Archive - March, 2009

SERIES: Top 5 Things People Lack In Their Financial Plan 2

Over the past two and a half years, this crusade has been able to reach tens of thousands of people.  I was recently reflecting on the top things that I see most commonly lacking in folks’ financial plans.  So here are the top five things I see lacking.

Part Two  A plan to get out of debt

How much money do you send to lenders every single month?  Think about that for a minute.  Add up the payments.  The house payment.  The student loan payment.  The car payment.  The other car payment.  The credit card payment.  The llama payment.  The doctor payment.

How much is it?

What else could you do with that money?

I challenge you to download the FREE “Debt Freedom Date” calculator from the tools page (HERE).  Take the time to fill out the “Actual Cost of Debt” calculator too.  It will open your eyes as to how much of your hard-earned money is just going to fill up the bank’s pockets every month.

When will you be debt-free?

Read the entire series

REMINDER: Small Business Class WEDNESDAY

A reminder to everyone in my hometown of Anderson, SC that I will be teaching a small business class at the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce this Wednesday, April 1 (no foolin' Wink) from 8:30AM – 10:30AM.

This is one of a series of small business classes that I am teaching.

The title of this class is "Using Social Media To Boost Your Small Business".

If you are interested in how to use Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, blogs, and websites to boost your small business, then join us on Wednesday.

You can find out more and register HERE.

I can't wait!

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SERIES: Top 5 Things People Lack In Their Financial Plan

Over the past two and a half years, this crusade has been able to reach tens of thousands of people.  I was recently reflecting on the top things that I see most commonly lacking in folks’ financial plans.  So here are the top five things I see lacking..

Part One A monthly written spending plan

Anyone who has been through the Financial Learning Experience saw this one coming!  It really is unbelievable how many people walk through life without a financial plan.  We will plan like crazy for our proms, weddings, child’s birthday party, and a vacation, but we do not take the time to plan the one thing that funds all of those!

If you are operating your life without a written spending plan, I know one thing about you.  You could substantially improve your financial management simply by preparing a written spending plan every month.

There are a ton of FREE budget tools located on the Tools page (HERE).  Of course, you could accomplish the same thing with a pencil, paper, and calculator.  If you do not have Microsoft Excel, set up a Google Docs account, save the free file to your desktop, and then upload it to Google Docs.

There is no excuse for NOT having a written spending plan every single month.  None.

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At Compass Church TOMORROW – Athens, GA

I am PUMPED to be at Compass Church (Pastor Jim Carpenter) in Athens, GA tomorrow!

I will be speaking during their morning services as part of their STRIP series.  I will be talking about some things we need to strip from our lives when it comes to money.

It is going to be a blast!

Here is what makes me even more PUMPED:

My team will be training financial counselors on Sunday afternoon.  Then on Wednesday, April 1st, I will be teaching the Financial Learning Experience LIVE!  You can register HERE.

Will I see you there? 

How Much Do You Spend On Groceries

Groceries.  I love grocery shopping because I love to eat, and I get to choose exactly what goes into the cart.

I see that people vary WILDLY on the amount they spend on food.

So here is the question of the day:

How much do you spend on GROCERIES (not dining out) per month – per person in your family?

Share your answer in the contents!

Attend The Financial Learning Experience ON-LINE

NewSpring Church is making the Financial Learning Experience available FREE for one night only TOMORROW (Tuesday, March 24 @ 6:30PM).

It is going to be available at the Web Campus.  We are going to have members of my team in the chat room to answer questions throughout the event.

If you are looking for help with your finances, the Financial Learning Experience is the place to start!

The event will actually be the Financial Learning Experience DVD which was released this month.  This is a great opportunity for you to check out this resource. 

Participants of the FLE will learn:

  • Develop a plan for one’s life
  • Create a budget that works
  • Eliminate debt
  • Calculate debt freedom date
  • Calculate amount needed for retirement
  • Hear about the power of compound interest 

Go invite your friends and neighbors, and we will see you at 6:30PM, Tuesday, March 24!

Recommended Spending Percentages

Chrysty asked this great question (and one that I am asked often):

Do you have a breakdown that shows what percentage of our monthly income should go towards the different categories? For example, what percentage of our money should we be spending on housing, transportation, etc.

Here is a general guideline for major spending categories.

