|Publisher:||Tyndale House Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
James Moline, PhD, is a licensed psychologist who also holds a master’s degree in theology (both from Fuller Theological Seminary). His lifelong passion for ministering to the homeless and the underserved has taken him around the globe both personally and professionally. He lives with his family in Minnesota.
Read an Excerpt
Your New Money Mindset
Create A Healthy Relationship with Money
By Brad Hewitt, James Moline, Jane Vogel
Tyndale House PublishersCopyright © 2015 Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
All rights reserved.
OUR MONEY PROBLEM
Ryan was never a fan of school, and after a couple of years of college he hit the job market just as the Internet was becoming an essential part of everyday life. He has an eye for web design and a knack for coding, and he worked for other people long enough to save up cash and strike out on his own. In good years, his new business has thrived. In several not-so-good years, Ryan is proud to say he has survived.
Alycia fell in love with this creative, driven entrepreneur. The couple met as twenty-three-year-olds playing in a church softball league. Alycia and Ryan dreamed of a growing business with more impact and an increasing bottom line. They envisioned a life more affluent than either of them had enjoyed while growing up. After the couple married, Alycia continued her career in human relations. When she gave birth to a daughter followed by a son a year later, she chose to work part time, and she continues to find steady employment a decade and a half later. Both Ryan and Alycia feel they have accomplished much but long for more. They want a bigger house in a more prestigious neighborhood, for example, but they will stay in place as long as they owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth.
Ryan has felt increasing business pressure for the past several years. In fact, his company would shrink if he didn't put in longer days than ever. He feels as if he is barely holding his own as he competes with innumerable kids half his age who are promoting themselves as experts in all things digital. Inexpensive do-it-yourself design platforms mean Ryan's expertise isn't valued even when it is badly needed.
Business has gone flat just at the time family expenses are exploding. With a daughter in her junior year of high school and a son a year behind, spending feels out of control. Ryan used to think it was ridiculous when little Bekka wanted a hundred-dollar doll and a tubful of accessories. Now the latest cell phone and a closetful of clothes are just the start. His son once played endlessly with a glove and ball. Last week Daniel came home and announced he needed hundreds of dollars of lacrosse equipment the next day.
Although the couple struggles to make vehicle payments, they keep rolling over leases on new models. Ryan once vowed his family would never own more than two cars, but when Bekka earned her driver's license, he realized an extra car would make it easier for her to get to club-soccer activities. Soon a third vehicle appeared in the driveway, and lately Ryan has wondered about getting a fourth one. Not that there's anywhere to park it. The space is already occupied by an SUV and trailer for hauling Daniel's motocross bike and a spare to races.
Even though the college clock is ticking down for their children, Ryan and Alycia block that from their minds. Ryan assures Alycia that if he just has a consistent stream of business, he can write checks to cover tuition. They need to convince Bekka and Daniel to enroll in public universities close to home, but both kids have other ideas. The children might need sizable loans to cover their schooling, but these days, who doesn't?
Ryan sees himself as an astute, self-made man. Thanks to his hard work and Alycia's contributions, they have always lived well. They look like they make a lot more money than they do. Ryan is living the dream of being his own boss. Alycia always has a confident, put-together look, and the couple is popular with other parents at school and church. Those relationships create demands to spend money on going out, weekend getaways, and even group vacations, but Ryan and Alycia feel like those outings are investments in their family.
Lately Ryan rolls out of bed feeling that every day is make or break. Landing the next client will secure him weeks or months of work, and until the next shortfall, he feels pretty good. When he has hit lean stretches, extended family have helped with loans. Ryan dreads the day someone discovers he often borrows from one family member to pay off another. Not long ago Alycia went behind his back to get money from her parents and from a sibling who has less but still feels sorry for her. Although they never speak about it, Ryan and Alycia both wonder when the life they work so hard to maintain will all fall apart.
Our Money Relationship
It's tough to blame Ryan and Alycia for wanting a better life. They're good people. Hard workers. A husband and wife in love. Parents who want the best for their kids. They're committed to God. If you were looking for someone to hang out with, they would probably be high on your list.
At the same time that we empathize with Ryan and Alycia's desire to have a nice life, we can't help but notice their unhealthy relationship with money. Our money relationship is our everyday attitudes and actions toward money — how we think and feel about money, and how we use or misuse it. Like any relationship, it can be good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, on the upswing or on life support.
When Ryan and Alycia think about money, they are detached from reality. They keep spending more and more even as they get closer and closer to the edge of a cliff. They live each day worrying they will get caught. Their affluence is more or less a costume and their self-reliance a mask. Deep inside they experience self-doubt. They fear their way of life will come crashing down, and their most basic needs will go unmet.
Unfortunately, almost everywhere we turn, we observe unhealthy dynamics around money. We notice it not just in grown-ups struggling to keep up in a culture of discontent. We also observe it in young people trying hard to make their way in the world. And to be honest, we see the battle raging within ourselves.
