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Welcome to FOFFC's Financial Blog!

An ongoing series of informational financial entries

Are You Going The Extra Mile?

May 11th, 2021

      Hey there facebook friend! As you get older, let’s face it! Life gets more complicated. Demands on your time and attention continue to mount, and there's never enough time or energy in a day to get everything done. Do you find yourself longing for a simpler life? Do you find it hard to go the extra mile? When all is said and done, the focus of your life should be to love God and love others. Do the things that fill your heart, life, and schedule reflect those priorities?

     Most importantly, how does the way you manage your finances also reflect those priorities as well? By discovering and focusing your energy on what God considers most important, you begin to find clarity and purpose for each day of your life. I’m so excited you were able to join us. 

     In this blog post… we’re going to dive into “Going the extra mile!” Matthew chapter 5 verse 41 says, “If anyone asks you to go one mile, we are to go two miles with them. Why do you think the extra mile? I’m curious to know what going the extra mile means to you?  

     In Matthew Chapter 22 verses 34 thru 40… Jesus was tested with a question of which the greatest commandment in the Law was?” His response was. “To love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind.” That’s the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Based on how you spend your time and money, what would an outside observer conclude were your priorities in life? Are you going the extra mile or just doing the bare minimum asked of you?

     Maybe we forget that God can see our hearts. Maybe we tell ourselves that he doesn’t care about what’s going on inside as long as our lives look good from the outside. Maybe other people’s opinions matter more to us than God’s does. Perhaps we’re more like the Israelites than we realize -- expressing devotion to God with our mouths while we harbor sin in our hearts. And we think it doesn’t matter, but it does -- it matters deeply. You see...God hates it when we pretend to be something that we’re not. So ask yourself: How well does your heart match up with your actions? Does your mouth speak of love while your heart is greedy with unjust gain? Are your finances so out of control, but yet you still try to appear that you have it all together?

     Financing that brand new vehicle you know you can’t afford. Purchasing that name brand purse just to appear rich in public while being broke behind closed doors. Or maybe you're signing the contract on a brand new two-story home while drowning in current debt just to keep up with The Joneses, living in fear of the day you'll be foreclosed on. Why do we do these things to ourselves? Why is this extra mile we commit to? Or maybe you are going the extra mile by stopping by that game room or casino that’s in the opposite direction of your home just to drop a quarter in a slot machine.

     Maybe it’s going the extra mile to stop by that one convenient store to buy a lottery ticket because you hear so many have won the big bucks multiple times there before. Some Christians think that there is nothing wrong with gambling. And maybe they’re right -- the Bible does not expressly forbid gambling. But the bible does forbid several behaviors often associated with gambling -- such as... wasting money, needless debt, not providing for your family’s needs and addiction to any substance or habit. The Bible is also very clear that our hope is to be found only in God. If you gamble because you hope that winning will solve all your problems, then you're placing your trust in something besides God. And that, my friend, is the real problem.

     The book of Proverbs offers wisdom concerning laziness and the financial ruin that inevitably results. We are told to consider the industrious ant who works to store up food for itself. We are also warned against sleeping when we should be working at something profitable. A “sluggard” is a lazy, slothful person who would rather rest than work. The ending results are assured poverty and want. This reminds me of so many currently choosing to not work and live off the government provided stimulus checks. The number of help wanted signs posted have drastically increased. Meanwhile, there’s talk of two more stimulus checks in the planning. Not to get into politics, but this reminds me of “Do Not Feed The Bears” signs you see posted in wildlife parks. There are places willing to hire you on the spot if you are just willing to go the extra mile of just showing up and accepting the position no matter the pay.

The best place... to go make money... is “TO WORK”!

     At the other end of the spectrum is the one who is obsessed with gaining money. Never having enough wealth to satisfy and constantly grabbing more and more. Beware the trap of desiring wealth and get rich quick schemes. Instead focus on finding contentment and living an outrageously generous life. 

     Maybe we go the extra mile in these ways hoping and expecting God to go the extra mile himself to “bless” or “Fix” the financial messes we put ourselves in. Praying that God will serve us by somehow miraculously fixing the “Stupid” we do in managing the money he places in our possession. Guess what?! God doesn’t exist to serve us! We exist to serve him! What if instead of expecting God to “FIX” our financial problems, we actually tried to go the extra mile and fix them ourselves by applying His principles? You see, He gives us every step to take if we would just open His word and apply. 

