Archive - January, 2008

Chance For A FREE Copy of My Book!

Rob Singleton, pastor of Southbrook Church in Weddington, NC (Charlotte), is giving away a copy of my book to the person with the best "funniest/dumbest financial decision you ever made" story.  There are LOTS of great stories that are there right now – it is worth the visit to read them!

You can click HERE to read his post, read others' stories, and share your own story!  You might just win the book!

You can order your own copy of I Was Broke. Now I'm Not HERE.













Financial Software – Part 1

Welcome to the latest series at – Financial Software!

One of the keys to maximizing your financial potential is to GET ORGANIZED.  Organization helps in so many ways.  It helps ensure that bills are paid on time, helps you locate a financial record swiftly, and allows you to focus on "doing" instead of "searching".

I am a huge fan of financial software, and in this series I will be reviewing different types of software that is available.

I personally use Microsoft's Money Software.  Microsoft recently changed the name of their Microsoft Money software to Microsoft Money Plus.

I have used Microsoft Money software since 2000.

The top reasons I use this software are:

  • Ease of use  Above everything else, financial software needs to be straight-forward and easy to use.  Microsoft Money is exactly that for me.
  • Multiple Accounts  I can manage multiple bank accounts and investment accounts within the same program
  • Reports It has tons of built-in reports that allow me to see where my money is going!
  • I always know exactly how much money is in all of my accounts!  This alone is worth the entire cost.  I know my balance to the exact penny, and I know if a transaction has cleared the bank or not.
  • When I earn or spend money, I am able to categorize the transaction.  For instance, when I pull out money for my cash envelopes, I am able to split the transaction into multiple categories.  Let's say I pull out $600.  I can split the cash withdrawal into the different categories I will use the money for – $300 for groceries, $100 for clothes, $100 for spending money, and $100 for restaurants.

In the next part of this series, I will share how I use Microsoft Money to better manage my money.

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More FLEs and FFEs – Coming Near You?

I am FIRED UP to announce some additional dates/locations for the Financial Learning Experience and Financial Freedom Experience!

The Financial Learning Experience will be at:

February 17, 2008  Pine Ridge Church  Burlington, NC

March 9, 2008  Hyde Park Baptist Church  Lumberton, NC 

April 16, 2008  Oak Leaf Church  Cartersville, GA 



The Financial Freedom Experience will be at:

February 29 & March 1  Gateway Community Church  Goldsboro, NC


I can't wait to make some more announcements in the very near future!

Interested in hosting a Financial Learning Experience or Financial Freedom Experience?  Contact me HERE!

Net Worth – How do you stack up?

I ran across an interesting link the other day.

You type in your age and income, and it tells you how you stack up against your peers.

It is ALARMING to see how little Americans are saving!

How do you stack up?  Check it out HERE.

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Comment from today’s post …

Written by someone who left their name as "I'm not bitter or anything":

"Our economy, the largest in the world, is driven by consumer spending. I say that you and Dave Ramsey have crusaded us right into a recession with your message of paying off your debts instead of taking that vacation and buying a 60″ flat screen when you get home – all courtesy of the Visa card.

I hope you're happy with yourself and can sleep at night as my 401k has now become a 301k."

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …

Readers:  What are your thoughts?

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Awesome privileges …

I was reviewing my credit card offers the other day, and I just starting laughing out loud!  It is a regular comedy act!

Here is what made me laugh:

  • The Visa Signature card states "This card has everything you want, even your initial."  HA HA HA HA HA!!!  It goes on to say, "… it proudly displays your monogram every time you lay it down.  Jennifer, this card is YOU!"   HA HA HA!
  • In the fine print of the above card, it says "We will allocate your payments to balances (including new transactions) with lower Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) (including zero percent) before balances with higher APRs."   The REAL credit card personality shows up in super large 2-pt font!
  • The Household Bank Platinum card says "Everything you like in a card. Including the design."  I don't like anything in a credit card.  They never helped me WIN with money.

When you look at your 200 – 250 credit card applications that you receive each year, what stands out to you?

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Filing Taxes Yourself This Year?

Are you filing your taxes yourself this year?

