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 If you were going to automatically pay an extra 15% for every item you buy, would you still buy it? Probably not. But you spend an extra 15% (or more, depending on your interest rate) when you buy items with credit cards and don’t pay the balance in full each month. If you are paying more than the price for what you buy, checkout our debt payoff calculators here.

A lot of financial mistakes can be avoided if you just stop, think and evaluate the difference between wants and needs. It’s not glamorous and it may not be fun but steady plodding keeps you on track: Proverbs 21:5, tells us, “The plans of the diligent end in profit, but those of the hasty end in loss.”

Read Evelyn's blog Middle Class Money Mistakes

Let Compass help you get rid of ALL OF YOUR DEBT Debt Calculators

October 11, 2017

How Much Debt is Too Much?

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Do you get a sick sinking feeling when you think about the amount of debt you have? Are you worried that you’ll never be able to dig your way out of debt? We know how that feels. We had a mortgage, LOTS of credit card debt, two car payments, and no savings.  Needless to say, our marriage was not a happy place to be.

Being in debt is like playing with matches. You know you will be able to blow the match out when the flame gets too close to your fingers, but sometimes you get burned. That’s what happens when your debt load gets overwhelming or there is an unexpected financial emergency. Sooner or later you will get burned.

Read Evelyn's blog - How much debt is too much?

Check out our debt elimination calculators!

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When we really want something, it is easy to deceive ourselves into buying it, whether we can afford it or not.

When it comes to your personal finances, have you been totally honest with yourself or are you fooling yourself by not being real? Consider the ways you can fool yourself:

  • Do you acknowledge the difference between needs and wants?
  • Are you yearning for a certain item because once you buy that item you will finally be happy?
  • Have you convinced yourself that you don’t make enough money to save for an emergency fund or retirement?
  • Are you a generous giver or do you think your salary is not big enough for you to be generous?

Any of these attitudes can justify handling money in a way that does not honor God.

Read Evelyn's latest blog on getting real with your finances

 

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Debt is so easy to get into and so hard to get out of.  Getting into debt is like sliding down a slippery slope and getting out of debt is like trying to climb out of a hole by making your way slowly and painfully back up that same slippery slope.

My husband and I have made every financial mistake there is to make – using debt to fund a lifestyle we could not afford; spending long term savings for short term needs; starting a business with no plan on how to survive financially; not being generous in our giving.

But if we can become totally debt free, so can you!

Read Evelyn's blog on what it takes to get out of debt.

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After home mortgages, car loans are the largest debts most people have. And more than 70 percent of all the cars on the road are financed. Unlike a home, which usually appreciates in value, the moment you drive a car off the lot it depreciates in value. It’s worth less than you paid for it by the time you hit the first intersection.

That is why it is important to make a wise financial decision when buying a car. The worst thing you can do is to get confused between the function of a car, which is to take you from Point A to Point B by buying a car based on the perceived status of a certain make and model.

  

Read Evelyn's blog on buying a car

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 Listen in as we talk about an article from The Penny Hoarder titled 11 Simple Money Moves You Should Make This Week.

They prefaced this article with the fact that some of the recommended links are paid for by their sponsors. Any time you are on line, it’s important to understand where the info is coming from and be wary if some of it is recommended by paid advertisers.

With the disclosure out of the way, we cover all 11 recommendations, some of which are great ideas, such as: create a separate savings account; sell stuff you don’t use; pay off your debt; and keep up to date on your credit score. However, some of their ideas are not so good: use a robo-advisor for your investments; maximize credit card usage to gain points; start a passive income stream by using certain websites; and get a consolidation loan to pay off debt.

When considering on line advice be careful! Some of their ideas are valid and we highly recommend them.  Other ideas could get you into a lot of trouble!

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There’s lots of things to consider when you are thinking about buying a house. The first thing is to decide if it is better to rent or buy. Then there is the cost, the location, the size and all the other stuff that comes with being a homeowner. This podcast will help you learn more about all the things you need to take into account when making the largest financial decision of your life.

Visit the Compass Catholic blog for more tips on buying a house and avoiding financial disaster.  The calculators on the Compass Catholic website will help you calculate mortgage loan payments, down payments, or acceleration on your current mortgage.

Planning on buying a home? Read this first

 

September 30, 2017

How to save money on your taxes

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 In Mark 12:17, Jesus said to pay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but if Caesar creates rules that allow you to lower your taxes . . . then take advantage of those opportunities! Here are some tax saving ideas.

  • Adjust the number of dependents claimed on your W4 form so you are tax neutral.
  • Boost your retirement savings and reduce your taxes by contributing to a qualified retirement plan.
  • Take advantage of a health spending account and a child-care reimbursement account if your employer offers them.
  • A child born, or adopted, is a blessed event for your tax return. An added dependency exemption will knock $4,050 off your taxable income.

Saving money on your taxes isn’t just an April 15th tax-day exercise. Monitor your income and expenses to save on your taxes all year long.

Read Evelyn's blog about saving money on your taxes

September 29, 2017

Vacation Planning

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It’s about that time of year when we start daydreaming about basking in the sun on the beach, then we wake up and wonder how we’ll pay for it.

You should ALWAYS pay cash for a vacation because it is silly to finance a luxury.  No matter where you’re going, there are plenty of simple ways to cut expenses. Here are some ideas:

  • Sign up for a travel-related credit card and use the points to pay for hotel or air fare costs.
  • Be flexible with times and days when booking flights.
  • Travel off-season. Just before or after peak season will get you lower prices, smaller crowds and the weather will still be nice.
  • Avoid the most popular destinations and try a similar location. Places like Costa Rica, Croatia and coastal areas in Brazil are more affordable than you think.
  • Look for vacation rentals, rather than hotel rooms. We have gotten some great deals from VRBO.
  • Take free tours. In many major cities around the world, the locals offer free walking tours to show you the city’s highlights and teach you about the culture.

Read Evelyn's Blog about planning your next vacation.