     The Bible has a lot to say about managing finances. How to save, how to get out of debt, how to create a financial plan, and how to live a life of freedom from bondage. Topics being covered like borrowing for example. The Bible generally advises against borrowing. Proverbs teaches us that the rich rule over the poor and that borrowing causes you to become a slave to the lender. You are not to be a man or woman who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts. If you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you. Over and over again, the Bible warns against the accumulation of wealth and encourages us to seek spiritual riches instead of wealth.

In our home… if we can’t pay cash… then that means God says wait. God’s timing is an absolute priority in our household.

     What if it was decided to go the extra mile and serve God for a change instead of asking Him to serve us. I’m curious to know what that might look like for you? Drop your response in the comments. Rather than desiring to reap riches upon ourselves, the biblical model is one of giving and not getting. “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. We should give what we have decided in our hearts to give, and not do so reluctantly or under compulsion because God loves a cheerful giver.

We are encouraged to be good stewards of what God has given us.

     In Luke Chapter 16 verses 1 thru 13, Jesus tells the parable of the dishonest steward as a way of warning us against poor stewardship. The moral of the story is, If we are not trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust us with true riches?” We are responsible to provide for our relatives, and especially for our immediate family.

Those of us who don’t, deny the faith and are worse than an unbeliever. We are to fill our cups first securing our four walls of food, shelter/utilities, clothing, and transportation…. Allowing the overflow or abundance to then pour into others lives.

     In summary, what the Bible says about managing money can be summarized with a single word—wisdom. We are to be wise with our money. We are to save money, but not hoard it. We are to spend money, but with discretion and control. We are to give back to the Lord, joyfully and sacrificially. We are to use our money to help others, but with discernment and the guidance of God’s Spirit.

     It is not wrong to be rich, but it is wrong to love money. It is not wrong to be poor, but it is wrong to waste money on trivial things. The Bible’s consistent message on managing money is to be wise. If you’re receiving value out of today’s topic be sure to throw some hearts up! 

     Recently, while my husband and our two boys, were out hustling our side hustle, of cutting firewood, we came across a nest of 6 baby wrens. The tree that they had been nested in, had been cut down, as well as, any nearby trees, that wouldn’t have been considered safe enough, to place them in. We decided to take them home and try to care for them until we found someone who could help take them off our hands. We made several phone calls that resulted in great advice on how to care for them. After much later research, we were able to get in contact with a wildlife rehabilitation center in Dallas TX.

     Now, we could have decided to leave those babies and hope the mom returned and continued to care for them. Instead, we chose to help insure they had a higher chance of survival. So... we went the extra mile of driving them 6 hours round trip to get them to the Center and put them in front of someone who knew more about how to care for them. Let’s be honest, can you imagine seeing me trying to teach all 6 of these birds how to fly. I’m not sure exactly what that would even look like.

     Miss Kathy, The lady who accepted them from us, stated that she couldn’t believe we were willing to drive 3 hours, one way, when she can’t even get others to drive 10 minutes to get a rescued bird to the facility. And by the way, if you’re looking to take a day trip… put it on your bucket list to stop by and check out Roger’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Dallas Tx. Our boys had such a fantastic time touring the facility. You can catch a few pics of our wrens on the facility’s facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/rogerswildlife/posts/4048090665211712

     You see, sometimes we as people just need someone willing to go the extra mile for us, just like those baby birds did... even when we don’t know how to ourselves. Choosing to put ourselves in front of someone who knows a bit more about the topic at hand then what we do. That’s why when it comes to your finances, a financial coach is just the person you need in your corner.

     So... what is a financial coach? Isn’t a coach and advisor one in the same? Actually, no...these two roles are completely different. Take financial advisors, Chris Albertson and Allen Jenkings from Stewardship Wealth Management for instance. Their priority is to help you build wealth and prepare for your future through long-term financial planning. While they can advise in all areas of personal finance, they tend to focus on comprehensive financial goals that last throughout your lifetime and beyond. They usually work with clients who want to manage their assets, build an investment portfolio, and plan for their retirement.

     A financial advisor also helps with taxes, estate planning, health care and long-term care planning. If you already have a budget and are debt free while having a pretty good financial health in place.. Then be sure to grab Chris and Allen’s contact info by visiting their website.  https://stewardship-wealth.com/ They are top notch smartvestor pros and I’m excited to have them as part of Faith Over Fear Financial Coaching's professional network.