As authors we want to tell you something that might shock you: we don't claim to have this money problem all figured out. We struggle against the same impulses everyone does, and we are comfortable admitting it. Why? Because it's true. Consumerism is the air we all breathe. It fills our lungs and pumps through every part of our being. If you don't realize we fight the same battles you do, you could easily conclude we don't have anything to offer you regarding your own relationship with money.
We do bring backgrounds that help us understand this money problem so we can move ourselves and others toward a new solution. We come from different perspectives. Brad is the CEO of Thrivent Financial, a Fortune 500 company that is also a membership organization of Christians. The organization is more than a hundred years old and serves over two million members. Jim is a PhD licensed psychologist with a graduate degree in theology. A former university professor and clinical therapist, Jim now leads people to excellence in the world of work. We are both immersed in business, in non-profit causes near and far, and in the daily life of local church congregations.
The quick handle on us is that Brad knows math and money. Jim understands beliefs and behavior. We also both know Jesus. We are enthusiastic in our commitment to live as his followers, and we believe our relationship with him integrates with every part of life. Including money.
Jim has two daughters on the threshold of adulthood. Mira is a recent university graduate, and Asha is just beginning college. Both are highly responsible with their money. Even so, some days Jim hears them wonder aloud, "How can I pursue a profession I love and still earn an adequate living after paying off my school loans?" He senses some fear that they won't earn enough money to buy a home or even a dependable car. Underneath it all, he wonders if his daughters are really saying, "I don't feel very hopeful about my financial future" or "I'm never going to be happy."
Our culture makes it nearly impossible for any of us to be content. There is always a new iPhone or iPad or iSomething coming out. When everyone else is sprinting full-out in a race to have more, it's tough to stand on the sidelines. We frequently hear stories about emerging young adults who, soon after they acquire a credit card, owe far more within a month than they have means to pay back. If children grow up accustomed to parents paying for everything from a Wii to their wardrobe, computers to cars, they seek to extend that lifestyle by almost any means necessary.
We have always known that young people who don't pursue training or education beyond high school are often doomed to scuffling through life in low-paying jobs. Yet many who get the step-up that more schooling affords remain at risk of a lifetime of falling behind. Ask around among young adults, and many talk freely about taking on enormous student debt. They start life so far behind that they will catch up only with great effort.
Without adequate savings from family or money they accumulate on their own, most students take loans to make it to graduation. Debt that can be repaid without causing a painful burden can open doors to the right job and a fulfilling adulthood. But many students pile up debt to enter jobs that don't pay enough to ever dig out. Students dream of helping the world through teaching. Or church work. Or they want to make a statement through music or fill the world with beautiful art. But having $80,000 in loans darkens those aspirations. These young people carry the incredible burden of not being free to live out their calling. Others use their loans to fund nonessentials. Many wind up with huge debt and no degree.
Brad serves on the board of an urban Christian university in Minnesota. The board has worked aggressively to cut tuition and make it more affordable. Why? They want the school to remain a viable option for students from all economic backgrounds. They also feel a moral obligation to the sons and daughters who attend the school. Until the board intervened, some students were living in their cars — and anecdotal evidence suggests that a significant percentage of students attending public and for-profit colleges do the same.
Student finances are a crisis in our country. How does all of this madness happen? It is the constant press of consumer culture that pushes young people to do things that just don't add up.
Pictures That Say It All
Thrivent Financial, where Brad is CEO, started an enterprise — brightpeak — to reach young families.
Part of brightpeak's mission is to offer free or lowcost financial education to young adults. Through brightpeak research to develop their service offerings, they asked participants to draw pictures of their relationships with money and to talk about the pictures. What they said — well, a few pictures are worth millions of words.
Our Money Problem
We could each draw our own pictures of our money relationship — a depiction of our attitudes and actions about money. The discussion guide at the back of this book will invite you to do that. But this sample of participants' pictures and their brief descriptions captures the thoughts and feelings of many. Those attitudes are pervasive whether you're a single mom raising three kids and barely getting by or a two-income family that pulls in $200,000 a year yet feels detached from each other and your community. These dynamics transcend economic and educational categories. Many of us carry a burden of money unease, tension, or panic. Many feel a distinct need to keep up appearances. Many feel an urgent desire for more and bigger and better. And the research we will examine shows we feel the press of consumerism no matter how much or how little we have.
Consumerism is our desire to acquire more for ourselves when we already have enough. It's our obsession with money and all it can buy. While consumerism is driven by external culture pressures — such as the barrage of advertisements we see each day or the comparisons we make against our peers — it takes root and grows inside human hearts.
There are many concrete measures of consumerism's grip on us. We could add up personal credit-card debt and car loans and other consumer expenditures, then compare that total with our annual income. We might immediately discover how badly overextended we are. We could journal about the times and places we spend money we don't have. Or we could look deeper and assess the money attitudes that drive us. We think that last approach is most revealing. As we will see throughout this book, our thoughts and feelings about money are where helpful or harmful behaviors start.
