Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church Blog
Don’t judge me, but I'd been salivating over the latest, greatest smartphone since it was first rumored a few months ago. TV commercials began to run. I salivated. I pored over glowing reviews in the tech blogs, and salivated some more. I consulted my trusted gang of smartphone addicts/users, many of whom come to Metro Church (the church is a hospital, right?), and, well, they rendered a lukewarm verdict. But it wasn’t enough to tide the salivation.
The more I saw the TV commercials, read the blog posts, and cursed my current phone--which I’ve already run into the ground--the harder the wait became. Three days before the launch date, I broke down and went to the cell phone manufacturer's website--you know, just to do a little bit more research. Those schemers knew I was coming! Prominently displayed on their front page was the following: Get up to $300 for your phone when you upgrade to our new smartphone. Find out how much your phone is worth.
Of course, the trade-in calculator told me that my current phone was worth $65, not $300. But that was good enough incentive. Now, my dream phone would only set me back just $135. I could resist no longer. I clicked the PREORDER button and proceeded to select the color I wanted and the features and accessories. Then just before hit ORDER, a voice inside my head said, “Run this purchase by your wife.”
It was the last voice I wanted to hear--I mean the voice inside my head, and frankly, my wife’s, too. She doesn’t get it: Her phone is like that 10-year-old luxury sedan with only 50 000 miles on it; after one year, my sports car already has 100 000 miles on it, and is running on fumes. But I knew what she was going to say: “It’s not in the budget.”
Since we’ve began attending Financial Peace University (FPU) at Metro--it began in early May and concluded in July--we’ve been faithful to our budget--that “thing” that lets us tell our money where to go. We’ve been having a great time being good stewards, but on one this one purchase, I was sorely lacking in patience. And self-control.
The people who attended the first class of our Financial Peace University course discovered that the answer to that question isn’t a Capital One credit card. For them, if they follow the steps outlined in the course, their wallets are going to have a lot of cash!
More than 40 people showed up on Tuesday night, May 8 – filling the choir room to capacity. The class is so large that next week they will have to move to the sanctuary. Quite a few of the attendees are not members of Metro and found out about the class from our website and Facebook promotion. Sivan Bruce was the youngest attendee and Sis. Ravi (yes, Sis. Ravi!) was the eldest.
If you've spent any amount of time at Metro, you've been blessed by the praise and worship ministry of our Minister of Music - Theo Milford. A couple of years ago, Theo decided that before he got married, he needed to get his finances under control. How else would he be able to buy Melody all the clothes she wanted? Just kidding. :-) Seriously, he did realize though, that taking responsiblity for his finances was an integral part of his life and would help contribute to his financial, emotional and spiritual growth, and so he decided to attend Financial Peace University. I spent a few mintues with him talking about his experiences when he took the course here at Metro.
[Register now for our Financial Peace University classes. You may attend the first class for free - come out an join us on May 8 at 7:00 p.m.]
- National student loan debt: $869,309,799,803.00
- National credit card debt: $795,385,655,880.00
- National mortgage debt: $13,424,542,699,384.00
- Total personal debt: $15,959,931,085,004.00
- Average personal debt per citizen: $50,931.00
- Average savings per family: $6,065.00
Aren't those numbers mind-boggling? They're also stale (they keep changing every second and in your free time, it's fun to look at the actual numbers at www.usdebtclock.org). But the two numbers we want to bring to your attention are the average personal debt per citizen and the average savings. If our creditors were all to come calling today, we'd be in a lot of trouble.