     While on the other hand...A financial coach, like myself, understands the situation by working with you to understand the basics of personal finance by taking a more personal hands-on approach to developing and maintaining healthy financial habits. Meeting you exactly where you are. A financial coach provides information by empowering you to reach your financial goals and teaching you how to handle your finances responsibly. Guiding you to save money, create a budget, pay off debt or just improve your financial literacy in general. A financial coach Injects hope by teaching you the knowledge and skills you need to play the game just like a coach for a sports team. Helping you create healthy habits that improve your performance and encourage you from the sidelines.

     In simplest terms, financial advisors work to manage and build on wealth that already exists while financial coaches provide information that helps put you in the best position to create that initial wealth. So, if a financial coach sounds like where you need to begin… then I’m asking you to allow me to go the extra mile with you throughout your financial journey as your financial coach. 

     I want to see you succeed in your personal finances and to show you that there is a different way to achieve freedom from financial bondage by applying God’s principles. It all starts with a simple 15 minute complimentary consultation. That’s it. This short call allows your needs to be heard and determine if a financial coach fits your current situation. We may not even be compatible… and that’s ok. In some cases a financial advisor or other professional may be more fitting. You can click the button below and book your 15 minute consultation now. I promise, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Choose to live in FAITH, and not fear.

     And...If you're not sure if you're ready to work with a coach just yet, just start with setting up a personal budget. A budget doesn’t control you, but rather it gives you freedom. You’ll be amazed by the raise you give yourself! It’s kinda like finding $20 in a coat pocket from last winter. There's a FREE "Budgeting Spreadsheet" template created just for you, by yours truly, that can be accessed via desktop and mobile when on the go. Click the button just below and it can be in your inbox before you can scream out....I'M DEBT FREE !!!

     My hubby and I consistently use this spreadsheet ourselves and are happy to share it with you. We just finished our 2 year journey as newlyweds in becoming debt free. We thought we’d never see that day come, but it for sure makes the sacrifice all worthwhile once you hit the finish line.

     So.. which extreme of going the extra mile are you currently following? Are you lagging behind... or leaving everyone behind? Or maybe you’re just stuck in the middle somewhere and need encouragement to move forward.

Where do you think you might be on the spectrum and why  might you be there. What do you think needs to change?

     I want to thank you for sticking with me till the end of this blog post. Just as you have encouraged me by just showing up... I want to encourage you to share the  broadcast with anyone you think may be able to benefit from what you’ve heard here today. Just click the share button up above on the video. 

     Be sure to visit and like our facebook page and follow us to stay connected. Also check that your newsfeed “follow settings” are set to “Favorites” to ensure you continue to see other great content like our live broadcasts in your newsfeed. If you’ve somehow missed any previous broadcasts due to facebook algorithms… no worries… I’ve posted them in the left sidebar for you to enjoy the replays!

     Ok my friend! Before I wrap up...Do me a favor and type in the comments what topics you would like to see covered in future broadcasts. Again thanks for showing up and have a fantastically blessed day! And remember… Always Choose to live in FAITH and not fear! Now go out and seize the rest of the day by choosing to go the extra mile! See ya next time!

~ Leann Marie Russell

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WOULD JESUS DRIVE A BMW?

April 14th, 2021

     Oh how we love the old rumor mill. As many of you may know by now, we bought a new car! Everyone is asking, “Did you buy it new off the lot?” “How can you afford the payments?” “Where'd you get the money to buy it”? The questions are endless, and actually, very easy to answer... so stick with me... and we’ll get right down to business! But first let me ask, Would Jesus drive a BMW?   

     That question has floated around the Christian community and even in an environmentalist ad champagne. Regardless of what you think about Jesus’ supposed motor vehicle of choice, the root issue is this: “What should Christians do with their money?” No doubt, money -- Either the lack of or its abundance -- conditions our lifestyle choices. The temptation is to think that we are not successful until we have a large home, drive a nice car, put our kids in the best private schools and take exciting vacations to Bora Bora. I don’t know about you, but I’ve personally never been to Bora Bora, but you better bet it’s on my bucket list. Sadly, any of us are willing to risk our future well-being and financial freedom in order to be happy today, at any price. 

