Archive - January, 2008

The Book Is Printed!

I am FIRED UP to announce that my first book, I Was Broke.  Now I'm Not!, is now in existence.  It will be released on January 20th!

On January 20th, it will be available for purchase through this web site.  In mid-February, it will be available via!

This is one of my key "Wagon Staplers".  It is one key way to help people "stay on the wagon".

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Yet another success story!!!

You have GOT to check out THIS LINK!

I spoke at Jeff's church in early December and taught the Financial Learning Experience!

There is NOTHING like having the pastor of the church lead the way to Debt Freedom!

I'm proud of you, Jeff and Michelle!

Anyone else want to share a success story? 

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My Cat and The Podcast

Yesterday, I was recording the weekly "I Was Broke.  Now I'm Not!" podcast (iTunes; Non-iTunes) at an abnormal location – my house.

I experienced a technical difficulty at about 2 minutes 36 seconds into the podcast.  The technical difficulty?  My stupid cat.

Having never recorded the podcast at my house before, I failed to realize that my cat would show up and request (demand) to be petted.  She came trotting in – collar bell ringing and all.

The result?  Well, I can't really describe it, but it was all caught on the podcast.  I have cut that section out for your listening pleasure HERE.  A few seconds into it, you will start hearing the cat's jingling bell.  You will hear it close in on the microphone and then …  well, you will have to listen to it!

Why not SUBSCRIBE to the podcast?  A new episode is issued every Thursday morning and is less than 10 minutes in length!  In each podcast, I share a success story and a question from the community.  I promise you that you will be motivated and inspired by this podcast!

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Changing It Up! Financial Freedom Class “Weekend Edition”

I am pleased to announce that we have changed up the Financial Freedom Class!  For one time only, I will be teaching this five session class over the course of one weekend – January 25th and 26th – in Anderson, SC at NewSpring Church!

Friday, January 25th: 6:30PM to 9:00PM

Saturday, January 26th:  9:30AM to 1:00PM

You will be able to complete the entire Financial Freedom Experience in just one weekend!  This five-session class will teach you how to:

  • Get your finances in order
  • Use your tax refund in the best way possible
  • Pay cash for Christmas 2008
  • Avoid nasty credit card bills
Sessions include "Planning & Budgeting", "Saving & Debt", "Investing", "Insurance", and "Sustaining The Gains". 
Attendees will also receive a copy of Joe's soon-to-be released book, I Was Broke.  Now I'm Not!
I would LOVE to see the NewSpring Church auditorium packed out for this event!  Attendance will be capped at 2,500 people, and we would LOVE to have that problem!


The cost is $20/person or $30/family. 

You can find out more details and sign up for this event HERE or by visiting the Information Center at NewSpring Church on Sundays!

If you are from out of town, you can attend the event and then attend Sunday services at NewSpring ChurchLodging arrangements can be found HERE

Make 2008 THE YEAR that you get your financial house in order!  SIGN UP HERE!

VISA, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX For Emergencies?

I read THIS ARTICLE yesterday.

All I could think was "But for the grace of God, there am I!"

Here are some lines that stood out to me:

  • … consumer borrowing rose at an annual rate of 7.4 percent in November
  • … The category that includes credit card debt surged at an annual rate of 11.3 percent …reflecting the fact that shoppers are continuing to rely heavily on their credit cards to finance purchases …
  • … Economists believe that consumers are being forced to rely more heavily on borrowing on their credit cards with the collapse of the housing market …
  • The overall increase left total consumer credit at a record $2.51 trillion.

There was a day where a market like today's market would have CRUSHED my family's home economy.  And it would have been ALL MY FAULT because I was managing my money HORRIBLY!

The above article just reinforces the absolute necessity of having an Emergency Fund.  The more, the better!  At least $1,000.  If you have children or own a home, make it at least $2,500.  If you have paid off all of your debt except the house, make it three to six times your monthly expenses!

That is a decision I have NEVER regretted!

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Google 411 – A Tool You NEED to know!

Ever paid money when you used 411 to find out a phone number?  Never pay it again!

I have not paid a dime for a 411 service for at least a year because I use Google 411.

The toll-free number is 1-800-466-4411

Go ahead and save it into your cell phone contact list now!  It has saved me money and frustration multiple times!

