Storing Treasures in Heaven vs. Earth

by J. Money -

path to heaven

I recently got an unsubscription notice from someone who no longer wants these articles emailed to them (*tear*). Here’s the reason he put as why:

I changed my philosophy on money and will be storing my treasures in heaven and not on this earth.

At first I was like “Rock on, man. What a great reminder!” as I’m personally working on being better at giving back myself.* After all, we can’t take any of this stuff along with us, right? And who doesn’t like helping out their fellow man?

A few minutes later, however, I caught myself feeling a little annoyed… “Wait, what do you mean your philosophy changed? Are you not going to manage your money anymore? Do you think wealth is all evil now? Are you getting all insightful or snotty?”

I read it over and over again, and started wondering if it was a dig against our own overall mission here (to increase financial awareness and save dat money!) or if he thought the two were mutually exclusive. Which of course would be absurd. I don’t think he meant any harm by it, but I also don’t think it was a compliment either ;)

After bouncing around from feeling guilty, to deep thought, to being pissed!, and then back to guilt again, I finally landed on “peace.” Mixed with some “thankfulness.” Peace that I can rationally ask myself such questions and not get too down on myself, but thankful for it being brought up and giving us something juicy to consider today. Because let’s be honest – we definitely think more about growing our wealth than sharing it. Or at least I do. And again is something I very much want to improve upon.

That being said, I also think that you can affect a lot better change when you’ve got your $hit together vs being a hot mess. Both financially, and in life in general.

It’s hard to help anyone when we can’t even help ourselves, and is the exact reason those sexy flight attendants are always reminding us to put on our own oxygen masks first before our neighbor’s ;) Sure you want to save the whole plane, but you’re not that useful if you can’t breath yourself! At the same time, hoarding all the oxygen (or money) and not lifting a finger ain’t that great for society either.

So to me it seems like you need a happy medium of having the foundation down, while also being able to help others at the same time. And the better the foundation, the more you can help.

(Though I will give mad credit to all those who go above and beyond and just kill it in our world too… Did you see that article on the couple who lives off 6% of their income and gives away the rest? Like $100,000 worth/year?? Incredible.)

As for these treasures on Earth vs in Heaven, well, I’ll let you decide where you think our community’s mission here falls. I think we do a pretty good job of setting a positive tone with our money, but I also can’t remember the last time we talked about being a good citizen in the world either. And I agree it’s an important factor in the grand plan – no matter your spirituality.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes by Sir Sidney Poitier who I think states it all rather well:

“I always wanted to be someone better the next day than I was the day before.”

Now that’s something to strive for!

—————
PS: Who wants to subscribe to our blog posts now to make up for the person we lost? ;)

* I’ve been meaning to blog about a new philanthropy goal I’ve set for myself where I pick one new small organization or person to help each month in order to get back on track with this stuff. We’re currently going into month #5 already and so far so good! There’s something about constantly keeping your eyes open for *new* opportunities to help – and setting a monthly budget for it – that seems to be the magic concoction here… But I’ll share more on it all soon… Feel free to unsubscribe in the meantime :)

Jay loves talking about money, experimenting, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his two beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

1 [email protected] October 21, 2015 at 6:47 am

Snotty. Definitely snotty.

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2 Jim Wang October 22, 2015 at 7:46 am

I agree, it feels like one of those things where if you talk about it you want people to know, which is snotty. If you really feel this way, just unsubscribe and keep it to yourself… but then we don’t get a discussion about it. :)

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3 Free Money Minute October 21, 2015 at 7:22 am

Very cool article J Money! I think you hit the nail on the head. There is no way we can help others if we haven’t already taken care of ourselves. If we get our finances taken care of it will free up resources (time/money/etc) to give back in the future. If we give it all away now, we may be sucking resources from others because we now require their help if we are unable to care for ourselves later.

Maybe you can consider sprinkling in an article or two on where giving and tithing so balance things out a bit. Maybe talk about the end game and the importance of managing your own financial system first.

Keep up the great work! Continued success to you.

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4 Malory Largo @ Band of Savers October 21, 2015 at 10:03 am

I would like to second the motion for some tithing related posts.

I am continually astonished by the blessings that come from paying a full and honest tithe on my increase. I am so grateful that my parents taught me to do this since I was a child so that it is now something that simply comes naturally to us. I would argue that paying my tithing has been the best financial decision that I have ever made and plan to continue for the rest of my life.

We are promised in Malachi 3 that if we will pay our tithing that He will “open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” And we have watched this blessing be fulfilled.

