Archive - June, 2008

Personal Finance Art Contest

For our eleventh anniversary, Jenn and I visited the High Art Museum in Atlanta, GA.  It was very nice, and it inspired me to practice my outstanding art skills.

The theme of my drawing is "Sangl's Finances Sketched In Still Life".  Click on the picture to admire a larger version.

I am so inspired by drawing this "instant masterpiece" that I want to host a "Personal Finance Art Contest".  The theme is "Finances In Still Life".  Below are the rules, and I can't wait to see the capabilities of the JosephSangl.com audience!

Rules

  • Joe can change the rules at any time.
  • All submitted art will be prepared in a blog post and voted on by JosephSangl.com readers.
  • The winner will be awarded a prize pack which includes:
  • All art must be submitted to josephsanglblog@yahoo.com by July 11.
  • Joe has the right to use your art as long artist credit is provided.

If I am lucky, AVCLUB will participate.

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Personal Finance SERIES on JosephSangl.com

Have you checked out all of the series that have been featured on JosephSangl.com?

 

What series would you like to see featured at JosephSangl.com?

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HULU.com = Cheap Entertainment

About six months ago, AVCLUB introduced me to Hulu.com.

Hulu.com is a HUGE database of movies and TV shows (past and present) that you can watch for FREE!

You will have to watch a couple of commercials during the shows, but it is FREE!

If you have a high-speed internet connection, check it out!

I am sure that The Saving Freak is proud of me for this money saving tip!

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SERIES: Negotiate A Pay Raise – Part 5

I write a lot about how to eliminate expenses and reduce the OUTGO from one's home economy, but there is another side to the equation and that is INCOME.  INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO works a lot better when the INCOME is increased!

This series is focused on one key way that INCOME can be increased and that is to Negotiate A Pay Raise.  In each part, I will be sharing how I have successfully negotiated pay raises in the past.  I hope this series helps you do the same!

Part 5 – "Negotiation"

Once I received a response from my manager, I took time to compare it to what I requested.  If it was everything I asked for (it never was), I obviously would have accepted it.  Since my offers were not exactly what I requested, I prepared for a negotiation.

As I entered the negotiation, I knew the following things:

  • Which items were the most important to me, and which ones I was OK with leaving alone
  • Exactly what I was willing to settle for
  • The silent time was over – I was going to leave the meeting with an answer

Negotiations are tricky.  Every one has been different for me.  I have tried the compromise path.  I have tried the "I'm sticking to my guns" and "I refuse to budget" path.  The bottom line is that I knew exactly what was needed to call this a successful negotiation for me.

What I do know is that because I had done my homework, I was in a strong position to negotiate and that resulted in a successful pay raise each time.  One of them was immediate and another took six months to be implemented.  Both were worth it. 

So this concludes the "Negotiate A Pay Raise" series on JosephSangl.com.  If you are going to make the big ask, good luck and let me know how it goes!

Readers:  I know that there are several business managers reading this site.  Would you share your thoughts about this series from an employer's/manager's perspective?

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SERIES: Negotiate A Pay Raise – Part 4

I write a lot about how to eliminate expenses and reduce the OUTGO from one's home economy, but there is another side to the equation and that is INCOME.  INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO works a lot better when the INCOME is increased!

This series is focused on one key way that INCOME can be increased and that is to Negotiate A Pay Raise.  In each part, I will be sharing how I have successfully negotiated pay raises in the past.  I hope this series helps you do the same!

Part 4 – "Receive The Response"

There WILL be a response.  It may not be the one you expected.  It may be way more than you expected (it happens!), or it may be way less than you expected (this happens too!).  Either way, there will be a response.

The best way to respond?  SILENCE

This is a negotiation.  SILENCE makes people uncomfortable.  If a manager knows that their response is less than reasonable, silence will allow them to rethink their position.  Many times, the manager has been provided some leeway in this discussion, and they have been authorized to adjust the numbers some to ensure an adequate and final response is obtained.

SILENCE has been my friend twice.  Both times, it resulted in a substantial increase beyond the initial offer.

