WEEK 3 - TAKING INVENTORY

TAKING INVENTORY HOMEWORK

Complete for Week 3


Scripture to Memorize:

Use the Quizlet Memory Verse Tool

Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts” (Proverbs 24:3-4, TLB).


Complete the Homework.

(After you download the worksheets, make sure you save the worksheet to your computer or device before entering data.)


Pray daily for the other members of your small group.


List Your Debts & Snowball ’em!

Read Romans 13:8 in several translations.

Let no debt remain outstanding” (NIV). “Pay all your debts” (TLB). “Owe nothing to anyone” (NASB).

Read Proverbs 22:7.

Read Proverbs 17:18.

Read Proverbs 6:1-5

Complete the Debt List & Snowball ’em!.

DEBT LIST & SNOWBALL ’EM!

Listing your debts will assist you in prioritizing repayment so you can snowball ’em! The columns are as follows:

Creditor: The one to whom the debt is owed.

Balance Due: The amount of the current debt.

Monthly Payment: The amount of the monthly payment. If payment is due more or less often than monthly, calculate the average amount paid each month.

Interest Rate: The rate of interest charged for the debt.

Scheduled pay-off date: The date by which the debt will be fully paid.

Snowball Priority: Number the debts in the order you are going to pay them.

After entering all debts, total the entire Balance Due column to see how much debt you have to pay off. Then total the entire Monthly Payment column to see your minimum monthly obligations.

Snowball your debt

Here’s how to snowball your debt. Make the minimum payments on all your debts, but focus on accelerating the payment of your smallest credit card debt first. Then, after you pay off the first one, apply its payment toward the next smallest one. After the second one is paid off, apply what you were paying on the first and second to pay off the third, and so forth. After you pay off all your plastic debt, snowball your other debts in exactly the same way.

Download List Your Debts and Snowball 'em

Need more help with the Snowball? Download the Snowball example

Additional Resource- The Snowball Debt Calculator

The Snowball Debt Calculator will help you in developing a plan to snowball your debt. Based on your specific snowball strategy, the calculator will show you a report of the amount of interest you will save, the number of years and months of payments you will eliminate, how much time and interest you can save with additional payments, detailed reporting and much more. Click on the calculator icon to get started!

After you complete the Debt List & Snowball ’em!, answer:

List Your Assets

Read Ezra 1:7-11

Read Ezra 8:33

Complete the List of Assets (Vehicles, Valuables, Bank & Brokerage Accounts, Real Estate, and Receivables).

LIST OF ASSETS

The List of Assets is divided into the following sections:

Automobiles & Other Vehicles

Complete the Automobile & Other Vehicles forms. Whenever possible, photocopy or scan any documents, titles, etc. that are associated with each automobile or vehicle and include them in your file.

Valuable Personal Property

If you have valuable property, such as, coins, musical instruments, jewelry or computers, list them in this section. Every time you purchase furniture, appliances, or other expensive items, file the bill of sale in case you ever need to substantiate the value of an item. To inventory your personal property, we suggest you go through your home room-by-room and list each item. One of the easiest ways to inventory your possessions is to video them and describe the articles as you are filming. Include the costs and dates of purchase. Back it up offsite in a secure location.

Bank & Brokerage Accounts

Inventory your bank and brokerage accounts along with any computer instructions in case you have important data on your computer. We also suggest you photocopy or scan both sides of all your credit cards and everything you carry in your billfold. Then, file the copies in this section. Be sure to include the emergency number to call and address or email address to contact if a credit card is lost or stolen. Completing this section has encouraged some people to make positive changes. By canceling or consolidating accounts and/or credit cards, you may save bank charges and simplify your life. Changes in bank services may allow you to seek new kinds of accounts that will reduce bank charges or even pay you interest.

Real Estate

If you own a home or invest in real estate, complete this section. Remember to copy or scan documents related to the properties, such as deeds, mortgages, or leases and include them in this section.

Download the Valuables Worksheet

Download the Real Estate Worksheet

List of Investments

Read Proverbs 21:5

Complete the List of Investments.

Download the List of Investments

Receivables & Items Loaned

Complete the Receivables and Items Loaned to Others.

Location of Important Documents

Complete the Location of Important Documents.

Complete the Passwords List.

Download the Passwords Worksheet

Taking Inventory Notes

Read or listen to the Taking Inventory Notes.

TAKING INVENTORY NOTES

Please read or listen to the notes after completing Day Five Homework.

Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about money through the lens of the Compass Map.

THE COMPASS—finances God’s way MAP™

The Compass—finances God’s way Map™ is the financial journey Bev and I have been on for more than thirty-five years. We had some assets when we started, but we were also on the hook for a mountain of debt. We had little savings, and we weren't generous givers.

Once we learned God’s way of handling money, we had a dream. We wanted to work toward what we call true financial freedom. In other words, we wanted to get completely out of debt – including our home mortgage – and be in a position where we didn't need to earn a salary to meet our income needs. We wanted to be able to live a modest lifestyle on the income from our savings, investments, and retirement. We wanted to be in a position to be able to volunteer part or all of our time to serve our church or a ministry without having to receive a wage.

