|Elder Marvin J. Ashton of The Quorum of Twelve Apostles|
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
I was asked to give a presentation based on this talk to a Preparedness Workshop sponsored by the church's La Verkin Utah Stake. I used Elder Ashton's talk as my outline (and the full talk was one of the handouts provided each participant) and then added additional information that would help this particular audience.
Please click on the line below for my full presentation, in both a written as well as voice recording versions:
1. Guiding Thoughts:
1.1. “The wind and waves will periodically interfere with our chosen course, even in financial matters; but the laws of the gospel can bring us back on course and guide us to peaceful waters.” -- Elder Ashton – April 1975 General Conference, Welfare Session
1.2. “I have been thinking of many things since we came to this meeting. I endorse what Brother Ashton has said. I think if I were starting with a young family, I would want to get the twelve points explained by Brother Ashton and follow them explicitly myself and teach my children and my family and everybody with whom I came in contact. It is basic. All my life from childhood I have heard the Brethren saying, ‘Get out of debt and stay out of debt’ I was employed for some years in the banks and I saw the terrible situation that many people were in because they had ignored that important counsel.
“I agree with all that Brother Ashton has said … with regard to family financing in the home. Every family should have a budget. Why, we would not think of going one day without a budget in this Church or our businesses. We have to know approximately what we may receive, and we certainly must know what we are going to spend … we do not spend that which we do not have.”
- - President Kimball, April 1975 General Conference, Welfare Session
2. Open Communication and Participation are Essential
2.1. How well you manage your money together is more important than how much money you earn
2.2. Both husband and wife should agree on money management decision and policy making
2.2.1. Control of money by one spouse as a source of power and authority causes inequality in the marriage and is inappropriate.
2.2.2. But … if a marriage partner voluntarily removes themselves entirely from family financial management, that is an abdication of necessary responsibility.2.2.3.When children reach the age of accountability, they should be involved in money concerns on a limited partnership basis.
3. 12 Recommendations For Improved Personal and Family Financial Management
3.1. Pay an Honest Tithing
3.2. Learn to Manage Money Before It Manages You
3.3. Learn Self-Discipline and Self-Restraint in Money Matters
3.3.1. New couples should recognize that they cannot immediately maintain the same spending patterns and life-style as that to which they were accustomed as part of their parents’ family.
3.3.2. Show maturity by thinking of your partner’s and your family’s needs ahead of one’s own spending impulses.
3.3.3. Money management skills should be learned together in a spirit of cooperation and love on a continuing basis.
3.3.4. Advertisements entice us to buy by demonstrating how easy it is to get credit and buy on time. No ads focus on the glamour of paying the money back or how hard it is to do it.
3.3.5. Handout 1 – click here for a copy: “A Thought For Young People”
3.3.6.Handout 2 - The debt-elimination calendar from the "One For The Money" pamphlet, (click for a copy, the debt-elimination calendar is presented twice, once on page 5 with an illustration on how to use it, then again on page 12, this time a blank copy you can use for your individual situation)
3.4. Use A Budget (Handout 3 – the Budget Worksheet presented on page 7 of the "One For The Money" pamphlet,)
3.4.1. Carefully record all of your spending
3.4.2. “With the exception of buying a home, paying for education, or making other vital investments, avoid debt and the resulting finance charges. Buy consumer durables and vacations with cash.
3.4.3. Avoid installment credit, and be careful with your use of credit cards. They are principally for convenience and identification.
3.4.4. The use of multiple credit cards significantly adds to the risk of excess debt.
3.4.5. Buy used items until you have saved sufficiently to purchase quality new items. Purchasing poor-quality merchandise almost always ends up being very expensive.
3.4.6. Save and invest a specific percentage of your income.
3.4.7. Liquid savings available for emergencies should be sufficient to cover at least 3 months of all essential family obligations.
