What Trajectory Are You On?

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascentwealth.com 

According to data compiled by TechJury, almost half of Americans report that they are workaholics. 77% say they’ve experienced career burnout. Nearly 66% of workers admit that they don’t have the work-life balance that they really need. A simple question to consider: is this life to the full and the journey God calls us into? Here are three things to consider. 

1. Set priorities. Even if you are not a top-level executive, you can create margin. Simple changes like adjusting your sleep schedule can create valuable time that you can use to pray, exercise, read, and rest in the knowledge that you don’t have to chase after the sun; you are already God’s beloved. To some degree, you also have the power to create boundaries. That might mean setting a strict clock-out time and creating a ‘do not disturb’ schedule so you can be present where you are. 

2. Monitor progress. Do you measure success in other avenues of life beyond the professional? If you notice you’re crossing off work tasks ahead of time but missing precious time with your family, those blank boxes where checkmarks should be will point you back to your schedule and your priorities list. Another valuable form of “measurement” is having people in our lives who hold us accountable like a mentor you’d like to emulate. Working with a financial advisor can help you stay on track towards short-term financial goals, like buying a new house, while also progressing towards long-term security in retirement. 

3. Reevaluate goals. Your hopes as a 20-something college graduate were very different than your hopes at age 50. Once you near retirement age, the prospect of life without full-time employment will recalibrate honoring God means for you all over again. As you begin a new year, set aside time to reflect. Ask yourself, “What am I working towards?” Do the goals you had earlier in your life still apply? Or are you simply going through the motions and cashing a paycheck? Are you happy with the amount of time you’re able to devote to your faith, family, and friends? 

At OneAscent we will partner with you as you walk out these questions. Our desire is to care for you and help you steward your values and your valuables. Let’s meet and discuss what life trajectory you desire and what steps you can take to walk on that path. 

John Beatty-John Beatty

Advisor at OneAscent Wealth 

205-313-9142, john.beatty@oneascent.com  

Investment advisory services offered by OneAscent Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.


OneAscent is hosting two events on January 17 that you’re invited to attend. At 10 a.m., join OneAscent Investments for a Quarterly Market Update Webinar. At 11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., join OneAscent Wealth at the OneAscent office, 23 Inverness Center Parkway, Birmingham, 35242, for a Values-Based Investing Workshop

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascentwealth.com 

According to the latest data from the USDA, parents can expect to spend between $200,000 – $300,000 raising a child from birth to age 17. And that’s just spending on necessities like food, clothing, transportation, and medical care! Once you add any extra-curricular, educational, or entertainment expenses of having a family, that number will surely go up. You and your partner probably have an extensive to-do list lined up for the next nine months. Try to tackle the following financial prep items a little at a time as you move closer to the big day.

First Trimester: Review Your Household Budget. The average cost for labor and delivery in the U.S. is almost $7,000. You could easily spend another $1,000 on newborn clothes, toys, a crib, car seats, strollers, and other essentials. Add in new monthly expenses like diapers, baby food, and daycare, plus any changes to your or your spouse’s employment status, and it’s safe to say that your new family probably needs a new budget. Review your last few months of credit card and bank statements. Determine how much money is left over at the end of the month and see if that amount can cover the upcoming baby expenses. If not, try implementing small changes that can free up much needed cash flow for when the baby arrives. Emphasize weekly meal planning to reduce fast food runs. Cancel subscriptions you don’t really use. Pay down any credit card debt you’ve been hanging on to.

Second Trimester: Update Your Estate Plan. No one likes to think about worst-case scenarios, but you really won’t be in the mood to write or update your will and health care directive when you’re caring for a newborn. Have these conversations with your partner and prepare those documents ahead of time. Also, if you and your partner don’t have life insurance, it’s probably time to purchase some. The younger and healthier you are, the lower your rates will be and the more coverage you’ll be able to afford.

Third Trimester: Plan for the Future. Babies bring many changes, and your future will now be markedly different. Start to consider what you want your family’s finances to look like: Do both spouses want to continue working? Will we need to move into a bigger space? Do we want our kids to go to college? 

