Joe and Jenn have fell off the "normal" curve a long time ago with the way we manage our money. That's OK! We're not broke anymore!!!
One of the things we have sought to implement in our lives is accountability. Now, accountability can be a LOT of FUN!
Here is a way to make accountability FUN! Let me introduce you to the "Sangl Family Home Pay-Off Spectacular".
Here is how it works.
- We drew up an outline of the house in Microsoft PowerPoint and then put a bunch of small squares in it. They are not square feet – they are just squares.
- Once the outline was filled with squares, we counted up the squares.
- We divided the amount we paid for the house by the number of squares in the outline. This yields the $/square value.
- Every time we pay $72.14 in principal on the mortgage, we get to color in another square!
This is SO visual! When my daughter was FOUR, she looked at this thing on the side of the refrigerator and said, "Man! We sure are in a whole lot of house debt!" My FOUR YEAR OLD daughter gets this! It really makes it clear how much of the house you actually own.
It makes spending a lot of fun too! For example, we could go out for a nice meal that costs $70. We look at each other and smile knowing that we could have paid another square off on the house.
If an "unexpected" expense shows up that costs $70, I will say, "Well, I could have paid another square."
When I get in an unexpected income of $700, I KNOW that I could fill in 10 more squares by sending it off to the mortgage holder.
When we do pay off another square or squares, I ensure that my bride and my daughter get to help color it in! Even if it is just one square, I will divide it into three small sections and we will each color in a third of it.
I LOVE this tool! It is visual. The entire family sees it. My friends see it when they visit the house. I can't wait for the day that the last square is colored in!
A new category of posts starts TODAY. This category titled "Financial Hero" will be used to share about people that are my Financial Heroes and why they have become a Financial Hero to me. Enjoy!!!
Why is DAVE RAMSEY a www.JOSEPHSANGL.com Financial Hero?
Dave rocked my world in December 2002. I had been terrible at managing our short-term money. We had always contributed heavily to retirement, but our short-term savings hovered continuously at around $4.13.
Dave's 7 Baby Steps changed the way I look at money forever. I printed out these 7 Baby Steps and put an "expect-to-accomplish" date next to each one.
Jenn and I became debt-free (except for the house) in just 14 month's time. We are now at Baby Step 6 and making HUGE strides toward Baby Step 7.
Why should DAVE RAMSEY be your Financial Hero?
- Dave Ramsey will tell you like it is. He speaks at a level that you and I can understand. Dave also is on over 300 radio stations every day for three hours which really helps you learn more about personal finance through the experiences of others! You can listen to him on-line anytime HERE.
- Dave has excellent resources available for you to learn more about your finances. I recommend that everyone take Financial Peace University, a 13-week life-altering class. You can find a class near you by clicking HERE.
- Dave's book, Financial Peace, Revisited, is my personal favorite book that he has written. He has also recently released The Total Money Makeover. These books should be mandatory reading in high school. He also wrote an earlier, less-known book called More Than Enough that was good, but I would read the other two books first.
- Dave is real and authentic. He has lost and won with money and is an excellent communicator.
- Dave is also crazy about teaching our kids this stuff. So much so that he has written a line of children's books. They are filled with very creative drawings and have actually been given out by the millions as part of the Kid's Meal Program at Chick-fil-A!
Dave, you are an official www.josephsangl.com Financial Hero! You ROCK!
For the first time in my life, I have bought an older home.
Jenn and I have owned three other houses – two of them brand new and one was four years old.
Now we have purchased a home that is 28 years old.
Yeah, that wood paneling with wallpaper over it that looked like wedding cake was beautiful. The two different leaks in the roof were nice. The discovery of a pile of trash underneath the house was great.
With the work that we wanted to accomplish on the house, we decided to delay moving in until we had addressed many of the known issues. We have worked tirelessly for almost two months to get the house ready, and we finally moved in last weekend.
We're tired! It has been nearly a full-time job getting this house ready. I spoke four times at NewSpring Church on Sunday, February 25th, and when I finished the fourth message, I got into the car and drove to the house to work on the house. My days that I have taken off from my crusade have been spent at the house. As we worked on repairing the roof, I managed to smash my thumb to oblivion using a 22 oz Estwing hammer.
You may be considering buying and fixing up a house. You may be wondering if it would be worth the effort. I will tell you this – I am the son of a home builder, and it has been very difficult for me. I don't do this sort of thing EVER, but I kinda sorta know the general activity required.
I would say this, we have gained some significant sweat equity and learned a lot by fixing up this house, but I would not do this again for my personal residence. EVER.
The Financial Freedom Class is launching at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC on Thursday evenings, April 5th.
If you have been putting off this class and are in the Anderson area, now is the time to do it! Sign up at the Resource Center on Sunday or during 1st Wednesday services.
Five nights will change your financial future.
Just ask the people who have already taken it.
I love the comments that have been posted in response to THIS post.
I just bought tickets to vacation trip #1 on Delta.com. I started out using Expedia.com because they are usually great to use. However, this time it was all glitchy and failed to even get me to the point to purchase tickets. So I went on to Delta.com and I got the exact same ticket for $5/ea less! Apparently, that is what the fee is that Delta pays Expedia to sell its tickets. Round-trip to Philadelphia for less than $200 per ticket. I'm likin' it.
Apparently, PERRY went to see Celine Dion while in Vegas. Well, I DEMAND that his "Man Card" be laying on my desk by morning. If he says HERE that my listening to Clay Aiken is wrong, then DEFINITELY Celine is in the same category. I can't stop thinking about the movie, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Perry in a pink Celine T-shirt – PRICELESS!
I can tell where a person is coming from by the way they phrase things. If they say, "I had to finance the car" or "I had to get a loan" or "I had to buy it", then I clearly KNOW that they are approaching their finances from the wrong point of view. If you have heard yourself say something like this, may I suggest an alternative approach? How about – "I know that this big expense is approaching. How can I pay for it without using debt?"
I delivered some of my fashion mags to Judith. Sheesh. The mailman is hating my delivery address.
I am ready to get my book published. Anyone interested in publishing this little-known author who is on a crusade to teach 100,000 people about managing their personal finances in the next 5 years?