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5 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 6:47 am

Love to hear that!! I’ve never been great at tithing even though I was raised (Catholic) to do so too… My new challenge kinda falls along the line, but still too early to call it a habit. Working on it though! :)

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6 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:03 am

For sure. Especially now that I’m back on the philanthropy train again! I guess I haven’t written much about it lately because I was slacking :(

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7 Andria October 21, 2015 at 7:26 am

Yeah thinking snotty, but hey that is alright. This lifestyle is not for everyone. People always tell me life is too short and they are not sacrificing anything. They do not get the benefits of not needing crap or expensive vacations to be happy. Oh, well their loss.

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8 whiskey October 21, 2015 at 7:30 am

They are standing up for what they believe in, right or wrong. Many an opinion will be given on this but in the long run, its what makes this particular person comfortable with themselves. Others be damned. Ive always held close an old saying “a man is judged right or wrong according to the time and place”.
You should not feel bad about losing them. This blog serves a part in educating people which in itself is giving back.
If you are christian oriented then yes, storing treasure in heaven is what you are told to do. This has a lot to do with not seeking treasures on earth, making it your obsession, but to seek heavenly or more “spiritual” qualities.
I, for one, believe that we have a responsibility to be “good stewards”, which we are also told to be. If that means acquiring material possessions, ie money, then I will be a good steward of that also. I just don’t make it my only goal.

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9 Gretchen October 21, 2015 at 7:38 am

Part of my belief system, at least as a Christian, is being a good steward of your money while on earth. I hate to break it to you, but storing treasure in heaven and money on earth are not two things that are exclusive of one another. Besides, if we’re being honest, money makes the world go round, and what better way to store up treasure in heaven than by being a good steward of your money while on earth and using it to do crazy amounts of good…..amiright?

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10 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:04 am

You are right :) Being a good steward is win-win all around!

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11 David Hunter October 21, 2015 at 11:11 am

Preach, Gretchen!! :-P

The person who unsubscribed still has to know how to manage their money and save for a rainy day (because we all have rainy days).

Plus, money is not a bad thing. You don’t need to be a hoarder of money, but you do need to save and plan for when times get tough (Old testament they stored a tenth of their grain, because they knew a shortage was coming and they had to get through it).

Also reminds me of this…. I hate when I hear someone who says, “The Bible says money is the root of all evil.” Blah! It’s the “love” of money that is the root of all kinds of evil.

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12 Dee @ Color Me Frugal October 21, 2015 at 7:51 am

Sounds snotty to me. And I loved your mention of the flight attendants. I’ve always said that the best parenting advice I’ve ever received is given to me by a flight attendant every time I board a plane- you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others! And I would agree that it applies to wealth too!!

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13 Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies October 21, 2015 at 8:08 am

Hmmm. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the statement – the person is just trying to concisely articulate his or her views. Like you, I want more clarification and elaboration. Something I particularly struggle with in terms of finance is that money isn’t an endgame. But a lot of people treat it that way. I also think there is an abundance of ways to give to others that doesn’t directly involve money.

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14 KevanderHolyfield October 21, 2015 at 8:10 am

Snotty? Hardly. Sure, the wording of that email could be taken as a bit condescending if we are being sensitive about how others perceive our ‘treasures’ here on earth. But that’s our problem. I find myself surprisingly happy for that (ex-)reader to be making the changes they think they need, regardless of the different motivations. At the end of the day, that’s all any of us can do.

Let’s be thankful we have the freedom and capacity to build up our own foundations in whatever ways we see fit.

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15 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:05 am

Good way to look at it.

Loving your name btw :)

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16 Aperture October 21, 2015 at 8:16 am

JMoney, it is to your credit that you have deeply considered the implications of this readers’ change in philosophy and struggled with your own approach as a result of that encounter. I am glad you are on the other side of this with a stronger grounding in your own values. But, I think you have assigned way too much valence to this reader’s message. This is yet another example of the non-sense that people place on billboards and bumper stickers that are supposed to signify a life-view, philosophy, value system or anything else. Slogans can suggest a point of view, but they cannot stand in place of a rational, logical, love-directed reflection that is elegantly stated through words and actions. There is WAAYYY too much slogan-driven value wars in our lives. We allow one thing to stand for another thing, then make war over these proxy symbols of our points of view – meanwhile seldom setting the slogan aside to look at what we mean, what it means, what the meaning means to our actions. I think this reader grabbed a slogan, applied it to his current struggles then threw it at you as a means of attacking his problems from a “new” perspective that really isn’t a perspective at all.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts – you have done the heavy lifting that your former reader has not yet undertaken. Best wishes, Ap.

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17 Paganpatty October 21, 2015 at 10:00 am

Aperture, I completely agree. Couldn’t have said it any better!

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18 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:08 am

I think I need to swap out my entire article for your one paragraph here – hah! Thank you so much for this – I couldn’t put my finger on it all the way and this helped :)

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19 Kalie October 21, 2015 at 8:34 am

I think more posts provoking thought about generosity/philanthropy are very welcome. It makes the whole money thing from getting miserly. But I agree that we need to be responsible and have financial discipline in order to be much use to anyone else. The problem is when generosity is put off until a time when it’s easy or comfortable, because as we all know, there’s no magic amount of money that will feel like enough unless you decide goals ahead of time.

