Archive - September, 2007

FREE is good!

I love the fact that I can offer all of the personal finance tools in the TOOLS section for FREE!

Let me share some facts that BLOW MY MIND about the tools offered on this site.  In the last SEVEN days:

The reason this pumps me up so much is because I KNOW that someone's finances have been drastically altered – simply by applying these simple tools to their money!  I KNOW that because of this, marriages are being taken to the next level, relationships between parents and children are being restored, and people are going to be freed up to go do exactly what God has put them on this earth to do!

I AM PUMPED UP!

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Financial Happenings in the Sangl Household

In this weekend edition, I thought I would share some of the recent financial happenings in the Sangl Household:

  • My ING Direct On-Line Savings Account lowered its interest rate to 4.30% due to the Fed's lowering of rates.  That's OK because it is still way better than the 0.20% interest and the minimum balance required by my old bank.  You can open your ING On-Line Savings Account and receive $25 FREE if you fund your account with at least $250.  NO MORE "FREE $25 LINKS LEFT" – BUT you can still get a great account that is paying 4.20% interest with a minimum balance of $1 by clicking the link at the top right of this page or by clicking HERE.
  • We've decided that the home mortgage needs to leave.  The Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular will be making an appearance on the blog on Monday, October 8th.  You will all get to hold Jenn and me accountable as we pound the home mortgage to a nice big ZERO!
  • My Health Savings Account (HSA) is about to take a beating from the surgery that I had in June.  The final bills are rolling in.  It is AWESOME to know that we already have the money in the account in advance!!!  This is what prevents debt from happening in the Sangl household.
  • Our daughter was inspired by the "Snake Who Ate Christmas" sale on Ebay.  She has produced at least twenty drawings that she now wants to sell on Ebay.  Can someone tell me how to explain to a seven-year-old that it is highly unusual for sketches like "Snakey-Snake" to sell at all – let alone for $20.50?

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Teach Your Kids About Money – Part 05

In this series of posts, I am sharing some different ways that I am teaching my daughter about money.

Step ONE:  YOU have the primary responsibility for teaching your children about money!

I have more influence on my daughter's money management skills than any other.  What I teach her will have a direct impact on her life and generations to follow! 

Step TWO:  Walk The Talk

Live it out loud.  My goal is to show Melea that everything I am teaching her is relevant and can be practically applied to her life. 

Step THREE:  Provide opportunities for your children to learn about money

A $18 lesson at age five can prevent an $18,000 lesson at age 20.  Which one would you choose? 

Step FOUR:  Teach the Key Principles!

I have negelected my parental duties if I don't teach Melea the lessons I teach thousands of others every year! 

Step FIVE:  This is a PROCESS not a one-time conversation.

This is not a one-time conversation.  Learning is a process.  It happens over time.  With multiple conversations.  With both good and bad attitudes.  In different situations.  It is intentional.

What Jenn and I have taught Melea so far has been intentional.  We plan on keeping it that way.  As we approach the next 11 years of her life with us, Melea will be taught many more financial and life lessons.

To wrap up this series, I thought I would share some of the lessons that are upcoming for her.  Some are new and some are continuations of lessons already in progress.

  • God is the owner.  We are managers.  We are teaching Melea that everything we have is from God.  Luke 16:10 resounds through my head.  There is a good potential for Melea to be left with a great inheritance (something the Bible says we should do – Proverbs 13:22 says that "a good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children".  If we don't teach her to be a great manager, her life could be ruined by the inheritance!!!
  • Giving and saving are top priorities.  This lesson is already in process, but it will continue to be reinforced.  There is nothing more satisfying than giving to a worthy cause and saving money for God-given hopes and dreams.
  • The fundamental business concept of "profit".  It is amazing how many business owners forget this concept!  Melea will know this concept forward and backward!
  • It is OK to wait to make a purchase.  Debt is not worth the immediate gratification.  The gratification will go away, but the debt will visit monthly.  This WILL make me turn in my grave!
  • Learn the most powerful word in the English language – NO!  Already in progress on this lesson!  It is so important to have self-control.

