Archive for September 2007

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 rule!

Read Joe's recent blog posts

  Subscribe to 

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?

Read Joe's recent blog posts

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,, 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 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!!!

Read Joe's recent blog posts

  Subscribe to

Receive each post from via E-mail 

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"?

Read Joe's recent blog posts

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?

Read Joe's recent blog posts