money

6. Your car and home insurance.

Welcome to the Dad Cents, capsule no rx 10 ways to put money back into your budget without stopping the fun stuff, series. The countdown continues with the first of two articles about car and house insurance.

6. Your car and home insurance.

Can you really save 15% by switching to another insurance company?

Every insurance company works under the same premise; take in more money than they pay out! Come to think of it, every successful business I know, works in a similar fashion. One key to success for insurance companies is to spread their risk across the area they service, whether local or national, just like a wise investor.

By law, we must have liability insurance on our vehicles.  Furthermore, an insurance company mandated requirement exists for coverage on your home while you have a mortgage. Unfortunately, eliminating debt on our vehicles and home does not remove our requirement for insurance (once a house is debt free the requirement is removed but the financial and liability risks are much too high to cancel the policy). Chances are we probably will have insurance payments for the majority of our lives!

The huge question is, “Are you paying more than you need to for your coverage?” When I watch TV, every second or third commercial suggests an answer to this question. “You can save money by switching to our policy!”

I am very intrigued when I see this battle persisting when I know every insurance company is regulated in the same way; by the state in which they are licensed to operate. The state regulations also set the rules for what insurance companies can and cannot do! For example, all the companies have mandated reserves to cover pay outs when accidents or catastrophes occur.

However, if they are all treated similarly by law then how could one company say you can pay 15% less with their company?

The answer is: Their philosophy on local agents! Fifteen percent is roughly the cost of paying a neighborhood insurance agent to meet with and help policy holders. Most internet insurance companies do not have local agents, or if they do, the agents are very sparse. Even though some companies may have representatives in locations, their main contact points are either the internet or via phone.

I have several concerns with most families utilizing these types of companies. Car and home policies have many intricacies that can cause headaches and leave them underinsured. Here are a few thoughts to help you make a good decision.

Keys to making a good decision:

  1. Do you have a very good knowledge of insurance?
  2. Can you get the kind of personal service you desire?
  3. Have you had many claims in the past?
  4. Is the company financially sound?
  5. Check with your state insurance commissioner about track records of the companies. It is much easier to find out about customer service before you make a change rather than learning the hard way.

In the next article, I will talk about the importance of having the proper coverage and some considerations so you can get the best policy for your family!

Is it possible for everyone to use these ideas? Maybe, but I will make one promise. If you do not try, you will not save money!

Make sure also to watch for our next Savvy Dads webinar!

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Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 Teaching 1 Comment

7. Your TV/Internet/Phone bill.

Welcome to the Dad Cents, 10 ways to put money back into your budget without stopping the fun stuff, series. The countdown continues.

7. Your TV/Internet/Phone bill.

Are you paying an arm and a leg to be connected?

My wife and I sat down last week to watch TV, and as she scrolled through our at least 200 channels she said, “How can there be nothing on TV?” Our world has dramatically changed even from the time I was in college. As I sat down today to write, my wife’s comment reminded of my college years and the Bruce Springsteen song 57 Channels in which he sang “There’s fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on…”.

Today, we have the opportunity to be as connected as we desire. Our Televisions, internet service, phone service and mobile service give us the ability to be in the know and always in reach of our friends, family and work. Smart phones allow us to do all of these things in one device!

The key question is: Are you paying too much to be connected?

Media companies want us to buy their bundle! These packages are advertised relentlessly via billboard, radio, the internet and TV. The gist of the ad is you will pay less for their bundle than by purchasing elsewhere. The media companies are using the same theory as the insurance companies.

The theory the media companies’ use says you will be more likely to remain a customer because of the number of connections you have to their company. For example, one company is easy to work with, but if you have your phone with one company, the internet with another, and TV with yet another, you will have to pay multiple bills get multiple statements and have more companies to deal with. However, are they giving you the best deal?

Companies are always changing the rules but many times, the bundles, are not the best deal. Just recently, I was encouraged to look into my service by my bank account because we could not afford the bill. I thoroughly looked through all the opportunities and found I could  save $35 per month and actually get faster internet service by making a change out of a bundle!

Keys to making a good decision:

  1. Does your rate eventually increase?
  2. Can you get good or better service by separate companies?
  3. Are you buying the package that has more channels than you actually watch?
  4. Will you share band width with your neighbors?
  5. Can you get internet service without purchasing phone service? (VOIP service can be very inexpensive)

Is it possible for everyone to use these ideas? Maybe, but I will make one promise. If you do not try, you will not save money!

