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Ask Dave

Getting a Fresh Start

Johnny recently became a Christian, and up until this point, he made no plans for the future and lived in the moment. Now he wants to get his life on track. He isn't sure where to start.

QUESTION: Johnny in Colorado Springs recently became a Christian, and up until this point, he made no plans for the future and lived in the moment. Now he wants to do right by his wife and children and needs to get his life on track. He doesn’t have any debt or credit, and he isn’t sure where to start.

ANSWER: You’re starting from a good place because you’re at least not starting in the hole, and you do have a whole new perspective on life. Vision—just starting to look into the future—gives you all kinds of motivation. It gives you all kinds of hope. One thing it’s going to do—you’re going to see it’s going to do two things. It’s going to increase your income, and it’s going to stabilize your income because you’re going to start thinking about, “Hey, what do I want to be five years from now? Where do I want to be 10 years from now?” So you’re going to start thinking long term rather than, “Thank God, it’s Friday. Oh God, it’s Monday,” which a lot of people live that way.

You’re taking on the role and saying, “Hey, I’m going to be a different kind of a man, and I’m going to think about the future, and I’m going to think about my family, and I’m going to go to places I never thought I could go before.” Hope is an amazing thing. It’ll do that for you.

There are two sides to the equation: the income side and the outgo side. Your biggest struggle right now is the income side, and that’s the development of some kind of a dream of a career or a job path that you want to go on that makes you smile when you think about it and also you say, “Hey, I could do that not only for the next five or 10 or 15 years, but in addition to that, I could really excel at that and make more money than I’ve ever made in my life because I’d be good at it. I’d be happy about it. I’ve got to get some training here. I’ve got to take a class there. I’ve got to get in an apprentice program, but I’m going to develop a game plan—a track to run my income and my career on.” That’s a big part of your equation going forward.

Then the second part is the outgo side, and the outgo side has to do with the financial peace stuff and the stuff we talk about here on the radio. That is managing the dollars, making every dollar that comes in behave. And of course, the more dollars that come in and the more they behave, the more traction they get. The more you can do for your family and the more giving you can do and the more investing you can do, and all of those things are biblical. Family, investing, and giving—those are all three things that the Bible clearly tells those of us that are believers to do. You’ve got to get a little bit of learning on how to do that, but you’ve got to make some money to be able to do something with that.

I’m going to do two things for you. I want to be part of your new life if that’s okay. I’d like for you and your wife to go through Financial Peace University, which is learning how to handle money according to the Bible. And I’m going to pay for it. Then I’m also going to send you a book called Start, which is exactly what you’re doing. You’re starting. It’s a really good book for where you are right now, and it’s a good career book. You’ve got to read it, and you’ve got to go to the classes. That’s my only request if I give it to you, and then someday when you’re wealthy and you’re doing really well and some guy’s starting his life, you can pay for him to go through the class if you want. That’d be neat.