Budgeting – Healthy Habits Part II – Income

4/18/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Today we had the privilege of sharing these budgeting tips that you, fellow taxpayer, are currently indulging in, with our wife’s mothers group.  It was a great experience and we were pleased that nobody fell asleep during the presentation.

Let’s face it, budgeting falls closer to most people’s definition of chores than their definition of entertainment.

Mothers (and Fathers) are wise out of necessity.  They are forced to plan for not only their own needs but also those of others.  For most of them, budgeting is old hat.

As such, we found ourselves preaching to the chior, which is always a pleasant experience.  We pray that you are in the chior as well, fellow taxpayer, as today’s installment on income is vitally important.

The M2 money supply measure is on the cusp of crossing $10 TRILLION for the first time ever.  Bedford’s law states that it will take less and less time to cross $20 trillion, and so on.

What does it mean?  It means that prices are about to shoot up in a nasty way, and it will be much more important to increase you income than to attempt in vain to control your expenses, as most will choose to do.

{Editor’s note:  If you need a refresher on Expenses, please check out Part I of this series}

So how does one go about increasing their income?  In a general sense, it can be summed up in the following phrase:

Economize and value your time!

More specifically, putting this phrase into action can take many forms, such as:

Moonlighting or Self Employment – What can you do to help others when you are not at work?  Would they pay you for it?

Acquiring new skills at your present job and constantly seek advancement, which in most cases will increase your chances of getting a raise or promotion.

Generating passive income – For most, passive income is not an option until we collect social security or can draw on a 401K or other retirement plan.  This is why you save, but it will not fill your income gaps while you are younger and working.  However, the concept of passive income becomes very important when considering…

Investments – If you have some input as to how your retirement money is invested, it is best to choose investments that provide a growing stream of passive income.  That is, investment in companies which make real things which people want and are willing to pay for.  If there are no good alternatives, the next best thing to do is to purchase gold or silver coins and to take possession of them.  Store them in a hidden safe on your property.  Gold and silver will hold value against a depreciating currency and have the added advantage of incurring no maintenance costs or taxes while you hold them.

Jesus’ teaching on money via a response to a question on tax evasion:

We have recently explored the phrase “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to the Lord what is the Lord’s” in the context of eschatology, or the end times.  Now, we will briefly examine this phrase as it applies to our relationship to money and property.

With the above statement, Jesus recognizes that everything is God’s, and at the same time, that God recognizes and enforces private property rights in dealings between men.  This is often a point of confusion.

He also creates an eternal separation between a person’s soul and their money.

Below is the full text of this brief but important interaction as it is translated in the NIV.  Please read and let us know below if you arrive at a similar conclusion:

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

 15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax[a] to Caesar or not?”

 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.

   Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

Wait, we are talking about budgeting, right?  Why are the words of Jesus important and relevant?  Tune in tomorrow for a final dose of healty habits as well as an explanation of the practical benefit of tithing, the curious ritual in which the devout give 10% of their income to a religious institution.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com


Key Indicators for April 18, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.66

Oil Price per Barrel:  $102.82

Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.01

10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.98%


Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,642

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25% AWAY WE GO!

Unemployment Rate:  8.2%

Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.3%

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 13,033

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,355,700,000,000

M2 Monetary Base:  $9,926,800,000,000