As great as that goal sounded, it seemed totally unrealistic, and we had all kinds of questions. Where should we start? What should we do next? How could we stay motivated for so long?

We also knew this would take a loooooong time, but that by God’s grace it was possible. We were encouraged when we stumbled across the “steady plodding” principle. Proverbs 21:5 says, “Steady plodding brings prosperity” (TLB). The original Hebrew words for steady plodding picture a person filling a large barrel one handful at a time. Little by little the barrel is filled to overflowing.

We realized this was the way we could reach true financial freedom. We needed to have a plan with a series of small, achievable steps along the way. And we always needed to focus on accomplishing the next step on the journey no matter what challenges we faced. We lived what has become the Compass—finances God’s way Map™.

The map is easy to understand and follow a step-by-step guide that will help everyone regardless of their financial situation. You may not reach the final destination, but by God’s grace, you can make progress. And I have great news for you: Each destination along the way brings you greater financial freedom, stability, and even peace.

The map answers the two big financial questions – where am I, and what do I do next? The first step is to find out where you are.

Look at the map. There are seven destinations on the journey. Take a few minutes and review each destination. Check off the boxes you've already accomplished. After you've checked off the boxes you've already completed, you know where you are on your journey. The next step is to determine what to do next, which is simply to focus on accomplishing the first destination you have not yet finished. Complete each destination in order before proceeding to the next. This will allow you to focus, make steady progress, and build a solid financial foundation.

Watch out for the detours

As with any journey, there will be bumps in the road, detours, and unexpected setbacks. We experienced our share of them. We once received no income for six months and took a step backward on our journey. But we didn't give up.

Some people will make the trip faster than others. You will reach some of your destinations quickly; other destinations will take much longer. But it’s worth the effort and even the sacrifices you’ll make. Remember, with God’s help, you can make real progress.

Here’s the key. Your responsibility is to be faithful to handle money God’s way by working hard, giving generously, saving consistently, and spending wisely. Once you've done that, you can be content, because it’s ultimately God’s responsibility to provide the income and opportunities He knows are best for you. Your job is to be financially faithful in whatever stage of the journey you are on.

To learn more about the map, read the book Your Money Map published by Moody Publishers or listen to the Your Money Map audio book.

Throughout your journey on the map, the Lord wants you to be faithful to give. Let’s take a brief look at what the Bible says about getting out of debt, saving, and investing.

DEBT

“I didn't realize how much stress we were under until we paid off our last debt,” confided Richard Harris. “Then Melissa and I walked to the mail box and experienced a sense of freedom we hadn't felt in years. We knew we weren't going to receive any more nasty late-payment letters. We felt relief, because debt had strained our relationship almost to the breaking point.”

God realizes that debt can lead to stress and even damage a marriage, and His view of it is clear. Romans 13:8 says, “Let no debt remain outstanding” (NIV) and, “Owe nothing to anyone” (NASB). In Proverbs 22:7, we learn one of the reasons why God speaks so strongly against debt: “The borrower is servant [or slave] to the lender” (TLB).

When you go into debt, you place yourself in bondage to the lender. The deeper in debt you go, the stronger the bondage. Slavery to debt is not what your heavenly Father wants for you.

In the Old Testament, being out of debt was one of the promised rewards for obedience. “. . . if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God . . . you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2, Deuteronomy 28:12 emphasis added).

However, indebtedness was one of the curses inflicted for disobedience. “. . . if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments . . . all these curses will come upon you and overtake you . . . The alien who is among you shall rise above you higher and higher, but you will go down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 43-44 emphasis added).

Now, you may be thinking to yourself that you’re too far in debt to ever recover. That’s simply not true. No matter what your situation, God wants you to be free, and He has provided a roadmap for you to follow.

Snowball your debt

Snowball your way out of credit card debt; here’s how. In addition to making the minimum payments on all your credit cards, focus on paying off the card with the smallest balance first. The reason I don’t recommend paying off the card with the highest interest first is simple – getting out of debt is hard and we all need to be encouraged by seeing a balance go down to zero.

After the first credit card is paid off, apply its payment toward the next smallest one. After the second card is paid off, apply what you were paying on the first and second toward the third smallest. That’s the snowball in action!

It’s exciting to see the balance really start to drop! So . . . where do you start? List your debts in order with the smallest remaining balance first. Every time you pay one off, don’t forget to celebrate as a couple! Becoming completely debt free is a key accomplishment on your journey to true financial freedom.

Additional Resource- The Snowball Debt Calculator

The Snowball Debt Calculator will help you in developing a plan to snowball your debt. Based on your specific snowball strategy, the calculator will show you a report of the amount of interest you will save, the number of years and months of payments you will eliminate, how much time and interest you can save with additional payments, detailed reporting and much more. Click on the calculator icon to get started!

Cosigning

Cosigning is risky business. Anytime you cosign, you become legally responsible for the debt of another. Proverbs 17:18 says, “It is poor judgment to cosign another’s note, to become responsible for his debts” (TLB). Professional lenders have decided the loan is too risky unless they can find someone who has good credit to guarantee it. So please never cosign a loan!