I bet the Saving Freak will be really proud of this money-saving idea!

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FRUCALL – A Tool You NEED to know!

Another great tool to share with readers! 

Ever been in the middle of a store about to purchase something and wonder, "I wonder if I am getting this for the best price?"

Now you can KNOW!

Let me set up how this service can be used with a real-life story this last weekend!

One of Jenn's Christmas presents was a new piece of luggage.  I wanted her to pick it out – so we went to the store and picked it out.  It was a wonderful piece of luggage – expensive – but this brand has lasted for me.  I really like this brand, but I wanted to make sure I was getting the absolute best deal possible on it.

How am I able to know?  By dialing 1-888-363-7822!  It is a toll-free number offered by FRUCALL.

After you dial the number, it asks you to type in the bar code number.  When you type in the bar code number, it will tell you the LOWEST PRICE this item is currently offered for and WHERE you can purchase it for that price!

It comparison shops for you!

When I entered the bar code number, it told me the name of the product and the current lowest price for the luggage.  It was $3 cheaper on Amazon.  I went ahead and purchased the item in the store.  It was worth it to me to pay $3 extra and have it now than wait a couple of days.

Go ahead – try it out!  Pick up a book next to you and call the number.  Find out the cheapest price it is currently available for! 

Readers – Try this out and let me know how it helps you!

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – January 2008

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Every month there will be an update of Joe & Jenn's Home Pay-Off Spectacular!  The third monthly update is TODAY!

We are even more fired up about getting rid of the mortgage!!!  Why?  Because we HAVE TAKEN REAL ACTION to reduce our expenses so that we can send even more money toward principal!

So Jenn and I have shook hands and made an agreement that the house payments will be gone within by October 2011 (Three years and 10 months).  You guys will all get to watch the mortgage leave by watching the "Sangl Family Home Pay-Off Spectacular" turn green!  By the way, I have a stretch goal of October 2010.  It is a HUGE STRETCH.

On with this month's update!

Here is the update!

Total Squares:  2,426

Paid-For Squares:  691 709

Squares Remaining:  1737 1719

% of House Owned By The Sangl's:  28.5% 29.2%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  71.5% 70.8%

Although it does not look like it, Jenn and I mailed EXTRA money toward the house this past month as a result of the gains we made through our intentional spending cuts!  In two more months, we will own the east wall of our house!  I am so excited!!!

By using the "Early Pay-Off Calculator" on the TOOLS page, our house will be paid off in 77 months (6 years and 5 months).  In order to achieve our target of 3 years and 10 months (and my own stretch goal of 2 years and 10 months), we really need to start making larger payments.  Let's see what next month brings!

I'm predicting a larger payment!

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REMINDER: 354 Days Until Christmas!

For those of you who were wondering …

CHRISTMAS is only 354 days away!!!

Are you going to be able to Pay CASH for Christmas this year? 

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A Debt Pay-off Spectacular In Action!

I LOVE seeing Debt Pay-Off Spectacular's in action!

This one is in action in Wilmington, NC and Jeff Kapusta, pastor of Lifepoint Church is the one paying off his VAN!

Go to THIS BLOG POST and click on the "Pay This Sucker Off" link to see the picture!!!

Way to go, Jeff!!!  Only 67 squares to go by my count!!!

You can get your OWN Debt Pay-off Spectacular FREE by clicking HERE!

You can even get a copy of a Llama Pay-Off Spectacular!!!   You never even knew the benefits of reading this blog, did you?

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By the way, Jeff Kapusta is one of the coolest people I have ever met.

Investments – Having Fun Watching Them DROP in Value?!

Every single month, I update my net worth numbers.  It helps me track my investments, plus it helps me understand first-hand what is going on with the market.

For those who are not complete nerds like me, you calculate your net worth by adding up all of your assets (everything that has value like houses, cars, investments) and subtracting all of your liabilities (debts like mortgages, credit cards, car loans, etc.)

Over the first part of this year, it was always a lot of fun updating the numbers, but lately …  It has not been much fun!

In fact, over the past two months I have seen my net worth drop by 3.45%!!!

