Archive - December, 2008

Marching To Financial Freedom

I have noticed several bloggers have been writing about their journeys toward financial freedom, and it FIRES ME UP!

You should read some of them (but only if you want to get really fired up about taking your next steps toward financial freedom).

  • Lori writes about the financial struggles she and her husband have shared (and defeated).  Reading her post about it messed me up!  You can read it HERE.
  • Michael has started his journey and is pumped.  You can read several of his posts about it HERE.  I met Michael at Catalyst 08, and I will be speaking at his church in April.  Love what is going on up in Virginia.
  • I read THIS POST by Dan back in July, and it also messed me up!  He has written several posts about his family's journey since.  You can read many of them by clicking HERE.

How is the story of YOUR journey to financial freedom being written?

Read recent posts by Joe

Related Posts

NewSpring Financial Counselor Pays Off House

I recently received the following e-mail from two of our 21 outstanding volunteer financial counselors at NewSpring Church.   They are a married couple who counsel as a team (which happens to make the counseling even more effective).  With their permission, I am sharing their news!

Joe,

I just wanted to take a quick moment to let you know that my wife and I paid our house off this month.  We are completely debt FREE!

We attended your FLE on the 20th of May, 2008 at NewSpring and got "Fired Up" about paying our house off.  Since May we paid off over 12,000 dollars of principal!

The online account statement says "PAID IN FULL!"  Principal balance $0.00

Thanks for getting us fired up!

I have several things to say:

  • Congratulations!
  • I am so glad you are giving of your time and talents at NewSpring Church to help others win with their finances.
  • This is what happens when vision intersects with life.  It creates passion and a drive to accomplish something huge.
  • If you want to receive FREE financial counseling at NewSpring Church, click HERE to fill out the request form.
  • You guys rock!

What are your goals for 2009?

Related posts 

SERIES: Setting Goals – Part Five

Welcome to another series on JosephSangl.com – Setting Goals

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.  I know that the number one way that folks will win with their personal finances is to have a well-written plan and clearly defined goals.

Part Five  Compare ACTUAL performance against the goals on a consistent basis throughout the year.

You have taken the time to prepare your vision, mission, and plan each goal.  Now go after it, and be sure to track your performance through the year.  Set monthly or quarterly review sessions with your team.

Be sure that the entire team KNOWS what the goals are and how their efforts funnel into the overall organization's objectives.

I have weekly meetings with my team, and update our key goals on a monthly basis.  Guess what?  The items that are measured are what is getting done!

I hope that this series has been helpful and that it leads to a prosperous year. 

Read the entire series 

Read recent posts by Joe

SERIES: Setting Goals – Part Four

Welcome to another series on JosephSangl.com – Setting Goals

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.  I know that the number one way that folks will win with their personal finances is to have a well-written plan and clearly defined goals.

Part Four  Narrow down the list to eight or less goals.

I remember my days of being in manufacturing.  As an engineer and business manager, I visited a lot of manufacturing facilities.  Sometimes I would see a production board covered with charts of thirty different measurements.  Guess what?  Nearly every production employee had no clue of 95% of the goals.  The goals were not relevant to then.  Even worse, the important goals were lost in the sea of less important goals.

What gets measured, gets done.  If everything is measured, nothing will get done.  Narrow down your list to the top eight.  It will be difficult, but it is very important!

Go ahead and narrow down your list and then go read Part Five.

Read recent posts by Joe

SERIES: Setting Goals – Part Three

Welcome to another series on JosephSangl.com – Setting Goals

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.  I know that the number one way that folks will win with their personal finances is to have a well-written plan and clearly defined goals.

Part Three  Establish SMART Goals

I do not know who invented the acrostic SMART for goal setting, but I have found it invaluable for setting my own goals.

Specific

If your goals are not specific, they are worthless.  "Teach people" is not specific enough! 

Measurable

What gets measured gets done.  If you can not measure it, how on earth can you know whether or not you are accomplishing the goal.  "Make the presentation pretty" will not work.  I can not measure pretty.

Attainable

Teach 5.1 billion about personal finances by October 2011 is certainly possible, but it is not probable. 

