Archive - November, 2008

December Events

I am PUMPED about the December events that the IWBNIN Team has planned.

This will be the first time that the crusade will venture into the great city of Chicago! 

Lifepoint Church – Wilmington, NC 

12/6  Morning  Financial Counseling Training (FCE)

12/6  5:00PM  Financial Learning Experience at DebtFreeWilmington.com Event (Register HERE)

12/7  Speaking at Lifepoint (9:00AM & 11:00AM)

The Chapel – Grayslake Campus – Chicago, IL

12/14  2:00PM  Financial Learning Experience

Will you be at one of them?

I can not believe what is happening with this crusade!  I am continually blown away by the blessings God has poured out on this thing.

Tomorrow I will be announcing some of the cities that the crusade will travel to in the first quarter of 2009.  Here's a hint …  It will probably travel to a city near you.

Black Friday Random Thoughts

I am NOT one of those people who get up at an insane hour to go Christmas shopping.  If there is an incredible deal, I try to rope one of my insane family members into picking it up for me.

If you ARE one of the crazies – good luck with your adventure today (or I hope you had a great adventure today – you probably are reading this well after you went shopping).

Here are random thoughts I have right now:

  • The Big Ten needs a football championship game.  Six weeks off before the bowl game is ridiculous.  I nominate Notre Dame to join the Big Ten (making it the Big Twelve – but that is already taken – so lets name it the Big Dozen Conference)
  • If you have any money left from Black Friday shopping, the 10 for $100 IWBNIN Book Christmas Special can be a good gift to pick up for everyone on your list.
  • I love the entire time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • I am going to hire a financial counselor in 2009.  Who will it be?
  • Huge steps are being taken with the crusade, and it is overwhelming.  I am glad to be overwhelmed with opportunities.
  • The crusade is traveling to Wilmington, NC (12/6 – 12/7) and Chicago, IL (12/14) in December.  Will I see you there?
  • I love hanging out with my family.
  • I have to run 18 miles tomorrow as part of my marathon training.  I will be running with one of my brothers who is going to run the marathon with me in January.
  • The run tomorrow is in Indiana and when my brother told me where we were running to, it really put the distance in perspective.  We are running PAST the town and back!  Oh. My. Goodness.
  • The crusade needs crusaders.  Lots of them.  Crusaders who are all out sold out to helping equip others to win with their money.  I have LOTS of opportunities available for folks to serve at all of the NewSpring Campuses.  There are also LOTS of opportunities at each location that the crusade travels to.  If you are interested in serving, contact Katie Bailey HERE.
  • Thanksgiving leftovers are the BEST!  Turkey.  Duck.  Dressing.  Brown Gravy.  Salt.  Pepper.  Noodles.  Olives.  Pickles.

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Known, Upcoming Expenses

I was recently asked for a list of common Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses, and I thought I would share the list with you.

  • Christmas
  • Vacation
  • Car Maintenance and Repairs
  • Home Repairs
  • Property Taxes (House, Cars, Boats, etc.)
  • Medical Insurance Deductible
  • Annual Membership Dues/Fees
  • Annual/Semi-Annual/Quarterly Insurance Premiums
  • Home Schooling Expenses
  • Gifts (Anniversary, Birthdays, Weddings, Babies)

I save all of this money in an On-Line Savings account that pays great interest, has no minimum balance, and is FDIC-insured.  I have money in three different on-line banks.  You can check them out HERE.  You can even set up these accounts to automatically draft you checking account on a monthly, weekly, bi-weekly, or bi-monthly basis!  NICE!

What other Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses would you add?

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Feed The Pig

Has anyone seen the TV commercials with the talking guy dressed up as a pig and saying "Feed Me"?

It always ends with a fade-to-black and promotes a website – www.feedthepig.org

Well, it worked because I went and checked it out.  I think it is a good site!

All this great stuff is part of a national campaign sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and The Advertising Council. The goal of the campaign is to encourage and help Americans aged 25 to 34 to take control of their personal finances.

You can check out their site HERE.

RedPlum – Free Coupons

I have been learning how to use CouponMom.com to save a ton on my grocery bill.  This service is FREE, and it matches discounted products with coupons that have been published in the Sunday newspaper.

I noticed that the Sunday coupons are produced by a couple of different companies.  One is from RedPlum.  I was preparing to write about CouponMom.com, and I decided to search the internet to see if RedPlum had a website.

Do they ever!!!  They have a website that is chock full of great coupons and moneysaving tips.

Check it out HERE.  I can see several ways that this is going to save me money, and I am PUMPED!

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Training Counselors Today!