Parents should not cosign for their children, either. By not cosigning, you model for your children that cosigning should be avoided. Parents often cosign for their children’s first car. Bev and I decided not to do this. Instead, we encouraged them to save for its purchase by matching a portion of what they saved.

SAVING

The Bible encourages us to save: “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets” (Proverbs 21:20, TLB). God commends the ant for saving. “Four things on earth are small, yet they are extremely wise: ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer” (Proverbs 30:24-25, NIV). We need to think like ants! Even though they are small, they save. You may not be in a position to save a lot right now, but begin the habit even if it is only a few dollars a week.

Joseph saved during “seven years of great abundance” (Genesis 41:29) in order to survive during “seven years of famine” (Genesis 41:30). That’s what savings is all about: not spending today so that you will have something to spend in the future. Most people are poor savers because they don’t see the value in practicing self-denial. Our culture screams that we deserve to get what we want, when we want it – and usually that’s right now!

The most effective way to save is to make it automatic. When you receive income, the first money you spend should be a gift to the Lord, and the second should go to savings. An automatic payroll deduction is even a better way to save. Some people save their tax refunds or bonuses. Remember this: if you immediately save, you’ll save more.

The Bible doesn't teach an amount to be saved. We recommend saving at least ten percent of your income. This may not be possible initially. But begin the habit of saving—even if it’s only a dollar a month.

INVESTING

The fundamental principle for becoming a successful investor is to spend less than you earn and then regularly invest the surplus. In other words, be a steady plodder. Proverbs 21:5 says, “Steady plodding brings prosperity, hasty speculation brings poverty” (TLB).

Nothing replaces consistent, month-after-month investing. Just do it – regardless of the investment climate – because when you do, your investments grow through compounding.

Albert Einstein once said, “Compounding is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time, not E=mc2.” Compounding occurs when the earning your investments produce is added to the principle, allowing both the earning and the principle to grow exponentially.

The graph above will help you visualize the benefits of compounding. If a person saves $2.74 a day – $1,000 a year – and earns ten percent, at the end of forty years the savings will grow to $526,985 and will be earning $4,392 each month. However, if the person waits one year before starting, then saves for 39 years, the result will not be just $1,000 less; it will be $50,899 less! Compounding is your friend, and the earlier you can start it working for you, the better. Start saving and investing today!

Additional Resource- The Compound Interest Calculator demonstrates how compounding can affect your savings, and how interest on your interest really adds up! Click on the calculator icon to see how compound interest can affect your personal situation.

Seek advice

If you’re not an experienced investor, identify someone who can mentor you – or use a professional investment advisor. It is crucial to use an advisor who understands what the Bible says about money, because it will make a difference in the quality of their advice. If you don’t know such an advisor, Kingdom Advisors is an excellent place to search. I suggest interviewing at least three candidates before choosing the one with whom you are most comfortable.

Diversify

No investment is guaranteed; the stock market, bonds, real estate, gold – you name it – can perform well or poorly at any given time. Each investment has its own advantages and disadvantages. Since the perfect investment doesn’t exist, we need to diversify and not put all our eggs in one basket. Ecclesiastes 11:2 says, “Divide your portion to seven or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.”

Do not Gamble!

Lotteries and gambling of all types are sweeping our country. Internet gambling is exploding. Each year one in four Americans gambles at a casino. The average church member gives $20 a year to international missions while the average person gambles $1,174 annually. Sadly, more than 6 million Americans are addicted to gambling, with consequences that are heartbreaking for their loved ones. Although the Bible does not specifically prohibit gambling, its get-rich-quick motivation violates the steady-plodding principle.

In my opinion, we should never participate in gambling or lotteries – even for entertainment and even for a penny. We should not expose ourselves to the risk of becoming compulsive gamblers, nor should we support an industry that enslaves so many.

PASSWORDS

We use passwords to guard accessibility to everything from our email and social media accounts to our bank accounts. The challenge is to select passwords that are secure and easy to remember.

The following are some tips for choosing important passwords:

How to select secure passwords

Avoid using simple passwords based on your family information (name, address, birthday, phone number, etc.)

Make the password complex; ideally using at least 10 characters.

It should not be found in the dictionary.

It should contain numbers, upper and lower case letters, and punctuation or symbols if allowed.

Test the level of security for your password for free by logging on to PasswordMeter.com.

It is wise to use a different password for each of your important accounts, and don’t forget to change passwords every 90 days.

How to select passwords that are easy to remember

Choose sentences or phrases and reduce it to the first letter of each word. Then, randomly replace some of the letters with numbers or symbols. For example, My first home was on 32 State Street, could become the password Mfhwo32SS, or better yet M1hwo32SS! This password is easy to remember, not a word in the dictionary, uses numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters.


RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

Visit KingdomAdvisors.org for a list of Qualified Kingdom Advisors™ who have been trained and have committed to serve you with biblical financial advice. .
For additional investing resources from Compass, click here.

This Week's Video:


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