Make sure also to watch for our next Savvy Dads webinar!

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Monday, June 13th, 2011 Teaching No Comments

New series: 10 ways to put money back into your budget without stopping the fun stuff!

The economy has been brutal to many and putting money back into the budget would be helpful to many families. Over the next several weeks, online I am going to write 10 posts covering easy, advice practical methods to reduce your spending without ending your daily Starbucks run, Sonic happy hour or eating out on Fridays. Alternatively, your conscience may speak and encourage you to begin giving more to your church or a ministry in need!

If you apply the ten ideas I will share with you, I believe you will have the potential of putting $100-$400 per month back into your budget. Some of you may know and already be applying some of these ideas, but together they can dramatically help you improve your monthly cash flow.

The first series post will be Friday, May 20th at www.dadcents.com/blog. Please share this with your friends!!!

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Thursday, May 19th, 2011 Financial concepts No Comments

Do you influence your teen’s money habits?

The results of a new poll by the Northwestern Mutual Foundation’s financial literacy Web site, Themint.org show YOU, the parent, have the greatest influence on your child’s money habits! According to the press release, “The poll asked teens to choose who had the biggest influence on the way that they saved or spent money. In a landslide, seven out of ten kids aged 17 and younger said “parents” swayed their actions the most, outpacing “friends” (16%), “TV, magazines, books, radio or celebrities” (14%), and “teachers” (1%).”

Do these survey results surprise you? The results may or may not be a revelation to you but the end result should be an evaluation of your preparedness to model and teach your children. Would fear or relief be your response if you knew your children would have spending habits just like yours when they become adults?

Northwestern Mutual’s survey “also asked teens how they would grade their parents as role models for saving and spending money. Nearly seven out of ten kids aged 17 and younger gave their parents either a “B” or a “C” grade, saying that moms and dads should spend money more responsibly and involve everyone in conversations about the family budget. Less than 30 percent of children honored their parents with an “A.” Fortunately, only two percent of parents received a failing grade.” How would you grade your ability to model wise financial decisions?

I have found kids are always ready to evaluate their parents but are you ready for the answer? I know teaching your children financial principles is challenging because it is not second nature for most of us. You have a responsibility to your children and I recognize the desire of every parent I speak with is for your children to leave home knowing more about money than you did when you left your parents home.

What are you going to do to affect that change?

 

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Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 Financial concepts No Comments

11.17.2010 Proverbs 17:16

Proverbs Post #22-

Today I was reading in chapter 17, order and verse 16 jumped out to me today.  It says:

 

17:16:
Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, ed
since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom?

 

“Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, viagra order ” is a pretty strong statement. Money is a tool that we can either use wisely or foolishly.  If a stranger looked at your check book, debit card or credit card would you be accused of being wise or a fool?

“Since he has no intention of acquiring wisdom,” makes me wonder how many continue their education process.  Are you passing on a  tradition of financial wisdom or ignorance?  Wise choices are not accidental.  How much time do you spend thinking about how the money in your possession is used?

Do you use money foolishly? 

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

11.3.2010 Proverbs 3:27

Proverbs Post #12-

 Today I was reading in chapter 3, viagra sale and verse 27 spoke to me today.  It says:

3:27  Do not withhold good from those who need it, ampoule
when you have the ability to help.

 

This world is all about us, right?  Every penny we have is to provide us every comfort we desire!  Hopefully, that shocked you a bit.  Do you live your life that way?  I know everyone struggles with wants and desires because I struggle as well.  David Platt, author of Radical, writes this of his realization, “We were settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is actually about abandoning ourselves.”

If we abandon ourselves then our focus is on God and others.  Verse 27 says we are to use the resources in our control to help others!  99.9% of everyone who reads this has the ability to help.   

Will you help those who need it?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well. 

Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

11.1.10 Proverbs 1:20

Proverbs Post #10-

Today I was reading in chapter 1, vcialis 40mg drugs and verse 20 spoke to me today.  It says:

1:20 Wisdom calls out in the street, sickness

she shouts loudly in the plazas;

I will admit in the beginning of reading Proverbs every day, for nearly 4 years now, I did not recognize lady wisdom immediately.  Satan, the Great Deceiver, masks wisdom every day.  I have noticed that worldly wisdom is almost contradictory to Biblical wisdom.  Let me give you an example I found while writing my book.  I am sure you have heard of paying yourself the first 10% of your paycheck.  I know all of the explanations of why this is recommended.  The most common is that you need to save for retirement and the “only” way you are going to save that money is by paying yourself first!