Once the offer has been extended and appropriate silence has occurred, thank them and tell them that you will need twenty-four hours to review the offer (if it makes sense). 

This is Part 4 of a series featured at JosephSangl.com – "Negotiate A Pay Raise"

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I share my journey to achieve financial freedom and teach personal finance tools in my book, I Was Broke. Now I'm Not.  Check it out!

SERIES: Negotiate A Pay Raise – Part 3

I write a lot about how to eliminate expenses and reduce the OUTGO from one's home economy, but there is another side to the equation and that is INCOME.  INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO works a lot better when the INCOME is increased!

This series is focused on one key way that INCOME can be increased and that is to Negotiate A Pay Raise.  In each part, I will be sharing how I have successfully negotiated pay raises in the past.  I hope this series helps you do the same!

Part 3 – "Make The Ask"

After you have "Done Your Homework", it is time to ask for the pay raise.  Before I review that part, I want to share a couple of things to think about.

If you have ever ridden on a jet, chances are you have picked up the airline's magazine and seen the advertisement from Dr. Chester Karrass for negotiating seminars.  There is a brilliant statement that stands out to me every time I see that ad.

His statement?  You don't get what you deserve.  You get what you negotiate.

Ponder on that thought for a minute.

It is important to understand that many things are negotiable including pay, benefits, time off, work location, and work hours.

As you prepare to ask for the raise, be sure to decide on what you will ask for.  

Remember that this is a negotiation.  Negotiating means that there will be give and take.

So now you have done all of your homework and decided what you are going to ask for.  It is time to take a deep breath and have the conversation with your manager.  Each time I have had this discussion, it has been a sidebar discussion and not a planned meeting.

Keep in mind the following items as you ask for the raise:

  • Present your case clearly and succinctly.  I presented my case in less than three minutes every time.
  • Be CLEAR with your requests.
  • Do not make threats such as "Give me this raise, or I am leaving to the competitor."
  • You can make statements (if they are true) such as "This request is very competitive with the marketplace."  A manager will quickly understand that you have done your homework.
  • Your manager will probably not be able to give a raise immediately and will have to discuss with his/her superior.  This will take a little time.
  • After you have made your case, SHUT UP!  You have said what you needed to say.  Let there be silence.  Silence is golden.
  • When the meeting is ending, ask when you can expect to receive a response.
  • Thank them for considering your request.

When the meeting is completed, take thirty minutes to write down everything that was discussed in the meeting.  This will allow you to review what just happened and can be helpful later when trying to recall exactly what was talked about.

This is Part 3 of a series featured at JosephSangl.com – "Negotiate A Pay Raise"

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SERIES: Negotiate A Pay Raise – Part 2

I write a lot about how to eliminate expenses and reduce the OUTGO from one's home economy, but there is another side to the equation and that is INCOME.  INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO works a lot better when the INCOME is increased!

This series is focused on one key way that INCOME can be increased and that is to Negotiate A Pay Raise.  In each part, I will be sharing how I have successfully negotiated pay raises in the past.  Here's to this series helping you do the same!

Part 2 – "Do Your Homework"

The key to any successful pay raise negotiation (or any negotiation for that matter) is to have completed your homework.  Information is absolutely POWERful!

  • Be sure you have completed Part 1.
  • Research comparable positions in the area to see what they pay (Salary.com is great, Monster.com is OK).
  • Understand the demand for your skill set, education, abilities, and capabilities.  Job boards, on-line classifieds, newspaper listings, and recruiters are good places to start.  If you work for a larger company, be sure to check out your companies job postings and the pay scales.
  • It might make sense to go on a couple of job interviews just to understand what education and skills are being sought by employers.
  • Identify specific projects and activities that you have led or participated in that resulted in substantial benefits for your organization.  Objective and measurable results speak much more than subjective "kind-of sort-of possibly vague stuff".   If you work for a for-profit company, show how your efforts have led to cost savings, improved sales, improved productivity, and profits.  If you work for a non-profit organization, focus on how your efforts have furthered the organization's mission/vision/goals.
  • Identify the upcoming projects and activities that you will be leading or participating in that will result in substantial benefits for your organization.

