The Cross-Section And Time-Series Of Stock And Bond Returns The Christian Declaration of Financial Independence

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The Christian Declaration of Financial Independence

Preface

To encourage people to better understand and appreciate the principles of Christian financial stewardship as set forth in the article and sections below.

Article I

We the Christian people hereby agree to the following:

Section 1. We recognize that God is the creator and owner of all things. We promise to be the best possible “stewards” of all that God entrust us with during our lives-including our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our spiritual growth, our family lives, our relationships with others and our finances.

Section 2. We will show our love and appreciation to God for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as He bore our sins that we might have life eternal by accepting God’s Mercy and Grace. We will tithe/give (goal-10% or more) to help others with not only our money, but also with our time and talent.

Section 3. We will help God secure our futures by saving and investing. We will start saving immediately. We will first save at least $1,000 for an “emergency fund” that is placed in a safe liquid account. Next we will save 3-9 months living expenses for our “emergency fund.” In addition to our “emergency fund,” we will save and invest for the future (goal-at least 10%).

Section 4. We will take care of our finances by tracking each account and putting money where it will grow.

Section 5. We will invest for the long-term. Financial futures are built on patience, time and hard work. We will avoid speculative investments and investments that are too risky.

Section 6. We will pay our “fair share” of taxes. While paying our “fair share” of taxes, we will utilize tax strategies that minimize our tax bite. We will focus on investments that are less taxed than the highest rate, which is “earned income”-such as a paycheck. We will utilize “portfolio income”-such as stocks, mutual funds and bonds that are less taxed than “earned income.” We will focus on “passive income” -investments such as real estate, which is the least taxed income.

Section 7. We will use our home as a savings account. Our home provides shelter and helps build equity for our futures. We will save for a large down payment-at least 20% or more-when we buy a home. We will purchase a home that is affordable for our budgets. We will pay off the mortgage loan as soon as possible. We will leave our home equity safe instead of spending it on perishable things.

Section 8. We will live within our means. We will spend less than we earn. We will be content and grateful for the resources we currently have. We will make every effort to pay for purchases without acquiring debt.

Section 9. We will protect our credit worthiness. We will pay our bills on time.

Section 10. We will avoid debt whenever possible. We will only borrow money when necessary and only in amounts we can comfortably pay back. We will know the cost of borrowing before agreeing to any debt repayments. We will add the cost of borrowing to the original purchase price and ask if the purchase is worth the total cost. We will borrow the least amount of money possible, at the lowest rate possible and for the shortest time possible.

Section 11. We will destroy credit cards if we are not paying the balances in full each month in order to avoid extra finance charges. If currently spending more than earned, we will stop incurring additional debt immediately and work on a plan to pay off debt.

Section 12. We will not confuse our “self worth” with our “net worth.” Regardless of whether you are a pauper, middle class or a billionaire, Jesus Christ died for your sins that you might have life eternal. You are of infinite worth to God. God desires that you be a good steward of His resources; however, you will not be taking money with you to heaven. Your relationship with God and others is more important than money.

We mutually pledge our commitment to these declarations with a firm reliance on the protection of God’s divine providence.

__________________________________________________________________

Your Signature and Date

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