Category Archives: P31 Sorority

Warning: Adventists don’t get rich!



Thanks to guest blogger for this light hearted post!

Whether I want to become wealthy, financially free or become  poorer I just need to take the same approach.  It’s all about doing what it takes consistently and sustaining that effort over time.

These are the seven actions I’ve seen work best for Adventists in the UK or anywhere else in the world as it happens.

So if you want to avoid becoming wealthy or financially free ….read on!

  1. Don’t read the Bible, especially Proverbs.  Ladies, tear out the page with the secrets of Proverbs 31 and destroy it quickly.  If you do stumble across any Gospel parables, discount all of Jesus’ parables about money.  Tell yourself these parables are only talking about skills and personal talents, not financial management. And shun anyone who shows you bible-based information on wealth.
  2.  Avoid all workshops or seminars that share bible-based money management like the plague.  Be very suspicious of all experienced presenters that are willing to share practical information about money management with you… they must surely be dodgy characters.
  3. Avoid organising a Stewardship Day to share bible-based money management – in fact avoid Stewardship altogether.  Members aren’t interested and don’t need it. But if you are ever forced to run a Financial Stewardship session,  make sure you never include any personal development information; make the speaker just bang on about Tithe or your church Building Fund.  Guilt trip members by telling them God is not pleased. Then quote Malachi 3:10 and remind them “money is the root of all evil so get rid of it by increasing your giving to the church”.
  4. Never ask any questions or do independent investigation of shady deals,  suspicious business or investment opportunities  – if it’s too good to be true, suspend all scepticism… go for it.  What’s the worst that could happen??  And when you do lose your shirt on the scam – blame your pastor, the local church, the Conference Treasurer.  Everyone. Loudly.
  5. Then double down and play the lottery.  For a lot of money. Consistently. Keep your tickets in the Bible… for good luck.  Or take out a high interest debt ‘in faith’ with no way to pay it back… the Lord or the Conference office will provide.   Delay getting any help until the date of any court date… then call the Conference office – a problem shared is a problem halved, not so?
  6. Never be accountable for or do ANY financial housekeeping.  Never save money for a ‘rainy day’. Ever. That is what your local church’s Samaritan Fund is for.  And if you have children, never teach them any money management tips either – you need them to be always financially dependent on you.
  7. Live in the now – don’t prepare for the future.  Never learn how to maximise your income or reduce your expenses. Tell yourself Jesus will come in your lifetime so don’t plan for retirement. On no account make a Will.  Not only can it mysteriously cause you to drop dead earlier than expected, but you definitely don’t need clear plans that state your wishes, leave any security or give inheritance for “your children’s children”  (Prov 13:22 – oops, I’ve slipped up…)

On 12 January 2014 many members in the South of England, UK  attended the “SMARTER Finances” Workshop at the annual SEC Expo, held at Newbold College.  The aim was to share resources to help volunteers in Stewardship and Finance teams in their local churches.

In the  SMARTER Finances workshop we covered:

  • The common myths about money and explained how anyone can have SMARTER Finances.
  • Explain why you do what you do with your money
  • Show how  SMARTER Finances Clubs help members on the Wealth Life Cycle.
  • Shared great stories and tips from other members.

More information on how I got on in another blog!

Deborah Harris is a chartered accountant, board director of DHUA Limited and a Platinum πτο Sorority sister.

Know any other good reasons for not becoming wealthy?  Please share!


Get up and start!

Get up and start!

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great…” Zig Ziglar

“Footprints on the sands of time can’t be made by sitting down… ” Unknown

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford


Adventist minister uses ‘that swear word’…

(Video of an informal dialogue with Seventh-day Adventist pastor and British Union Conference President, Pastor Ian Sweeney, who kindly shared views of money management)

But he uses what we call ‘that swear word’…!

Here is our transcript of the “SMARTER Finances” panel session for the Pi Tau Omicron (ΠΤΟ) Sorority Year End Celebration.

Hosted in London (December 2013), the Panel explains why we think of it as ‘that swear word’ -the word  “BUDGET”….

Panel Chair: What a practical video!  Pastor Sweeney’s comments were made last year in 2012,  but his views are just as valid today. Panel, what do you think?

Delegate 1: You know, in the presentations I have done with community groups or church members during Stewardship Days, I always find it fascinating the negative emotions that go along with the word ‘budget’.

Delegate 3: That is so interesting, I find the same thing with the sessions we provide back home in the States!