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20 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:09 am

Very very true… we all wait for “the best time” but rarely realize NOW is the best time… mainly because there is rarely a “best time” :)

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21 Catina Marie October 21, 2015 at 8:34 am

Someone needs as exorcism…and it’s not us.
Even though I am here very Mon/Wed/Fri I will take one for the team and hit that “subscribe” button. I got your back J$!

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22 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:10 am

Haha…. Thanks Catina.

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23 Lance @ Healthy Wealthy Income October 21, 2015 at 8:36 am

Personally I think you can have it all in life. If you have your life in order then not only are you helping yourself and your family but put yourself in a position to help other people out in life.

I personally enjoy folks who feel the need to explain themselves in every situation. Want to move on? Then move on, the need to explain yourself hardly justifies the time and effort to try and put others down. We simply don’t have time for that in this life…or the next.

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24 Justin @ Root of Good October 21, 2015 at 8:36 am

There’s definitely an anti-money sentiment out there. In contrast, I think money is the Root of Good. It opens up so many options for you to help yourself and help others in ways that are impossible if you’re perpetually broke.

While we don’t give away very much of our wealth today, we will probably end up with more than we need by the end of our lives. Along the way, plenty of opportunities for philanthropy will pop up, and having the means to help is a huge plus.

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25 Alex October 21, 2015 at 8:40 am

What I like about your website is that you focus more on getting control of your finances. Getting out of debt, not overextending yourself with a house, not trying to keep up with friends/neighbors/advertisers/every little trend, finding easy ways to bring in additional revenue. It’s hard to focus on others if your own life isnt under control

Other budgeting blogs seem to focus on ‘being as cheap as possible in order to save as much money as you possibly can.’ Thats all well and good, but 1) your money stays here when you die and 2) is it worth being miserable in your 20s, 30s and 40s just so you can retire at 50?

I know people who are so overwhelmed with debt that it appears they’ll never get out. I know others who are able to save 50% of their paycheck but are pretty unhappy as a result (ie they still live with their parents, dont date, rarely see friends, never travel). Key is always to find a happy medium.

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26 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:13 am

Thanks so much for sharing, Alex! That means a lot. Truly. It’s easy to get down on myself no matter how long – or successful – I’ve been with blogging over the years, and its’ comments like this that keep me pushing. So thanks for taking the time to let me know! I’m glad the blog is helping you :)

(And yes – I like to enjoy my life vs hating it as often as possible, haha.. even if that means not saving every penny *gasp*)

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27 Tiffany October 21, 2015 at 8:41 am

Out of curiosity, I did a Google search for “storing my treasures in heaven”. One of the pages I landed on is here: http://www.gotquestions.org/treasures-in-heaven.html.

I don’t think it’s snotty at all. Maybe someone close to them passed away or they had some kind of experience that changed their mind (think: rebounding from cancer). We only know the tip of the iceberg–not what’s below the water.

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28 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:15 am

Very true! It’s all speculation indeed… And I do hope it wasn’t stated out of something negative happening in their life either – that’s never good :(

Going now to check out that link, thanks.

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29 Steeb October 21, 2015 at 8:51 am

The verse from the Bible does not state “money is the root of all evil”. The correct quote is “the love of money is the root all kinds of evil”. (I think I got it right). The main premise of this site is that looking after the money now allows you to reach the point where you do not need to worry about the money any more. It’s regularly stated that saving money just for a bigger number isn’t worth it, the goal is to be able to do what you want, how you want. (if I want to retire at 50 and party on my yacht the goals are little different than if I retire at 70 and live on a beach in Central America). If your now ex-follower manages his money and watches his expenses he can have more available for charitable purposes. If Bill Gates blew it all early in his career he would have nothing to give now.

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30 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:16 am

Amen, brotha.

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31 KevanderHolyfield October 21, 2015 at 9:17 am

Naturally, there’s a lot of focus on increasing our capacity to do good with our financial resources (e.g., charitable giving, especially later in life). But we have to ask: who does the work supported by our charitable dollar? It might be this ex-subscriber who has chosen to give their time now rather than money later. Both approaches are critical, no doubt.

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32 Emily @ JohnJaneDoe October 21, 2015 at 9:19 am

I’ve just joined the Stewardship committee at my church, and we’ve had a lot of the same discussions I see on lots of personal finance blogs. Encouraging incremental steps towards giving more and coming up with concrete suggestions for people who ask how to free up money to give aren’t substantially different than encouraging incremental steps toward saving and freeing up more money to invest. The steps are largely the same, but differ in the goal.

