Your business is my business! When to say “no” to money

Picture: From the blog/campaign

Picture:
c/o “Poor College Student.net”

by Jennifer Valentine-Miller

For many people, including me, this year will be another year to perhaps change energy supplier or telecom provider. However I do tend to find myself stressing and avoiding the phone when it rings, because a subconscious thought tells me this is a call from a major charity that I might or might not already contribute to. Plus there are also the confrontational situations when dealing with family members and their nonchalant approach when borrowing money. And also, it has been another year of avoiding beggars on the street.

I enjoy giving to charities. However there is that feeling of being bombarded. The communication regulators Ofcom say that you can make a complaint in writing to TPS (Telephone Preference Service) if there is a feeling that your telephone number is continually being targeted by marketing and telesales companies. I am not talking about this in order to generate a hate campaign against any person or organisation who ask for money, I believe that when asked to give money (for whatever reason), there should be guidance that allows someone like you or I to say “no” with confidence.

There are also online forums asking the same question and seeking answers around the subject of borrowing money to friends. One comment says: “I am not comfortable with it because of what it might do to our friendship. It’s obvious that (our friendship) does seem to be your first concern.”  Another example says; “the surest way to damage a friendship is to actually give the money” and “debts between friends are more damaging than anything else.” America’s Fox Business News suggests to it viewers they should try to find a way to help a relative who continually asks for money. If the support is in the form of money then it should not be handed to them until a repayment agreement is in place. And also consider giving cheque payments or money-orders, because they are safer and more advisable.

I find the idea of money being used to purchase shopping going towards a charity of the company’s choice as a good idea. Amazon, for example, practice this quite often.

If, for whatever reason, you don’t like asking for money and there is a need to raise money for a cause, Easyfundraising.org.uk will give you a cash reward that can be turned into a charity donation. How this works is that Easyfundraising.org.uk will collect free donations for your personal charitable cause when you shop online – the major store generates a commission from your purchase.

The website Politics.co.uk say that people who beg are “among the most vulnerable in society, often trapped in poverty and deprivation, and it is regarded as a risky and demeaning activity”. Begging for money is a serious matter and it is evident around major cities. Although begging is illegal it does not carry a jail sentence under the Vagrancy Act 1824. The charity Crisis estimates that over 80 percent of beggars are homeless. I have experienced people begging or asking for money whilst travelling on the train.  I found that was particularly intimidating. The British Transport Police (BTP) have stepped up patrols on the train lines (to deter anti-social behaviour) from Liverpool Street to Shenfield. A spokesman said: “people involved in begging are usually destitute and in need of help.” The Police go on to say that “they will try to direct those begging for money towards the appropriate services rather than criminalise them.”

Public Relations is not just about writing articles, posting on social media, or monitoring optimizations. It is about raising the public’s concerns around their rights towards services received and services they give out.

Handling Life and Debts

colbox-getting-help

I ask myself this question many times: when does a week or month go by when I think about the fact and then worry about the fact of being in debt.  Whether is it my utility bills, repayments, (loans, etc.), even one’s tithe; if you are a church goer.  I personally always seem to be behind, never able to run forward. Major companies are in a position to handle such matters which includes chasing people who are falling behind with their repayment agreement.

The continued development in our social system has raised an enormous range of questions about the relationship between wealth and faithfulness to God.  Credit cards have become increasing widespread, making it easier for a small number of people to accumulate great wealth and for everyone else to purchase goods and services and get into serious debt.  In our world today it is impossible to be a Christian and not struggle with questions related to money. Questions relating to money were an important aspect in the Old and New Testament even though the word money is not actually found in the bible. In fact, after the problem of worshipping idols the question most discussed in the bible has to do with money.

I know one of the best ways of physically getting out of debt is to have Faith.  Not only to believe that windfall or a lottery win will come by one day, most importantly gradually commit to pay off ones debt regularly, and also in good time.

Communicating with debtors means you want to share a common interest with them, which in this case is your need to understand and explain why an outstanding bill has not been paid, will it be paid, and how.  Sometimes work is tiresome and disliked, and we are tempted to see it as a burden that results from sin in the world. Productive work is a gift from the Creator, therefore joy and delights should be found in our day job.

It is clear that getting into debt is unwise.  Like starvation, a plague of locusts, or being forced out of your homeland, it is not something we should bring upon ourselves on purposes.  We should ponder these things when considering institutional debt, whether it be as a congregation, a denomination, or a government.

However those of us who are simply tempted by credit cards should simply don’t carry them.

Copyright © Jennifer Valentine 2012