     The Bible says the world “runs” after all it can grab in this life. Luke Chapter 12 verses 29-31 tell us not to set our hearts on what we will eat or drink... for the Pagan world runs after all such things. Our Heavenly Father knows that you and I need these things. Instead we are to seek His Kingdom and then these things will be given to us.” Wow! It’s really that easy isn’t it? Here’s what’s not so easy: making the choice between a new or used vehicle and how you pay for it. This could be the difference between riding the highway to wealth and financial independence or spinning your wheels in a rut of debt and endless payments. But... if that new car smell has given you a serious case of car fever, the only prescription is cold, hard numbers. So let’s get right down to it with the help of Dave Ramsey!

     First let’s talk about reliability. “Buy a new car,” they said. “You won’t have to worry about repairs or maintenance,” they said. First of all, safety is always a concern. And one of the most common arguments against buying a used car is that it’ll wear out sooner and won’t be as reliable as the new ones rolling straight off the assembly line. The truth is... that despite all the claims from your friends and neighbors to the contrary, you can find a “like-new” used car that is just as safe and dependable as a new car—and at a much cheaper price. In fact, some newer cars (especially models in their first year of production) are among the ­least reliable cars you can drive.

     From faulty air conditioners to troublesome transmissions, many drivers of newer model cars end up making constant trips to the mechanic or getting manufacturer recall notices in the mail. So just keep in mind when you’re car shopping that new doesn’t automatically equal safe. It all depends on the type of car you’re looking at and how long the car has been on the road.

   Now for the math. Whether you have a car, a boat or a lawnmower, they all go down in value over time as they go through the wear and tear of everyday use. That loss in value is called “depreciation,” and it’s a fact of life. But, here’s the kicker... when it comes to car depreciation: New cars lose their value at a much faster rate than used cars do. Depending on the make and model, some cars might hold their value a little better than others. But, they ALL lose their value over time—especially new ones.

   Just how fast do new cars lose their value? Buckle up. It’s about to be a bumpy ride! Here’s a look at how quickly a new car loses its value: If you buy a shiny new $35,000 car, it loses somewhere between 9–11% of its value the moment you drive off the lot... in less than one minute. You’re basically throwing $3,500 out the car window as you drive the car home for the first time! Fast-forward 12 months and that car sitting in your driveway will have lost around 20% or maybe even more of its value from the day you bought it. You can expect your new car to lose 60% of its value after driving it around for five years. Most cars lose about 10% of their value every year after that steep first-year dip.

     Think about it: If you just wait a few years, you could let someone else take on the brunt of those first few years of depreciation and buy a good-as-new car for half the price! And don’t even think about financing it with car payments.

Things with motors in them go down in value, and you should never borrow money for anything that goes down in value. No exceptions!

     So… let’s take a look at the true Cost of buying new vs. used. Let’s see how this plays out in real life. Let’s say Jack and Tony are both looking to buy new vehicles. Jack decides to save up and buy a reliable used car with cash while Tony goes the “normal” route and finances a new truck.

     The average new car loan is $31,722 with a monthly payment of $545, over an average loan term of 69 months. That’s almost six years of $545 car payments. To put those numbers in perspective, let’s say Tony takes out an average car loan ($31,722) with an average monthly payment ($545) for the average loan term (69 months) and keeps the truck all the way through the end of the loan.

   Like we talked about earlier, his new truck starts losing value the moment he drives it off the lot and continues to lose a huge chunk of its value in the first few years. After four years, it’s worth less than half of what Tony bought it for and continues to drop 10% each year after that. That means that at the end of the six-year loan, Tony paid $37,605 in car payments for a truck that was originally worth less than $32,000 and is now worth about $10,000 (if he’s lucky) at the end of the loan term. Meanwhile, Jack found a four-year-old sedan with low mileage and plenty of life left in the tank for $12,000, and he paid for it with cash. That means he owns the car free and clear. No payments! Title in hand!

     So what could Jack do with an extra $545 each month that he’s not using to pay off the car? Well, in one scenario, he could put all those savings toward upgrading his car down the road. If he saves $545 every month, he could buy a $20,000 car in just three years, while Tony is still just halfway through the loan on his truck. Better yet, what if Jack swears off car payments and invests that $545 in solid-growth stock mutual funds from age 30 to 70? Assuming an average annual rate of return, he could end up with more than $5 million saved for retirement. And what would happen if he splits that average monthly car payment evenly between saving for his next car and retirement investing? Jack could keep buying slightly used cars for $12,000 every four years and still have $1.5 million saved for retirement by the time he hits age 65. Sure hope Tony likes the truck!