I try to balance the two, but I’m not always successful with either. I think your posts help, J, because you do write about money and quality of life, not just accumulating the most you can. I think many of us want and write about the struggle to balance the two sides. Maybe not as often or as overtly as your ex-reader seems to want, but I think it’s there.

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33 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:18 am

I love that your church has a Stewardship committee! And that you’re on it! :)

I’ve been bad about attending mass myself ever since we had kids, and it’s something I also want to get better about. And if there’s a committee on money and helping then I feel like it would get me there faster – hah! (is that bad??)

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34 Emily @ JohnJaneDoe October 21, 2015 at 11:59 am

Not bad at all! I know being on the committee is helping me focus differently on financial questions. I’m sure you would have a lot to offer on a church Stewardship or Finance committee.

I think most churches struggle with a lot of the same issues we do on a personal level: How big of an emergency fund do you keep, and when is it okay to use it? How much money goes toward outreach and charitable giving, and how much towards having a nicer building to worship in? How to generate more income, and are the ways to get more income consistent with the church’s overall goals?

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35 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 6:51 am

Very true… I know some host Dave Ramsey classes too, yeah? It’s pretty fun to correlate “church” with “money talk” right now, haha… I never have!

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36 Mrs DN @ The Dollar Notes October 21, 2015 at 9:23 am

J, it is good that you give different perspectives to money. In my personal life, I give certain percentage of money away each month. I have done that since I started earning money at the age of sixteen. My idea with this is not to boost my ego but to remind myself that in the end everything I have is a blessing and that money is just a tool in life, not the end goal. At the same time being diligent with my money is very important value for me and I’m aspiring for financial independence. I don’t see these two ideas excluding each other.

I’m really looking forward to hearing about your monthly quest to help people and small organizations out!

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37 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:20 am

Thanks Mrs DN!! I’m working towards being more like you! :)

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38 Malory Largo @ Band of Savers October 21, 2015 at 9:28 am

These are definetly not mutually exclusive goals. The better established you are the more you are able to help others. In fact, I recently made a post on my new finance blog that shows some of the money advice that was given by current apostles at a world wide conference earlier this month. Heavenly Father wants us to be financially independant, debt free and have a healthy savings. To provide for our families is our number one financial priority.

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39 Adrienne October 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

Signed up for emails! And as an atheist I believe I’ve only got this one chance to do all the good I can, there’s nothing else waiting for me, no other life to count on. So I had better make THIS one the best I can!

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40 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:22 am

Fascinating! I don’t know many atheists, at least that have flat out told me they were :) I’m glad you’re making this life count!

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41 Adrienne October 21, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Yeah, I don’t often mention it unless it comes up naturally in conversation, but I felt like it was part of the point I was trying to make. I’ve had people say some pretty insensitive, and occasionally horrible, things. My favorite was someone that I really admired who wondered where my moral code came from (ummm…my parents? Kindergarten? Just being an observant human?).

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42 Lisa O October 21, 2015 at 9:40 am

I am having a really hard time with this one! First if that was meant to be snotty then I don’t want to be in his heaven! Second, I think you have to be able to save and take care of yourself so that you can give to others. I also don’t believe that giving money is the only answer. Think about the giving we give every week that we are working and earning a paycheck and paying the government +-25% of our money to pay for the programs they fund to help others. Think about that neighbor that needs help moving something, fixing something, building something and you lend a hand, tool or knowledge. Think about the donations made for your stuff that you are done with….it comes in handy for someone with less. Think about those who feed the birds! I think whatever makes you feel “good” at the end of the day and proud of your accomplishments is the right direction!

I enjoy your articles and I really feel that I learn from them and the comments of others!

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43 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:22 am

Yayyy! Thank you Lisa – such a great takeaway from this, I love it :)

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44 Free to Pursue October 21, 2015 at 9:42 am

What a great topic. I think I understand where you’re coming from. I started giving more of my time and our money over the last two years and it’s incredibly rewarding. Glad to hear you also got the bug. Nothing can give us the “warm and fuzzies” like giving.

I agree that some financial bloggers take money saving to the whole money hoarding level and I think that stems from having different types of goals (extrinsic vs intrinsic). Once we’re on the intrinsic bandwagon any reasoning other than seeking additional freedom and independence to do more of what matters to us starts looking pretty weird.

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45 Laura Beth @ How To Get Rich Slowly October 21, 2015 at 9:54 am

I feel for you buddy. Although it was a nice gesture on his part to explain his motivation for unsubscribing. Highly philanthropical individuals are often at odds with the pursuit of wealth.

Im already a subscriber ~ both here and rockstar, but if you want me to, I’ll subscribe again.