Most people have never examined a belief held at the deepest part of their hearts and minds. As consumers, we think that the greatest good we can accomplish is to spend more. We anxiously watch the growth or contraction of our economy and count it a civic duty to boost the gross domestic product (GDP). And we are driven to obtain more and bigger and better for ourselves. Researcher Jon Alexander points out that this consumer drive — as measured by short-term, personal, material standards — breeds a self-interest that spreads to every area of life. Consumerism shapes our habits not just at the mall or the car lot but in our homes, our political maneuverings, our investing, and beyond. At its worst, consumerism feeds an unrestrained selfishness throughout life.
As Christian leaders, we see this trend in the church. People show up less as worshipers or community members than as consumers. As soon as an engaging preacher leaves or a great musician moves on, the church down the road suddenly looks a lot better. That's a consumer mindset, and it makes it difficult to grow communities of believers fully committed to God, to each other, and to their world.
You can't live in the modern world and not be affected by consumerism. Without intervention, those longings to acquire more just never go away. We think, If I could just buy that new thing, I would be content. If I could just have that next job, I would finally be successful. If I just had a big stock portfolio, I would be secure. If I just had my retirement all figured out, I wouldn't have to rely on anyone else. Most of all, we live with a persistent misbelief that if we just had a little more, we would be happy forever.
But this is an unending cycle. It goes round and round. That's the consumer lie. That's our money problem.
Welcome to the Struggle
You might be a person active in your faith who already thinks faith and finances go together. Or you might be unsure about any part of that equation — your basic beliefs, the right way to relate to money, or the compatibility of God and money. Wherever you are right now, we want to invite you to come with us on a journey where we discover how one of life's most practical issues is impacted by a new mindset only the gospel can bring. We will reexamine some fundamental assumptions, see how Jesus turns portions of our thinking upside down, and explore how to put potent new ideas into practice. If you are looking for transformation at points of your life that really matter, you will find it here.
There are three reasons we think this journey is incredibly important to all of us.
Excerpted from Your New Money Mindset by Brad Hewitt, James Moline, Jane Vogel. Copyright © 2015 Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 Our Money Problem, 1,
CHAPTER 2 A New Money Mindset, 21,
CHAPTER 3 Ready, 41,
CHAPTER 4 Longing for Security, 55,
CHAPTER 5 Living in Freedom, 73,
CHAPTER 6 Longing for Independence, 93,
CHAPTER 7 Living in Community, 111,
CHAPTER 8 Longing for More, 131,
CHAPTER 9 Living in Contentment, 151,
CHAPTER 10 Longing for Success, 171,
CHAPTER 11 Living in Our Calling, 191,
CHAPTER 12 Change the World, 211,
Discussion Questions, 231,
About the Authors, 247,
What People are Saying About This
Encouraging! Finally, a counter-cultural, proven, and practical approach to managing your relationship with money.
A thought-provoking read! Fixing our money problems starts with changing our hearts. In a world filled with so much noise about finances, Brad and Jim show us how to create real and lasting change.
Filled with warmth and wisdom! When it comes to your faith and personal finances, Brad and Jim should be your two new best friends.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Brad Hewitt and James Moline in their new book, “Your New Money Mindset” published by Tyndale House Publishers gives us Create a Healthy Relationship with Money. From the back cover: Discover today how to free yourself from the money trap and create a healthy relationship with money! Your New Money Mindset is a new way of thinking about the role money plays in our lives. Many of us live with ongoing, and often unexamined, tension related to money. Few of us have really escaped the credit-card trap or freed ourselves from worries about having enough for the future. Co-authors Brad Hewitt, CEO of Thrivent Financial, and James Moline, licensed psychologist, believe we haven’t spent enough time examining our fundamental attitudes toward money and aligning those attitudes to our core values. Before you can remake your money habits, you need to start with your heart. In Your New Money Mindset, Brad and Jim guide you through the Money Mindset Assessment, which will help pinpoint what attitudes about money you could work on in order to develop an openhearted attitude to life. The goal is to cultivate a surplus mindset that allows you to enjoy what you already have and be generous toward others. When is enough enough? Who has the power over us: The Lord Jesus or a credit card? If someone needs from us do they know they can come to us and receive or are we the ones constantly in need? Jesus had a lot to say about the role of money in our lives and this book was written to help you to examine and understand your attitude towards and relationship with money. The authors help us see we all have a relationship with money and the value we place upon it while providing us with a biblical perspective on finances!This book will help you understand your attitude towards money has nothing to do with how much money you have or make or how many possessions you own or lack. This is a book that we will refer back to over and over again. This is also a book that will make a great gift to friends and family so that they can have a mind-change about money as well. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”