NEW FEATURE: Success Stories!

Today, I proudly introduce a new feature of – Success Stories!

Beginning today, there will be a link on the sidebar that links to this post.  Why?  Because this is THE SPOT where you can tell the entire community about your financial successes – both great and small!

Did you save money on car insurance?  We want to hear about it!

Did you try out cash envelopes and save money at the grocery store?  We want to hear about it!

Did you put together your first-ever monthly budget and actually follow it?  We want to hear about it!

I want to hear your stories!  We all want to hear your stories!  Let's see if we can get 1,000 success stories by the end of the year!

I am going to list one of my recent success stories first!  Who's next?

Read recent posts written by Joe 


  1. jsangl on November 19, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Sangl Says …

    I re-evaluated my spending habits and have found enough money to color in an extra square each month on the Sangl Family Home Pay-Off Spectacular – by reducing the cable bill! This one move will allow me to pay off over $840 extra PER YEAR!

  2. David Nanney on November 20, 2007 at 4:08 am


    Thanks to you and Clark Howard, we have cut back numerous expenses. I’ll list a few:

    Security monitoring – just called and asked for a lower monthly rate – they cut $6 per month

    Car Insurance – I have changed insurance twice in a year for a total yearly savings of almost $600 ! ! ! ! !

    Telephone – bought a Magic Jack ( for $40 first year with unlimited long distance

    Cell – though my company, Verizon offers a 10% discount – just for having my work email address!

    We use a no-fee credit card with cash back bonuses and our only debt is the mortgage!

    Keep up the crusade – you are truly an inspiration!

  3. sydney on November 20, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Proverbs 13:11
    Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

    I graduated college in Dec. ’05 with $28 to my name.

    After the first year of budgeting and following the cash envelopes I evaluated my finances at the end of ’06:

    48% of my gross income for the year went toward saving or giving and the other 52% went to taxes and living expenses.

    At the end of ’07:

    I have no debt

    Emergency fund is fully loaded

    3-6 months savings is almost complete

    I was able to make a pledge toward the GameTime campaign

    That’s insane for a 20 something 2 years out of college.

    WOW!!!!!!!!!! This stuff WORKS and GOD IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

  4. David J. West, Sr on November 22, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    Just wanted to say THANKS for GIVING us hope!

    We just paid off the third debt in our snowball! Good-bye to Wachovia and 401K loan, watch out Lowes and Target! You’re next! I am so pumped to see those dominoes starting to fall. It took a while for us to knock down the first few, but momentum is starting to build.

    I have found myself whistling “If I were a rich man” the past few days because I feel like I am a rich man. Thinking back just a week ago … my wife and I were talking …

    “(her)I’m so tired of having to scrape by until the next paycheck. (me)Me too, but just think, next paycheck we’ll be able to pay most of the credit union overdraft. Then the next, we’ll pay off that and start on our Lowes credit. The next paycheck we’ll pay off the Lowes credit and start on the Target credit card. In two more paychecks we’ll pay off Target and by then the car loan will be paid off too. By March, the only debt we’ll have is the home equity loan. Think of how much we’ll be able to do then. (her)I can hardly wait for that day!”

    It took a couple of months for us to start believing and get the spirit of it, but now we are pumped!

    Thank God for New Spring and Joe Sangl.

  5. » on November 25, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    […] […]

  6. Jill on November 26, 2007 at 7:55 am

    I created a Christmas escrow account in June and saved up $350 for Christmas. I am using the mini budget form to go shopping along with cash. I also went in with my sister to split who I have to buy for.

  7. Bryan Collins on November 27, 2007 at 8:23 am


    I wanted to share some of my experiences with paying cash for large purchases.

    -Before our Daughter was born we needed a larger vehicle, so we purchased a $16,000 mini-van for $9,500 just for paying with cash, taking our time & negotiating.

    -The second large item we purchased with cash was a $!,499 matress that we purchased for $850. The owner laughed & was appalled when I offered him $800 cash, as I was buckling our daughter into her car seat the owner came outside with an offer of $850… Sold!

    Joe keep up your good work.

  8. Cathy on November 28, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I can honestly say that you got me fired up…so fired up that I told my husband “We’ve got to do something”. We’ve always felt like we didn’t have a lot of debt, but we still seemed to just barely get by.

    The first month we decided to make an honest effort to get a handle on things we tracked our miscellaneous spending. The total was almost exactly what we were over spending. The problem is that we don’t do a lot of big dollar purchases. So where is our money going.