I have always prepared my own taxes each year.  I have used TurboTax every single year.

This software has been extremely helpful and straightforward to use.

I have considered using TurboTax's competitor, TaxCut (by H&R Block), but I always back out because TurboTax is designed to automatically transfer all of last year's information over to this year's return.

(I wonder if TaxCut can auto transfer a return put together using TurboTax?)

If you have a very simple tax return and plan on using 1040EZ, TurboTax provides their software and one federal tax filing for FREE

Otherwise, there is a cost for the software, but it is reasonably priced for such a good software package.

I've never had a problem with a filing I have made with TurboTax.

I am sure it is the same for TaxCut software, but I have not used the product.

By the way, I usually look at the Staples or Office Depot sales ads this time of year before purchasing my TurboTax software.  Usually, they will have a special – something like "Buy TurboTax and get a $10 gift card" deal.  I like that!  Last year, I ended up buying my software from Best Buy, and it came with a free wireless mouse.  It is a great mouse!  It was backordered and took over two months to get it, but they did ship it to me!

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What An Incredible Eight Days!

I have had a crusading dream the last eight days!

Let me recount the last eight days …

Sunday January 20th

Spoke at NewSpring Church for all four services!  You can watch an entire service HERE.  You should also check out Perry Noble's site as well.

Friday PM and Saturday AM (January 25th & 26th)

Taught the entire Financial Freedom Experience at NewSpring Church (over 300 attended!)  People drove 5 and 7 hours to come to this class.  That absolutely blows me away!

Saturday PM and Sunday AM (January 26th & 27th)

Taught at the weekend services at Southbrook Church, pastor Rob Singleton.

Sunday PM (January 27th)

Taught the Financial Learning Experience at Southbrook Church!

I got to speak eight times and teach both versions of my class in EIGHT DAYS!  It is UNBELIEVABLE that I get to do this for a living!  Oh yeah, I also see that there are 14 one-on-one financial counseling appointments on our calendar this week!!!!

To all who attended the classes or church services, THANK YOU!

You can see where the crusade will be next by clicking HERE.

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Unbelievable Stats

The wildly popular web site,, has lots of helpful FREE tools that can help you take your finances to the next level.

Until recently, I was not able to track how many times each of these tools was being downloaded.

About four months ago, I was able to establish the ability to track them!  The numbers are UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Let me share a few with you!

You can download your own FREE TOOLS by clicking HERE or by clicking the word "TOOLS" at the top of the page.

SO since these tools are being downloaded by you all – How are they working for you?  I LOVE to receive pictures of Debt Pay-Off Spectaculars in action too!  Especially if you have a Llama that you are paying off. 

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FIRED UP to be in Charlotte This Weekend!

When the Financial Freedom Experience finishes up tomorrow, I will be headed up to Southbrook Church in Weddington, NC to speak at their weekend services and teach the Financial Learning Experience in the afternoon!

I love taking the crusade on the road!

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Financial Freedom Experience – 40% Done

Tonight, I started teaching the Financial Freedom Experience "Weekend Edition"-style.

I have taught this class seven other times, but each time it was a "5 sessions over 5 weeks" class.

This evening and tomorrow morning, I am teaching all five sessions!

I am teaching it this way to enable those with crazy weekly schedules to be able to catch the class and still have a little bit of a weekend left!

Here are my thoughts about this evening:

  • There were people who drove 420 miles ONE WAY to come to this class.  I am blown away!  And I gave them a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace, Revisited book for their effort!
  • The volunteers on this crusade are incredible!
  • People want and need help with their finances and are so thankful that the church is TAKING ACTION!
  • I am more motivated and passionate about this crusade than I have ever been.  The need is so great.  The hurting is so real.  And it is totally unnecessary!  When one puts together an EZ Budget – forces it to be EZ – dumping the debt necessary to get there.  MAN!  That fires me up!  You can start your own budget by clicking on "TOOLS" at the top of the page!
  • Someone had me autograph a copy of my book.  ??????!!!
  • I love teaching practical tools.  If I had to teach "theory", I would be the most boring, listless, yawning mess you have ever seen.  I LOVE seeing people "GET IT" and go take control of their money.
  • Nearly 300 people paid money and are going through the class this time.  That blows me away!
  • Can't wait for tomorrow!