     So...Is It Ever Okay to Buy a New Car? As a general rule of thumb, the total value of your vehicles (anything with a motor in it) should never be more than half of your annual household income. Dave Ramsey, as well as myself, don’t recommend buying a new car—ever—until your net worth is more than $1 million.

   Ok, let’s back up because I can see your wheels spinning here. A net worth of $1 million ? Yes! Here’s how to calculate that. You take your total assets minus your total liabilities (or debts) and that’s how you calculate your net worth. Being an everyday millionaire actually has nothing to do with how many figures you make. You might be surprised to find out that you’re closer to being a millionaire than you think. If you’re a millionaire and you want to buy a new car that costs a very small percentage of your net worth, then go for it.

     In our household, we have a rule that we don’t spend more than $5,000 on any vehicle. And we’re debt free! When a select group of everyday millionaires were recently asked what kind of cars they drive, it was found that the average millionaire drives a four-year-old car with 41,000 miles on it. And eight out of 10 millionaire car buyers drive it away debt-free… without a car payment. The real problem with new cars is that the vast majority of the people who buy them (85%) either take out a loan or a lease to get one. And today, thanks in large part to our love affair with new cars, more than 113 million Americans have taken out auto loans and owe $1.27 trillion with a "T"  in car debt.  Only mortgages and student loans account for more of America’s total debt balance. As a result, most folks who buy a new car wind up feeling like their car owns them... instead of the other way around.

     Here’s a fun fact! Buying used will save you money on car insurance. We’ll close with this one because a lot of car buyers forget to factor this into the equation and then suffer the sticker shock from the steep insurance premiums that come with a new car. Drivers of new cars often get stuck with higher-than-average premiums. Because new cars are more costly to repair or replace, they also cost more to insure. Even with some of the latest safety technology, insurance companies rarely offer discounts to new-car drivers for having those features. While new-car drivers will spend roughly $1,650 that year on car insurance premiums, you could save 12% on insurance premiums... if you buy a five-year-old version... of the same car.  

     If you’re purchasing a vehicle and are ready to save money on car insurance, our personal Independent Broker is Robnett-Integra Insurance Services located at 508 Main St in Brownwood, TX. While there are many great insurance companies out there, (David, Noel, and Marilyn) have proven themselves over the years. Their team has the heart of a teacher, patience in every situation, and keeps their customers best interest top priority. Reach out to them today and see how much they can save you in insurance. Their number is 325-646-2886

     Alright! I know you’re yearning to hear what type of car we bought, how we paid for it, and what dealership it came from? So are you ready for the facts?! We purchased a black 2014 four door Dodge Charger via a private seller with cold hard cash! Yep! No payments and title in hand! You better bet those pain sensors were activated. We gave 4K for this vehicle knowing that with it having 270k in mileage on it, it will most likely need a new motor in the future. However, that may cost $4,000 max. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure you can’t buy a brand new vehicle for $8,000.

     So, while you may choose to be like Tony and dump an average of $545 in car payments into a 6 year contract while putting money into some lender’s pockets… I’m definitely choosing to live like Jack and invest that $545 elsewhere putting money into my family’s pockets. Who knows… maybe even use it to buy 31 used cars at $1000 each for 31 single moms instead of investing in the average new car loan of $31,722 for one stinking car!

     Just by applying God’s principles to our finances, we are able to be debt free! My hubby and I, as well as our 15 year old, are able to drive paid for vehicles, and we are headed toward a path of complete financial freedom! You better bet our youngest will also be driving a paid for vehicle as well!

     Guess what?! You can not pass down a credit score to your children and grandchildren. But what you can pass down is a legacy of built wealth that allows you to live a life of outrageous generosity freeing your future generation from your past generational curses of being broke and living paycheck to paycheck. Breaking those chains of bondage... holding you as a borrowing slave to the lender.