    I’m now realizing that it is the hidden debt that is getting to us. Payments of $50 here $75 there, they really add up and eat away at the money you need for that miscellaneous spending to get the things you truly need.
    A few little things that we’ve done that seem to be helping:
    – Paid off a credit card -we were paying $50/mo
    – Dropped digital cable ($25 extra on top of basic-not ready to do away with it completely)
    – only eat out lunch 1 time a week (once for me and once for him)
    – Created new spending rules and displayed in the kitchen “Make a list/Stick to the list/payoff small debt first”
    (We estimate about a $200 difference just by being a little more disciplined.)

    Our next step is deciding to pay off an equity line ($3200) or a car loan ($5000)($300/mo). Both have great rates, but the car loan interest is not deductible. We are in an ARM loan which will need to be refinanced in the spring and we could pay the equity line off at that time. Then the only debt we would have is a mortgage.

    We still have a lot of work to do, but I wanted to take a minute to send a big THANK YOU for inspiring others to take control of their debt.

    Looking forward to saving more~

  9. David Nanney on December 3, 2007 at 3:14 pm


    Just received an offer in the mail similar to your ING $25 bonus. This one is from e-trade bank. Rumor has it they are in need of money…ha ha ha

    Open the account with a minimum of $1 by December 3, 2007.

  10. […] When you have a success story, be sure to share it with the community by clicking the blue "Success Stories" box on the right or click HERE! […]

  11. Daniel on December 11, 2007 at 10:19 am

    I took Joe’s advice during the savings portion of his 5 week class at church. I started taking my loose change and $1 bills and putting them in a bowl when I get home. I started with $25 and now have over $100 in the bowl. Putting the change and $1 in there keeps me from using them in vending machines at work. I am still not debt free but we are working the plan… Keep up the good work Joe!

  12. A God thing... on December 13, 2007 at 7:48 am

    I love to shop at Goodwill (“clothes” budget goes much farther). Well, one day I bought a pair of pants for $3 and a few days later I found $25 in an obscure pocket. 🙂 It was awesome – like finding money in a winter coat, except I hadn’t lost this money!! The funny thing was I had [reluctantly] helped someone put gas in their car earlier that week…it cost $25. God made me laugh that day and reminded me that he is in everything, even your budget.

  13. Jeff Kapusta on December 13, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Just got faster internet and my bill cut in half.
    Thanks Joe!

  14. Jason on December 26, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    My wife and I listen to the podcast from down under & use some of the resources on this site. THANK YOU! We have had a huge year financially. Here are some highlights:

    *Student loan gone!
    *Credit card gone!
    *Car lease gone! (admittedly we now have a car loan, the repayments are less than the lease & we are making extra repayments)
    *Christmas paid for in cash!

    Thanks again Joe!

  15. jane on December 27, 2007 at 11:56 am

    12.5 month update….

    Joe we started our cash budget on Dec 2nd of 2006. Here are some random things we have achieved or noticed:

    we use less than one case of paper towels in our home in a year…yes I marked the last roll in the cubard and it was over a year ago that we made our last paper towel purchase.

    we use about 3.5 bottles of large dishwasher detergent in a year.

    we use about 3 large bottles of Tide a year

    we use a three pack from Sam’s club coffee filters in a year.

    I mark all bottles/boxes as I open them to see how long I can make it stretch. It has become a game and challenge to see how long stuff can be stretched. I also am working on the once a year shopping and needed an idea of how much to purchase.


    We made a pledge toward Gametime.

    We purchased a new front loading clothes washer.

    We paid in full and cash, the ticket and cost of hosting a child from Belarus in our home for SIX weeks this summer. And sent back over $250 cash for their home.

    We purchased a new daybed for the TV room.

    We have $600 OVER our budget left from our utilities budget for the year. This money will be going to one new “life happens” event of 2008….so we don’t have to worry about the expenses along the way to this event.

    We are more green in our home, attempting to save money and our planet at the same time. We are slated to have a community garden in our back yard, helping more than our family reduce our grocery bill.

    And on top of that…. we have not had a fight about money since your sermon in November of 2006!!! now THAT is a HUGE PRAISE GOD!!!

    God has rocked our world through the teaching at NS…and I am sooooo thankful for that! Look out 2008….we are on a mission!

  16. jane on December 27, 2007 at 12:09 pm


    I always have extra gas money at the end of the month

    We have gone out on date night every other week (can’t do it every week do to Jack’s work schedule)

    We spent 6 nights at a wonderful B&B in August, and then again for 3 more nights in November.