Typical Spending Percentages
Giving 10 – 15%
Saving 10 – 15%
Housing 15 – 35% (including utilities)
House Payment < 25% (including escrowed taxes, insurance, PMI)
Transportation 10 – 20% (including gasoline, taxes, insurance, & repairs)
Food  10 – 20%
Clothing 5 – 10%
Other Debt < 10% (not including house and car payment)
Entertainment 5 – 10%
All other 5 – 10% 

Hope this helps!  If you have a question, you can ask it HERE

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SERIES: Top 5 Ways To Save Money WITHOUT Selling Anything RECAP

In a terrible economy, it is high time that the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. team deliver ways to save money!  This five part series will share the top five ways that we see people saving lots of money.

I believe that if you apply these five items, you will save over $1,000 a year.  Don’t believe me?  Try them out!

Click the links to find out additional information about each one!

  1. Auto/Home Insurance The average person saves $500 – $600 per year just by obtaining new quotes!
  2. Life Insurance Chances are high that you are overpaying!  Find out more and obtain instant quotes (without talking to anyone!).
  3. Zero-Percent Balance Transfer Credit Cards Move your high interest debt to zero percent interest debt!
  4. On-Line Savings Accounts On-line banks pay five to eight times the interest that most local banks pay.
  5. Groceries Cash envelopes and coupons really work!

This series started out with a belief that there was a great chance that one could save $1,000 or more by pursuing these five moneysaving tips.  Tell us how you did!

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FUNNY! Financial Learning Experience

Set The Scene

Chris Elrod is the pastor of Compass Point Church in Lakeland, Florida.  Find out more HERE.  Anyway, Chris is using Twitter to help promote the event.  He did stand-up comedy for a living for many years, and it seems he still has it in him.

Here are some of his Twitter posts (you can follow them live HERE

  • The dinosaurs passed on a Financial Learning Experience with @jsangl …and look what happened to them.
  • 8 out of 10 federal inmates never signed up for the Financial Learning Experience
  • If you don't sign up for the Financial Learning Experience God will send a plague of frogs to inhabit your yard.
  • Chuck Norris became Chuck Norris…only after he attended @jsangl 's Financial Learning Experience!!!
  • If you don't sign up for the Financial Learning Experience…the IRS will most definitely come take away your house.
  • I'm pretty sure if you miss the Financial Learning Experience @CompassPoint you'll be living in a box 2 months from now!

Hilarious!   Do you have any you would add? 

SERIES: Top 5 Ways To Save Money WITHOUT Selling Anything 5

In a terrible economy, it is high time that the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. team deliver ways to save money!  This five part series will share the top five ways that we see people saving lots of money.

I believe that if you apply these five items, you will save over $1,000 a year.  Don’t believe me?  Try them out!

Part Five Groceries and Cash Envelopes

Cash envelopes allow me to save a TON of money.  How?  I have a written spending plan that my bride and I prepare every month.  In this written plan there are several items that I tend to be impulsive with.  Groceries, Dining Out, Clothing, Entertainment, and Spending Money are the top five impulsive categories for me (can I get a witness?).  To control my impulsiveness, we pull that money out in cash.  We stow away the debit card and only allow cash to be used to purchase items in our impulsive categories.

This one move saved us over $200 a month in groceries alone!  You can read more about how to start with cash envelopes HERE.

You can also use coupons to save a ton on groceries.  In fact, my team has prepared an entire section of money saving tips for groceries under the Next Steps tab.  You can check it out HERE.

SERIES: Top 5 Ways To Save Money WITHOUT Selling Anything 4

In a terrible economy, it is high time that the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. team deliver ways to save money!  This five part series will share the top five ways that we see people saving lots of money.

I believe that if you apply these five items, you will save over $1,000 a year.  Don’t believe me?  Try them out!

Part Four On-Line Savings Accounts

Do you have money in your savings account?  If not, it should by your TOP PRIORITY.  $1,000 as a minimum or $2,500 if you have kids or a house.  I repeat – this should be your TOP PRIORITY!

For those with money in savings, how much interest is your bank paying you?  If it is a local bank, it is likely that the interest rate is very, very, very low (close to 0%).  On-line banks pay much higher interest because they do not have to pay the costs of maintaining local branches (people, buildings, etc).  These on-line banks pay around 5X – 8X the national savings interest rates of other banks.  I hold all of my savings in on-line banks and have done so for over two years now.  They are FDIC-insured and are very easy to use.

There are several excellent on-line banks. Click HERE to see the on-line banks I use or recommend.

The bottom line is that your money should make you money – the most money possible.  My on-line banks allow me to do that for all money that I plan on using within the next five years.

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New Class: Using Social Media To Boost Your Business

I am passionate about helping small businesses with the "business side" of doing business.  There are so many people who are passionate about the work they do so they start a business doing it.  Then they find out that there are so many "joy-robbing" aspects of operating a business.

