It’s tax refund season! You know what that means, the government took your money that you earned for a whole year, and now has decided to let you have it back, interest free! Wow they really are looking out for us aren’t they… Not really.
YES IT IS A REFUND
Everyone gets so excited every year to get THEIR money back, it blows my mind when people come up to me asking how much I got back. Then we compare amounts, and when they find out that most of the time I had to pay the government money they look at me like I’ve made a horrible mistake. But let’s think about this, I changed my withholdings to keep the maximum amounts. That means that I can put what I would have had taken out in taxes into a fund of some kind, then when it comes time to pay uncle sam the NECESSARY AMOUNT (no more no less!), I take it out of the fund and use the interest gained as a cushion to be compounded every year. So in the end this person fought tooth and nail to get whatever money they could back, looking in every loophole and tax bracket they could. While I literally made money on the money every year, and never had to worry about paying too much. Sounds like a win to me…
WHAT TO DO WITH THE REFUND?
Well you can go out and get that new tv you’ve been wanting, that new gaming system or a down payment on a car you can barely afford. But what do all of these things have in common, they’re liabilities! A liability is something that you spend money on, then you spend money on and keep spending money on it, the liability never yields anything of value to you! Instead how about you take time on the internet to invest in something that will actually help, go to a seminar on how to start a business online, look into real-estate. I wouldn’t recommend buying stocks though, I did that one year and it was a lesson well learned, it takes much more thought and consideration than buying something that will give you knowledge or income.
START A NEW HABBIT
Look at things you buy from now on as an asset (money maker) or a liability (money taker). Learning and applying these two words will yield incredible returns in most areas of your life! And the sooner you can fix your taxes to change the withholdings to keep the money that’s YOURS, the better. Just go to your HR person and ask to have your withholdings done so that you keep the maximum, this is easiest if you’re on a salary because you can look at your taxes from last year and just invest that amount monthly. Then just sit back and enjoy the interest earned and knowledge applied 🙂
Have a great day!
There was never a more impacting quote on my life than this one by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I’m sure you are nothing like me, and find yourself thinking “once I have or do _____ I’ll be able to get started.”
Waiting to act is simply another form of death
The truth is that we will never be fully prepared to do anything in our lives. Whether it’s myself sitting here in Shreveport waiting for all the lights from here to Dallas to turn green to make a trip, or someone waiting to get married until they have “a sufficient income.” It’s not the recourses that give us the power, but it’s our resourcefulness to make things happen in the face of opposition that makes us great.
I waited for the stars to align once
I had just graduated college with a degree in Graphic Design (which I will be putting to use on the headings of these blogs), and I had been dating my wife to be for about 4 years. And to preface this I’ll say that the longest relationship I had before this was about 6 months, so I knew I had a keeper ;). And upon graduating I quickly found a job making significantly more than I had at my previous occupation. So in keeping with the obsolete habit of waiting to act until I have the recourses, I asked her to marry me now that we had “a sufficient income.” But what really changed? She was the same person and so was I before we made the decision to wed, and if money only corrupts why would I wait until we had more of it? Well because I was young and foolish and willing to tempt God’s sense of humor, that’s why.
Then the stars crashed
I had been at this job for about 2 months when the manager came up to me and said “we love having you and you’re doing a great job, but we don’t have the recourses to keep you on, so we have to let you go.” So just like that the “sufficient income” was gone, and with it about two thirds of my morale and faith in the American Dream. Yet somehow even making a lot less somewhere else (basically what I was making before I graduated), we got married and have thrived two years on that income (plus about $3 raises).
All of this to say is that
We had the power to make it all along, but chose not to realize it and wait for someone to “give”(and then take) the “power” to us. You may be in a different situation in life, but I can almost garauntee you that you have the power within you to make the decisions and sacrifices to get the ball rolling. Whether it be a business venture (and you need at least a few in your life to be worth your salt at all), family, relationships, mission trips or any of the hosts of other things you could be facing, you have the power now to do it. You are the same person now as you will be when you finally get XYZ so why not just do it now, get a few bumps and bruises to learn what not to do next time, and get after this thing??
WHAT’S LIFE WITHOUT ADVENTURE?
I can hear the trolls now sharpening their comment spears and lighting their keyboard torches as I type this. But take a second and hear me out on this one.
I am not saying that money is the most important thing in the world.
In fact we see in scripture 1 Timothy 6:10 New International Version (NIV)10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. I whole heartedly agree with this, my love for my God and willingness to serve him has higher priority over ataining wealth. However, my desire for bringing honor and glory to God is not found in poverty and living in below comfortable positions for the sake of maintaning “holiness.”
There are many who say “You can’t be wealthy and spiritual”
I know for a fact that that’s a false statement, and it has been proven false time and time again. This type of thinking was started by those who wanted an excuse and “scriptural evidence” for not stretching themselves and growing to the potential that God encourages us to. How about this for “scriptural evidence” John 10:10 New International Verion (NIV) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. Christ came so that we may have ABUNDANT life, not just survive. So the next time someone asks how your day was, and you respond, “well I survived,” examine your life in Christ. As Christians we are called to be the light of the world, and to be set apart. And I know this scripture of abundant life isn’t geared just towards material wealth, but for me personally, I want to bring glory to God in every way I can, whether it be business, relationships, my marriage, community service and misionally. I want to do it all to show how great God is and what He can do through us, just as I’m sure you do. But there’s a problem here, there are these things called bills and notes that tend to tie up our recources that could be going to Kingdom business.
So enters the need for wealth
Let me take a moment here in the beginning of this section
to address those who are not of the Christian faith.
We have different motives for what we do,
but the desire to help and contribute to others,
for reasons that are greater than ourselves,
is in all of us.
And though you may not subscribe to my belief (Christianity),
I believe we all have something in us that wants to give more of ourselves to others.
If you want to be able to give to the best of your ability we need to face one thing, the person who makes 300k per year can give and do more for others than the person who makes 30k per year. This doesn’t devalue the gift or the giver, but if you are like me and want to give the most and be the best for your family, you will need to up the resources just a bit. There’s a saying that I have heard tossed around and it struck me as truth “prayer is great, but prayer with a check is better.” And how much more of yourself mentally can you give to your family, friends and God if you have the stress of money taken off your mind? If you have a situation in life now that is anything like mine, you want to change it, no matter what it takes.
What about your family?
I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the day when I can give my kids what they need (and some of what they want). I also want to be able to give them a vision of what it looks like to work hard for a life that is able to contribute to others. When your family is in dire straights and needs someone who is able to give out of their excess will you be the person they call? It has been told to me many many times “There are people in this world who will have abundant spiritual lives, great families, amazing relationships and material wealth with which to bless others; why shouldn’t that be you?”
The need for wealth extends past the material benefits
Like I said in my last post, it’s not having money that makes life better, but what the money is able to do for others. I know this is a controversial topic for some, but I believe it needs to be addressed. And I could spin off on a book of ways to get more money and why you need to dump the job and work for yourself, but then this blog might not last that long ;). So until next time I invite you to consider what you would be able to do for others if you had just 10k more per year. Don’t think about your situation and how you can improve your life, think of others and the services they require. Bless others and you will be blessed (most importantly, not just monetarily)