The only thing we love almost as much as new babies is helping new parents give those babies a head start. If your family is growing, we at OneAscent would be honored to serve you by helping you prepare for the many wonderful changes that are soon to come!

Matthew Bowerman-Matthew Bowerman

Advisor at OneAscent Wealth

matthew.bowerman@oneascent.com, 205-313-9142

Investment advice offered through OneAscent Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment adviser with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascentwealth.com

“I want to go to the jump place!” Our three-year-old son loves a trampoline park and often expresses his love with this simple statement. Bless his little heart, he’s yet to develop the categories of what the trip costs and how often we can go based on said cost. 

Most kids head into adulthood without a good understanding of money, but it does not have to be that way. As parents, we can teach our kids stewardship by orienting their hearts toward a world that is bigger than just their desires. Here are three ways parents can teach children the value of the dollar and start them on a path toward wisdom, stewardship, and generosity. 

1. Let kids help budget for a family vacation. When kids think about a big family vacation, they picture endless entertainment. Putting a tangible value on rides, shows, and meal costs can help kids set realistic expectations and prevent the trip from turning into a spending spree. As a family, make a bottom-line budget for your trip. Then sit down and make line items. Start with essentials: gas, hotels, and park admissions. Add in the cost of meals at a destination restaurant. As the leftovers from your top budget number shrink, your kids will see how additional spending changes the substance of the trip. 

2. Help kids set short-term and long-term financial goals. Buying everything your kid points to any time you go shopping can form a certain thought in your child’s mind. “I can have what I want when I want.” The next time your child eyes a new toy, talk to them about what that toy costs and how the child can help pay. A couple of extra chores might help the child appreciate the connection between work, money, and spending. 

3. Encourage kids of all ages to earn money. A part-time job for a teenager is a great way to create a mindset of stewardship. They are paid a wage based on the labor they provided. Help them open a bank account for depositing those wages. Begin talking with them about saving, giving, and investing early. 

Our great hope for our children is they would be fellow inaugurators of God’s kingdom. How they steward their money is an important component of their journey. When your children get a little older, consider bringing them into our office for a meeting. We can reinforce this idea of stewardship to your kids by talking through basic investing and savings principles all with the hopes they would view money as a gift to steward rather than a resource to exhaust. 

John Beatty-John Beatty

Advisor at OneAscent Wealth

205-313-9142, john.beatty@oneascent.com  

Investment advice offered through OneAscent Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment adviser with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascentwealth.com

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money…but rather a legacy of character and faith.” –Billy Graham 

The purpose of a financial plan is more than just earning money. It’s to grow assets that enable you to live an abundant life and steward the resources God has given you. The following three questions are helpful markers to help illuminate your legacy. 

1. What goals have I achieved? A legacy filled with redemptive stories doesn’t just happen. You must dream big, set goals, and work hard every day to make progress. If you want to be thought of as a faithful steward of your resources and gifts, start small. Identify small goals to achieve in six months to a year that build towards bigger overall goals. Long-term financial goals might start with a brown bag lunch three days per week while increasing monthly contributions to your retirement accounts.

2. How did I learn from the mistakes I made? No person’s life journey avoids every bump in the road. There will be times when you make the easy choice instead of the right choice. You’ll do things that hurt others or embarrass yourself. You might lose perspective and place your friends and family behind things of less importance. Although these kinds of mistakes happen, don’t let them define you. When you’re looking back on your life decades from now, these stories of growth will be far more important than the stumbles along the way. 

3. How did I impact others? You may not love everything about your job, but you can choose to show up to work and love your neighbor. You may not be rich, but the way you give your life away will point you and others to the truth proclaimed in Mark 10:45 where Jesus says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” When considering your legacy, you won’t regret spending more time with your family, whether that’s taking your kids to school, or coaching their sports. 

Authoring these kinds of life stories doesn’t just happen. Living an abundant life is a process that combines long-term vision with intentionality. If you need help writing your next chapter, OneAscent Wealth would be honored to talk about your life, goals, and legacy. 