FFE Attendees:  See you in the morning – WITH YOUR HOMEWORK DONE!!!

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Financial Freedom Experience TONIGHT!


I am FIRED UP about the Financial Freedom Experience that is kicking off tonight at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC!

It's not too late to sign up!  You can sign up HERE or register in person starting at 6:00PM!

It is going to be a blast!

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Upcoming Events – Coming to an area near you?

I am FIRED UP to take the crusade on the road multiple times over the next several weeks!


January 25 (6:30PM – 9:00PM) & 26 (9:30AM – 1:00PM)

Financial Freedom Experience (Weekend Edition)NewSpring Church – Anderson, SC

January 26 (6:30PM) & 27 (8:30AM; 10:00AM; 11:30AM)

Speaking at Weekend Services – Southbrook Curch – Weddington, NC

January 27 (4:00PM – 6:00PM)

Financial Learning ExperienceSouthbrook Church – Weddington, NC

February 17 (10:00AM)

Speaking at Weekend Service – Pine Ridge Church – Burlington, NC

February 17 (Immediately following service)

Financial Learning ExperiencePine Ridge Church – Burlington, NC 

March 9 

Financial Learning ExperienceHyde Park Baptist Church – Lumberton, NC 

March 13 (1:45PM – 3:00PM)

Hosting a breakout session of the Unleash 2008 ConferenceNewSpring Church – Anderson, SC

April 16 (6:00PM)

Financial Learning ExperienceOak Leaf Church – Cartersville, GA


Interested in hosting the Financial Learning Experience or Financial Freedom Experience?  Contact Joe by clicking HERE!

Financial Freedom Experience – THIS WEEKEND!

If you are ready to take your finances to another level, I would love to see you at the Financial Freedom Experience THIS WEEKEND at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC!

There are people driving three hours, five hours, and even more just to come to this class!  That is incredible!


It is going to be an incredible time of FUN and LEARNING!  Every time I teach this class, I am blown away by the amount of life change that takes place when people manage their money God's way – ALL of it – the 10% and the 90%.

Watch THE PROMO VIDEO to see/hear the stories from some people who have went through the class.


Sign up for the class HERE

By the way, everyone who attends this weekend's class will receive a copy of my newly released book I Was Broke. Now I'm Not.!

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Yesterday Was The Gloomiest Day … NOT!!!

According to THIS ARTICLE, yesterday was the gloomiest day of the year.

A renowned psychologist did some statistical analysis and found six significant factors that made Monday, January 21, 2008 the gloomiest day of the year.

The factors?

  1. The weather
  2. Christmas debt
  3. A feeling of monotony after the Christmas cheer has faded
  4. Broken New Year's resolutions
  5. Low levels of motivation
  6. A desperate feeling that you need to act to improve your life

Let me see how these factors are affecting me right now …

Weather  Well, I live in South Carolina.  Yesterday was a beautiful, crisp sunny day.  Does not apply.

Christmas Debt  Not a chance!  This was the fifth year in a row that I paid CASH for Christmas.  I ain't EVER going back!  Does not apply.

Monotony after Christmas  Are you kidding me?  I spoke at NewSpring on Sunday.  This Friday/Saturday I am teaching the Financial Freedom Experience.  (You should come!)  Next Saturday evening and Sunday morning, I am speaking at Southbrook Community Church in Weddington, NC and then on Sunday afternoon, I will be teaching the Financial Learning Experience!  And, oh yeah, my FIRST BOOK WAS RELEASEDDoes not apply.

Broken New Year's Resolutions  NOPE.  I am making progress on them all.  Does not apply.

Low Levels of Motivation  Anyone who has ever met me knows that I am not calm.  I can't help but be excited by how much I have been blessed with in life!  Does not apply.

Desperate Need To Improve My Life  I am so blessed.  I am blessed way beyond what I ever deserve.  Does not apply.

I guess it is true.  When you are able to do EXACTLY what you have been put on earth to do, you are living a good life!

I thought yesterday was quite nice.

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