Laura Beth

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46 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:23 am

You’re too sweet ;)

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47 Money Beagle October 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

I honestly don’t think a single sentence is really enough to make an assessment or a guess on the reasoning of the person. Maybe they spent, as an example, 5 hours a week on tracking and thinking about their money, and were able to see success. Perhaps they figured that they could cut that down by 2.5 hours and dedicate that time elsewhere, which would provide beneift in other areas, and still keep their money situation in good shape. If not reading blogs is something in that 2.5 hours, then that’s their choice, and while I know it hurts to lose a subscriber (I hate every time I see someone stop reading my blog), I think they deserve the respect for showing, at least as much in as one sentence allows, that they plan on doing something meaningful with the time.

Just my thoughts.

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48 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:25 am

True true… I don’t mind losing subscribers as I know it’s all a part of the game, I’m just so damn curious now behind the meaning :) You’re def. right though – better to hear “adding treasures in heaven” vs “I’m gonna go waste it all away now cuz I’m bored” – hah.

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49 Steve @ Think Save Retire October 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

Honestly, this is quite the puzzler. Even after your description of the process you went through with this email, I’m kinda going through the same process – minus the guilt part. I’m not entirely sure what exactly that person means, but whether that email was snotty or otherwise, I think we can come back to one important element:

To each their own

Meaning, if he was poking fun at those of us who care to save large portions of our money rather than spend or give it away, that’s cool – more power to him. Each of us have the freedom to choose exactly what we do with our money, and if this emailer wishes to give or spend the majority of his money now because we can’t take it with us after death, I’d wish him large amounts of fun with that, and best of luck.

Personally, I don’t think there is anything wrong with keeping the majority of your money. After all, YOU earned it, and I don’t think there should be any guilt involved with that. I think it’s wonderful to give, but without setting yourself up to be in the position to help, I don’t think you’re doing anyone any favors.

It’s like when those sexy flight attendants tell us to secure our own oxygen masks before helping those around us, the financial world works the same way. If the foundation on which you stand is shakey or unstable, you probably won’t be in much of a position to help anyway, and in the end you’re just screwing yourself out of both financial safety and security, AND the next person out of help that they may need.

To the person who wrote the email, I’d only say “Have fun with that” because, well, they’ll probably need the well-wishes. :)

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50 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:27 am

Thanks for the thoughtful comment, bud :)

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51 Maggie @ Northern Expenditure October 21, 2015 at 9:57 am

Sometimes frugality can become selfishness. We get so involved in saving every penny, we start hoarding. But I agree with you… you can’t help others if you’re not in a position to do so. The first step is figuring out how to live on less than you make so that you actually have an excess to save. When you actually have money left over, THEN you can decide how to handle it… save it, invest it, or give it away. Giving is an important part of finances in my book. If you’re not planning for giving, you get stuck in the selfish mindset of money.

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52 Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels October 21, 2015 at 10:12 am

It is a great reminder, indeed. However, I know that some people look at finances as evil. I’m Christian and I try to give back as much as I am able (financially as well as my knowledge, time, etc as well). You need to use money as a tool, not to love money itself. I am able to contribute more into the world when I have higher net worth, that is just the truth.

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53 Abigail @ipickuppennies October 21, 2015 at 10:35 am

We don’t donate much, and we probably should. We just always seem to be putting out financial fires. Hopefully, we’ll get a little financial peace, and I can do something more intentional — besides our saving goals, anyway.

But I do firmly believe in the oxygen mask theory. That’s partially why we don’t donate much. But it’s also why, if we *are* able to have a kid someday, we won’t be paying for his/her college. We’re woefully behind on retirement savings. We need to make sure we can live comfortably in our old age and not be a drain on the kid.

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54 J. Money October 21, 2015 at 10:56 am

Sending you massive positive thoughts!!! You deserve to be happy – and financially stable – my friend!

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55 Hannah October 21, 2015 at 10:56 am

I actually wrote about this just the other day. Wealth and financial planning is fraught with uncertainty, but our character is enduring. We can do our best to plan and project the future, but we can absolutely bank on the idea that the way we think about and handle our money today will affect our character tomorrow.

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56 middle class October 21, 2015 at 11:01 am

A few years ago I read about a study that showed that people who think about money a lot, as a lot of pf bloggers and readers do, tend to be more selfish and less giving. After mulling over this a while, I took a hiatus from reading about money ALL THE TIME, because it was true. I was thinking about money ALL THE TIME. I was not very generous because for me, I never had enough $ to feel comfortable. Now I’m back in the pf fold but I try hard not to let it dominate my life.

Very thought provoking post and comments.

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57 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 6:58 am

You know, I’ll be honest and say I am having a hard time not thinking bout money a lot myself. Even when I want to shut it off and just live! Granted, a major part of that is because I’m mixing business with pleasure here and make a living off $$$ talk – hah! – but it’s still something I need to work more towards. I’d love to have a week where I don’t look at a single number.

