January 28

Welcome to your Financial Epiphany

Iphone 040813 272

By Felix A. Montelara

Author & Host – The Potential Millionaire

Last week’s episode was a special one, as we prepared to celebrate Christmas Day.  I hope that all my listeners and readers had a wonderful Christmas with their families.  In the last episode, I discussed the real reason to celebrate at Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus.  I also talked about the origin of the Christmas tradition of gift giving, which probably started in the fourth century with the generosity of Saint Nicholas.  I also talked about carefully choosing gifts- to find gifts that are truly meaningful, to give at Christmas.  Remember, as we think about these things, we must always keep in mind that God and family are the most important things in our lives.  I encouraged you to take time with your families to start new Christmas traditions- to get away from the ‘normal’ commercialized spending spree that Christmas has become, and to focus on meaningful, lasting gifts.  Sometimes these gifts are hand-made, or sometimes they are acts of love, or giving of one’s time to another.  Imagine the good that spending 30 extra minutes playing with your kids each day could do in their lives- what a lasting effect that would have- far outlasting the brief joy that a toy or game would bring.  Its hard to have the courage to try these new ideas- just like its hard to make and keep a budget, or hard to save for an emergency when we have expenses today.  But friends, whoever said that doing the right thing, would be easy?

This week marks another important Christian holiday.  The twelve days after Christmas are a time called Christmastide.  Christmastide ends with the Epiphany, which many call Three Kings Day.  Epiphany is a Greek word that means ‘to show, or to reveal’.  The Epiphany was first celebrated in the fourth century, and originally was a celebration of four important events: the baptism of Jesus, the first miracle of Jesus, (which was changing water to wine at the wedding at Cana), the Nativity of Christ, and the visitation of the three wise men. Felix bench thinking  These four events were celebrated together, because they were each a time when Jesus was revealed to the world.  Over time, the events began to be celebrated separately, and now we think of the Epiphany as a remembrance of the long journey of the three Magi, as they followed the star to Bethlehem and worshipped Jesus.  In many cultures, gifts are given on the Epiphany, to commemorate the gifts that the three wise men brought to Jesus.

As we continue to celebrate Christmas and look forward to the Epiphany, let’s remember that this is a time when we should focus on what we need to show others or reveal in our lives.  In terms of your personal finances, this would be a great time to discuss where you are at with your family, so that you can begin the New Year together with a plan to improve your situation.  It may be a difficult conversation, but revealing the truth will in the end allow you and your family to make progress.  It is also a time to be honest with yourself, to show yourself that you have the courage to take control of your financial situation.  Reveal to yourself how you are spending your money, find your weaknesses, and be determined to get control of your finances.  Create a budget, stop wasting money, begin a savings account, and pay off your debts.  These are steps that I can help you with, with this radio program, my book, and my website potencialmillonario.com.  Let yourself have a personal finance epiphany- and begin your journey to financial freedom.  Allow this season of joy and celebration encourages you to have the courage to do the tough things- knowing that they are the right things to do.  Let the promise of financial freedom, the relief of having no more debt, the security of having savings, the freedom of having your own money to spend- let these things be your guiding star that lights your way throughout the New Year.  Friends, just like the journey of the Three Kings was difficult, your journey may be difficult as well.  But the Three Kings persisted, they carried on, and they accomplished their mission of revealing baby Jesus to the world.  And they didn’t do this alone- they had the guidance of the Christmas star sent by God.  You too, have guidance, and you too, have God.  I hope you will take this opportunity to set off on a journey to reveal your millionaire potential.

December 28

Let Your Financial Freedom be guided by a Shining Star in 2014

Banner WP
English: Adoration of the Wise Men by Murillo

English: Adoration of the Wise Men by Murillo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Felix A. Montelara

Author & Radio Host of :

Potencialmillonario.com

 

Last week’s episode was a special one, as we prepared to celebrate Christmas Day.  I hope that all my listeners and readers had a wonderful Christmas with their families.  In the last episode, I discussed the real reason to celebrate at Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus.  I also talked about the origin of the Christmas tradition of gift giving, which probably started in the fourth century with the generosity of Saint Nicholas.  I also talked about carefully choosing gifts- to find gifts that are truly meaningful, to give at Christmas.  Remember, as we think about these things, we must always keep in mind that God and family are the most important things in our lives.  I encouraged you to take time with your families to start new Christmas traditions- to get away from the ‘normal’ commercialized spending spree that Christmas has become, and to focus on meaningful, lasting gifts.  Sometimes these gifts are hand-made, or sometimes they are acts of love, or giving of one’s time to another.  Imagine the good that spending 30 extra minutes playing with your kids each day could do in their lives- what a lasting effect that would have- far outlasting the brief joy that a toy or game would bring.  Its hard to have the courage to try these new ideas- just like its hard to make and keep a budget, or hard to save for an emergency when we have expenses today.  But friends, whoever said that doing the right thing would be easy?

This week marks another important Christian holiday.  The twelve days after Christmas are a time called Christmastide.  Christmastide ends with the Epiphany, which many call Three Kings Day.  Epiphany is a Greek word that means ‘to show, or to reveal’.  The Epiphany was first celebrated in the fourth century, and originally was a celebration of four important events: the baptism of Jesus, the first miracle of Jesus, (which was changing water to wine at the wedding at Cana), the Nativity of Christ, and the visitation of the three wise men.  These four events were celebrated together, because they were each a time when Jesus was revealed to the world.  Over time, the events began to be celebrated separately, and now we think of the Epiphany as a remembrance of the long journey of the three Magi, as they followed the star to Bethlehem and worshipped Jesus.  In many cultures, gifts are given on the Epiphany, to commemorate the gifts that the three wise men brought to Jesus.

