Archive for May 2007

Financial Learning Experience – Atlanta!

This coming Sunday, I will be crusading in Northwest Atlanta at Oak Leaf Church!

I will be speaking at their two morning services – 9:00AM & 10:15AM

During the evening, I will be teaching the personal finance tools that enabled Jenn and I to win.  It is called the Financial Learning Experience, and it has SOLD OUT!  Unless a new space is obtained, it will remain sold out.  If you have not been able to sign up, contact Oak Leaf Church and see what your options are!

Needless to say, I AM PUMPED UP!!!  I CAN NOT WAIT!!! 

This church is EXPLODING!  In less than a year, they are already running nearly 600 people!  I can't wait to get there and see what God has been doing!

Interested in bringing the Financial Learning Experience to your business, community group, or church?  Contact Joe HERE

Yahoo! Answers – Personal Finance

I have discovered this great site – Yahoo! Answers – recently.

It is a worldwide forum for asking/answering questions about virtually any topic known to mankind.

Of course, I was drawn immediately to the Business/Finance – Personal Finance category Smile

I have been answering a few questions to help sharpen my skillset and to challenge myself to answer with great responses.

Anyway, I recently posed this question to the community. 

How would it feel if you had $5,000 in the bank – just sitting there in case of an emergency?


The response was INCREDIBLE!!!  Within a few minutes, 21 people had responded (this is WAY more than average)!

Some of my FAVORITE responses are:

  • I would feel safe and not worry too much about the possibility of having an emergency
  • It makes you feel pretty good because if an emergency arises it is good to know you have that money as backup. Sort of an ace in the hole.

Some of the SADDENING responses are:

  • It would feel good, but it wouldn't be in (the) bank long.
  • Pretty darn good.  The worst thing is knowing it's there and knowing you shouldn't touch it.

You can go HERE to read the responses.

My New, Used Vehicle (almost)


Back in February 2004, when Jenn and I became debt-free, we made a decision to use the money that had been going toward debt to save up enough money to cover at least 6 months of expenses.

After we saved that money up, we decided to save up enough money to replace one of our vehicles.  Not enough to purchase a NEW car (which we wouldn't – they depreciate miserably fast!), but enough to buy a good three or four year old used vehicle.

Well, we have had that money sitting around for over two years, and it is getting near time to replace the car.

Thursday May 3, 2007

Jenn and I went to lunch on Thursday, May 3rd, and I said to Jenn, "What do you think about getting rid of our car and just have one car?"  She liked that idea a lot!  That was lunch.  A few hours later, my friend calls me and tells me that he has a great deal on a vehicle for me.

Now, when this friend calls me and tells me that he has a great deal, I listen!  He knows how to get a great deal!  He purchases cars that have been in wrecks and restores them to 100%, generally for a cost of less than 1/2 of Kelley Blue Book.  This was one of those deals!

Friday May 4, 2007

Jenn and I talked about it in detail, test-drove the same type of vehicle, and then I called my friend to tell him that I wanted to buy the car.

Friday May 11, 2007

Jenn and I went and looked at the wrecked vehicle and delivered the funds to purchase it.   It was sad to depart with my beloved portraits of Benjamin Franklin, but it was a great deal!

Friday, May 25, 2007

My friend called me and said that there was a problem with the wrecked vehicle.  Apparently, when he went to purchase the wreck, he looked it over in great detail and discovered a "kink" in the frame.  I don't know what that is, but it is a major issue!  So, he didn't buy it.

My beloved portraits of Benjamin Franklin are being mailed back to me.  I am sad that I will not get the vehicle, but MAN I missed Ben.

I think I will put Ben back into his house (the bank – high interest savings account), and let him chill for awhile!

Besides, my car only has 220,000 miles on it. 

Memorial Day – Things I Am Remembering Today

1.  My high school classmate and next-door neighbor, Jeremy Wright, who served in the military and lost his life in Afghanistan when his vehicle encountered an IED.  He is the best athlete I have ever known – by far the best runner I have ever seen.  He is only athlete to have an individual photo placed on the wall of athletic achievements at our high school.

2.  My great uncle, Paul A. Barmann, who was killed in action during WW II.  He was married to my great aunt, Aunt La, for only one year when he lost his life.

3.  My great uncle, Uncle Bud, who was in Pearl Harbor when his ship was attacked as part of the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.

4.  The Indy 500 which takes place every single Sunday before Memorial Day (unless it rains!).  Most race days would entail us going to church, going to KFC for a bucket of chicken, and then going to the park to listen to the 500 on the radio.  Awesome memories for a boy from central Indiana!

5.  My twin brother, John, who served in the US Army and completed a tour through Korea and my fourth brother, Keith, who also served in the US Army.

6.  How awesome my country is!  I can pursue my God-given dreams!  So can you!

7.  How awesome family is!  I have a great family.  We are as disfunctional as your family and have a blast every time we get together!

The power of “sticking with it”

Normal people will give up when they encounter difficulty.

Normal people will stop budgeting because it is hard.

Normal people will not invest because they don't understand what stocks/bonds/mutual funds/real estate mean.

Normal people will not invest because they "can't afford to right now".

Normal people will not take time to learn about personal finances because it is too difficult.

Normal people will not stick with a debt-pay off plan because they cannot tell themselves "NO!" to a new car, boat, motorcycle, kitchen upgrade, furniture, or vacation.

I resolve to not be normal.  I resolve to stick with it.  Join me in my "I AM NOT NORMAL" personal finance crusade!  Who can you invite over to your house this Memorial Day weekend and teach them about a better way to manage their finances?