Payroll.  Taxes.  Marketing.  Quoting.  Selling.  Employees.  Time.  Family vs. Work balance.

It can wear a person out.   As a small business owner myself and as the son of a small business owner, I am passionate about equipping others with PRACTICAL and RELEVANT tools that can help businesses win with money.

SO … I am teaching a multi-session class focused on small businesses and the "business-side" of doing business.

The next class is on Wednesday morning, 4/1/2009 (no foolin'!), from 8:30AM – 10:30AM. 

For this installment, I am partnering with Bobby Retew of View Digital Media to teach about social media in a class called:

Using Social Media To Boost Your Business

Participants will learn:

  • What is social media?
  • Review key social media companies/methods including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, and Websites
  • Review practical examples of how these tools have been utilized to grow businesses
  • Assistance in learning to apply these tools to your own small business

Check out the video that Bobby and I put together to explain further and then register HERE!

WILL YOU BE THERE? Compass Point Lakeland, FL

The crusade travels to Compass Point Church in Lakeland, Florida (Pastor Chris Elrod) this weekend.

 

My team is FIRED UP about this weekend!  Here's why:

  • We get to deliver a full crusade package of Financial Counseling Experience (training financial counselors to provide FREE counseling), Speaking during Sunday message, and the Financial Learning Experience.
  • THEN, they are launching the I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. Group Study.  The FLE provides the practical teaching.  The Group Study provides the accountability to ensure the learning meets application!
  • Chris Elrod is a comedian.  Seriously – he traveled doing comedy – look him up on YouTube!
  • It is in FLORIDA!!!!

Here are the registration links for each of the events:

SERIES: Top 5 Ways To Save Money WITHOUT Selling Anything 3

In a terrible economy, it is high time that the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. team deliver ways to save money!  This five part series will share the top five ways that we see people saving lots of money.

I believe that if you apply these five items, you will save over $1,000 a year.  Don’t believe me?  Try them out!

Part Three  Move high interest credit cards to zero-percent balance transfer credit cards

I do not know how the credit card industry has been so effective at teaching Americans to believe that 15% is a good interest rate.  But they are great at it!  I can not tell you the number of times I have heard the following statement during a financial counseling appointment:

“The interest isn’t bad on this card.  It is only 17%.” Or 13%. Or 11.99%.  Or …  You get the picture.

I used to say the same thing (when I was BROKE).  I got unBROKE by challenging my belief system and realized that I was allowing myself to be legally robbed of my money!

If you are paying high interest on a credit card, you should seek to restructure that debt.  One great way to restructure debt is to play the “surf the balance” game.  Move the balance to a zero-percent balance transfer credit card and then work like crazy to pay it off.  If it is not paid off by the end of the zero-percent period, surf it again.  This ensures that all of your payment goes to reduce the principal balance of the debt.

There are several 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards located on the “Next Steps” tab (HERE).  Move the balance and make progress toward 100% debt freedom!

You will save a ton of money by restructuring high interest debt!

Read entire series

SERIES: Top 5 Ways To Save Money WITHOUT Selling Anything 2

In a terrible economy, it is high time that the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. team deliver ways to save money!  This five part series will share the top five ways that we see people saving lots of money.

I believe that if you apply these five items, you will save over $1,000 a year.  Don’t believe me?  Try them out!

Part Two  Life Insurance

It is incredible the number of people who have dependents reliant upon their income yet do not have life insurance.  J.D. Power and Associates has determined that over 50 MILLION Americans have inadequate life insurance coverage.

As a teacher and speaker on the subject of personal finances, I have seen many examples of inadequate/no life insurance.  The impact that it has on the surviving dependents is devastating.  I have also seen instances where there was adequate insurance.  The result is much different!

I have also seen a lot of people who are paying way too much on life insurance.  I have seen people who are paying thousands of dollars a year in life insurance premiums who tell me that the cash value will be worth $1,000,000 when they retire.  I tell them that this is great, but if they would have term life insurance and invest the difference in cost, they would have $10,000,000.

I recommend term life insurance equal to eight to ten times one’s annual take-home pay.  For healthy people term life insurance is SO CHEAP.  I personally carry thirty year level term policies on my and m y bride.

You can obtain on-line quotes without speaking to anyone HERE

Go ahead and check them out.  If you do not have life insurance and you have dependents who are reliant upon your income, purchase a policy ASAP.  If you already have life insurance, compare the costs.

My bet is that you will save a ton of money.

Read entire series

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