Showing posts from January, 2018
So what if you could just find money?
Certainly you can earn money through your paycheck from your employment. One can get money from passive income streams, which is arguably even better; such as:- stock market, real-estate etc.). But what if you could just find money? I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I do this on a daily basis. That’s right each and every day I find money!!
I like to go for a walk each day. I usually walk for about an hour a day. I accomplish three things in doing so: 1) by walking I get some exercise; 2) to I listen to a podcast (usually Choosefi), learn Spanish or Tagalog (I am a huge fan of the Pimsluer Method); 3) I find money!! One day I found this lamp in a dumpster with a bunch of change stuck to it.  And yes, I chipped off every coin.  I also found a car radiator water pressure testing kit in that same dumpster. 
I usually walk in an area where I am assured to find some change. Sometimes it’s a subdivision; sometimes it’s a parking lot. …
Mary Poppins, Miracles & Compound Interest I find it fascinating that many people do not believe in miracles. Either they cannot, or will not, believe. Allow me to give you an example. There is a miraculous tale that is literally thousands of years old. It is the story of a man who wandered the countryside sharing ways we might be more kind and gentle with each other. One day the man arrived at the home of a lady who was pretty destitute. She was a widow and had a young son to care for. It was a time when there was a terrible famine in the land. To make matters worse, she was flat broke. The kind old gentleman asked the lady what he might be able to do for her. Her response: "I have no food for me and my son." Turns out this gentleman had some pretty serious connections.  He asked the lady for a jar containing a little flour and a cruze holding a tiny amount of oil.  Then he said something mind blowing. This cruze of oil and this jar of flour will not run out till the r…
Life Style Creep, Retail Therapy and Treasure
This post was in part inspired by Joel and Alexis who write over at Fi180. I was listening to my favorite podcast and was struck by some comments made by this super couple in episode 024. Alexis spoke about spending tons of money (six figures) and having no idea what they spent it on, or what they bought. They spoke about going into Target and buying stuff.  Stuff that they did not need or really want. Somehow it (retail therapy) was just something they did.

Later I read what I thought was a brilliantly written blog article by Abby Jungé entitled: "Why I Ended My Love Affair with Target." I love this article and if you like to shop, or find some (or too much) pleasure in retail therapy, I highly recommend reading this blog post. Abby talks about going there to find joy and actually finding the joy short lived and then having to deal with the emotions of having spent too much money on stuff she did not really need or want.

I did not…
Taxes, Fishing and God
We are heading toward the end of January 2018 and all across America W-2’s will be making their way to the doorsteps and mailboxes of all working Americans.  Yup it is tax time.  For me, this is the time I am collecting all my tax documents and gonna head over to my Tax-Attorney. Yes you heard that correctly.  PastorFi has a Tax-guy.  There are three reasons I have a Tax-guy.  Firstly, he does a fantastic job!  Secondly, the gentleman is a personal friend.   And finally, he offers his services to file for me, for free.

I suppose to some degree everyone feels like their own taxes are “hard” or “complicated."  If you are a pastor or religious worker who is reading this, you understand when I say: “Mine are complicated!”  As a Pastor working for a church organization I get a W-2.  “Well PastorFi, most Americans get a W-2, nothing complicated there.”  However as a religious worker I am considered self-employed.  “What?? Does that means you pay both sides of the…
"The poor you will always have; but Me you will not always have" (Matt 26:11)
This morning I listened to a fascinating Ted-Talk by Rutger Bregman on Poverty.  Mr Bergman suggests that a Universal Basic Income (covering essential needs: food, shelter & education) is the answer to ending poverty.  Quoting Margret Thatcher: "Poverty is a personality defect".  The underlying assumption is that there is something wrong with "them" - the poor.  Turns out there is a connection between IQ and poverty.  When life is focused on just trying to get by, people make poorer choices.  They tend to smoke more, eat badly, don't exercise, drink too much and have more violent tendencies.  Poverty is a tremendous waste of resources, both financial and human!  What would life be like if people had no fear of economic insecurity?   Giving poor folk what we think we need they need, and what they actually need are two very different things.

I found myself reflecting on t…
Who is PastorFi and why read this Blog?
I am an ordinary guy.  There is really nothing extra-ordinary about me at all.  Yet for an ordinary guy, I live an extraordinary life!  Today, my wife and I have been married almost 20 years.  We have four children.   When I graduated from college in June 1991, I had no debt.  I had gone to college for 7 years and emerged with zero student loans.  That itself is another story for another time.  I started my working career on July 1st, 1991.  I was broke, divorced and  clueless when it came to money.  My ex-wife took most of our assets, and to her credit, took all our debt too.  I did not even know how to write a check.  I'm serious!  I was Clueless (yes I like the movie too).   My starting annual salary was around $22K. Sometime in the fall of 1991, working as a "youth pastor" for a church just outside of Philadelphia I contracted the flu.  I was laying on the couch and awoke to find my roommates had left the TV on, blaring out so…
WEALTHY not RICH What is Wealth? I have come to believe that wealth is not about how much money you make, where you live or what you drive (or fly).
Wealth is about the difference between your income and what you spend. The age-old adage of spend less than you earn; is indeed the essential element. If you are spending less than you earn, you are by definition wealthy; and more importantly, you are going to become wealthier. In a recent posting by
Christine Zellers she pointed to this article about the super rich…
My response is WOW, just WOW! Having a huge income (which I don't have) seems to me to have nothing to do with having a “Wealthy-Mind-Set”. I have (by Southern Californian – SoCal standards) a tiny income. I earn right at $70K, am married & my wife and I have four kids. My wife has for the past 16 years been a full time stay home mom. I don't pay for housing, this is part of my “benefit package”. I do however pay Income Tax on that $24K benefit and since I am consi…