That's it!  I hope that this series has helped you gain a few ideas on training your children about money.

Question Of The Day:  What ideas have you put into practice as a result of this series?

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Another story of life-change was released on the podcast today!  Have you listened to the Podcast from Joe?  To subscribe to the podcast using iTunes, click HERE.  If you do not have iTunes, you can download an mp3 by clicking HERE.

Teach Your Kids About Money – Part 04

In this series of posts, I am sharing how Jenn and I are training Melea to manage money well.

Step ONE:  YOU have the primary responsibility for teaching your children about money!

It is MY responsibility to train my daughter.  Not the schools (although they could at least teach a few classes about it!) and definitely NOT the marketers! 

Step TWO:  Walk The Talk

It is MY responsibility to live out what I teach my daughter.  No one has more influence on my daughter's education than Jenn and I! 

Step THREE:  Provide opportunities for your children to learn about money

Melea has to learn the lessons – both good and bad – about money.  The sooner she starts learning the bad ones, the sooner she will adopt the good ones!!!

Step FOUR:  Teach the Key Principles!

Anyone who has taken the Financial Freedom Class that I teach knows the Four Key Principles by heart.  They are taught at the beginning of every single class – all five of the sessions.  You can actually watch me teach these four key principles at NewSpring Church (High-speed internet only – does not work well with Amish internet!)

KP #1:  There is POWER when you work TOGETHER on finances.  Melea's husband (hurts me to even write this – I am going to go cry now!!!!) will know how to manage finances, and they will work together to win!  The preacher pronounces you "as one" and that applies to finances as well.

KP #2:  Avoid the DEBT TRAP.  Debt is a wealth-killer!  I remember the day that Melea borrowed a dollar from Grandma to buy something at Wal-Mart.  I said, "Oh my, Melea, you are in DEBT!  You are in DEBT to Grandma!!!"  She got so wigged out that she almost cried!  You may think I am mean.  I would say it is CRUEL to let her think debt is her friend or good!!!!

KP #3:  Have a PLAN for your life.  This creates the REASON for you to plan your finances!  Melea has a plan for her life already.  She wants to be a veterinarian, move to San Diego, work for the San Diego Zoo, and live in the round hotel.  Now, this might change (I will have a lot of frequent-flyer miles if this holds up!), but she has a plan!

KP #4:  Have FUN managing money TOGETHER!  It is not all about investing every single dollar.  It is not all about living in a refrigerator box.  The whole reason that we all want to win with money is so we can accomplish our God-given hopes and dreams!  I teach this to Melea every single day.  By the way, forsaking a high-paying corporate job to go to work for a church and moving nine hours away from family is a pretty good way to show her that God-given hopes and dreams can be accomplished!  Look at what this crusade is helping folks do!!!  FUN!

Question Of The Day:  Have you had a conversation about money with your kids this week?

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Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

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The “Snake Who Ate Christmas” has been delivered!

The "Snake Who Ate Christmas" has been delivered to the purchaser.  Thanks to all who participated in the auction!  $20.50 was donated to NewSpring GameTime.

If you click on the picture, you will see that I even included my autograph on the back of the drawing.  If you all had known that I would actually autograph it, I bet you would have bid at least $0.05 more!!!

Thanks to all who submitted questions.  This was too much fun!!!!

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SOLD! The Snake Who Ate Christmas

The fabulous sketch art of renowned artist Joseph Sangl has been sold on Ebay for $20.50!!!  There were 30 bids placed on this work of art!

The winning bidder was also the first person who bid!

Thanks to all who participated in this ridiculous auction and made me laugh at least twenty different times with your awesome questions.

Now I am sad because "snakey-snake" is leaving me.  FROWN!  I guess I could print out a copy of him from this blog … 

The readers of www.JosephSangl.com rule!

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Teach Your Kids About Money – Part 03

During this series of posts, I am sharing some ways that Jenn and I are teaching our daughter about money.

Step ONE:  YOU have the primary responsibility for teaching your children about money!

The school is not going to teach them about money at all.  The marketers are going to teach them that they should buy it now – whether they have the money or not!  If you do not teach your kids, who will?