John Beatty -John Beatty

Advisor at OneAscent Wealth

205-313-9142, john.beatty@oneascent.com

Investment advisory services offered by OneAscent Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Money Matters 

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascentwealth.com

As your parents begin settling into their final phase of life, their health, residence, and finances could become a significant factor in your own financial planningespecially if your parents have tasked you with settling their estates. Navigating the logistical and emotional challenges associated with caring for an aging parent is a challenge, but these four steps can help ensure that your parent (and you!) are safe, cared for, and financially secure. 

1. Call a family meeting. Gather all close family members for an open, honest discussion. This is the time to discuss finances, health concerns, and expectations from everyone involved. Where will your parent live? How will care be provided if it’s required? These can be sensitive topics, and the conversation will need to be had with gentleness and care; but avoiding the conversation or not communicating openly can ultimately lead to hurt feelings and poor planning. 

2. Gather the essentials. If your parent doesn’t keep all important documents in one location, now is the time to collect things like identifications, wills, online logins, and end of life directives. We can help you make a comprehensive list. 

3. Tag along. Start attending your parent’s appointments. When they go to the doctor, ask questions to familiarize yourself with their health status. Ask your parent to introduce you to their financial advisor and attorney. Make sure the relevant professionals have all important information about changes to your parent’s health, mental capacity, or living situation. 

4. Prepare your parent, and yourself, to finish well. As Moses approached the end of his life, he prayed, “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). It sounds counterintuitive but considering the brevity of life equips you to make the most of your remaining days. You not only notice the little things, but you start to prioritize the big things.

Get the logistical, medical, legal, and financial preparations done, so you can use your time for what’s most important: recounting the Lord’s faithfulness to your family (Isa. 63:7) and enjoying the blessings of generations being together (Prov. 17:6). If your parent is entering this stage of their life, OneAscent would be honored to help prepare your family to finish well. 

Matthew Bowerman-Matthew Bowerman

Advisor at OneAscent Wealth

Matthew.bowerman@oneascent.com, 205-313-914

Investment advisory services offered by OneAscent Wealth Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascentwealth.com 

As your teen prepares to go off to college for the first time, they’ll have to learn to manage their money well. It comes as no surprise that most teens struggle with this the first year or two but teaching your child these five lessons early will help prepare them to be successful in college. 

1. Teach them that bills always come first. When your child is living independently for the first time, they will be tempted to spend their money on fun things they’ve never had before. However, if they’re not careful, they won’t be able to afford the essentials. Make sure you go over a budget with them and teach them that they should always have enough to pay bills before spending for leisure. 

2. Be clear in how much support you will provide. If your child goes to school full-time, they may only have time in their schedule for part-time work. It is essential to be clear on how much financial support you will provide and stick to that plan, so they learn to be responsible for the rest. 

3. Teach the value of saving. While your child may be living on a tight budget, it’s important to teach them to save while in college. Even the smallest savings can help if they lose their job, have an emergency, or want to do something fun over the summer. As little as $50 a month can add up and help them feel more secure while away from home. 

4. Use credit cards wisely. Helping your child get their first credit card can be a wise way to help them start building credit and ensure they can pay for emergencies. However, the temptation to use it irresponsibly will be strong, so make sure your student knows the responsibility of a credit card and takes it seriously. If used irresponsibly, credit cards can harm their credit instead of helping it, so have a conversation about responsible payment before signing them up.

5. Remind them that college is an investment. Most kids don’t realize the magnitude of the investment that is a college degree. College is expensive and sometimes comes with massive amounts of debt. They need to remember that the return on investment is much higher if they finish and make good grades.

With these tips and a little bit of learning as they go, your child will be well-equipped to handle a college campus. You can start teaching these lessons as early as you want, just as you can start saving for college at an early age through various investment avenues. If you’re ready to learn more about college saving plans, contact OneAscent today.

Heath Morris-Heath Morris CFP®
Senior Lead Advisor
205-313-9142, heath.morris@oneascent.com  

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Money Matters

Brought to you by: OneAscent Wealth, www.oneascent.com

Before joining the financial industry, I spent several years serving as a pastor. Throughout my preaching ministry, two things surprised me when it came to the Bible and money. 