     Now let me pause for just a second… I want to take a minute to clear up a conversation that replays in my mind currently. Recently in a conversation I had with a lender, she said, “I am confident in my job as a lender because the bible tells us that we are to be lenders and not borrowers.”  Hmmm. You see I didn’t rebuke her words at the moment because I vaguely remembered exactly what the context was of what she was referring to. So after some heavy research and bible study… I found exactly what the context actually meant.

     Matthew 5:42 tells us to give to him who asks of us, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from us.

You see Jesus did tell us to be lenders and not borrowers, so she was correct about that. However, what she wasn’t correct about is that in being a lender, we are not to be expecting anything in return.  In Luke 6:34-36 we are asked, “if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

     Meaning that once the person borrowing from us takes what they have asked for… we are to never ask for it back in return. Thus the meaning of giving freely and with a cheerful heart. Those who are committed to Jesus have to make counter-cultural choices in their lifestyles. Emulating Jesus’ lifestyle does not necessarily mean pursuing poverty (as if by it, one is inherently more spiritual). It means internally identifying with the overarching themes of his life. Consider the themes of Jesus’ life:

*Contentment    *   Outrageous Generosity    *   Impenetrable Joy   *   Unselfishness

     These characteristics, not dollar signs, are the primary distinctions between Jesus’s lifestyle versus the way the world lives. You are aware... that there isn’t a single verse in the Bible... that tells us to chase a credit score... right?

Deciding you’re not going to live like the rest of the world -- even if you can afford it -- is that much more difficult when you realize that Jesus is talking about a change of heart. Trading in a new BMW for a used Honda is much easier than taking a realistic look behind what is driving your lifestyle choices. Your attitude toward money, not what’s in your garage, is one of the quickest external indicators of your inward commitment.

     Gregg Easterbrook says it best! “In our media-saturated culture, people can see, in agonizing detail, all the expensive things they will never possess. This may make what a typical person possesses seem insufficient, even if the person is one of the tens of millions of Americans living, by the standards of history, in unprecedented comfort and freedom.”

     Hebrews Chapter 13: verse 5 tells you to keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, never will I leave you: never will I forsake you.”

     I’m asking you to allow me to be your cheerleader and guide, throughout your financial journey as your financial coach. It all starts with a simple 15 minute complimentary consultation. That’s it. Be sure to visit our facebook page and follow us to stay connected.

   Oh! And before I forget… if you are tired of living in the financial insanity of doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results… and are interested in having a tool at your fingertips that can assist in making budgeting easier, but just don't want to add another complicated app to your phone screen? Great news! There's a FREE "Budgeting Spreadsheet" template created just for you, by yours truly, that can be accessed via desktop and mobile when on the go. Provide your email after clicking the button below and it can be in your inbox before you can scream out....I'M DEBT FREE !!! 

     Remember… Always Choose to live in FAITH and not fear! Now go out and seize the rest of the day... choosing to be like... Jack and our family... by driving a paid for vehicle! 

~ Leann Marie Russell

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PERMISSION TO BE AUTHENTIC! 

March 31st, 2021

     Leann Russell here... Financial Peace Master Coach, with Faith Over Fear Financial Coaching. If you want to save money, create a budget, pay off debt or just improve your financial literacy in general...stick with me for a few! My goal is to help you to understand the basics of personal finance while developing and maintaining healthy financial habits...empowering you to reach your financial goals so you can learn how to handle your finances responsibly. If this sounds like an area you need improvement on...stay with me and I’ll show you how to get started. Be sure to share this blog post if you know someone who you think can also benefit as well.

     So in this blog today... I’m giving myself permission to be authentic by “shifting from head to heart” as faith based... business coach... and entrepreneur...Jen Johnson...talks about on her youtube channel. But first, let’s get started with some transparency...what are some fears that you may be currently battling with today?

     Ok...so let’s be honest with each other here. I have been completely living in fear of “going live”! Yes! Those who know me know how silly this sounds, but it’s so very true. I can be the most confident human being when it comes to speaking to others, but the minute you put a camera in front of my face, or I see myself looking back….I completely freeze up from seeing the flaws! Crazy right?! 

