Archive - April, 2009

And The New Book Is …

Yesterday, I told you that my team has decided on the next resource that we will be releasing.  It will be released in August 2009!

So without further delay, the new book will be focused on teaching high school students:

12 Things I Wish I Had Learned About Money Before I Hit The Real World

It is our passion to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.  In I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. (and its related Group Study), I told my story of walking out of financial disarray, and I teach the tools we used to become debt-free.  It is mostly focused on providing a cure for an existing negative financial situation.

In this new resource, we are focusing on prevention of negative financial situations.  I know that I went through twenty years of formal education (13 years of K-12, 4 years of undergrad, 3 years of grad) and I had exactly zero classes on personal finances.  It is my hope that we can provide a resource that can be utilized in schools and in churches to teach high school students how to manage their financial resources well.

We need YOU!  We want to hear YOUR stories.  Share with us the things that you wish you had learned about money before you hit the real world.  Join the conversation and share YOUR stories on the "I Was Broke. Now I'm Not." Facebook Group HERE.

Not a member of the "I Was Broke. Now I'm Not." Facebook Group?  Click HERE to join!

Please Don’t Let This Happen To Me

Please don't let this happen to me!

Thanks to for providing the Cathy comic strip.

New Book On Its Way!

I am PUMPED to announce that a new book is on its way!  I have been praying with my team about what is the next resource we should produce, and the decision has been made.

So … what is the new book about?  I will tell you tomorrow, AND (shhhhh … it's a secret) I want your help in writing it!

That is right.  YOU can have a part in writing it.

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The Sticks Conference: May 12-13

I am PUMPED to be speaking during a breakout session of The Sticks Conference May 12 and 13 in Canton, Georgia.

Here are the reasons I am FIRED UP about (and why you should attend) The Sticks Conference:

  • Gary Lamb, Perry Noble, Tony Morgan, Greg Oraham, Charles Hill, and Ed Stetzer are speaking during the main sessions.  I can guarantee that these guys will be focused on providing PRACTICAL teaching.
  • It is being hosted by Revolution Church.  I have been to this church twice, and I read Gary Lamb's blog every day.  Why?  Because they are impacting their community in huge ways, and incredible life change is happening.  I LOVE life-changing work!
  • The Revolution Band is leading worship.  I said it HERE, I will say it again:  Their band is INCREDIBLE!  The quality of their band and sound in a pack-in, pack-out setting is the best I have ever heard.
  • It is focused on churches out in the sticks.  Truth is that most churches are out in the sticks and all of them operate on limited budgets.  This conference is focused on equipping these ministries to maximize their impact on their communities.

You can learn more about the conference and register HERE.

How Healthy Are Your Finances?

I saw that title on an article link at CNNMoney's personal finance website, so I clicked on it.

The link leads to a great tool that helps you evaluate your current financial condition – then it gives you a report card grade.

Check it out HERE

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Rule Of 72

Have you ever heard about the "Rule of 72"?

It is utilized to quickly provide a rough calculation of how long it will take your investment to double.

You need to know three things to use the "Rule of 72":

  1. The annual growth rate of the investment
  2. The current amount of money invested
  3. The amount of time (in years) the money will be invested

NOTE:  This rule does not include any additional contributions you make to your investment.

Here is how it works.  You divide 72 by the annual growth rate of the investment.  That tells you how many years it will take for the investment to double.  Then divide the number of years it takes to double into the amount of time the money will be invested.

Here is an example.  Let's say that you have $40,000 invested growing at an average of 8% a year and that it will be left alone for 36 years. We divide 72 by 8 and that tells us that the investment will double approximately every 9 years.  We divide the 36 year investment period by the time it takes the investment to double (9 years), and we find that the investment will double approximately 4 times.

So let's do the math and double the invest FOUR times.

Double Once:  $80,000 

Double Twice:  $160,000

Double Thrice:  $320,000

Double Four Times:  $640,000

Please note that this is an approximation.  The actual calculation is more difficult, but using the Investment Value Calculator HERE we find that the actual amount would be $705,793.

The point is to get a close approximation really fast. 

Top Reasons Budgets Fail

I have seen a lot of people prepare a written spending plan, and then fail to follow that plan.  At first blush, one would want to say that the people just did not have the discipline to stick with the plan.  As an engineer, I am always seeking to understand the root cause of someone's failure to stick to their budget.  So here are some of the top reasons that I see budgets fail.

  • Not having a budget.  That was too easy, but it is true!  Fail to plan.  Plan to fail.
  • Extremes – no spending money, $3.21 for groceries for the month, and no fun in the plan
  • Spouse refusing to participate in developing the spending plan
  • Spouse not asked to participate in developing the spending plan
  • No saving in the plan – this allows emergencies to totally derail the plan
  • Known upcoming expenses are not funded so they become budget busters when they do happen – Seriously.  Christmas IS going to happen!
  • Can not say "NO!" to children
  • No giving.  This is something I clearly see in financial counseling appointments.  Those who give are much better off – and it is not income related.

Maybe you can add some to this conversation in the comment section.  Better yet, maybe you can share how you have overcome these issues.