Step TWO:  Walk The Talk

Your kids watch everything you do.  You are their biggest hero.  What are you teaching them?

Step THREE:  Provide opportunities for your children to learn about money

It is incredibly important that your children are able to apply what they are learning about money.   When Melea was 4 or 5, she was saving up her money for a big purchase – a Care Bear.  This purple Care Bear came with a DVD and everything – can life be any better if one has a purple Care Bear?

This bear had a selling price of around $18, so as you might imagine it took a long time for Melea to save up for this purchase.  Now, this is a large purchase AND it is a Care Bear AND the money would do better in a mutual fund, but how can you have a teachable moment if you don't let children have some running room?

So the big day arrived!  $18 was saved, and it was time to make the purchase.  Teachable Moment:  If you save diligently, the day will come to make the purchase! 

Melea and I had a "daddy-daughter date night" (we have one every month).  She chose to eat at Ponderosa Steakhouse Buffet (because they had unlimited amounts of mac-n-cheese), and then it was time to make the purchase.

We went into Wal-Mart, picked out the Care Bear and headed to the checkout.  There was no one in line at the checkout and Melea began counting out her money (nickels, dimes, and quarters).  By the time she was done counting, we had over ten people standing in line behind us.  I was so proud!  My daughter had SAVED for this purchase!!!  Teachable Moment For Parents:  If you teach your children this stuff early and often, you will have the opportunity to stand back and watch your children win financially in the long run!

Flash forward three years.  The Care Bear has now rested comfortably for at least a year at the bottom of the stuffed animal box.  You can probably buy one at a yard sale for $1.  Teachable Moment:  It's OK to buy stuff, but what would have happened to that $18 if you had put it in a mutual fund?

Provide the opportunities for your children to learn about money.  It is AWESOME to watch them learn!

Question Of The Day:  What opportunities are you providing your child to learn about money?

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Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

I’m famous (and other news)

Here are some news and notes for the day …

  • I was pictured on the highly esteemed technology blog, avclub.us, HERE.  That's me giving a high five to the fastest wide receiver in Division I NCAA football – Jacoby Ford – starting WR for Clemson University.  This is a still taken from a commercial that was shown at NewSpring Church this weekend as part of NewSpring GameTime.
  • The Ebay sale of the unbelievable piece of art I created, "The Snake Who Ate Christmas", will end tonight.  This is your last chance to bid on this one-of-a-kind creations (all proceeds to benefit NewSpring's GameTime).  It wouldn't hurt my feelings to sell it for $1,000,000.
  • There are some changes coming to www.JosephSangl.com over the next two weeks!  Be on the lookout for new features such as Joe & Jenn's Home Payoff Spectacular, a chart of all Debt Freedom Dates for those who have received financial counseling, and inspiring stories of folks who are marching their way out of debt!

I love the crusade!!!

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Teach Your Kids About Money – Part 02

In this series about kids and money, I am sharing some steps that I am using to train my daughter about personal finances.

Step ONE:  YOU have the primary responsibility for teaching your children about money!

It is so incredibly important to play the lead role in educating your children about money!  Proverbs 22:6 says it so well – "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it".  Remember this – No matter what, you ARE teaching them something.  They are watching everything you do.

Step TWO:  Walk The Talk

"Do as I say.  Not as I do."

I have hated that statement since the first time I heard it.  A five year old child can see right through this statement.  A mental note is made that "Mom does not even believe what she is telling me.  That means that whatever she just said is not very important."

If you are a parent, you KNOW that you have been trapped before by this.  I remember that we had told my young daughter (~ 3 years old) that the word "hate" was not a very good word and that it should not be said.  The dreadful day arrived (probably 25 minutes later) when I said, "I HATE the stupid Colts!  They can't win the big game!"

From Melea (our daughter) comes the statement that just convicts you like nothing else – "DAD!  You just said a bad word!"

Oh man!  It doesn't get any worse than that!  I HATE it when that happens! Smile

When it comes to personal finances, you have got to walk the talk.  Model the way.  Demonstrate and educate the steps you are taking to win with money.

Here is how Jenn and I are "walking the talk" to teach Melea about money.