For me, it has always been extremely helpful to write my thoughts down over a one or two week period.  This ensures that I have been able to effectively think through the above items and organize the data into useful information for Part 3 – Asking For The Raise.

This is Part 2 of a series featured at JosephSangl.com – "Negotiate A Pay Raise"

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SERIES: Negotiate A Pay Raise – Part 1

I write a lot about how to eliminate expenses and reduce the OUTGO from one's home economy, but there is another side to the equation and that is INCOME.  INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO works a lot better when the INCOME is increased!

This series is focused on one key way that INCOME can be increased and that is to Negotiate A Pay Raise.  In each part, I will be sharing how I have successfully negotiated pay raises in the past.  Here's to this series helping you do the same!

For Part 1, I want you to ask yourself this question.

"Am I effective at what I do?"

My hero, Dave Ramsey, has often said that "your raise is effective when you are".  It can not be said any better than that!

If you are not effective at what you do, it is very difficult to negotiate a pay increase.

Now ask yourself this question.

"What are the top five skills, activities, abilities, and capabilities that I possess that most benefit my organization?"

Think through these two questions (preferably on paper) and prepare for Part 2 of "Negotiate A Pay Raise"! 

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A Pay Raise Success Story Launches New Series!

I met with a couple back in November 2007 and helped them put together a spending plan that balanced to EXACTLY ZERO.  They left encouraged because they saw that they could pay all of their bills on time and start to get ahead with their finances.

Even more so, they clearly understood that INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO.  They went to work on the OUTGO, but one of them saw the power of additional INCOME and obtained a part-time second job that actually works really well with their family schedule.

A part-time job is a great way to catch up and launch a financial plan toward success!  Well, recently I had the opportunity to meet with them again and help them take the next steps toward financial freedom.  As I spoke with the couple, I asked if they had sought any pay raises lately.

They had not.  I told them that they should consider doing so.

The result?  He told me that he went to his manager and asked to set up a time to discuss his pay.  The manager did not want to set up a time.  Instead, he just gave him a 12% pay raise!!!

YAY!  That will help pay some bills and put some cash in savings!

So with that, I am launching a new series tomorrow called "Negotiate A Pay Raise".

This should be fun!

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SERIES: I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. VALUES Part 4

Welcome to another series at JosephSangl.com – I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. VALUES

In this series, I will be sharing what drives me.  The stuff that lights me on fire for helping others with their personal finances.

4.  VISION/CALL

This is the most important value for this crusade.  This is something that I am called to do.  It was a very clear call of God that led me to get my finances in order, fire myself from Corporate America, negotiate myself a massive pay cut, move my family eleven hours and five states, and embark on this crusade at NewSpring Church.

I am doing EXACTLY what I have been put on this earth to do.  No doubts.  No regrets.  I have never looked back.  I am burdened with a passion to help others take their finances to the next level.  I can not escape it.  I can not run from it.  I can not shirk it.  It keeps me awake at night.

My vision/call in words: To help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.  My current mission: Teach 100,000 people by October 2011.

You can watch me share how I discovered my purpose in detail HERE

 

You can purchase Joe's first book I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. HEREVolume discounts available for purchases of ten books or more.

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SERIES: I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. VALUES Part 3

Welcome to another series at JosephSangl.com – I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. VALUES

In this series, I will be sharing what drives me.  The stuff that lights me on fire for helping others with their personal finances.

3.  PASSION

I am a firm believer in being passionate about whatever I am doing.  I lived long enough working a J.O.B.  I ain't doing that anymore!  PASSION is a huge part of what I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. is about.  There are nearly a dozen trained volunteer financial counselors helping with this crusade, and you can bet that each one of them is passionate about helping others take their finances to the next level.