     You see.. the truth is...you and I both also have this same lack of confidence and fear in our personal finances as well. We can be so confident in the way our finances are being carried out until we sit down and complete a budget and see that we are actually living above our means. What a slap in the face, right?! Can you relate? I mean do you feel such a churn in your stomach when you realize that you are the reason for the financial mess you put yourself in? The hard reality is that you and I have no one else to blame, just as I have no one else to blame for the fear I allow myself to live in with doing facebook lives as silly as that sounds

     At some point we have to step back and call ourselves out, right? Can you believe it tho? As perfectly made as God created you and I, we still see flaws in ourselves. So for example...where we see “flaws” in ourselves when looking in the mirror, or in my instance, the silly camera.... When we look at our budget, we just see the “flaws” in our actions with the money that God provides us to manage. That’s when we have to take a step back and reassess by creating a plan of action and choosing to live in Faith and not fear... therefore “shifting from head to heart” You see, God can’t grow us outside of our comfort zones. You and I both have to be willing to step out of those zones. So again… we have to give ourselves permission to be our most authentic selves and be willing to just step out and try something new. Even when it comes to budgeting.

     We have to just do it scarred over and over again until we no longer have the fear or no longer do “stupid” with money because we have a financial plan in place. And trust me… my hubby and I have done our fair share of stupid! 

You see...God also won’t bless you and I with more if we can’t manage the few. And trust me… He wants to! You can not out give God! This applies to everything in life and not just finances. That’s when you have to have a behavioral, mindset, and heart change.

     So... as Jen Johnson says… give yourself permission to be authentic by “shifting from head to heart.” IT doesn’t have to be perfect. WE don’t have to be perfect. OUR FINANCES don’t have to be perfect. We just show ourselves Grace and continue to do our very best. Just show up! That’s it! Just as you are.

     I have spent days, weeks, and months… trying to plan the right content. Researching any info I could get my hands on in hopes to master facebook live. Studying facebook’s algorithm to ensure more people are reached, all the while exhausting myself. My gosh how I despise facebook algorithms. Can you relate to this or am I the only one?

I mean..only 6% of facebook gets to see all the hard work you put into your content. That’s so very disappointing, right? 

     It’s easy to do the exact same thing with our finances as well. Over planning or sometimes we UNDER plan, or don’t even plan at all. Trying to find the quickest way to get rich, the fastest way to pay off debt, all the while trying to keep up with the Joneses. Wanna know a little secret? The Joneses ARE BROKE! It’s true! They are miserable!

     So as I’m preparing myself to go live for the first time in all it’s perfection...God reminds me. “Leann, you just need to be your most authentic self. It’s that simple.” Wow! What a sigh of relief. It’s absolutely ok for you and I to just be our most authentic selves and be who God created us to be. It’s ok to let go of what the world puts on us and just turn to what God’s word says about us. Just do it scared!

     Did you know that you were uniquely and wonderfully made?! It’s so true! Did you also know that God provides us with all his tips and tricks of financial principles we should be applying to our personal finances through His word?!

It’s so crazy how we can wander into debt, but we can’t wander out. You have to RUN like your life depends on it! Freeing yourself like the gazelle from the hunter, or the bird from the hand of the fowler in Proverbs chapter 6: 1-7.

     So just as I took baby steps in building my confidence in going live for the first time, and being my most authentic self...scared and all...you can also take baby steps to becoming a better manager of the money God provides you. By simply applying the principles He lays out for you in His word. Therefore choosing to live in faith and not fear whether it be going live or breaking the chains of bondage and becoming debt free.

     Oh!! Did I mention our family of four just became debt free using these same biblical principles? Yes! After a 2 year….very long 2 year journey....We are now debt free! And you know what? You can be to! What would that look like for you? If you were debt free...What could you do for your family... or for others by being debt free? Ok…so as I mentioned earlier, I said I would tell you how to get started. Are you ready for the big secret? You just make a choice to put one foot in front of the other and take the first baby step forward... while... doing it scared! That’s it! The great part… is you don’t have to face this journey alone.

     I’m asking you to allow me to be your cheerleader and guide, throughout your financial journey as your financial coach. It all starts with a simple 15 minute complimentary consultation. That’s it. This short call allows your needs to be heard and determine if a financial coach fits your current situation. We may not even be compatible… and that’s ok. In some cases a financial advisor or other professional may be more fitting.

     You can visit faithoverfearfinancialcoaching.com and book yours now. Or just scroll to the bottom of this blog post and click the button. I promise, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Choose to live in FAITH, and not fear.