    So we have had fun while saving money!

  17. Russell Haywood on January 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Attended your seminar when you spoke at LifePoint Church in Wilmington. You have some great resources for all to use. We recently sold our home and decided to pay off all our debt except for my truck and find a more resonable home to live in the area. We are comitted to staying out of debt and thank you for the support you offer through your website.

    Keep up the good work and God Bless you and your family.



  18. Lisa on January 26, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    The FFE this weekend was awesome! I signed up for the financial counseling as well! Thanks for inspiring me to create a plan for my finances. I took your credit card challenge and called to ask for a 0% interest rate. They didn’t give me 0%, but they lowered my rate from 14.29% to 12.29% just for asking. It’s a small victory, but I’ll take it.

  19. Lisa on February 4, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    As I was doing my budget after the FFE, I realized I had been spending loads of money on going out to lunch everyday. Now I go home to eat lunch and put the money I save in the ING account I opened. Thanks Joe! Keep up the good work!!

  20. Geoffrey Janes on February 5, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Ok – so Joe was at our church a couple of weeks ago ( At the end of his Financial Learning Experience class he said to call and compare auto insurance rates every two years. I thought I was getting a great rate, but I thought ‘What the heck, I’ll give it a shot.’ So I started calling around, and wouldn’t you know it! I just switched to a different auto and home insurance plan. I am going to save $450 this year! Unbelievable!

    Thanks Joe for the kick in the pants!


  21. M&T on February 7, 2008 at 9:17 am

    At our last meeting with Joe, he recommended we contact a couple of different agencies to reduce our payments. He recommended we contact area insurance carriers to reduce our monthly payments, as well as contact our internet carrier.

    For our internet, we reduced our monthly payments from $50 to $25 and even added cable service with the internet! We are saving $300 a YEAR!

    Secondly, I recently made a change in our insurance since our other policy was running out. We were able to save $40 a month by moving from Traveler’s to State Farm!! So we are saving $480 a YEAR!! We even got a better policy than what we had with Traveler’s.

    All we had to do was make some calls and be persistent in calling until we got what we wanted. Joe, thanks again for your guidance! We are jacked up and starting to make bigger moves toward getting out of debt!! We are saving almost $800 a YEAR through your coaching!!

  22. Angie Simmons on February 17, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    My husband and I unfortunately had to file BR last August with no other options in order to save our house and keep a roof over our small sons head. We didn’t want to do this, but after evaluating all our options which were few we made that decision. We are now on a budget and it has taken 6 months to get ourselves organized and on track, but we are now headed down the right road. A friend of mine at work told me about this website and said he is really cool and has good advice. I found out for myself that he is right. I now have the envelope mehthod in place and also we don’t eat out as much as we use too. We now have all our basic bills, our house payment and BR payment on a plan that lets us save money and get everyone paid that needs to be paid on time not late. I am just praying that we can stick to this and not get back into spending money like we use too. We also have a christmas club in place for chirstmas 2008. All is well when put in Gods hands

  23. Jennifer on March 13, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I wanted to share another success story about GROCERIES! I shop only at PUBLIX for my groceries and I have a home daycare business (6 children) plus my husband and I… my grocery bill… $42 (average per week last year)Oh yeah, we have 2 cats and 2 dogs too! $42!!! At PUBLIX!!!! It is super easy to save a ton of money on your groceries. I do buy 1 Sunday paper (coupons), publix doubles coupons that are .50 and less, you can use a Publix store coupon and a manufacturers coupon for 1 item, and on Sunday/Monday they have a “penny item”. The penny item is as long as you spend $10 you can ask to get the penny item. For .01 I have gotten milk, crackers,bleach, soda,paper towels, toilet paper… just about anything!Plus every week, Publix has several BOGO items. If you begin to shop there regularly you will learn what items go on sale, and when. So when I shop I stock up on items long enough to last until the next time they are BOGO. You don’t have to buy 2. They also have a Baby Club and Preschool Pals program that you can sign up for to get even MORE COUPONS!!!!!You can also buy coupons on Ebay.. yes, buy coupons. I just recently bought $84 worth of publix coupons for $12.The coupons are save $1.00 on any produce item, save $5.00 on $30 purchase, save 1.00 on any grocery item, etc. I love the atmosphere there, the people, the service. For all you Walmart grocery shoppers.. you are spending WAY more than you need to!

    Example: Colgate Toothpaste
    On sale 3 for $5.00= $1.67 each
    1.67-.50coupon -.50dbl coupon= .67

  24. chrysler car leasing on March 13, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    I think everyone should have a hybrid car.