Relevant

Teaching people about hairstyles is not relevant to the crusade!

Timebound

"Teach 100,000 people" is not timebound.  It needs to have a specific goal date in which it will be accomplished.

It needs to be SMART.  "Teach 100,000 people by October 2011." is SMART.  It is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timebound.  Perfect.

Go brainstorm several goals for the next year.  Then go read Part Four.

Read recent posts by Joe

SERIES: Setting Goals – Part Two

Welcome to another series on JosephSangl.com – Setting Goals

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.  I know that the number one way that folks will win with their personal finances is to have a well-written plan and clearly defined goals.

Part Two  Determine your mission

What is your mission?  The vision is the guiding light for everything your organization does, but the mission answers "what" you are going to be doing right now to accomplish the vision.

The IWBNIN vision is …  to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

This vision is what drives everything we do, but it does not say "what" we are doing right now to accomplish it.  The mission should say what the key focus is for the next several years.  The IWBNIN mission statement does that.

The IWBNIN mission is … to teach personal finances to 100,000 people by October 2011.

This mission is a (somewhat) manageable chunk that clearly defines our focus right now.  It seemed like such a huge mission back in 2006 when we set it.  But with the NewSpring growth rate, we might be running 100,000 people by October 2011!  Awesome!

One more thing about your vision and mission.  If they do not FIRE YOU UP, you probably have not nailed it down.  As I simply typed the words in right now, I literally YELLED out loud.  It FIRES ME UP!  I can not believe I get to do this stuff for a living.

Take some time to write out a (somewhat) manageable mission that will guide your efforts for the next few years.  Then go read Part Three

Read recent posts by Joe

SERIES: Setting Goals – Part One

Welcome to another series on JosephSangl.com – Setting Goals

I am passionate about helping others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.  I know that the number one way that folks will win with their personal finances is to have a well-written plan and clearly defined goals.

Part One  Clearly define your vision

Where are you headed?  What is it that sets your soul on fire?  What makes you wake up every morning and say, "Good morning, Lord!" instead of "Good Lord, it's morning."?

Without clear vision, it becomes difficult to set goals.

If you do not have a clear vision of where you are headed, then it might be that your vision statement would be "To find out and do EXACTLY what I have been put on this earth to do".

Write down your vision and ponder on it for awhile and then go to Part Two of this series. 

Read recent posts by Joe

Credit Card Rule Changes

The Federal Reserve Board has implemented some substantial rule changes that govern how credit card companies interact with cardholders.

I am PUMPED about some of the rules changes, but I am disappointed that most of these will not be implemented until July 2010.

Here are some rule changes that I am excited about:

  • Double cycle billing is eliminated.  This eliminates double-billing on interest (robbery).
  • Can’t raise rates unless payments are more than 30 days behind.  Provides some margin for error before default rates go into effect.
  • Payments will be applied to highest interest balances first.  YAY!

And here is my personal favorite – No more universal default rules!  This means that credit card companies can not raise your rate on a card that has been paid on time simply because you have paid late on another credit card!

You can read a complete article about the credit card lending rules at CNNMoney – HERE.

As a reminder, there is a way to prevent credit card companies from controlling your life – PAY THEM OFF!!!  If you are carrying a balance on your credit card and are paying interest, it can be very worthwhile to transfer the debt to 0% balance transfer credit cards so that ALL of your payment is applied to principal.  PAY THEM OFF, and apply the first rule of holes – stop digging!  No more debt.

New Series Starting Next Week

I am excited about a new series coming to JoeSangl.com next week.  The new series is called "Setting Goals".

In this series, I will be sharing the process that I use every year to establish yearly goals.  I have found goal setting to be one of the most rewarding parts of the year.  It is a time where I am able to reflect on progress made over the past year and to dream about what could be in the year to come.

Until then, why not begin thinking about what your plans were for 2008.  How did the year go?  What wins did you experience?  What unexpected stuff appeared?  Where are you headed next?

I can't wait!

Read recent posts

Save A Ton Of Money On Insurance!

I was able to go to Foothills Community Church last night and sit in on the final session of the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Group Study.

To prepare for this final session, participants were directed to shop their insurance rates and come to session six with what they found.

