BYU Graduate Student Society. Ten Myths of Personal Finance and What Wise Stewards Know March 20, 2014 Bryan Sudweeks, Ph.D., CFA From the BYU Marriott School of Management website on Personal Finance at http://personalfinance.byu.net.
Ten Myths of Personal Finance
What Wise Stewards Know
March 20, 2014
Bryan Sudweeks, Ph.D., CFA
From the BYU Marriott School of Management website on
Who created us?
Who loves us the most?
What is our purpose here on earth?
Where do we find the most joy?
And when we think longer-term
Who forgives our sins?
Who allows us to live eternally with our families?
Who will judge us at the last day?Reality 1. Life is About Others
Life is a test, training, or probationary time to show where our heart and our will really are (Alma 42:4)Life is About Others (continued)
1. Ownership: Everything we have is the Lord’s
2. Stewardship: We are stewards over all that the Lord has, is, or will share with us
3. Agency: The gift of “choice” is man’s most precious inheritance
4. Accountability: We are accountable for every choice we make
Some feel personal finance is all about money
Money is the answer to all our problems
We just don’t have enough of it
If you can solve it with money, it is not a problem
The Reality is different
We all know what we should do: live on a budget, spend less than we earn, not go into debt, build a reserve, etc.
But other things (ignorance, carelessness, compulsiveness, pride, and necessity) get in the way
For most, it is not a question of knowledge, but of motivationIt's About Faith (continued)
How do we motivate ourselves and others?
Elder Boyd K. Packer answered this when he said:
True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior (Boyd K. Packer, “Little Children,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 16).
The lesson for us then is to understand doctrine
The “doctrine” is we have been commanded in the scriptures and by living prophets to:
Live within our means
Get out of debt
Build a reserve
Save for long-term goals
Teach our children
From this perspective, we see that financial problems are not necessarily problems of money, but problems of faith
2. It’s about freedom
President Ezra Taft Benson said:
The Lord desires his Saints to be free and independent in the critical days ahead. But no man is truly free who is in financial bondage (“Prepare Ye,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, p. 69).
Obedience to the commandments (which includes the commandment to get and stay out of debt) are critical parts to this freedom promised
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
Money matters are spiritual matters because:
Available for Savings
Elder L. Tom Perry taught this when he said:
Source: available upon request
It is not enough to read the scriptures—we must obey the commandments
O remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God (Alma 37:35).Wise Stewards Know (continued)
When the brother of Jared came to the ocean on his way to the “promised land,” he had two problems, light and navigation. The Lord helped the brother of Jared with both problems
The Lord touched the stones, which gave light
He will help and give us “light” as well
The Lord sent the storms, to blow Jared and his family toward the “promised land”
The storms which He sends to us (like we have today) will take us where He wants us to be so we can return and be with HimWise Stewards Know (continued)
Reality: Every family should have a budget
Myth 8. Parents are responsible for their adult children’s finances
Reality: Adult children (as well as parents) are responsible for their own finances
Myth 9. I can start later to get out of debt and begin saving
Reality: We need to start now
Myth 10. I pay my tithing, I have nothing to worry about financially
Reality: We need to learn to be financially wise. There are good resources available that can helpSummary (continued)
Wise stewards develop good financial habits:
1. They recognize their stewardship
2. They have their priorities in order
3. They plan their future early and live their plan
4. They know it is what they “become” that is most important
5. they know money cannot buy happiness
Good habits (continued)
6. They understand assets and liabilities
7. They understand income
8. They know they are responsible
9. They know they make a living by what they earn, but a life by what they give
10. They remember the three critical “ifs”
The scriptures make us wise, if . . .
The Savior makes us holy, if . . .
The storms make us strong, if . . .
I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith (italics added, Thomas S. Monson, “Be of Good Cheer,” Ensign, May 2009, 92).Summary (continued)
Wise stewards also know that if they continually string to obey the Lord’s commandments and seek to be like their Savior Jesus Christ, they will come to know, in spite of all the storms, that:
For verily, I say unto you, that great things await you (D&C 45:62).
For great things truly await you as you continue to live, obey, and enjoy the wonderful the gospel of Jesus Christ!