What does the Bible have to say about the first 10%?  Proverbs 3:9 says “Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first fruits of all your crops.”  Who should we write our first check to each month?

The real question is, “Why does a person need to save the first 10%?”  My 10 years experience in the financial consulting field showed me people are living way beyond their means and are very discontent!  If they do not save the first 10% they will not save any money because they spend all of their earnings each month, and sometimes, more than they make each month.

Do you hear wisdom as she shouts loudly in the plazas?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Monday, November 1st, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

10.28.10 Proverbs 28:20 –

Proverbs Post #8-

Today I was reading in chapter 28, order and verse 20 grabbed my attention today.  It says:

28:20 A faithful person will have an abundance of blessings,

but the one who hastens to gain riches will not go unpunished.

We have a tremendous focus on money these days.  The economy is poor, giving is down, people are making changes to their budgets and many are struggling.  It is wrong to desire to have money?  “A faithful person will have an abundance of blessings,” indicates that we will have at least what we need if not more.  Does this mean we are faithful that we will be wealthy?  Not necessarily.   Blessings indicates a return on work and does not indicate amounts. In 1 Timothy 6:10 we are given a warning about desiring money.  Verse 10 says, ” For the love of money is the root of all evils. Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.”

The second half of verse 20, “but the one who hastens to gain riches will not go unpunished,” gives us another warning about gaining riches.  In other words, be careful of “get rich quick” schemes.  The two parts of this verse, faithfulness and “get rich quick”, are contrarian views.

Are you faithful or in a hurry?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Thursday, October 28th, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

10/21/10 – Proverbs 21:26

Proverbs Post #3-

Today I was reading in chapter 21, since it is the 21th day of the month, and verse 26 struck me today.  It says:

21:26 All day long he craves greedily,

but the righteous gives and does not hold back.

A friend and I talk regularly about tension in our lives.  Our tension is not necessarily negative but the constant process of testing everything we do (our desires, motives, etc) versus God’s instruction in the Bible and where we see His leading in our lives.

This verse challenges me with one of those tensions with which I struggle.  That tension is, how much that I have do I need and how much is simply due to my wants.  In relation to verse 26, “Am I craving greedily or am I willing to give without holding back?”  I am convinced that we each need ask and answer this for ourselves.

How do you make these types of decisions?  I have learned a truth that I want to share but admit I struggle with everyday.  The simple truth is: ask God to show me the correct decision.  The difficult part is asking and have a willing heart to accept His answer because my desires get in the way on a regular basis!  I am sure some of you may question my thoughts.  You might ask, “You mean every decision I make?”  I do not think God cares about simple daily life tasks such as, which clothes you wear today, but when you are making a decision that impacts the resources He has placed in your care; yes, I mean every decision.

Are you willing to take every financial decision to the Lord in prayer?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Thursday, October 21st, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

10/20/10 – Proverbs 20:12

Proverbs Post #2-

I have been reading through the book of Proverbs for most of the last four years.  I followed the path many have when reading this book, by reading the chapter that matches the day of the month.  I am going to attempt to write daily, on a verse that speaks to me as I read.  Today I was reading in chapter 20, since it is the 20th day of the month, and verse 21 struck me today.  It says:

20:12 The ear that hears and the eye that sees –

the Lord has made them both.

As I read “the ear that hears and the eye that sees” I thought of my daughters ears and eyes.  I wondered how my actions were effecting their eyes and ears.  Am I being an example of Jesus or an example of the world to my precious girls?

The next line that says “the Lord has made them both” refers to God giving us these abilities but also, as the foot notes in the Net Bible state, “but it also emphasizes their spiritual use in God’s service.”  Reading the notes deepened my conviction in regards to my daughters since my desire is to be an example they can follow.  I need to help them learn how to use their eyes and ears for God’s service.

What kind of example are you to your children or those who see you in the world?

I want to challenge you to take up reading the Proverb of the day and the entire chapter as well.  Lord, please help each one of us to keep our focus on things above and not the things of this earth.  Amen.

I am using the Net Bible to quote from for these posts.

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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 Proverbs No Comments

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