The results seemed to surprise some in attendance, but they did not surprise me! If you have not shopped your insurance lately, you can save a TON of cash.

Here are some of the actual numbers reported last night.

  • Saved $300/year on Auto/Home
  • Saved $1,836/year on Auto/Home
  • Saved $660/year on Auto/Home
  • Saved $786/year on Auto/Home
  • Saved $110/year on 20-year Level Term Life Insurance

Why not get new insurance quotes?

    

The above links are to US Insurance Online a company that I have used to obtain much better rates. Instead of having to call three different insurance companies and telling them your information three different times, you can type your info in once.  This info will be distributed to a bunch of different name-brand and independent agencies – all competing for your business.

You can get your home, auto, life, and health insurance quoted all at one time, and it can all be done in less than five minutes. Chances are good that you will save a ton of money. When you do, I hope you will click HERE and share how much you saved!

Higher Taxes To Cover Budget Cuts

Go read THIS ARTICLE and then ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have they prepared an INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO budget?
  • Income has dropped considerably (OUTGO exceeds INCOME by $15.4 Billion).  Has TOTAL OUTGO been cut?
  • Does additional taxation stimulate or stifle investment and spending?

I have said it before, and I will say it again.  A generation of folks is going to have to stand up and say "THIS IS CRAZY!" and slash the OUTGO in such a way that the budget balances with substantial payments being made to eliminate the national debt.

Let my generation be the generation that says that we will take it on the chin so that our children do not inherit a broke nation that owes every other nation on earth.

Read recent posts

Last Day For Christmas Special!

A reminder that December 18 is the last day for the Christmas 2008 special.  Click HERE to order.

All orders placed by the 11:59PM December 18 will be shipped on December 19.

Marching To Debt Freedom – Couple #3 – Month 12

Introduction

This couple has been married for many years and have one child.   They have HAD IT with their debt and have been marching toward debt freedom since November 2007.  They are THROUGH with credit cards.

Thoughts from Couple #3 this month

Couple #3 has taken a new job this month so they are very busy right now.  Below are their updated numbers.

Updated Debt Freedom Date

Month By Month Progress

Sangl says

Couple #3 is going through a job change so things will be interesting over the next several weeks for them.  It is very easy to break the routine of planning one's spending during major life changes so it is critical that Couple #3 makes a disciplined effort to keep up with their plan.  As you can see, the plan is working!

Readers

When you have went through a major job change that required a move, what did you do to maintain sanity in your financial plan?

Read previous updates from Couple #3 HERE

Marching To Debt Freedom – Couple #1 – Month 15

Introduction

Couple #1 is THROUGH with debt!  They have been married for many years and have two children.  They are now over a year into their Debt Freedom March.

Couple #1's Thoughts This Month

The current economic environment is flipping crazy.  I can only think that God had his hand in my wife and I deciding to get out of debt long before this downturn.

  • We paid half the balance of car 2 and owe just $500.
  • We increased the payment on the HELOC to $700.
  • The property taxes are already paid when in years past I would have to wait until my tax check came back.
  • Christmas is bought and paid for and under the tree. Instead of buying useless presents for friends this year, I made gifts out in my shop.

We have a lot to be thankful for.  We have our jobs, we have our health, and we have each other.  May God bless you all as I have been blessed.  Merry Christmas!

Updated Debt Freedom Date

Month By Month Progress

Sangl says

Another excellent month!  Couple #1 has a fully-functioning Known, Upcoming Expenses account that has enabled them to stay the course even in difficult economic times.  If your budget is constantly smashed by things like property taxes, quarterly insurance premiums, vacation, or Christmas, I highly recommend clicking HERE to learn how to set up a Known, Upcoming Expenses account.

Read Previous Monthly Updates For Couple #1 HERE

Upgraded Tool – Actual Cost Of Debt

The IWBNIN team has upgraded the “Actual Cost of Debt” tool.

The upgrade was made to include the “Debt Freedom Date” in its calculation as well.

Do you know how much your debt is costing you?  Use this tool to find out, and then work to reduce the interest rates by restructuring your debt!

Page 1 of 212»