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58 Paul G October 21, 2015 at 11:04 am

Dave Ramsey has his “seven baby steps”. Step seven (the last step) is “build wealth and give”. In Dave’s philosophy, a person is much better positioned to be generous and give to others after his or her financial house is in order, i.e. out of debt, having a full emergency fund, having money for retirement and children’s college, paying off that mortgage. Only after all these are accomplished is a person really financially ready to be generous to others. That doesn’t mean you should not give along the way, but that you can be super generous once these other steps are complete.

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59 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 7:01 am

I was hoping someone would bring him up! I don’t follow him much so wasn’t sure exactly where he stood, but I knew he has deep ties to church – and often speaks of it – so it’s interested to see where his thoughts are on this. Thx for jumping in!

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60 Laura October 21, 2015 at 11:09 am

Wow! I never gave a moment’s consideration to the effect a reader’s cryptic remark could have on a professional blogger. As soon as I read your blog this morning, I became concerned that comment might be a call for help from someone who may have gotten overwhelmed or desperate and given up. Obtuse, brief remarks like that one can be hard to decipher.

Finances aside, I hope he (or she) is spiritually and emotionally okay. You can live without a budget, assets and spending plans, but it’s hard to live without hope.

I’m sure there’s more to the story (at least I hope so), but I’m going to send your most recent non-subscriber some positive energy just in case .

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61 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 7:03 am

oh wow – haven’t even considered THAT possibility actually! it’s amazing how many ways you can interpret this stuff, isn’t it? I hope the person is perfectly okay too :(

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62 Cait Flanders October 21, 2015 at 12:31 pm

You should’ve emailed him! I emailed someone who unsubscribed last week, because their comment really resonated with me. She replied almost right away and was so open/honest – and kind! So maybe he was being snarky… but I’d still consider asking what he meant. The answer might (happily) surprise you :)

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63 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 7:11 am

Interestingly enough I did! I shot him a quick note to tell him I liked his new path he was going down, but then when the weird feelings started hitting me I thought it would be too awkward/annoying to hit him back again – esp since he hadn’t emailed me back yet and literally said he didn’t want to receive my emails anymore, haha…

But if he ever responds I’m totally going to try to engage him :)

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64 Lizzy October 21, 2015 at 1:51 pm

Great article. I couldn’t agree more. There are causes which I believe in passionately, and with which I am very involved. Sadly, I have had to miss events and meetings due to finances. That is one more motivation to getting my finances in order.

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65 Kim October 21, 2015 at 2:11 pm

I agree that you can’t determine much from one sentence but I certainly don’t think God intends for all of us to be poor. We live in a very conservative community and I’ve had numerous patients decline medical treatment because whatever happens must be God’s will. I believe God gives us the resources to seek medical treatment, build wealth, and find ways to do good with our earnings because we have enough to take care if ourselves and loved ones. I sometimes think people use “God’s Plan” as an excuse for things that they don’t really want to put effort into.

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66 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 7:19 am

Reminds me of the parable of the flood :)

*****

A man was trapped in his house during a flood. He began praying to God to rescue him. The water started to rise in his house. His neighbour urged him to leave and offered him a ride to safety. The man yelled back, “I am waiting for God to save me.” The neighbour drove off in his pick-up truck.

The man continued to pray. As the water began rising in his house, he had to climb up to the roof. A boat came by with some people heading for safe ground. They yelled at the man to grab a rope they were ready to throw and take him to safety. He told them that he was waiting for God to save him. They shook their heads and moved on.

The man continued to pray, believing with all his heart that he would be saved by God. The flood waters continued to rise. A helicopter flew by and a voice came over a loudspeaker offering to lower a ladder and take him off the roof. The man waved the helicopter away, shouting back that he was waiting for God to save him. The helicopter left. The flooding water came over the roof and caught him up and swept him away. He drowned.

When he reached heaven and asked, “God, why did you not save me? I believed in you with all my heart. Why did you let me drown?” God replied, “I sent you a pick-up truck, a boat and a helicopter and you refused all of them. What else could I possibly do for you?”

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67 Melissa October 21, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Helping others should absolutely be part of your life, but you have to take care of yourself first! If you’re not able to give money, you can give time or donate your services. Having money doesn’t equal selfishness, but I do think it’s valuable to step back and make sure we’re keeping in line with our morals.

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68 Crystal October 21, 2015 at 3:00 pm

I didn’t even understand what he meant. I was raised Catholic, but starting in college, I just live by the “don’t be an asshole” motto. But none of my 18 years as an official Catholic help me to understand his statement.

Honestly, when I saw “Storing my treasures in heaven…”, I thought it sounded a little creepy…like he’s killing off his loved ones and pets to get them up there faster. But that may be the Criminal Minds watcher in me.