The first was how frequently God’s Word speaks about money. Take the book of Proverbs for instance. Proverbs has 915 verses, and 101 of them make mention of money (that’s 11% of the whole book). Did you know that Jesus spoke about money more than he did any other topic? More than heaven or hell, family or famine, salvation or sanctification, money was never far from our Lord’s lips. 11 of Jesus’ 39 parables (28%) either centered on money or used money as an illustration. Clearly, God has a lot to say about money.

The second thing that surprised me was how holistically the Scriptures speak about money. On the one hand, riches and possessions are spoken of positively. Wealth can be seen as a blessing from God (Proverbs 10:22). Profit is used as a motivator for hard work (Proverbs 10:4). Leaving a bountiful inheritance is encouraged (Proverbs 13:22). On the other hand, Scripture gives us strong warnings about money. We are told that toiling simply to acquire wealth is a fruitless endeavor (Proverbs 23:4-5), riches are fleeting (Matthew 6:19-21), and that wealth makes kingdom-living extremely difficult (Mark 10:23-25). 

Blessing and Warning. It’s the inescapable tension that God uses to speak about our wealth and possessions. Have you ever felt this tension? Do you think you feel one side of it more than the other? Consider examining your next credit card statement. Ask yourself, “Does my spending, investing, and giving show that I’m living to serve myself? Or to serve the Lord and bless others?”

If you’re looking for an easy resolution to how your heart should feel towards money, I’m afraid that answer can’t be found. God never completely answers this question so we will continually be asking it of ourselves. But perhaps this final word from Proverbs 8:9-10 can provide some guidance: “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.” Consider the “give me neither poverty” as the guardrail on your left, asking if you are ignoring opportunities to steward and grow what God has given you to serve those around you. And consider the “nor riches” as the guardrail on your right, asking if your money has replaced the Lord as the source of your security and provision.  

Matthew Bowerman-Matthew Bowerman
Associate Advisor at OneAscent Wealth                                                                                                  matthew.bowerman@oneascent.com, 205-313-9142

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Money Matters

If you are a follower of Jesus, then God has made you part of His plan and has gifted you to accomplish the works He put you here to do. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For you are His workmanship, created for good works in Christ Jesus, which God has planned beforehand, that you should walk in them.”   

One of the twenty listed spiritual gifts in the New Testament is giving. God has gifted many of you to have a generous spirit, regardless of how much money you have. This gift is not limited to the wealthy. Giving comes in many forms.

The wealthy, however, have a different calling according to Scripture. They should develop this gift of giving because God has stewarded so much to them. Deuteronomy 8:17-19 says, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth, that He may confirm His covenant… …And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods…” Well, the outcome for you is not good!

The truly wealthy have a bigger responsibility, and if you are among them, let me encourage you. Why do you think God gave you the gifts and talents to acquire wealth? For what purpose?  Why you? Why has He given you so much?

At OneAscent Wealth, we believe it is because He has chosen you to be one of His appointed stewards that He trusts with His resources. Most would agree that all that we have is not ours, but His, and He wants us to be very generous with it to bring change and hope to a hurting world. The questions for many are,

“How can my wealth be given in an impactful way?”

“Who can I trust?”

 “Where can my resources be given to have the greatest effect?” 

If you are asking yourself these questions, OneAscent Wealth could be of assistance. We take people through a process that helps them understand their passions and interests and then connects them to local, regional, and worldwide ministries. Let us know how we can help.

Don Ankenbrandt Headshot-Don Ankenbrandt 

Director of Stewardship and Strategic Engagement, OneAscent Wealth

To set up a conversation concerning this article, email dankenbrandt@oneascent.com or call 205-313-9142.

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Money Matters

Hays LatimerHays Latimer, a Senior Lead Advisor for OneAscent Wealth, has been serving clients for over 17 years. Here he shares with us tips for finding a financial advisor that will best meet our needs as well as five timeless principles to guide our financial decision making.