  • We prepare a written budget every single month.  Every. Single. Month.  Teachable Moment:  You must have a plan before spending any money.  (Luke 14:28-30 is a great verse about planning)
  • We utilize cash envelopes for the "impulsive" categories such as groceries, dining out, spending money, entertainment, and clothing.  Melea clearly understands that money is a limited commodity and when it is gone – it's gone!  Teachable Moment:  Self-discipline goes a long way toward ensuring success with money.
  • We invest money every single month into our 403(b), Roth IRA, and 529 College Savings Plan.  We actually show her the 529 College Savings Plan statement every quarter!  I remember showing it to Melea when she was four – and she had no idea how to read the number.  She would say something like, "Is that more than four dollars?"  My answer?  "Yes.  It is at least FIVE dollars!!!"  Teachable Moments:  You are so important to me that I am investing in your future (college – which wouldn't even happen for another 14 years at that time!) AND Proverbs 13:11 is true – gather money little by little and it will grow!
  • Every time Jenn and I plan our money, we split our money into three large categories – GIVE, SAVE, and SPEND  Melea actually has a kit put together by Dave Ramsey that helps teach her this concept.  It is called Financial Peace Jr and it includes three envelopes that say "GIVE", "SAVE", and "SPEND"  Every time she earns money (No allowances in our house!  We promote the "Work = Get Paid; Don't Work = Don't Get Paid" concept!), she splits the money between the three envelopes.  We have taught here that 20% should go into GIVE, 20% into SAVE, and that she can spend the rest.  Teachable Moment:  Life is grand when you are able to GIVE, SAVE, and SPEND!

There is NOTHING better than investing time into your children!  The return on investment is so great!  By walking what you talk about, you send a crystal clear message that this is extremely important!

Question Of The Day:  Are you "walking what you are talking"?

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Looking for additional Personal Finance Resources?  You can obtain free tools by clicking HERE and purchase books/materials by clicking HERE.

Teach Your Kids About Money – Part 01

In this series, I want to discuss the importance of teaching your children about money management.  It is so critically important that children have a sound platform of financial knowledge.  Their knowledge of money (or lack of) will impact their spouse, their own children, their mental health, and their entire future!

Step ONE:  YOU have the primary responsibility for teaching your children about money!

Question:  Who taught you how to manage money?

Think about that question for a moment.

I can tell you this much.  I went from Kindergarten to High School without taking one class taught about money management.  I then went to college for four years and received a bachelor degree without having one class taught about personal finances.  I then went to graduate school for another three years and received a masters degree – still without one class about money management.

Add that up – 13 years of K-12 PLUS 4 years of undergraduate study PLUS 3 years of graduate study – That is 20 years of formal education without one single class on money management!!!  I learned skill sets that enabled me to earn a lot of money, but I had no knowledge of what to do with it once I had received it.

So who do we learn about money management from? 

We learn about money primarily from marketers and our parents.  For better or worse, that is who educates us about money.

There were great things about money that I learned from my parents.  Things like:

  • The value of hard work
  • Work = Get Paid; Don't Work = Don't Get Paid
  • Compound interest is my friend if I am not paying on debt

There were not so great things about money that I learned from marketers.  Things like:

  • If you want it now, go ahead and get it!
  • I'll always have a car payment
  • The use of debt can really help me win financially 

The bottom line is this.  If we do not educate our children about money, who will?  If we abdicate the responsibility to educate our children and we mismanage money ourselves, there should be no surprise when our children make stupid financial decisions.

Question Of The Day:  How have your parents influenced the way you manage money?

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UPDATE: The Snake Who Ate Christmas

The fabulous sketch art of "The Snake Who Ate Christmas" is only available for bidding on Ebay through Tuesday night, September 25.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to own a "one-of-a-kind-PRAISE GOD!" art piece.  You can place your bid HERE.

FUNNY!!!!

There have been some GREAT questions asked via Ebay about the snake.  Some of these questions include:

Question:  Can you get this sprinkled with holy water?

Answer:  I can certainly sprinkle it with water if the user requests it, but holy water is not included.

