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There are a lot of money management gurus and courses out there these days. From Dave Ramsey to Suzie Orman, and more -- all have their own unique take on how we should manage our personal finances better.
While we may be considered “minor prophets” in this whole arena -- we too are trying to convince readers of a better way.
I don’t need to tell you there isn’t a shortage of advice out there -- if you are looking. And, a lot of it is decent, applicable advice.
A little bit about Matt Bell
We first encountered Matt Bell a few years ago when we began writing on money matters. He is well-respected voice in the personal finance sphere who is the Managing Editor at Sound Mind Investing and blogger at MattAboutMoney.com. Bell also speaks at churches, universities and is the author of four books. He began his career as a radio journalist -- so you can tell he has gift with communication.
Since this is a popular subject of mine, I’m always interested in another persons take on finances. And so when I saw that Bell offered a video course at his site, I was intrigued.
I asked my wife -- whose least favorite subject happens to be money -- to sit in on it with me. I was happy that she was willing to join me and we gathered around to watch Bell’s video course.
Our experience with the Money. Purpose. Joy. course
There are a lot of video courses out there and you can tell the production value is a bit to be desired. With Money. Purpose. Joy., this is not the case. It is a high-quality video series that lasts about an hour and 40 minutes if you watched all seven sessions with no potty or popcorn breaks.
Here are the titles of each session in the series:
- Remember Who You Are
- Plan to Succeed
- Give Some Away
- Put Some Away
- Avoid the Bondage of Debt
- Build Wealth Slowly
- Spend Smart
The course is created from a Christian perspective / world-view -- but if you are Hindu, Muslim or other, the principles are still very applicable to everyone as Bell covers a wide range of financial topics and provides insights in how to better manage your finances.
While I had a general awareness of many of the topics that Bell covered in the course, what really stuck with me is the foundation he built it on: Appealing to the heart.
“I think the reason so many people still struggle with money is they haven’t gone deep enough on the heart stuff.” said Bell, in an email. I agree. Many of us just want the how-to and rarely address the deeper, heart issues related to money.
Without giving the course away (because I do recommend you view it AND with your significant other), Bell stresses the importance of finding ones identity first in God (frankly, you don’t hear that spoken about in personal finances).
He also stresses this idea of being a Contributor vs. a Consumer. We’ve been brought up and molded in this culture to consume and consume. Here’s a great short video of Bell speaking on this at an event awhile back:
A couple other ideas from the course that popped out to me:
- Mortgage shouldn’t take up more than 25% of your income
- Aim for 6 months of savings (or more)
- Try to live on one-income (it’ll be harder to go down from a two-income lifestyle)
- Give to bless / not to “get”
As you can see from the video above, Bell has a pleasant and clear delivery -- almost like a big brother who is looking out for you, giving you counsel. I never felt talked down to or condemned. While the course does cost some ($39.95) -- it could forever change the way you view money.
Have you read Bell’s books or taken his video course? Love to hear your thoughts.