Financial Freedom WorkshopsSaddleback Church offers hope to the community in tough economic times
In November of last year, over 3,000 people flocked to the Saddleback Church campus in hopes of finding what it takes to be financially free.
Financial experts were brought in to teach free workshops on budgeting, effectively managing a mortgage, saving, refinancing, the foreclosure process, achieving financial harmony while building a healthy marriage, and more!
“We wanted to provide a place where people could find practical tools; where members and others in our community could learn to become better stewards,” said Chris Goulard, pastor of stewardship at Saddleback.
Budgeting to transform your finances
People were immediately drawn to the free classes, with overflowing numbers filling the budget workshop. Goals for the workshop included: creating a spending plan, consumption evaluation, debt repayment strategies, structuring a financial profile, biblical principles for managing your finances God’s way, getting more mileage out of your income, and more.
Pastor Chris not only presented attendees with a step-by-step guide for monthly financial planning, he laid out a Christian worldview for managing money and explained how God desires for his people to experience fulfillment, faithfulness, and freedom in every facet of their lives, including their finances.
“Managing your finances is 20 percent what you know and 80 percent behavioral,” Chris said. “Learning the right tools is important, but transformation doesn’t happen until we put them into practice.”
By the conclusion of the workshop, people gained a more thorough understanding of what it would take to put essential principles and tools into practice, and they learned to set giving, educational, debt repayment, and lifestyle goals.
“The class offered simples steps to following a financial plan,” said workshop attendee, Diane. “I feel like my goals are attainable.”
“It’s liberating to see that there’s a light at the end of the debt tunnel,” expressed another attendee. “Cutting back on my spending has allowed me to pay of credit cards and seeing my savings account grow is a boost of confidence.”
Managing a mortgage successfully
The mortgage workshop focused on how to a avoid mortgage crisis, what to do in debilitating mortgage circumstances, how to shop for a loan, ways to finance a home, the foreclosure process, and more.
Presenter Robert Bernabe, former president of E*Trade Mortgage and a 25-year industry veteran, explained the mortgage industry and detailed the process of finding a quality loan.
“People need to change their view of success,” explained Rob. In order to change your view of success you have to change your finances. You must create a long-term view of how to pay your mortgage and create a budget where you’re saving rather than consuming.”
Attendees received an inside look on how to obtain the right mortgage by thoroughly understanding the loan system, determining payment, and comparing offers.
“The 1-2-3 system of loan pricing was practical and easy to comprehend,” said Ron, a workshop attendee. “I walked away feeling as though I could manage my mortgage, as well as invest for the future.”
“The simplicity of the information made my goals seem attainable,” said Denise, another attendee.
Bernabe concluded by presenting a foundation for managing a mortgage and creating wealth in the process. He stressed the importance of understanding why you own a home and deploying a sound refinance strategy.
Building a debt-proof marriage
Guest speaker and financial expert Mary Hunt presented her expertise in the Debt-Proof Your Marriage workshop, where she offered couples guidance for achieving financial harmony, becoming effective money partners, preparing for unexpected money expenses, and more.
Mary candidly shared her personal struggles with money and how a distorted view of one’s finances can mean the difference between a healthy life with healthy relationships and a downward spiral into financial distress.
“Money is not just a commodity; it’s tangible and emotional,” said Mary. Money determines where you live, what you drive, where your kids will go to school, and so much more. God gives us money to test our trust in him.”
Whether in a marriage or not, attendees were able to get a glimpse of what it takes to achieve a strong partnership that isn’t compromised by an unhealthy financial situation.
More workshops coming soon
Saddleback will be offering free budget and mortgage workshops on both February 3 and 4. Go to www.saddlebackfamily.com/events to register for one each night! To view the classes online and download the workbooks, click here.