Financial Peace University

The Worst Auto Accidents Happen on the Showroom Floor

New cars. We all love them. We want them, we envy those who have them. That new car smell is quite intoxicating don’t you agree?

Auto dealers know this and they use the power of our weakness for new cars to make us completely lose our minds. If you think about it, cars are not cheap. They are one of the largest purchases we make. Unlike buying a home, a car does not increase in value. In fact, it looses value significantly before the ink is dry on the purchase contract.

The average new car costs over $29,000 and the average monthly payment is $493 per month. That is quite a bit of money for a depreciating asset. After 4 years, that $29,000 car is only worth $14,000. Most payments are amortized over 5-7 years. Many people find themselves upside down on their cars for much of the life of their auto loans. That means that your car is worth less than you owe. If you wanted to sell it and pay it off, you would not be able to.

Does this sound like a sound financial decision to you? I hope not. It’s a horrible decision actually. Did you know that most millionaires do not buy new cars for this very reason? There is a better way to buy a car.

Lets make some assumptions. The average car payment is $493 per month and you can pay that otherwise you would not be able to buy a new car in the first place.

If you put $493 per month into a cookie jar for 10 months you would have $4,930. You could go out today and buy a 2008 Nissan Altima. It may not be as sexy as a new car but it is great transportation and comes with no payments.

If you are not satisfied with that then simply keep paying yourself $493 per month for another 10 months. You could sell your car and add your savings to help you buy a 2014 Ford Focus or a 2015 Nissan Versa. Both are very sensible cars only a few years old that will serve you well. If you wanted more you can keep going. Repeat this for another 10 months and you could purchase a 2016 Volkswagen Jetta. That is practically a brand new car but with no payments.

If you follow this plan, you and your friends would be making auto payments of $493 per month. The difference is that your car is getting better, newer and nicer every year while their car is getting older and worse.

Quit doing what everyone else is doing. It’s time to start making better decisions with your hard earned money. Financial Peace University is much more than just getting out of debt. It is a life changing course that will make you think differently.

-- Alex Giannetti

Have you registered yet?

Harvest Bible Chapel is offering FPU on Wednesday nights for 10 weeks beginning July 12th. Who do you know that would benefit from a course like this? Invite them too!
Register by clicking this link:

Are Christians Getting Short Changed?

The Church and Money

Every Sunday at church we take an offering. The offering is supposed to be an act of worship but in most churches its more like the halftime show. The worship and singing has ended and the teaching is about to begin. Rather than become an amazing time of worship and celebration, tithing is something the church never talks about and Christians tend to feel guilt over.

A recent study showed that only 5% of Christians tithe. Over 80% of Christians give less than 2%. Think about that for a second.

Other religions do a much better job in their teaching. Although their theology is off, their involvement on finances is evident. We see the Mormon church growing and purchasing land like crazy. Islam is also growing like wildfire. The Jewish people have been known throughout history for being financially sound.

What if Christians were taught more directly about money? Churches pass the offering but are not teaching their people how to be givers. Churches do sermon series on Marriage, parenting, relationships, suffering, but never on money. As a result, many Christians find themselves inviting God into their homes, into their marriage, into their families, but leave him out when it comes to their finances. As a result, our nation leads the world in consumer debt. A recent report in May of 2017 stated that US consumer debt (not including mortgages) is $12.3 billion.

Proverbs 22:7 reads, "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender." In the US it seems that we are certainly slaves to Sallie Mae, auto loans and credit cards. As a result of this tremendous debt, and the stress and pressure that comes along with it, we are unable to concentrate fully on God. Debt pulls us away and with it our ability to give and serve as we are called. It's not a salvation issue, but it is damaging to the kingdom.

If your church was doing something to help break this cycle would you be interested? Harvest is hosting Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University this summer on Wednesday nights from 7-9pm beginning July 12. Even if you are unsure, just come to the first week and check it out. You will be glad you did.

- Alex Giannetti