3.4.8. Every family should file honest and timely tax returns.
3.5. Teach Family Members Early The Importance of Working and Earning
3.5.1.“in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” is not outdated counsel.
3.5.2.One of the greatest favors parents can do for their children is to teach them to work.
3.5.3.Children should earn their money needs through service and appropriate chores. Some financial rewards to children may also be tied to educational effort and the accomplishment of other worthwhile goals.
3.5.4.It is unfortunate for a child to grow up in a home where the seed is planted in the child’s mind that there is a family money tree that automatically drops “green stuff” once a week or once a month.
3.6. Teach Children To Make Money Decisions In Keeping With Their Capacities to Comprehend
3.6.1. When teaching children to save, it is more meaningful if we help them set a worthy goal to save for – a bicycle, doll house, mission, etc.
3.6.2. It is unifying to have a child save for a major project, then when the amount was achieved, parents might match it with a predetermined percentage. Incentives are a powerful force in motivating and achieving desired behavior.
3.7. Teach Each Family Member To Contribute To The Total Family Welfare
3.7.1. This is a good topic to regularly include in family home evening.
3.7.2. Encourage inexpensive fun projects, understandable to the children, that contribute to a family goal or joy.
3.7.3. A great blessing can come when the family sits together regularly and each put in his share of the monthly amount going to a family member who is serving in the mission field.
3.8. Make Education A Continuing Process
3.8.1. Complete as much formal education as possible, including trade schools and apprentice program.
3.8.2. Use night school or online correspondence classes to further prepare.
3.8.3. This education is valuable to your potential lifetime earnings.
3.8.4. Acquire a special skill or ability that could be used to avoid prolonged unemployment.
3.9. Work Toward Home Ownership (Handout 4 -- click here for a copy: “Buy or Rent Your Home? Details to Help You Decide”)
3.9.1. Buy the type of home your income will support.
3.9.2. Maintain, improve, and beautify the home while you live in it.
3.10.Appropriately Involve Yourself In An Insurance Program
3.10.1.This includes sufficient medical, automobile, homeowners, and life insurance
3.10.2.Costs associated with illness, accident, and death may be so large that uninsured families can be financially burdened for many years.
3.11.Understand the Influence of External Forces on Family Finances and Investments
3.11.1.Inflation is real. A larger paycheck may not mean more purchasing power.
3.11.2.Beyond the emergency easily accessed savings, the family should plan for an utilize a wise investment program preparing for financial security, possible disability, and retirement.
3.12.Appropriately Involve Yourself In A Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness Program
3.12.1.Avoid going into debt for food storage.
3.12.2.Family gardens are helpful in many ways.
3.12.3.Eat nutritious foods and exercise appropriately to improve health, thus avoiding many medical costs.
3.12.4.Rotate your food storage by regularly using and replacing it. By making your food storage part of your regular menu planning, you can take advantage of sales and save on your overall food budget. (Handout 5 -- click here for a copy: "Increasing Savings Power Through Practical Shopping Tips")
4. Additional information sources for your consideration:
4.1.“Paying Off Debt As A Survival Strategy”, http://seasonedcitizenprepper.com/paying-off-debt-as-a-survival-strategy/
4.2.“101 Ways to Save a Dollar a Day”, http://premeditatedleftovers.com/deals-money-saving-tips/101-ways-to-save-1-00-a-day/
4.3.“4 Ways to Teach Your Children Money Management”, http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/09/teaching-your-children-money-management.html#_a5y_p=988112
4.4.Good ideas for using envelopes to help you stick to your budget: “How to $pend Money on a Budget”, http://www.thestraightenedpath.com/2012/01/how-to-pend-money-on-budget.html?m=1
4.5 Top 4 Tips to Getting Rid of Debt!”, http://snyderstellall.blogspot.com/2012/11/top-4-tips- to-getting-rid-of-debt.html
Marvin J. Ashton photo attribution credit: By Editors: Christie Williams and LeeAnn Roberts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons