Intelligent Purposeful Living, Part 1

As many of you may know I will soon be publishing a book of how to apply biblical teachings and precepts to your every day life. This article is a short snapshot of my approach for that work.

Use credit wisely (if at all)

Proverbs 20:16 (New Living Translation)

16 “Get security from someone who guarantees a stranger’s debt.

Get a deposit if he does it for foreigners.”

Proverbs 20:16 “An alternate reading in the Hebrew text is for a promiscuous woman.”

The lesson here is not that you can’t trust a foreigner or a promiscuous woman. The real teaching is do not provide security for another party as you have relieved the lending party of any interest in verifying whether or not the person you are responsible for will repay the money.

In terms of your own debt responsibility you should have no other debt than a mortgage for your home or a well thought through loan for your business. Well thought through means you have discussed it with reliable professionals such as a certified financial planner, CPA, or business attorney, for example. I took the advice of some “professionals” in the past who had the degree but not the experience, or the skill, or both and paid the price. No longer do I make that mistake. Everyone I do business at least is component in their field of endeavor and it makes life simpler and a good night’s sleep possible.

If you currently have too much consumer debt seek a professional to advise you on a budget and repayment plan. Ask friends or business associates for references.

If you do have to take on debt that doesn’t fit the above parameters then make sure it is no longer than seven years and not for a frivolous consumer item. One of my favorite frivolous consumer items is actually a combo of a big screen TV and an over price cable package. If you aren’t working, not saving money correctly, not investing, and in debt over your head then get rid of any notions of purchasing frivolous consumer items on credit. If you really want it then save for it and buy it cash.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket or have too many baskets!

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (New International Version)

8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning,

and patience is better than pride.

The desire for a fast buck is like drinking too much. It starts out as fun and quickly becomes a hangover, habit, bad liver, and bad health, if done with regularity. The desire for quick too easy to believe profits have a price tag at the end of them eventually ending in financial loss of some kind. This doesn’t mean that through diligence, wise decision-making, and hard work that sometime you will have and easy time of it. At various moments you will but the mindless never ending pursuit of the fast dollar is not an intelligent way to live.

The smartest plan for the average working person, who is employed, is to buy their home and stay put or move infrequently so as not to get caught in a bad economic cycle with too much or too little home. Next buy rental property if you have the acumen and desire for it. Notice I didn’t say buy and flip. That is speculation not intelligent reasoned investing. If you want to do that then specialize in it. Next start a part time business preferably turning a hobby or interest into a revenue producing activity or take a second job to fund the extra money for saving and investing. This option may be the better choice if being a landlord is not in your make up.

Lastly take full responsibility for whatever business goals you pursue by educating yourself on the topic, doing proper research, and bouncing it off of some reliable sources. A reliable source is not a do nothing, go nowhere buddy you watch football games with. Instead it is someone who can give you reasoned intelligent feedback on some aspect of what you are planning to do. If you don’t know any then search out an institution such as the New York Public Library that has a treasure trove of resources and affiliated organization for small businesses.

Your baskets contain your job, your home, and rental property or part time business respectively. Live intelligently and on purpose.
Quote of the Day from The Wisdom Compass

The simplest toy, which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent. ~ Sam Levenson

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