  25. Lisa on March 16, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Wal-Mart’s $4.00 prescription plan is wonderful! You can go to to see the list of prescription medications that are just $4.00! Two of my prescriptions are on the list. I get one month supply of both of them for $4 each. You don’t have to have insurance to take advantage of this!! I had no idea Wal-Mart did this until someone at work told me about it. My doctor prescribed an allergy medicine that I was buying over the counter. I realized it was on the $4 list, so I asked her to give me a written prescription so I could take it to Wal-Mart and get it for $4. Hurray for the $4.00 program!!!

  26. Lisa on March 16, 2008 at 11:37 am

    My mom has said for years that people don’t know where to shop for bargains. Her advice has rubbed off on me and I now find myself shopping at Family Dollar, Dollar General, The Dollar Tree, and Fred’s. You can get grocery items for cheap at these places. They also have other stuff you would normally find at Wal-Mart. These stores have name brand and generic stuff like shampoo, lotion, deodorant, hair color, toilet paper, cleaning products, makeup, razors, shaving creme, hair accessories, car wash, sunglasses……and the list goes on. The Dollar Tree is my favorite because everything is $1.00. The only catch with that is you can probably get a few of the items for less than $1.00 at one of the other stores I mentioned (like toothpaste and shampoo).

  27. jane on March 24, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Joe, I had a “life happens” event back on Feb 4th… even tho’ it was out-patient with good insurance, we still had to pay $1,800 out of pocket….and when that bill came, Jack wrote a check, why, cause we were prepared for life! Jane

  28. Dave on June 27, 2008 at 7:49 am

    Hey Joe, I’m “fired up” about you being so “fired up”. I’m ready to set my hair on fire and monkey stomp some debt. EEYYYOOWWW!!!

    I learned of you in the most recent issue of Money magazine – probably the best issue of Money I’ve seen over the last couple years – and have listened to about 2/3 of your podcasts over the last week and hope to catch up the rest over the weekend.

    I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey and following his advice for the last year and love finding like-minded podcasts or reading materials to further fuel and reinforce my efforts so I thank you for contributions in that space.

    I just wanted to share my success-to-date so perhaps I can return the motivational fodder that I glean from your podcast success stories.

    Over the last year, I’ve cleared over $155k in debt (including the selling of an under performing rental property), I wrote final checks for 2 credit cards just last night and am on target to be debt-free-but-the-house in early March 09. I find myself wishing away this time so I need some balance there but the excitement is real. I now actually look forward to the bills coming in the mail because now that can only mean one thing… it’s THAT time of the month… yep, MONKEY STOMPING TIME!!!

    Thanks… looking forward to picking up a copy of your book.


  29. Dave on July 23, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Hey Joe, I’m fired up and I’m not kidding… when I saw that you were offering a free book for the best success story post and then saw that there were no new success story posts since my last post in June, I knew I had a fighting chance.

    I’ll largely borrow from that post as I think it covered the bases pretty well.

    I learned of you in the most recent issue of Money magazine – probably the best issue of Money I’ve seen over the last couple years – and have now listened to all your podcasts within a few days of reading the Money article.

    I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey and following his advice for the last year and love finding like-minded podcasts or reading materials to further fuel and reinforce my efforts so I thank you for contributions in that space.

    I just wanted to share my success-to-date so perhaps I can return the motivational fodder that I glean from your podcast success stories.

    Over the last year, I’ve cleared over $155k in debt (including the selling of an under performing rental property), I wrote final checks for 2 credit cards in June and plan to write another final check later today! We’re also on target to be debt-free-but-the-house in early March 09. I find myself wishing away this time so I need some balance there but the excitement is real. I now I actually look forward to the bills coming in the mail because now that can only mean one thing… it’s THAT time of the month… yep, MONKEY STOMPING TIME!!!

    Thanks… looking forward to picking up a copy of your book.


  30. Mary Beth on August 24, 2009 at 3:12 pm


    I just wanted to type up a personal note to say thank you! Our (my husband and I) success story is still currently in the works, but we would not have gotten the fuel to light the fire of our finances if it wasn’t for you and your book! We’ve been attending a weekly group study of your book at Fair Oaks Church in VA. Not only have your words and wisdom helped us to grow financially, pay attention, and become more disciplined, but the 1 hour study group itself has allowed us to focus and reflect on what we’re doing w/our money, where it’s going, and where we want it to go! Praise God for using you to motivate and inspire others! I once believed that I would inherit the bad habits of my parents when it came to $ – end of story. After piles of debt, it seemed a bit hopeless. The biggest change was realizing that it all came down to God’s fruit of the spirit – self-control! Just rethinking our own behavior and having just a little discipline goes a long way! 🙂 Thank you for inspiring us and giving us the motivation to make changes, put a lot of $ in savings, pay off card after card, and be closer to our dreams! May God continue to watch over your ministry and use us to share the inspiration and financial tools w/others.