Delegate 2: It’s not a surprise when you look at its earliest definitions, (I’ve just looked it up on… This shows that word originally derived between 1400–1450; from the late Middle English word ‘bowgett’  or the Middle French word ‘bougette’  (bouge = bag), or  the Latin word ‘bulga’ + -ette.

Delegate 1: Oh yes, it describes the small pouch or bag of money, often worn at the waist or hidden in your garments to protect against pickpockets and other theives.

Delegate 4: ….and this bag was usually under the sole control and decision-making of the man of the house….

Panel Chair: …and that’s a topic I’m sure could be used to start a whole other panel discussion!

(Laughter from conference delegates and Panel members)

Delegate 3: Well, I’m happy to stay on this subject – I want to hear all about this ancient bag of money, we don’t have this kind of old stuff in the States with all your 1066 history…!

(Laughter from conference delegates and Panel members)

Delegate 2: It had a tightly secured, small opening – so you could put your coins in – but was quite difficult to dip into and get money out of.

Panel Chair: So that’s why ideas of a calorie-controlled diet comes to mind when people use the word “budget”…?

Delegate 2: Yep! So, the definitions in are no surprise – the noun ‘budget’ is defined as:

  1. an estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future.
  2. a plan of operations based on such an estimate.
  3. an itemized allotment of funds, time, etc., for a given period.
  4. the total sum of money set aside or needed for a purpose
  5. a limited stock or supply of something

and the words ‘budgeted’, and ‘budgeting’ often relate to subsistence living; when you ‘live within a budget’.

Delegate 5: … Urgh! No wonder the very word makes me shudder!  A ‘budget’ is often synonymous with feelings of being on a diet, a restriction  – the feeling you have  little or no control … I don’t like owing money but it feels like you are always racing to pay off your bills, of feeling chased down by creditors, burdened by down if like me you have student loans still to sort out.  It just feels like ‘calorie-controlled’ spending with very little room for the fun stuff.  And, like being a diet, it is so easy to lose heart and fail …So you often hear about people ‘blowing their budget’!

Delegate 4: Exactly.  So I actually avoid the word “budget”. Treat it like a swear word, not used in good company and avoid it.  I prefer to think about having a ‘Spending Plan’ instead.

Delegate 2: Give me a Spending Plan anyday… it’s a flexible way to decide how to use your income in that month/ week to meet all of your expenses, contribute to your savings goals and allocate money for the fun things.  And its such a flexible approach … more feeling that you have a coffer or chest of money that you manage rather than a tight-mouthed, tiny purse you force money into or try to prise money out of….

Panel Chair: So now we should pretend we have a treasure chest full of cash?

Delegate 2: OK, yes, in these times it may often feel like we’re all working with a very small sweetie tin rather than a massive chest full of notes and coins, but work with me here!

(Laughter from conference delegates and Panel members)

Delegate 3: I prefer to use the phrase ‘Spending Plan’ when I talk about my regular income and outgoings management.   First I do the ‘audit’ so I know for sure what is coming in this month down to the dollar.  And only then do I decide how my money is used to ‘handle my business’ like the list of expenses you show here (points to the presentation on screen).  So, yeah, I can choose this month not to pay my utilities or my cell phone costs … as long as I am prepared to live with the consequences…

(Laughter from conference delegates and Panel members)

Delegate 1: I agree. With the Spending Plan mentality, I decide the how and when for my money, making sure I make informed choices, taken on a timely basis and based on the information and opportunities that I have in that period.

Panel Chair: So, whether it’s dollars like my friend here, or Euros or Pounds for us in Europe, sometimes the Plan stays the say as circumstances remain steady, other times it may need to change? And a Spending Plan means you can be flexible to take account of these changes when they occur?

Delegate 2: Absolutely!.  You know, it may seem like this approach is more of a state of mind rather than a different activity but that’s just it.  Both are spending.

Delegate 4: You know panel, it all about how you think and behave with your money that makes the difference to whether you’re a success or failure in meeting your financial goals – in the short or long term!

Panel Chair: Panel, thank you for such a lively start to this discussion.  Let’s go to the Q&A and take some questions from our other Sorority delegates.  Over to you ladies!

What’s your view?

Add your comment to the discussion!

Want a really easy way to save at least £1,000 this year? The 52 week challenge

I’m taking the 52-Week Money Challenge, which gets a lot of interest online at this time of year.

This can be one of your New Year’s Resolutions!


It’s very straightforward. You simply start by saving £5 in the first seven days in January (so, five days to go!) and you build up the savings by saving a larger or smaller amounts each seven days over the 52 weeks.  You can start with £52 the first week and then work down to £1 by December, when the festive season means money is a lot tighter.  I find the summer and autumn are best to do the bigger saving amounts.  The most you would have to put away in any week is £40, everything is less than that.

