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Day 2, Tips to Teach Your Girl About Money: Test Me & See {#youandyourgirl}

Day 2- Teach YD about moneyOne of my favorite childhood memories was Friday afternoon after Dad got home from work. He’d shower up and head to the bank. If I was near at just the right time, I got to tag along. Hanging out with my dad was a real treat, but spending time with Dad wasn’t the reason I hopped up in the car. I wanted to see the tellers! Those sweet ladies with the jars full of suckers! Unable to see over the counter, I could spot my daddy handing them his hard earned check, receive some cash and head right home to give some to my mom.

It was a ritual. A pattern. What they always did.

The next pattern took place on Sunday. Dad always put money in the offering plate as it came by. He never talked about why or how much he gave; instead he quietly contributed and I saw.

As I grew older, discussions with my mom taught me there was a methodology to their giving. She shared verses like Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” She told me how they tested God and saw His faithfulness. They gave to Him first and He always provided for our big family.

And so, like my parents, tithing became a given for me too. I followed the pattern. If God said we were to bring Him the whole tithe, there was no question. When Greg and I married, we continued the pattern model to both of us. We would give God the first of our income. Before our bills, before our dreams, we gave to God and like our parents; we tested and saw God’s faithfulness.

When our children first started receiving their “income” aka money for helping around the house, we taught them You always give to God first. I am praying, like Greg and I and our parents before us, honoring God with their finances first will become my kid’s first financial priority.

Model and teach your children: bring the whole tithe and see the God pour out His blessings! If you give online or in a way your kids can’t see, be sure to share with them so they know you are faithful in your finances.

Lynn

Monday, April 13, 2015

Day 1, Tips To Teach Your Girl About Money: It’s Not Yours Anyway {#YouandYourGirl}

It's Not Yours Anyway, Day #1: 10 Tips to Teach Your Daughter about Money

 

Growing up near the tail end of a family of 10, it didn’t take long to learn a think or two about money.

# 1: Work hard.

# 2: When you work hard, you work even harder to manage what you make.

When I married Greg, he was already living out #1 and #2, which helped make us to be a great fit. But he also taught me #3, which was really #1.

Our money is not our’s. It’s God’s.

Psalm 24:1 tells us “…The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it…” Everything is His and that includes our money.

When we teach our kids that their money is really not their money, but God’s money, the perspective completely changes. The question is no longer “How do I want to spend my money? The question is: “How does God want me to spend His money?”

This month, let’s start having conversations with our kids about money, God’s perspective and how we can honor Him with what He has entrusted to us. Begin with sharing Psalm 24:1 and ask them, “How do you think God wants us to respond based on this verse?”

Lynn