However, I am not stopping investing!  In fact, I am investing even more!!!  Why?  Because I view this like a sale!  I can buy shares of my favorite mutual funds at a discount!  They are on sale!

It is not fun watching them drop in value, but this is money that I won't need for at least thirty years!

The great thing is that there are two ways to increase your net worth – INCREASE your Assets OR DECREASE your Liabilities.

Jenn and I are investing every single month – That INCREASES our Assets!

We are also aggressively paying off our mortgage! – That DECREASES our Liabilities!

We can't help but do well with money!  I am glad this stuff is not too difficult!

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Marching To Debt Freedom – Couple #2 – Month 04

This couple is THROUGH with debt!  It has now been four months since they announced that they were breaking up with debt.

Here is the update.

What went well this month …
We had a great December!!  We finished all of our Christmas shopping and paid for every dime of it in cash!!  We had extra money come in during December and paid extra on the Discover card, which brought the balance down a lot.  We finally got a handle on the cash envelopes and made them last during this month.  We are very excited about how far we have come in only FOUR months.  For anyone who is on the fence about trying Joe's program…GO FOR IT NOW!!!!  We are so happy with our progress, but can't help but to think how far ahead we would be if we had only started sooner.  But…  we are very proud of our success and are looking forward to being debt free.

Challenges and struggles for this month …
Believe it or not, this month was pretty easy.  We planned for everything (trip to Florida, trip to Georgia, Christmas presents, Best Friend's birthday, etc.).  Since we try to look ahead each month there aren't as many surprises.  I can't think of anything that was a struggle or challenge for December.  It is getting easier!!

Here is their updated Debt Freedom Date calculation …

Month By Month Progress …

Sangl says …
Did you notice that Couple #2 paid off ANOTHER credit card?!!!  This couple is experiencing a time of blessing, and they are utilizing it as the opportunity to become debt-free!  Another $27 and this couple will have paid off over $10,000 in debt!  That is INCREDIBLE!!!  They have reduced their debt by 13.9%!!!

I am FIRED UP by the progress this couple is making!  They have been at this for FOUR months, but did you notice what is happening to their Debt Freedom Date Calculation?  It has went down SIX months!  They are two months ahead of schedule already!  This is why I regularly say that people who commit to becoming debt-free usually achieve it in 2/3 of the time calculated by the Debt Freedom Date Calculation.  Why?  Because when people are truly committed to accomplishing debt freedom, they will put off some "wants" and redirect that money toward their debt!

Readers …

Are you feeling the momentum that this couple has with them?  It is January.  Early January.  Why not make this year THE YEAR that you take control of your money and start your own Debt Freedom March?

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Marching To Debt Freedom – Couple #1 – Month 04


Couple #1 is THROUGH with debt!  They have been married for many years and have two children.  They are now four months into their march.  Here is this month's update.

What went well this month …

We paid cash for Christmas, and we didn't spend as much this year.  Our kids are older, and it is not so much about the gift as it is about showing your family how much they mean to you.

Challenges and struggles for this month …

Only minimum payments were paid this month.  That means wasted interest and delayed freedom but our day will come.  2008 will be a watershed year, or should I say a debt shedding year.  I am jacked up about it.  I plan on sleeping better because I don't have to worry who I am going to pay tomorrow. 

Updated Debt Freedom Date …

Month By Month Progress …

Sangl says …

This month Couple #1 has experienced something that every single person who attempts to pay off debt WILL EXPERIENCE – They encountered a Budget-Busting Expense.  They chose (rightly) to AVOID MORE DEBT by paying the minimum payments.  This allowed them to PAY CASH for Christmas!

Think about it this way.  How demoralizing would it be for you to be attacking your debt and then have to turn back to debt because you do not have money for a budget-busting expense?  It has derailed many attempts at achieving debt freedom.  Don't let this happen to you!  Choose to do what Couple #1 did – slow down enough on the debt freedom march to have the cash on hand for your budget-busting expenses!

Way to go Couple #1!  I am FIRED UP by your progress!  You guys are inspiring THOUSANDS to take control of their finances!  I can't WAIT for your Debt Freedom Party!

Readers …

You too can PAY CASH for next Christmas!  Read the series "Save Money For Next Christmas" to avoid debt during Christmas 2008!

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