  31. Sam on November 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    My girlfriend and I attended your finacial learning experience in Florence at the Francis Marion Campus. You inspired us to take control of our finances. We have had a working monthly budget, working envelope system, and have paid off 1,800 dollars on her credit card. The balance on the card will be less than 1,000 dollars next month. Thank you Joe

  32. Katie on December 4, 2009 at 2:50 pm


    Ever since hearing you speak at our church this summer my husband and I have dedicated ourselves to getting out of debt and becoming financially free. It hasn’t been an easy road but just by paying more attention to where our money goes and trying to make wise choices we have paid off around $12,000.00 in debt!! We still have about that same amount to go but the Lord can do great things and we are hoping to have it completely paid off by this summer. We too are expecting a baby boy in early Feb. and want to be able to start our family off on the right foot debt free. Your tools have been great and every time I want to give up I just think about how you talk about being financially free so you are free to do what God has planned for you. I hope to honor God with our finances ( all of them not just 10%) and I hope to pass this way of life along to my children.

  33. […] Joe often says, “When people become financially free, they are much more likely to go do exactly what they have been put on Earth to do!”  That is what I Was Broke Now I’m Not is all about. For more stories of financial freedom experienced by churches and families, visit Joe’s blog. […]

  34. Louie Fonck on April 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm

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  35. Shanda on July 30, 2011 at 6:22 am


    Just wanted to say thanks for putting things together that make it simple and easy! I did not have a lot of debt, but wanted to do a few things differently and your tools have helped me a great deal. In fact, I have gotten so much peace of mind by utilizing your system that I recommend your website and your tools to friends and my clients on a regular basis.

    I work as a financial advisor, and use your budget sheet to help people see that the CAN afford to save for retirement: I put “retirement” into the Known, Upcoming Expenses part of the monthly budget and plug in whatever amount makes sense for my client. By doing this, I have helped several people see that they truly can afford to put money into a Roth IRA, a college savings plan for their child or grandchild, or their company 401k.

    Thank you for being brave enough to put your story out there and share what you have learned!

  36. Jim on May 2, 2012 at 7:05 am

    My credit was in the toilet due to a rough divorce 3 years ago. I wasn’t swimming in debt but I did have HIGH interest credit cards ( 30% ). I attended Joe’s seminars at my church on April 29th & 30th. I explained my challenges to Joe. He made a few small suggestions to me but insisted that I do them RIGHT AWAY!!!When I got home I called the master card company and spoke to them and they immediately reduced my 30.1% to 11.9%. Discover card was next. This card was 29.9% They immediately took $86 OFF of my bill. I spoke to them and they said that they would reduce my card to 20.84%. Since I had attended a Joe Sangl seminar & read HALF (yes half) of his book that night, I listened to Joe when he said “TELL THEM THAT’S NOT THE PERCENTAGE RATE THAT I HAD IN MIND”!!!They then transfered me to someone else (five transfers later)I had a rate of 12.99%.
    I GET TO pay off my x-wife’s car this month and am on a fast track to becoming debt free.

    Thanks Joe, YOU ROCK!!!!!!!

  37. Donna McDaniel on September 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    We are trying to live financial life according to Joe. While we haven’t yet perfected the EZ (copyright) budget, we have established the “no more credit” rule. And, let me tell you that the enemy is seriously blasting at our decision. Since our decision a mere 5 weeks ago, our daughter has needed 4 wisdom teeth surgically removed, a car has needed repairs (water pump replaced, idler pulley replaced, belt replaced), and now we’re being told one needs a tooth implant b/c through no fault of anyone the previously cemented fake tooth (bicycle accident) has decided to not stick anymore! Even so, when I wanted to buckle, and said “car repair on credit card?” my husband (God bless him and his faith) said “No!” Fortunately we had just received a pay check. He said to pay it with cash and we’d tighten belts and/or use savings later in the month if need be.

    Thanks, Joe for your insights. We’re making progress. I admit if feels great to NOT use a credit card. Hopefully soon we’ll be better at making and following our EZ (copyright) budget. 🙂

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