Overall, I don’t overthink it when I lose a subscriber. I generally figure that they either didn’t agree with me or my overall writing, which is okay. Or I think they may get like a million subscriptions like I do and I didn’t rank high enough to stick around during cleaning. That’s okay too. ;-)

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69 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 7:25 am

HAH! Now you’ve officially creeped me out!!

Funny about the asshole thing too – that’s pretty much my dad’s motto as he’s never been much of a religious man. I always tried getting him to church with us growing up but he never agreed :(

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70 Harmony October 21, 2015 at 3:12 pm

I don’t see how the two are mutually exclusive. Good people will do good things with their money. It’s true that we are hustling to pay off debt and build up assets right now, but once we semi-retire there will be so much more time to contribute to our family, friends, and those in need. In the meantime, there are so many ways to help out others without throwing money at them.

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71 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 7:26 am

“Good people will do good things with their money.” – I love that!!

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72 Syed October 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm

The comment could have been from a troll or from one of the wisest sages on earth. We’ll never know their true intentions. But I agree 100% it’s all about a balance. If you have a family to support (and even if you don’t), you’re going to need money. It’s just a tool that we can use for good or evil.

That being said, I have met some super nice people who have a ton of money, and I have also met some jerks who are poor. A truly good person will have a strong character with or without money.

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73 Peter October 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm

One way my wife and I do some good, is instead of selling all of our stuff, we donate a good amount of it to our local mission. They give it all away for free and preach a good message as well.

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74 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 7:28 am

I like that a lot :)

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75 Premature FIRE October 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm

I tried to subscribe, twice. So far Nada.

We tithe and, give offerings to our church. We help when and, where the Lord leads. We have always believed we are stewards of all God has blessed us with in this life.

Once we got a handle on our finances, our offerings became substantially larger.

Now, not sure how to handle our current situation. Working on Plan B.

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76 Premature FIRE October 21, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Oops, for got to include my website.
That might help explain the need for plan B.

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77 J. Money October 22, 2015 at 7:33 am

sorry about the signing up part – not sure what happened :( thx for trying though!

going over now to check out your blog :)

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78 Steave @ Monster Piggy Bank October 22, 2015 at 5:52 am

It feels great that I keep improving with regard to finances and meet my financial goals I set every start of the month. That said, there are times I fail to do it, but I keep myself motivated to keep me going and to still keep up with my goals. This is what I share with other people. I share how I do it so that they can apply it to their money.

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79 jestjack October 22, 2015 at 8:06 am

Perhaps you could “adopt” a favorite charity. Years ago when our kids were little, I felt blessed that our kids were healthy for the most part. To that end I “adopted” Juvenile Diabetes as my “pet charity”….not because my kids are diabetic….but because I’m grateful they are not. I have donated quite a few cars to this worthy charity and would encourage others to do the same. They do good work and do make a difference….

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80 J. Money October 26, 2015 at 7:18 am

That’s a good way to do it :) Hadn’t heard of that route before!

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81 DP @ Someday Extraordinary October 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Why does it have to come down to an either-or decision? Sounds like someone who just gave up too easily . . . managing their life took too much effort, so they blame it on outside factors and reach for excuses like a change in philosophy. I’m with you – you have a lot better chance at leaving this world a better place than when you entered it if you have your own life together. It’s just one less thing you have to worry about hanging over your head.

In fact, it kind of goes hand in hand. If you’ spending your time building houses for Habitat for Humanity, then you’re NOT spending your time . . . spending!

-DP

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82 Christine @ The Pursuit of Green October 22, 2015 at 4:48 pm

To each their own:P I believe in a balance of everything but I’m not religious so I wouldn’t think the same as your emailer.

Live life now, save for later to live life later, and just be a good person.

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83 Alex Craig October 22, 2015 at 7:56 pm

J Money,

I grew up in an active evangelical church and I could not tell you how rampant this is.

This is a pull at a bible verse in the gospel that is often misconstrued. The idea is where store our money is where are hearts will be too. And we cannot have two gods.

I personally have never understood it because it takes money to make the world go round. Argue it if you want, but you need money if you want to do good in this world. The money has to come from somewhere.

But you really cannot help anyone if you have not helped yourself. The analogy I like to give is about how the flight attendant says put your oxygen mask on before helping anyone else.

But I struggle daily with finding the balance between giving my money versus saving more of my money. If you find the answer be sure to let me know. lol

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84 J. Money October 26, 2015 at 7:20 am

Haha – working on it!

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85 Laurie @thefrugalfarmer October 23, 2015 at 8:03 am

I’ve long believed that God wants us to have wealth so that we can help care for those who are in need. The two are definitely meant to be partners together!!! But it’s definitely about where your heart is at. If a person is gaining wealth simply to have more (Luke 12:13-21), then that is not good. But if the goal is to use that wealth to impact the world for good, totally different thing. Great post, my friend.

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86 Alex Craig October 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm

I agree with that statement.