Question:

  1. Will this paper have the same effect on the winner's financial health as say a prayer handkerchief would have on the physical health of a sick person?
  2. Can I use a credit card to purchase this piece of healing art?

Answer:

  1. Absolutely not. But it may cause one to laugh hysterically or smile without ceasing.
  2. Use whatever form of payment you have available – as long as it was included in the EZ Budget!!!

Question:  If that is an antelope as your website says, why does it have a beak and chicken feet?

Answer:  It is a rare variety of three-toed antelope found only in debt-free areas of Congo.

 

If you missed the story about the inspiration behind "The Snake Who Ate Christmas", you can read that HERE.

Again, all proceeds benefit NewSpring's GameTime.

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Newspaper Article – 15 minutes with Joseph Sangl

The crusade has made the news …

Read it HERE!

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Dave Ramsey Quotes

Dave Ramsey is an official www.JosephSangl.com Financial Hero.

Dave just signed on to a primetime show on the new TV channel – Fox Business Network, and I am pumped up for Dave and his team.  I had the chance to visit with Dave at his Brentwood studios in August, and he mentioned that this deal was on the way.

Congratulations, Dave and team!  This is yet another result of staying the course, not being denied, and facing up to the challenges all along the way!  You guys ROCK! 

So with Dave's announcement, I thought I would list some of my favorite "Dave-isms"

  • "I like the way I've built wealth better than the way you haven't."
  • "Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else!"
  • "Here is how you spell 'paying too much' => M-A-L-L"
  • "I'm debt-free!"
  • "Listen to someone who has won with money.  Not your broke brother-in-law."
  • "Sell the car.  Just sell the car.  Get rid of the car."
  • "Amputate your debt.  Sell so much stuff that the kids are afraid they're next!"
  • "I've been broke, and I've been rich.  I prefer rich."

Way to go, Dave!

By the way, one of the biggest dreams of mine is to teach at a personal finance conference with Dave!  I am using the most powerful tool on earth to make it happen – PRAYER!

Read Joe's recent blog posts

Another story of life-change was released on the podcast today!  Have you listened to the Podcast from Joe?  To subscribe to the podcast using iTunes, click HERE.  If you do not have iTunes, you can download an mp3 by clicking HERE.

I like this link (and I love the cartoon!)

A great personal finance blogger at MyTwoDollars has written a great response to the question: "Do You Spend Money On Anything?" HERE.

Check out the cartoon!!!  I've seen people like that!!!  I think I WAS that person once!

FUNNY!

Way to go MyTwoDollars!

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Help! I’m Lost!

Yesterday, I was on the way to attend a funeral in an area of SC that I have never been to.

I obtained directions from Yahoo! and jumped in the car for an estimated (by Yahoo!) 33 minute drive.

After 2 hours and 15 minutes, I arrived back home – HAVING NEVER ARRIVED AT THE FUNERAL!!!

I have not experienced frustration like this in a long time.  It is humiliating, frustrating, and maddening all at the same time.

Now that I have time to review the situation, I now realize some of my key mistakes.

  1. I used a Yahoo! map
  2. I failed to follow the directions provided by the Yahoo! map
  3. I asked directions at a gas station and ended up entering a State Forest in the Appalachian Mountains!
  4. I wore a suit and tie – I think the tie cut off blood flow to my brain
  5. I went with my "feelings" and ended up never showing up at the appointed destination

What I should have done was sit down, review the map BEFORE I left for my destination to ensure that I clearly understood where I was headed.

Humiliating.

Kind of what it felt like when I first started making my money behave.  I felt like I had been running around in circles and without accomplishing anything.  I was humiliated.

For anyone who is out there that is just starting to make your money behave – make sure you put together a good plan.  Think it through.  It will help ensure that you arrive at the ultimate destination of financial freedom!

By the way, there are some excellent free financial tools located HERE to help you get started!

Read Joe's recent blog posts

Another story of life-change was released on the podcast today!  Have you listened to the Podcast from Joe?  To subscribe to the podcast using iTunes, click HERE.  If you do not have iTunes, you can download an mp3 by clicking HERE.

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