The variety in the saving pattern means that you can build up in a way that suits you!

To make it something everyone can take part in, why not make it a joint family goal.  Would be great to get comments on the tips for saving the amounts each week

… I’ve opened a ‘jam jar’ account with my local church Money Club…for my shoes and handbag fund … ssh, don’t tell hubby!

Here’s one way to do this weekly saving that makes it all a bit easier:


Week Number Dates         Weekly Amount Monthly Amount Saved So Far
1 1-7 Jan £5
2 8-14 Jan £4
3 15 – 21 Jan £3
4 22 – 28 Jan £2 £14
5 29Jan -4Feb £1 £15
6 5 – 11 Feb £10
7 12 – 18 Feb £9
8 19 – 25 Feb £8 £28
9 26Feb-4Mar £7 £49
10 5 – 11 Mar £6
11 12 – 18 Mar £20
12 19 – 25 Mar £19 £52
13 26Mar-1Apr £18 £112
14 2 – 8 Apr £17
15 9 – 15 Apr £16
16 16 – 22 Apr £15 £66
17 23 – 29 Apr £14 £174
18 30Apr-6May £13
19 7 – 13 May £12
20 14-20May £11 £50
21 21 – 27 May £30
22 28May-3Jun £29 £269
23 4 – 10 Jun £27
24 11 – 17 Jun £28 £114
25 18 – 24 Jun £26
26 25Jun – 1Jul £25 £375
27 2 – 8 Jul £24
28 9 – 15 Jul £23 £98
29 16 – 22 Jul £22
30 23 – 29 Jul £21
31 30Jul- 5Aug £35 £500
32 6 – 12 Aug £25 £103
33 13 – 19 Aug £25
34 20 – 26 Aug £25
35 27Aug-2Sep £25 £600
36 3 – 9 Sep £25 £100
37 10 – 16 Sep £25
38 17 – 23 Sep £25
39 24 – 30 Sep £25 £700
40 1 – 7 Oct £25 £100
41 8 – 14 Oct £40
42 15 – 21 Oct £39
43 22 – 28 Oct £38
44 29Oct-4Nov £37 £154 £879
45 5 – 11 Nov £36
46 12 – 18 Nov £35
47 19 – 25 Nov £20
48 26Nov-2Dec £10 £101 £980
49 3 – 9 Dec £10
50 10 – 16 Dec £5
51 17 – 23 Dec £5
52 24 – 31 Dec £5 £25 £1,005!

If you get your money once a month, the monthly saving target is also given to make it easier for you to keep a check on how you are progressing!

TOTAL: however frequently you save, it’s over £1,000 – simples!!

Try it out and let us know how you get on! Join me and let’s see how much we can all save in 2014…

Onwards and Upwards!

5 reasons why you don’t raise the alarm

You’ve seen him or her.  You know them well.  That colleague or friend from work or church or your local neighbourhood.  They live from hand to mouth, bills up to the gills and yet always goes out every weekend or spends on expensive clothes, bags or electronic gadgets, getting deeper and deeper into debt.

You know it won’t last, they know it won’t last, you really care for them as your friend or relative, so why don’t you say anything to them about their spending habits? They seem to be crying out for someone to help, so why not you?

Research from Georgetown University noted there are five reasons that can  stop people speaking up or acting on their concerns:

1. You don’t notice that something is wrong: Every one has 20-20 vision in hindsight.  Often we get angry or bemused when we hear about apparently obvious self-destructive financial behaviour. During the years before the recession, many people “normalised” the view that spending on credit without thinking about repayments or the future was the usual thing to do.  If everyone is doing it and this information conflicts with our preferred version of reality,  we often tell ourselves that there is a  reasonable explanation for this financial spending, and that everything is fine. Or, we adjust our version of reality.

2. ‘It’s not my problem…’ – The bystander effect: The research found that the more people there are that see something wrong, the less likely it is that someone will say something. This sounds a bit back to front, but the argument is that there is a lower feeling of responsibility if many people can se what is going on, and can make you feel uncertainty about taking action.

3. The person reacts badly/ doesn’t like to hear unpleasant messages

Maybe your friend has a hot temper, or is quite insecure or you have heard  stories when other people have tried to speak with him/ her – your friend just shoots the messenger.

4. You think nothing will happen if you raise concerns

As a result you may think that even if you are able to successfully tell your friend how concerned you are, little will be done about it.

5. You think the result will be more negative than positive 

Or worse, you may be less inclined to talk through your concerns if  they also have quite high status in your group of friends.  They may have the power to retaliate and turn others against your.

