From Mystery to Mastery

The Mystery to Mastery webinars cover a series of topics from basic personal finance through to pre-retirement planning. Let our webinars take the mystery out of your finances!

Where is my money going? Will I ever pay off my debt? What do I do next? How do I save for retirement? Will I be able to retire? How do I invest? Is it safe?

From the first sin of Adam and Eve, we have struggled to properly manage God’s provisions. The Lord has placed you in charge, he has given you all you need to be His steward. He has promised to be with you and to provide you with strength to do this work. Remember, too, that financial plans must be flexible and adaptable to meet the needs and challenges of your ever-changing life. Use these plans to guide and direct your decisions. Count on his blessings and promises. There are three basic principles for proper Money Management:
  • Know what the difference is between what you own and what you owe.
  • Know where your money comes from and where it goes.
  • Know how to prioritize your spending.
Take Control - Watch the Mystery to Mastery Webinars Now.

Saving for

Money Management

Where to Begin - Net Worth and Income Statement

To start learning about your current financial state, complete a Personal Net Worth Statement. Like a balance sheet for a business, this will help you compare what you own (your assets) to what you owe (your liabilities) to establish your net worth. Put another way; if you were to sell all that you have to pay off all that you owe, would there be money left over. 

Next, you'll want to look at where your money comes from and where it to goes. Think of the Income Statement as a snapshot of your plan.  Gather all receipts and bills for the month (including taxes, premiums, and savings that are automatically taken from your paycheck), rather than just using your net income. You want to give yourself a clear picture of where your money is going. In this way you can determine if you are spending more than or less than what you are making. 

The Net Worth and Income Statements should be reviewed every year at the same time.

How to Improve - Budgeting

Learning to control spending, working on spending less on non-essentials, and understanding your priorities are the main ways a budget will help you steward your income. 

How to successfully use a monthly budget:
  • At the beginning of the month, agree on the amount to be spent.
  • Record amounts actually spent for each item through the month.
  • At the end of the month, subtract the amount actually spent from the amount budgeted; the goal is that the combined total equal zero (meaning that if you overspend in one area, you should underspend in another area to compensate).
  • Keep in mind that one person can be responsible for completing the budget figures – as long as the other person is aware of the budget and exceptions are discussed.
  • Hint: You may be surprised by how much you were spending on eating out or how much they are paying annually on interest on credit cards. All those things can add up! These are areas are easy to improve on.
Debt & Credit

Part of being a good steward of God's gifts means using credit wisely and having a plan for reducing debt. Divide your debt into two categories: good and bad. Good debt helps you achieve better net worth (backed by assets, such as a home, or providing other financial benefits such as the interest being tax deductible). Bad debt (uncollateralized or unsubstantiated, such as unnecessary loans or credit cards) do not provide benefits to your net worth. Pay off this debt as quickly and reasonably as possible.

Better Money

Retirement Planning

The earlier you start saving for your retirement, the better. Even if you can only set aside a small amount now, even a few dollars a day, will provide you with needed retirement savings income in the future. If it is possible, don’t put off saving for retirement until you’re debt free, instead build it into your budget, so you won’t miss out on valuable compounding and several tax advantages.

If you are enrolled in the CRP or the CRSP, you can estimate your retirement benefits on Retirement Connection. Log in at today!

Things to Remember When Planning Your Retirement

Retirement Finances
  • Retirement planning is an ongoing process that should begin as soon as possible
  • Paying off unnecessary debt is a way to help you prepare for retirement
  • Have a realistic view of retirement expenses and income
  • Learn about how Social Security works
  • Save for retirement - consider the Concordia Retirement Savings Plan
Retirement Living
  • Consider the lifestyle you want to maintain
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Living arrangement
  • Leisure and work
Estimate Your Retirement Today

If you are enrolled in the CRP or the CRSP, you can estimate your retirement benefits on Retirement Connection. Log in at today!

Other Financial

Retirement & Financial Workshop Calendar

Learn more about Financial Planning or Retirement! Our Educators offer retirement and financial workshops for our church workers and ministries.