Archive for August 2006

Why I do what I do …

I am sick of seeing 60+ year old people who are in debt up to their eyeballs simply because they were not taught sound financial principles.

Because I went through 20 years of school culminating in a graduate degree and never once had a class on how to manage my money.

I want young people to learn this NOW so they do not do all of the dumb things the rest of us have done with money.

To improve marriages and communication within those marriages.

I believe that I what I am teaching is capable of restoring HOPE where there is NO HOPE.

I believe that being saved from the bondage of debt feels very similar to the salvation experience of being saved from my sins. I want to share both of these messages to all who are helped.

Because I have been there, done that … and I want others to avoid that and prevent that.

There is no reason people should be living from paycheck to paycheck in the greatest country on the planet.

There is enough money for everyone on this planet. For most individuals, the problem is not an income problem. It is an outgo problem.

There is HOPE.

I believe in people.

I believe that when people are set free financially, they become able to pursue EXACTLY what they have been made to do!

I have been called by God to do this. It is what I have been put on this earth to do!

The power of vision.

Now time for a story …

It was summertime during 1999. I was headed out to eat lunch with a fellow engineer. We headed off to Los Hermanos in Clemson, SC (does this restaurant still exist?). Little did I know that this was to be a lunch that would change my life forever.

During our lunchtime conversation, he asked me a question I had heard many times before. “Joe”, he said, “If you had a million dollars, what would you do?” Now, I had heard that question asked many times before, but this time I truly thought about it. I had no answer.

It irked me that I could not answer this question. I was very frustrated about it. I was frustrated enough that during that same evening, I shared the question with my wife, Jenn. I told her that I could not answer the question and that I did not know what I would do.

She was surprised and said that I could have at least thought of some vacations we could take. The issue for me was that I truly understood the point of the question. The true point of the question was, “What have I been put on this earth to do?”

I wandered around for the next three years, just wondering. During these three years, I applied myself 100% to the task at hand, but I put myself on alert so I could discover just what I was put on this earth to do.

When I moved back to Indiana in 2002, I finally found it. It was to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible. Specifically in the area of their finances. It burns through me to the very core of my soul.

Now, I have been described as slightly energetic in my normal line of work, but I become a passionate, freaked-out, crazed lunatic when it comes to helping others gain control of their finances. This topic brings out an emotion in me that has been otherwise untapped. It is exactly what I have been put on this earth to do.

Now, I have the opportunity to go pursue this calling full-time at New Spring Church. I CAN NOT WAIT!!!

Since I had to wrestle with the question for 4 years before getting to an answer, I am going to ask you:

“If you had a million dollars, what would you do?”

The cliff is behind me!

I have blogged, talked, preached, spoke, rambled, yelled, taught, and thought about jumping off the cliff of “going and doing this personal finance thing full blast” for the past three years.

I have wrestled with leaving Corporate America and the fine paycheck it provides. I have wrestled with this change in my full-time career focus. I have thought about the “what-if scenarios” for so long that it really seemed to be a dream that would not cease. It seemed as if it could never become reality – due to my inability to jump off of this cliff.

I am officially announcing today that the cliff is behind me! I have jumped over the edge! I am “going to do this personal finance thing full blast”. I am going to help broke people become whole financially. I am going to assist others who are doing OK to become OUTSTANDING. I am going to achieve my life’s passion “to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible.”

I have officially resigned from my job and have accepted a position with New Spring Church in Anderson, SC! I am VERY EXCITED to be going back to my home church and do ministry with my friends there. The real estate sign is in the yard. The four week notice is ticking away … It is TIME. I have been called to do this. It is what I have been made to do. It is time to walk the talk.

You see, when you spend less than you make, you can do exactly what you have been made to do regardless of the income potential. Regardless of the hardship you may have to endure to get there.

True peace is found by doing that which you were put on this planet to do.

New Spring friends – look out! I am READY TO ROLL!

Budgeting (again!)

I love budgeting. I am a full-fledged nerd. I admit it. That’s fine. I am also not broke anymore!!!

I regularly encounter people who do not truly understand what it means to budget. They believe that it is a tool that their spouse uses to control them. They believe that it means they will not be able to have fun anymore. They believe that it will not work. I believe that “they” are wrong! “They” are still broke. I am not anymore. It is because Jenn and I began to budget!

Let me explain what a budget really is.

It is a simple math equation:

It means that you will NOT spend more than you make:
The equation MUST balance to zero. If it is a negative number, you will be burning through your savings account OR turning to debt.

It is spending your money on paper on purpose BEFORE the month begins:
If you spend your money on paper BEFORE you receive it, you will KNOW the fact that money is limited. You will KNOW that you must reduce your spending in order to avoid debt! You will KNOW that you must reduce your spending in order to pay off debt faster!

It is THE ENABLER for achieving financial peace:
By not overspending your income, you are better able to achieve your family’s goals. You will NOT have to work OT in order to pay your debts. You will NOT have to work a second job to earn enough money to pay off your debts. You WILL be able to focus on your family. You WILL be able to focus on doing exactly what you were made to do! You WILL be able to focus on pursuing life to the fullest INSTEAD of having your joy robbed from you!

I was broke until Jenn and I began to budget.

I am at the edge of the cliff …

Will I fly? or Will I flop?

I am at the cliff of jumping into what I was made to do. How should I jump? How far should I jump?

I KNOW the answer.

I will jump with 100% of my effort! I will go after that which I was made for! I will not be denied! I will do everything necessary to achieve that which I have been created to accomplish. I will be faithful.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

The time is near.

Time to jump.