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87 J. Money October 26, 2015 at 7:22 am

Thanks Laurie! I know you’re super spiritual so I pay extra close attention to the things you say. So glad you stopped by to chime in :)

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88 Steve Miller October 25, 2015 at 3:17 pm

The problem with statements like “I changed my philosophy on money and will be storing my treasures in heaven and not on this earth” is that it is an all or nothing proposition.

It’s like saying “I’ve decided to no longer fuss with my finances because I would prefer to spend all my time on doing right by others and spreading the gospel.”

Both can be done and done well, it should not be a mutually exclusive thing. And quite honestly, being financially prudent sets a great example for our kids, parents, friends, church family, etc. So that’s all about doing right by others.

[Stepping off the soap box now…]

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89 Chris Huntley October 26, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Hey J,
I mostly just know you from the Fincon group, but finally visited your site today, and am blown away.

I love how every page is dripping with your personality and voice. It’s clear you write your own stuff. Love it.

As a Christian, the way I see it is you should pay close attention to your money BECAUSE God commands it.

Proverbs 27:23 says “Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.”

… in other words, you have to know the condition of your assets (replace “business and 401K” with “herds” and “flocks” above.)

So while we should be careful not to make our whole lives about the pursuit of “treasures on earth”, we also need to be prudent managers of the funds with which we have been blessed.

PS – Statements like this turn casual readers into raving fans – “I think we do a pretty good job of setting a positive tone with our money, but I also can’t remember the last time we talked about being a good citizen in the world either.”

I love the honesty. Nice work, buddy!

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90 J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Hey! Wow, thank you so much for the kind words! So nice of you to say! I def. pour my heart into this thing (and do my best to keep it real) so I’m glad it’s coming off that way. I care a lot about this stuff – and my readers! :)

Thanks for taking the time to read/comment today. Let’s make sure to connect face-to-face next Fincon, yeah? going now to check out your site…

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91 Becky October 28, 2015 at 2:54 pm

He could have been coming from a good place. Sometimes I get fed up when my budgets don’t work out the way I want, especially if it goes on for a few months. Maybe he thinks he has been focusing too much on money and doesn’t want to become a lover of money (2 Tim 3:2). Also, I don’t think he is talking finances only. I think you can ‘store up treasures in heaven’ by the way you act, and your attitudes as well as simply your relationship with God. Anyway, myself, I choose to look at my finances from the perspective of being a ‘good steward’ of what God has entrusted me with (1Cor 4:2)

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92 J. Money October 28, 2015 at 3:52 pm

I like that way of thinking of it :)

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93 Cris Fisher October 30, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Hmm. I hope for this guy’s sake he doesn’t mean he’s putting all of his savings into one of the “seed money” scams that some megachurches run :-(

John Oliver did a report on those a couple months ago: https://youtu.be/7y1xJAVZxXg

I’m not Christian myself, but plenty of the PF blogs I read seem to be good with teh Jesus. I don’t see why being financially stable/practical isn’t compatible with spiritual life.

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94 J. Money November 2, 2015 at 1:17 pm

I’d like to think so!

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95 Kev October 31, 2015 at 6:51 am

After reading the post and some comments a phrase I heard comes to mind. “Meaning is more important than the sounds and symbols we use to convey.”

It’s been awhile since I’ve looked into the PF-sphere. JMonsy and other bloggers definitely helped motivate me to get some sort of budget together. I’d say my current view of money is for it to be part of my life but not my life.

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96 J. Money November 2, 2015 at 1:17 pm

A good way to think of it :)

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97 Sir Exodus November 6, 2015 at 9:43 pm

I can see where that unsubscriber may have been coming from, but you definitely hit the nail on the head. “Storing up treasures in heaven” was said by Jesus in Matthew 6:20. Since then, Christians have taken it too far to the point of being careless with their money and not planning for the future. It’s unfortunate that the unsubscriber left, as your mission to “increase financial awareness and save dat money” is a noble one and when done correctly, will allow people to give more generously then they ever could if they wasted it or stuck it under a mattress and never let it grow!

For any others thinking of unsubscribing in order to “store up treasures in heaven”, don’t do it! Stick with J Money and his budgeting ideas — it’s actually OK for Christians to think about money:

http://www.earlyexodus.com/recent-posts/is-building-wealth-at-odds-with-christianity

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98 J. Money November 7, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Thanks for chiming in, sir :)

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99 EbbTide November 29, 2015 at 11:56 am

Subscribed! I love your blog and found it through Republic Wireless. My family is working toward F.I. and our primary motivation is so that we can be better stewards. We just opened our “freedom investment” account on Black Friday(!), and we’re pumped about growing the contributions. Your work is an inspiration J. Money!

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100 J. Money November 30, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Yeah brotha!! That sounds awesome – way to go! And welcome to our beautiful community here :)

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