Today is a FANTASTIC day!  I get to train volunteer financial counselors at NewSpring Church.  This training is called the Financial Counseling Experience, and I am PUMPED.

Here are some key reasons I am excited about the Financial Counseling Experience:

  • There will be eight new f/c for NewSpring!  NewSpring is growing (in size AND locations).  This makes it vitally important that we continue to grow our volunteer f/c team!
  • There will be eight new f/c for other churches!  I love being able to train folks from other churches because most of them are going home to their church and starting their own financial counseling ministry.  It is awesome that this crusade gets to be a part of that!
  • The Saving Freak is assisting with the training!  The Saving Freak keeps showing up at all of my events and is one of our most active volunteer financial counselors.  He is passionate about helping equip others to go impact their communities.
  • We will be challenged.  Every time that we train financial counselors, they seem to ask super great questions that challenge us.  Being challenged means that there is a great chance that we will learn new things that we can implement in our own financial counseling ministry at NewSpring!

If you are interested in attending the Financial Counseling Experience in the future, it will be hitting the road and traveling around the nation beginning in January.  You can be put on our FCE contact list HERE if you want to be contacted each time new dates/locations are announced.

 What a fantastic day this will be!

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Should You Refinance?

I ran across a "Does It Pay To Refinance?" Calculator at CNN Money recently.

You can access it HERE.

This is an excellent tool to use if you are considering refinancing your mortgage! 

Marathon Training Is Like … Marching Toward Debt Freedom

Marathon training is like Marching Toward Debt Freedom.

When I first began training for this marathon, the training plan called for short three mile and four mile runs.  It was easy.  Piece of cake.  No problems.

Fast forward to two months later.  The training plan now says that I have to run 17 miles on Friday.  Not easy.  Horrible.  Why did I ever commit to do this?

That is how a lot of Debt Freedom Marches go.  In the beginning, we are all pumped up and ready to attack our debt.  The debt is going down!  We are going to body-slam the debt to the ground and call Capital One and tell them that they OWE YOU $0.26 and you are going to charge them a $35 late fee!  It is easy.  Piece of cake.  No problems.

Fast forward twelve months.  The debt is going down, but slower than we wanted it to.  An illness and some medical bills have severely slowed the Debt Freedom March.  The car has broken down not once, but twice!  A new car drives by.  It could be yours with just a few strokes of a pen and a big pile of new debt.  Not easy.  Horrible.  Not fun.

But then the day of the marathon shows up.  You have trained.  You have persevered.  You are in the best physical condition of your life.  The race goes beautifully, and you FINISH!  The feeling is INCREDIBLE!

That is EXACTLY how it feels when you emerge from your Debt Freedom March with ZERO DEBT.  It is awesome!  You have finished what you started out to do!  You have freed up a huge portion of your income that you can now give, save, spend, and invest like never before.  The feeling is INCREDIBLE!

Are you Marching Toward Debt Freedom?  Use the tools below to get started.

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Random Thoughts

Here are some random thoughts rattling around in my brain right now …

  • Maybe I should stop paying my bills and demand a bail-out.  It seems like everyone else is!
  • People with zero debt, a written spending plan, and a fully-funded emergency fund are able to survive down markets.
  • I am glad I have an emergency fund.
  • I am glad that I get to participate in life changing work every day that helps folks win with their money.
  • My Indianapolis Colts have righted the ship and are steaming into the playoffs.
  • My Purdue Boilermakers have sunk their ship and are steaming into …  well … the off season.
  • I am ready to shop for Christmas!
  • I want to hire a full-time financial counselor who will provide on-line financial counseling for folks who have attended an event that I have taught.
  • I am PUMPED about the Financial Counselor Training that will take place this coming Saturday!
  • The largest Swagbuck I have earned is 5.  Has anyone earned a megaSwagbuck?  (If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks you can HERE.)
  • I am ready to start my spring garden again and winter has not really even started yet!!!  ARGH!
  • The Thanksgiving turkey and duck that my mother prepares have been calling my name.  I am ready for the eats!  NO ONE prepares a Thanksgiving Feast like my Mom.

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Christmas 2008 Special

The IWBNIN Team is pumped to offer the following Christmas 2008 Special to those of you who are on this crusade to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

Through December 18th, you can purchase 10 copies of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. for $100 and shipping is FREE! To purchase these materials, just click on the the banner below!

Special has expired. Click HERE for current pricing on resources.

Thanks so much for being a part of this crusade!

A Shot In The Arm

I recently received the below e-mail, and with the writer's permission I am sharing it with you today.