You have to believe that your action can really improve and help the situation of your friend, make a reasonable assessment of what is the core problem.

A good colleague is prepared to call your friend to account, help them see how their behaviour is damaging their present, and their future. and support them to work to a more healthy relationship with their money.

More about this and the cycle of the New Year Resolutions next time.

Until then…

Have a lovely New Year and let us know what issues you would like us to cover in 2014!

Onwards and Upwards!

Sorority Membership Entry Criteria (P31 Sorority)

Image Pi Tau Omicron Sorority held its first end of year event on Saturday evening, 14 December 2013 at the fabulous Malmaison Hotel in London and chose as the 2014 vision: ‘Value in Myself, Value in Service’.

With guest speakers from healthcare, investment banking and global professional financial services firms the evening was as stimulating as it was enjoyable.

For more information see the Sorority Info page here

Handling Your Money: Are You Really Walking the Talk?


Over the last few months we’ve offered an independent survey for church members to volunteer and respond to five simple questions.  These questions ask how aware you are about your current financial status and circumstances.

The results (above) make for interesting reading…..

Over half of the people who took part in the survey so far say then have a pretty good handle on their finances.  That’s great!

However, in the sessions and discussions that followed, many admitted to struggling with making the next step ie to ‘access the power’ through effective planning so that they can achieve their financial goals.  That’s the real challenge…

Attend one of the FREE Access the Power (ATP)  “SMARTER Finance” Seminars – These lay-member led, bible-based seminars are held in local churches as part of the Financial Stewardship for members. These seminars  support church groups and have been annually since 2004.  Most seminars are run from April – December.  The first quarter of the year is used for workshops and practical support sessions for members new to the programmes.

If your church has never participated or held one of these sessions, show this blog to your Stewardship Co-ordinator and ask him/ her to arrange a session for your church group within your Stewardship Day programme this year.

“SMARTER Finance”  sessions are open to all participating church members in any Seventh-day Adventist church group in the UK.  A number of local church groups in England already this session for basic financial literacy as a Stewardship Day whilst others use the weekend workshops or one-day seminar services for both the church and local community outreach.

For more information or to arrange a programme at your local church click here – (this will take you to the feedback form on this blog)


The book of Proverbs is a fantastic way for you to start gaining some of the basic understanding of how successful people approach managing credit, business, wealth and finances. One chapter a day and you have covered the whole book in a month!  It’s never too late to start now.

For ladies in the UK, see our blogs on Proverbs 31 for secrets on successful living , business and financial success.  And see the Sorority created just for you, by women just like you PI TAU OMICRON (Π Τ Ο).

For ΠΤΟ sisterhood eligibility criteria click here.

We’ll continue to update and share the overall survey results right here in this blog.

In the meantime, why not share your own tips on your experiences in moving your financial goals forward.

Onwards and upwards!

Want to know the five most powerful words….?

Well done if you’ve make the commitment to start on your journey of financial literacy journey towards financial freedom.

One of the first things you have to do is your self-audit – to check where you are now, financially.  This will help you plan where you want to get to and how you intend to get there.

If you recently attended one of the nationwide “Access the Power…for your Finances” sessions then you will have been told the five most powerful words you will need to use as you start to collate your spending habits….

‘Yes, I  want the receipt!’

As you hurry through the day, rushing to get that morning paper or mid-morning  snack, or quickly pop out to get the lunchtime sandwich or meal, or the take-away dinner as the faithful replacement for a home meal (it’s been one of those days!) money slips through our fingers almost without noticing.

If you aren’t keeping the Spending Plan Journal then keeping your receipts for each day is one of the ways you can quickly add up and categorise your incidental spending for that day.  Once that is done, unless the receipt is for a big ticket item or part of the warranty information its fine to discard it.

The successful and financial free have a good command of their spending and the sources for their regular income.  We usually have a handle on the latter, this is a quick and simple way to get to grips with the former!

Onwards and upwards, people… and remember ‘yes, I will have the receipt!’

Below are other articles you may find helpful…. and remember we don’t say ‘budget’ we say ‘My Spending Plan!’

The secrets in Proverbs 31 for women

Image –

Ever wondered if there were some tips and hints for women on the four major areas of life?

Well, Proverbs 31 shares these secrets with anyone who wants to know!

In a simple straightforward way, it outlines how women can make their impact in their personal life, with relationships and family, in business and in giving back to the community.

The Access the Power…P31Women series helps women in local churches understand and then use this secret roadmap to gain mastery over all areas of their life.