As we continue to celebrate Christmas and look forward to the Epiphany, let’s remember that this is a time when we should focus on what we need to show others or reveal in our lives.  In terms of your personal finances, this would be a great time to discuss where you are at with your family, so that you can begin the New Year together with a plan to improve your situation.  It may be a difficult conversation, but revealing the truth will in the end allow you and your family to make progress.  It is also a time to be honest with yourself, to show yourself that you have the courage to take control of your financial situation.  Reveal to yourself how you are spending your money, find your weaknesses, and be determined to get control of your finances.  Create a budget, stop wasting money, begin a savings account, and pay off your debts.  These are steps that I can help you with, with this radio program, my book, and my website potencialmillonario.com.  Let yourself have a personal finance epiphany- and begin your journey to financial freedom.  Allow this season of joy and celebration encourage you to have the courage to do the tough things- knowing that they are the right things to do.  Let the promise of financial freedom, the relief of having no more debt, the security of having savings, the freedom of having your own money to spend- let these things be your guiding star that lights your way throughout the New Year.  Friends, just like the journey of the Three Kings was difficult, your journey may be difficult as well.  But the Three Kings persisted, they carried on, and they accomplished their mission of revealing baby Jesus to the world.  And they didn’t do this alone- they had the guidance of the Christmas star sent by God.  You too, have guidance, and you too, have God.  I hope you will take this opportunity to set off on a journey to reveal your millionaire potential.

December 23

Christ the King , Christmas & Saint Nicholas

Felicidades les desea Felix Y la familia de potencial Millonario

Isaiah 9:6-

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 

In one of the  latest episodes of Potencial Millonario, I discussed the taboo that surrounds money and prevents people from making good decisions because they are afraid to talk about their problems or ask advice until it is too late.  I advised listeners to let go of this fear about money, and to instead embrace an attitude of stewardship- where we understand our money and it works for us.  I firmly believe that being responsible with money, following a budget, saving for emergencies, preparing for the future, spending less than what we earn, paying off debts, not creating new debts- these are ways that we control our money and make it serve us.  This is what I call financial freedom- and it isn’t easy.  But it does free us from the worry and stress that money problems cause, and allows us to use our gifts and talents to serve God.

 

This week I am mindful that Christmas is just a few days away.  It has become a very commercialized holiday, but let’s not forget the true reason for the celebration: the birth of Jesus Christ.  Isaiah 9:6 states, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  We celebrate the birth of the most influential human in history, and the son of God.  This is the reason for the Christmas season- not the lights, glitter, shopping sprees, and food.  We should remember the humble beginnings of the King of Kings, born in a stable, laid in a manger, housed among animals.  But make no mistake, all the angels in heaven were singing to him, and the stars of the universe burned brighter for him.  I wanted to take these few minutes and remember the birth of the Prince of Peace, and I hope that all people can take time each day to think about the true focus of the coming week.

 

You may ask yourself, “If Jesus is the source of Christmas, why do we give gifts?”  This is really the story of Christmas traditions- not the story of Christmas.  Where do our traditions come from- like the Christmas tree and gift giving?  There are many sources for the traditions that every culture has, but let’s look back on one person who became very influential on the tradition of Christmas.  Many Christmas legends and traditions go back to the Catholic Saint Nicholas, who lived in the fourth century.  Very few hard facts have survived about Saint Nicholas, but it is known that he was a bishop in a place called Myra in Asia Minor.  During the time of Saint Nicholas, a father had to pay a dowry in order for his daughters to be married.  If a father was too poor to pay to have his daughters married, he may have had to resort to selling his daughters into slavery.  A wonderful legend persists about Saint Nicholas, in which Saint Nicholas dropped bags of gold into a poor man’s window, to provide him money so that his three daughters would be saved.  This began the tradition of gift giving on December 6, which is the feast day of Saint Nicholas.  Later, the date was moved to December 25 as other denominations wanted to get away from the Catholic celebration of Saints- but the tradition of gift-giving remained.

As we think about where the tradition of gift giving originated, let’s concentrate on a few important points in this legend.  First, Saint Nicholas used his own money to do a charitable act towards a stranger.  If you’ve been listening to my previous episodes, you know that I think money should work for you, and that once you have money you should use it to help others.  That is exactly what Saint Nicholas was doing.  He used his money to make a real change happen for three young girls and their family.  This wasn’t the type of change that an iphone or an Xbox brings- it is a change that was life-altering for that family.  Let’s think about our lives now:  we use our money at this time of year to often give gifts in excess or give gifts to people to who need nothing.  Often, we might even go into debt to offer these gifts that after a few days or weeks are forgotten.  The legend of Saint Nicholas should remind us that we should try to find truly meaningful gifts, and these are often not gifts that require money at all.

As Christmas day approaches, talk to your family about the real meaning of the celebration, Jesus Christ, and try telling them the story of Saint Nicholas and how gift giving in December began.  Try to help them appreciate that it is not the cost of the gift that matters, but the thought that the gift-giver put into it. Iphone 040813 261  If you have children, encourage them to make gifts, or to give gifts like doing chores, or giving a backrub to Mom.  Help them think about what each person in the family would really benefit from.  Talk to your spouse about this- can you both really afford gifts this year?  Or would you rather spend some time together, go for a walk, or watch their favorite movie?  Let this quality time be your new Christmas tradition. These lessons that you teach your family now will help them grow into the future- and will help them avoid the consumer-traps that are out there during the holiday season.