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Financial Literacy Program

The Extra Mile Ministries is focused on easing the plight of low and median income residents in the Scarborough area of Toronto. Our task is to ensure that the basic needs of a person are met, e.g. physical, social, recreational, financial, spiritual etc. When there is a lack, solutions are looked into and community resources are explored to help our neighbors maintain self-sufficiency.

The Extra Mile Ministries’ Financial Literacy Program seeks to provide the knowledge that individuals and families may use to help them find financial stability and independence.

Financial Literacy Defined

Financial Literacy (fi-nan-shuhl lit-er-uh-see): Possessing the skills and knowledge about financial matters to confidently take effective action that best fulfills one’s personal, family, and global community goals.

In other words, financial literacy means having the skills to become able to afford your goals, lifestyle, and aspirations.

Benefits of Financial Literacy

a.) Ability to live your desired lifestyle. Imagine that you could spend all your days doing exactly what you love. What would you be doing? How would you spend your time? Whom would you see, and what activities would you choose?

a.) Free time. Achieving financial freedom means you can spend more of your day doing those things you enjoy.

b.) Independence and self-sufficiency. Do you wish you didn’t have to report to work every day? Or maybe you love your job, and just want to work a three-day week once a month. Either way, financial literacy helps you achieve the independence to work when and how you want.

c.) Security. Whether you’re working toward getting your first job or planning for retirement, having your finances secured is critical to your future success.

d.) Making a positive impact. Once you become financially literate, you can afford to give back—you can make a real difference in the world.

e.) Helping family and friends. Many high school students tell us they want to learn about money so they can help out their families. And lots of adults want to help others too. Imagine being able to pay a loved one’s rent during a tough time. How good would that feel?

f.) Fun. Buying toys, traveling, gaining status in the community—all these are benefits of becoming financially literate too.


QUOTABLE FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1

Owe No Man … (Romans 13:8)

Questions and Answers

Q: I'm under a lot of financial pressure right now. With the economy the way it is, business is slow and I've lost much of the income I need to keep on top of my bills. I've prayed for God's help, but is there something more I need to do in order to receive His financial blessings?

A: The most important thing you need to know is that God loves you and wants to take care of you. If you're His child, He is going to do just that. He wants to supply all your needs. "God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19). "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4). However, He also makes it clear in the Bible that He expects certain things from us before we're eligible to receive all that He has for us. Here are 10 things you can do.

1. Live right in both your personal and business life. God's blessings are conditional. "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33). "All these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 28:2).

2. Tithe. When we give at least 10% of our income to God in the form of tithes and offerings to support those who are doing His work, we can be confident that He will "pour out such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10).

3. Give to others. God blesses giving to others—the needy, good causes, and His workers—in addition to our tithes. "Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over" (Luke 6:38).

4. Thank the Lord for what you've already got. Whether God supplies through our work or unexpected means, it's still His blessing and supply, and He wants us to acknowledge that and thank Him. Then, when He sees that we're genuinely thankful and are praising Him for what He's already given us, He's happy to give us more if we need it. "Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name" (Hebrews 13:15). "In everything give thanks" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

5. Ask. This may seem too obvious, but sometimes "you do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2). Be specific when you pray for God's help financially. Tell Him exactly what you need. Sometimes this also means being humble enough to ask others for help when you need it.

6. Be a wise manager. We need to remember that all that we have is given to us by God and that we're just the stewards, or managers, of it. He's entrusted us with it, and He expects us to manage it wisely. "Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2).

7. Live economically and within your means: Part of being a good manager is to be saving—to be moderate and to avoid waste. And don't spend money that you don't have for things that would be nice but are not absolutely necessary. Going into debt or living for today, hoping that you'll be able to pay off your debt tomorrow, can lead to financial ruin.

8. Budget. One of the best ways to manage money well is to have a budget and stick to it. "He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich" (Proverbs 10:4).

9. Have faith in God to supply your needs. Many people focus solely on what they can do, and often that's because they don't really expect God's help. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). We must also do our part, of course, but then we must trust Him to do the rest, what we can't do. He says, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27).

10. Keep praying. Sometimes God lets us experience financial difficulties for the same reasons that He lets us experience other difficulties: so that we will draw closer to Him, include Him more in our everyday activities, and learn to depend more on Him. When we've done everything else we can do but still lack, He probably wants us to depend on Him more. We can show Him that we are by praying earnestly. When we pray with our whole heart, God promises to go to work in our behalf. "You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).

We're Rich

Harold Abbot was a chronic worrier. That is until one spring day in 1934 when, as he was walking down the street, he saw something that put an end to all his worries. "It all happened in ten seconds," he told a friend years later, "but during those ten seconds I learned more about how to live than I had learned in the previous ten years."

At the time, Harold had been trying to run a grocery store--not easy in the middle of the Great Depression. He had gone heavily into debt, and had been forced to close his store a few days before. Now he was on his way to the bank to try to borrow some money so he could go to a nearby city to look for a job. Harold had lost all his fight and faith. He walked like a beaten man.

Then he saw a man coming down the street--a man who had no legs. The man was sitting on a little wooden platform equipped with wheels from roller skates. He propelled himself along with a block of wood in each hand. Harold met him just after the man had crossed the street and was starting to lift himself over the curb and onto the sidewalk. As the man tilted his little wooden platform to an angle, their eyes met and the man greeted Harold with a smile. "Good morning! It is a fine morning, isn't it?" he said with spirit.

As Harold stood looking at him, Harold realized how rich he was. He had two legs. He could walk. He felt ashamed of his self-pity. "If that man can be happy, cheerful, and confident without legs," Harold said to himself, "I certainly can with legs." He could already feel his self-esteem returning. He had intended to ask the bank for one hundred dollars. Now he had the courage to ask for two hundred. He had intended to say that he wanted to go to the city to try to get a job, but at the bank he announced confidently that he wanted to go to the city to get a job. He got the loan, and he got the job.

For years afterwards, Harold Abbott kept the following words pasted on his bathroom mirror, and read them every morning as he shaved:

I had the blues
Because I had no shoes,
Until upon the street,
I met a man who had no feet.

 
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