We melted/torched our credit cards last year and last month I sent you pics of my red truck we sold and the "Green Hornet" truck we were given (see HERE).  ANYWAY… just wanted to share a thought.  On October 23rd [husband] had a hunting accident.  The muzzleloader he was using went off as he was loading it.  The ramrod and bullet blasted through his hand, fingers and upper arm.  Long story short, he will be okay.  Possibly will lose a finger, but thank God as we all know it could have been MUCH worse!  The thought I wanted to share, is that while I was sitting through all the ER stuff and waiting for surgery outcome, etc it popped into my mind that our emergency/savings fund is (was!) only in [Husband's] name!  It's an account he's had for years through his credit union and the savings just go directly there on payday, we'd never really though about it much.  We had always thought of emergencies as maybe the fridge dying or the truck transmission going out :)  You can imagine the endless 'what if' scenarios playing in my mind sitting in the hospital those 2+ days.  Yes we have corrected this issue and now both names are on the account.  I just wanted to share how important it is to make sure BOTH names are on the emergency/savings fund account!!  You never know…

Sangl says …  YIKES!  I am so glad that Husband is OK!  The point about having access to the bank account is an excellent point to consider.  This is why my bride and I have joint accounts.

Do you have an emergency game plan?

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Mule Invited To Kentucky Derby

Last week, I was a mule invited to the Kentucky Derby.

I was able to participate in a podcast organized by Ben Stroupe, Chief Broker of OpportunityLifeWay (I like the title!).  Participating in the conversation was Patrick Johnson, VP of Strategic Partners and Church Services with National Christian Foundation, Bret Robbe, director of leadership and adult ministry publishing with LifeWay Church Resources, and Ashley Clayton, associate VP for stewardship with the Executive Committee of the SBC to answer the question: How can pastors lead their churches through tough economic times?

It was great to be able to talk about the subject with some guys who have so much wisdom to share.

You can check out the podcast HERE

How Much Will College Cost?

I read CNN Money's personal finance website everyday.  I saw THIS GREAT TOOL, and thought I would share it with you.

The tool is called the "College Cost Finder".  Just type in the college you are interested in, and it will tell you how much it currently costs to attend it.

If you have kids, feel free to shudder with cold chills for awhile.  Then go to the TOOLS section and use the investment value calculator to figure out how much money you need to save every month so you will be ready to pay cash!

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Home Equity Loan To Pay Off Debt?

One of the most common questions I am asked is:

"Should I get a home equity loan to pay off all of my non-house debt?"

Here is my response.

I am not a big fan of consolidating one's non-house debt into a home equity loan.  This is for several reasons, and I have outlined those reasons below.

  • This is addressing a symptom, not the root cause.  This question is usually motivated by our need for immediate action.  It is the same motivation that causes us to purchase a car and finance it for five years.
  • Borrowing from home equity makes it more difficult to sell the house.   This is especially true in today's house market.  There are a ton of people who now owe more on their house than it can be sold for.  Consequently, they become trapped in the house.
  • Changing spending behavior is a process.  If one runs out and consolidates their debts, it might remove the urgency from the need to change spending behavior.  Changing one's spending behavior takes time.  I am convinced that if I had obtained a home equity debt consolidation loan in December 2002, I would not have changed my spending behavior.  However, because it took fourteen months to address our debt, our spending behavior was completely changed.  We have never looked back!

Having spoken with thousands of people and working one-on-one with nearly one thousand people in the past two years, I am convinced that obtaining a home equity loan is not the best way to eliminate debt.  The most common result from obtaining a home equity loan is less equity in the house and the consumer debt shows back up because the spending behavior was not changed.

This is, in fact, my own story.  I obtained a debt consolidation loan to move a pile of credit card and consumer debt to one payment.  After paying $315.60 a month for an eternity, I wanted to celebrate, but I could not.  Why?  Because while I had finally paid off the debt consolidation loan, I had not changed my spending behavior and my credit card debt had grown back to more than I had consolidated in the first place!

What do you think?

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Crusade headed to Nashville, TN!

I am absolutely FIRED UP to be carrying the crusade to Nashville, TN this weekend!  This is the hometown of my hero, Dave Ramsey, and home of God's favorite music.

I will be traveling to Long Hollow Baptist Church (Pastor David Landrith)to teach the Financial Learning Experience on Sunday afternoon.

The FLE is being offered as part of a series called "Homework".

Details About the FLE

  • TIME:  3:00PM – 5:00PM
  • LOCATIONHendersonville Campus
  • COST:  FREE!
  • REGISTRATION: Show up by 2:55 and attend!

I am excited about the fact that Long Hollow is offering the FLE at no cost.  I can promise that you will leave with HOPE, a PLAN, and the KNOWLEDGE to take your finances to the next level!

Will YOU be there?

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