I am PASSIONATE about seeing lives changed.  I am PASSIONATE about seeing hope restored.  I am PASSIONATE about helping others take their finances to an entirely new level.  That is what this is all about.  It is why this web site exists.  It is why the tools are FREE.  It is why I wrote I Was Broke. Now I'm Not.  It is why I write a weekly newspaper column.  It is why I produce a weekly podcast.  It is why I travel the nation teaching and speaking.  It is why I train volunteer financial counselors.

I am more than a little FIRED UP about this crusade to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances! 

You can purchase Joe's first book I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. HEREVolume discounts available for purchases of ten books or more.

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On-Line Savings Accounts

I love my on-line savings accounts at HSBC and ING.

Why do I like my on-line savings accounts?

  • Their interest rates are competitive with CDs (HSBC's 3.50% is currently better than ING's 3.00%), yet there are no liquidity or penalty issues for pulling money out early.  By the way, HSBC just raised their rate to 3.50%.  I am betting that ING is pondering a change too.
  • There are no fees.
  • Their web sites are very user-friendly.
  • They are FDIC-insured up to $100,000.
  • You can put up to $2,000,000 in an account.
  • You can put as little as $1 in an account.
  • I can move my money around very easily because it is on-line.
  • I can access my accounts 24-7-365.

There are several other good on-line banks out there too.  What on-line banks are you using?

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SERIES: I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. VALUES Part 2

Welcome to another series at JosephSangl.com – I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. VALUES

In this series, I will be sharing what drives me.  The stuff that lights me on fire for helping others with their personal finances.

2.  HOPE

Through NewSpring Church, we have been able to provide hundreds of people with FREE one-on-one personal financial counseling.  You don't have to be a member or attender to receive counseling.  This church exists to make an impact on the community and to reach the hopeless who are outside of our doors and do not know where to turn for help.

In these appointments, there are many people who show up completely hopeless.  They are downcast.  They hang their heads.  There are tears of sorrow and regret.  They literally do not know where to turn for help.  In many cases, the counseling session is the last resort because they know that this will be a time where they have to reveal all of their financial improprieties.  That is HARD!

But as the meeting progresses, and they realize that they are not going to be condemned …  WOW!  I am getting FIRED UP writing about it!  As we put together a spending plan that applies INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO and they see that they really can WIN with their money, HOPE IS RESTORED.  Then we calculate their Debt Freedom Date, and they see that they can be debt free in eighteen to forty-eight months – they are ready to fight a bear with their bare hands!  HOPE HAS BEEN RESTORED!!!

Yep.  In case you could not tell, HOPE is an I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. VALUE!

You can purchase Joe's first book I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. HERE.

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SERIES: I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. VALUES Part 1

Welcome to another series at JosephSangl.com – I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. VALUES

In this series, I will be sharing what drives me.  The stuff that lights me on fire for helping others with their personal finances.

1.  Life Change

Way back in December 2002 when Jenn and I made the decision to break free financially, it required life-changing decisions.  It took us fourteen months to become debt-free except for our house (we are within three years of paying off the house now).  Our lives were changed!

I have stated before that if you experience a life-changing experience, you will have a changed life!  It sounds basic to say it, but it is SO TRUE!  I experienced a life-changing experience of saying "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!" and our lives were changed.

Because of that series of life-changing events, I was able to fire myself from Corporate America in 2006 and embark on a crusade to help others experience this same life-changing stuff at NewSpring Church!

Now I have been on this crusade full-time for twenty months, and I have been able to teach this stuff to thousands of others.  And guess what?  I have seen the same life-change that has taken place in my life!  That AB-SO-LUTE-LY FIRES ME UP!!!!!!

Life change NEVER gets old!

 

You can purchase Joe's first book I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. HERE.

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Money Magazine Article Mentions “I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.”!

Several weeks ago, I was interviewed by Money Magazine senior writer, Donna Rosato, for an article about living without credit cards.

It is included in the July 2008 issue of Money Magazine, and I am stoked about it!

NEW to JosephSangl.com?  Be sure to START HERE to learn more about this crusade that I have embarked on!

You can read a portion of the article HERE and the specific section about my family's rejection of credit HERE

Thank you, Donna Rosato, for providing me an opportunity to share my story!!!

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