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Crusade Headed To Virginia

The crusade is heading to Virginia this weekend!  Here is the line-up.

Saturday, 4/25/2009

9AM – 2PM

6PM – 8:30PM

Sunday, 4/26/2009


  • Speaking during the morning service  The Community Fellowship – Collinsville, VA
  • Talking about money 🙂

1:30PM – 4:00PM


See more upcoming events by clicking HERE

I Know Everyone Can

If there was a phrase that could capture my heart for this crusade to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances, it would be this …

"I KNOW everyone can …"

Why do I travel the nation speaking and teaching on personal finances?  Because I KNOW everyone can …

  • prepare a written spending plan every single month
  • become debt-free
  • save money by asking for a better deal
  • improve their relationships by talking about their plans, hopes, and dreams
  • save money for emergencies, known upcoming expenses, and dreams
  • help their children avoid financial mistakes we have made
  • put money in its proper perspective
  • give more money away

I KNOW everyone can DO THIS!  You CAN do this!  Even when it is hard.  Even when faced with huge temptation.  Even when no one else is doing it.  Even when others tell you that you are crazy.  Even when the kids are demanding more.

You CAN do this.

Refinanced Your Mortgage?

I refinanced my house recently from 6.25% to 5.00%.  I did not pay any points and the cost of the refinancing will be recovered in less than seven months.  It was a no-brainer.

I have several friends who have refinanced as well.  Many of them report that they have obtained 4.75% interest.

People with 80/20 mortgage arrangements are discovering that they are saving a TON of interest by refinancing and obtaining a conventional first-mortgage only.

Have you refinanced?  Have you considered it?  It can cut YEARS off the repayment or it can provide margin in a very tight budget.

I really like the refinance calculator over at CNNMoney HERE.

Check it out, and then let everyone know what type of deal you got!

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Strategy Meeting

The leadership team of I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. is going off-site today to talk strategy.

Whether you are CEO of a huge company or CEO of You, Incorporated, it is important to occasionally remove yourself from the day-to-day trappings of e-mail, blogs, twitter, facebook (or myface as my Mom calls it), and daily activities.

What will be talking about?  We will be talking about how we can teach 100,000 people about personal finances in the next year.  I know this – we are passionate about helping others get a handle on their finances.  If you have ideas, we would love for you to send them in HERE.

Your thoughts and prayers would be appreciated as we tackle this goal over the next couple of days.

By the way, I have learned how to lead from the greatest leader I have ever personally met – Perry Noble.  Before we ever launched NewSpring Church, we went to an off-site meeting and did the very same thing that I will be doing this weekend with the I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. team.  I am glad I don't have to reinvent the wheel and have had an excellent leader in my path that has shown me how to effectively lead an organization that runs on the fuel of passion and clear vision.

Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – April 2009

Every month there will be an update of Joe & Jenn’s Home Pay-Off Spectacular!  With the refinancing completed, we are in position to make even more progress!

Here’s this month’s update!

Total Squares:  2,426

Paid-For Squares:  778  779

Squares Remaining:  1648 1647

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  32.0% 32.1%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  68.0% 67.9%

Here is the updated “Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular” (Click on the picture to view the larger, cleaner version)

Now that we have all of the refinancing out of the way, we should see a lot more squares colored in over the next months!

How are you doing on YOUR house payoff spectacular?  If you do not have one, you can get one here => Pay Off Spectacular – House.

Read previous Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular Updates

Fun Things To Do For FREE (or close to it)

In a tight economic time, a lot of people are getting very creative about how they spend their time and money.  Let's face it, we all want to have fun – even more so when the money is tight and times are stressful!  Here are some ways that I have seen people having fun and it is costing them NOTHING (or next to it).

  • Pick-up basketball games at the local park
  • Library visits – just to peruse the books, magazines, and check out free movies
  • Bake a new dish using stuff that is already in the pantry and freezer
  • Take the train downtown to people watch – I LOVE doing this in Chicago!
  • Pull up and catch up on some old shows (like T.J. Hooker!)
  • Start a blog
  • Dig up some trees out of a ditch and transplant them into your yard
  • Take time to pet the dog and cat
  • Volunteer at a local community center, food pantry, or animal shelter
  • Clean up the yard
  • Attack one room in the house and reorganize it

Those are a few ideas.  What are your favorite things to do that cost little or no money?

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Financial Counselor Training Opportunities

I am PUMPED about the two weekends following Easter!  Why?  Because we will be training financial counselors through our Financial Counseling Experience both Saturdays.

Do you want to be trained to become a financial counselor?

Click HERE to learn more and to register!

Dial-up Internet

I am visiting my parents this week.  They live out in the country.  Way out in the country.

They have dial-up internet.  You know what I am talking about?  The uuurrrrrrrrrr-shhhhhh-ruurrur-eeenk-eenk-shshhss-ccrrrshsskssskkk modem sound and everything.

It is slower than Moses getting out of the desert.

I KNOW that it is cheaper than high-speed, but it is basically worthless for doing anything on the internet.

For those of you who are using dial-up, please share how you are still able to effectively utilize this so-1990s (Smile) service.

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