     I want to thank each of you for sticking with me till the end of this post. Just as you have encouraged me throughout this post by just showing up... I want to encourage you to reshare this blog post with anyone you think may be able to benefit from what you’ve read here today. Be sure to visit our facebook page and follow us to stay connected. Again thanks for showing up and have a fantastically blessed day! And remember… Always Choose to live in FAITH and not fear! Now go out and seize the rest of the day by being your most authentic selves! 

~ Leann Marie Russell

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Order Legacy Binder 

WHAT IS A LEGACY BINDER?

March 6th, 2021

   A legacy binder keeps all of your personal information and wishes for your family members after you’ve passed. This way they have instructions on where your money, policies, accounts, and belongings are. It also tells them how you want everything to be handled.

    Death is not a subject most people want to talk about, and that’s completely understandable. But the reality is that each of us will die at some point. And given how complicated life is today, there will be literally dozens of loose ends when that happens. This binder helps your loved ones to tie everything up neatly and easily. 

   Lindsay Ernst, a sister coach, has put her creative side to work and provides these fun, creative, and best of all... afordable legacy binders. Visit her etsy link to get yours personalized today! 

~ Leann Marie Russell

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SPIRITUAL WARFARE! 

February 18th, 2021

    Spiritual warfare is the Christian concept of fighting against the work of preternatural evil forces. It is based on the biblical belief in evil spirits, or demons, that are said to intervene in human affairs in various ways.

    God is a God of purposes and promises. Purposes to redeem the world and promises to judge wickedness. Purposes to grow his children into maturity and promises to unfailingly steward that process. Purposes to save us and glorify his name, and promises about our lives and about his holy character.

    Satan and his spiritual forces oppose all of that. They oppose all of God’s purposes for salvation and redemption, as well as his every promise for accomplishing it.

    When you choose to apply God's principles to any part of your life, especially your finances...don't be a fool to expect that you won't experience spiritual warfare to some degree.

     "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. "  ~  EPHESIANS 6:11-12

~ Leann Marie Russell

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Money & Marriage 

February 9th, 2021

     Paul wrote that if two people marry that they have not sinned, but that they will have "trouble" (1 Corinthians 7:28) ❤️❤️❤️

     Did you hear that? God predicts trouble. When you stand at the altar, hand in hand, you’re saying “I do” to everything—the good, the bad and the ugly that will certainly come your way. And you can bet that money problems are going to come your way. 

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     How you manage money can make or break your marriage. And since money and marriage are so intertwined, when these conversations or arguments happen, it’s hard to tell whether the issue is money or marriage. 

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     FOFFC will stand in agreement in unity to say "I DO!" to financial freedom! 

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     When was the last time that you "DREAMED" with your spouse? Make it a point to have a "DREAM MEETING" once a month! Not just on Valentine's Day! 

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     FOFFC will be willing to help with the referral should your situation reveal the need for a marriage counselor.

~ Leann Marie Russell

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Financial Coach vs. Advisor

January 25th, 2021

     A financial coach is someone who will help you understand the basics of personal finance and help you develop and maintain healthy financial habits. Their main job is to empower their clients to reach their financial goals and learn how to handle their finances responsibly.

     A financial advisor is someone who helps you build wealth and prepare for your future through long-term financial planning. While they can advise in all facets of personal finance, they tend to focus on comprehensive financial goals that last throughout your lifetime and beyond. They usually work with clients who want to manage their assets, build an investment portfolio, and plan for their retirement. A financial advisor also helps with taxes, estate planning, health care and long-term care planning.

     In simplest terms, financial advisors work to manage and build on wealth that already exists while financial coaches provide information that helps put clients in the best position to create that initial wealth. 

~ Leann Marie Russell

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Business/Ministry Opens!

January 1st. 2021

     Today is the day! A 15+ year journey finally comes full circle allowing Faith Over Fear Financial Coaching to open to the public. 


     As your financial coach, I'll work with you to understand the basics of personal finance by taking a more personal hands-on approach to develop and maintain healthy financial habits. Meeting you exactly where you are. I'll empower you to reach your financial goals so that you can learn how to handle your finances responsibly. Guiding you to save money, create a budget, pay off debt or just improve your financial literacy in general. 


     I'll teach you the knowledge and skills you need to play the game just like a coach for a sports team. Helping you create healthy habits that improve your performance and encourage you from the sidelines. Your injection of HOPE has arrived! 

~ Leann Marie Russell

Book 15 Minute Consultation