Choosing a Financial Advisor. Not everyone will be a good fit everywhere. It’s not just about choosing a good advisor, but one that fits your needs. Most importantly, do you believe they’re trustworthy and a person of integrity? If you don’t, the rest won’t matter.

Rely on your gut feelings, but also ask yourself if you believe the advisor would be willing to tell you hard truth. Sometimes we must deliver bad news, and it’s important that the relationship is strong enough where we can be compassionate but honest, and the client can be receptive. You also want an advisor who is a good communicator. It really doesn’t matter how smart or how good they are if they cannot communicate well. It might take some time to figure these things out, but a great way to learn more is by asking questions. 

Five timeless financial principles for every income level. 

1. Spend Less than You Earn. If you have a negative income every month, it’ll be impossible to reach any financial goals.

2. Avoid the Use of Debt, When Possible. Mortgage payments are perfectly reasonable. Highly avoidable debt, such as consistent credit card debt, can be a pitfall.

3. Give Generously. We’ve found that our most financially content clients are the ones who are generous. They see money as a tool, not only for their own needs, but to glorify God and meet others’ needs. 

4. Plan for Financial Margin. Ensure you have cushion in your monthly cash flow, so you are well-equipped to handle unexpected opportunities or expenses.

5. Set Long-Term Goals. I firmly believe that we cannot focus on the long term if our financial house isn’t in order today. 

Finding Peace and Contentment In Your Financial Life. My hope is that every one of our clients feels peace and contentment because they worked with us. It’s so encouraging for me to hear clients share how thrilled they are about the position they’re in because of what we’ve done together. If you’re looking for more clarity, confidence, and contentment in your financial life, I would love to talk with you! Contact us to learn more about how we can help you reach your financial goals. 

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CFP®, CRPC®, Certified Kingdom Advisor® Senior Lead Advisor

205-313-9142

Hays.latimer@oneascent.com

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Money Matters

In Matthew 19, a rich man approaches Jesus and tells Him that he has kept all the commandments of the law and asks if this is enough to earn eternal life. Although this man believed that he had never sinned, Jesus knows this is not true and challenges him to “sell what you possess and give to the poor….and come follow me” (Matthew 19:21 ESV).  

What Jesus saw in this man was that he was breaking the commandment against idolatry by worshipping his wealth instead of God. Jesus invites the man to turn from his idolatry and follow Jesus instead. The rich man instantly realizes he cannot do this because he loves his possessions too much and so he simply walks away.  

We may look down on the rich man for his idolatry of wealth, but the truth is that many of us are guilty of the same thing. Whether we consider ourselves rich or not, we can fall into the trap of worshipping possessions and money. It can creep into our lives slowly and eventually become the main driving force behind everything we do. Even if we are doing other “good things” like the rich man was doing, we can still be sinning in our hearts by worshipping something besides God. Jesus reminds us in this story that what matters is the attitude of our hearts, not just our external behavior. Unfortunately, idolatry can be hard to notice because it is a matter of the heart. So how do you know if you are idolizing money and possessions? I’d encourage you to begin searching your heart by asking yourself these four questions. 

1. Do you regularly dream about having more or are you satisfied with what you have?

2. Do you joyfully give to God and others as He leads, or do you tend to make excuses and put off giving?

3. Do you feel a twinge of jealousy when others get something you don’t have, or are you able to celebrate and enjoy their happiness?

4. Do you often worry about losing what you have, or do you trust God to be your provider in all circumstances? 

Following Jesus means leaving behind every idol and directing all our worship, trust and love to God alone. It means obeying Him and being willing to do whatever He calls us to do with our wealth. We may forget it at times, but Jesus is worthy of all our devotion, love, and praise. Following Him is a great adventure that is so much more fulfilling than amassing wealth for ourselves. May each of us leave behind the idol of wealth and follow Jesus with our whole heart.   

David Hinshaw-David Hinshaw, Wealth Management Certified Professional® Advisor, OneAscent

David.hinshaw@oneascent.com, 205-313-9142

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