Archive for August 2009

Weekend Line-Up

Here is the weekend line-up.  If you are in the area, I would love to see you at one of these events!

Thursday, August 20, 2009 – Charlotte, NC

  • Speaking at the Stewardship Challenge conference – Charlotte, NC edition with Rick Campbell, John Maxwell, and Steven Furtick
  • There is another Stewardship Challenge conference on the schedule – you should come – it is in Orlando, FL on October 15!

Saturday, August 22, 2009 – Phoenix, AZ

Sunday, August 23, 2009 – Phoenix, AZ

Coming up next week – Clarksville, TN and Anderson, SC – Four Financial Learning Experiences in four days.

Interested in booking Joe to teach for your church or business?  Contact him HERE – select "speaking request".

SERIES: Strategies For Saving Money

Part Three  Establish Accountability

Find someone who is (1) winning with money, (2) not trying to sell you something, and (3) are available to help you and ask them to hold you accountable to your saving goal.  I have seen some people go to the extreme length of actually giving the money to the other individual to hold for them because they cannot trust themselves to keep their own hands off of it.

Accountability can also be created by your written spending plan that you prepare every month before the month begins (you do prepare one, right?).  This plan helps cement your goals in your mind and helps you connect the fact that if you spend money on unplanned items, you will literally be robbing yourself of your savings goals.

I am married – this means I have built-in accountability.  Jenn is a huge saver.  She keeps me (the spender) in control. Establish accountability – it works!

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Learning From John Maxwell Brian Tome and Rick Campbell

Today, I had the unbelievable privilege to speak at the Stewardship Challenge hosted by Crossroads Church (Pastor Brian Tome).  I was the mule invited to the Kentucky Derby.  The line-up was:

  • Rick Campbell (Injoy Stewardship Solutions)
  • John Maxwell (EQUIP, Author, Leader's Leader, INJOY, 16,000,000 books sold (true statement))
  • Brian Tome (Pastor of Crossroads – unbelievable church, author, passionate leader, influencer)
  • Me.

So what did I do?  I took advantage of the opportunity to LEARN!  I LOVE LEARNING!  I scribbled notes so fast that the pen made a huge dent in the side of my finger (has that ever happened to you? – it is weird!).

Here are some outstanding nuggets I learned from John:

  • Am I willing to pay the price for my dream?
  • In the beginning, dreams are free.  That's why we love them so much!
  • The only way some people could get excited is if they could get away from themselves.
  • John confirmed his retirement plans: when he dies
  • When he stopped pursuing vision, the resources stopped.

Here are some outstanding nuggets I learned from Brian:

  • Vision is recession-proof!
  • Develop a culture.  Don't raise a budget.
  • Passionate about FREE.  Give away everything.  (Crossroads has their atrium open all day long with free wi-fi, fountain drinks, coffee, and other outstanding amenities)

Here are some oustanding nuggets I learned from Rick:

  • Be strong and courageous
  • Be strong and very courageous
  • I will share the rest in a later post – awesome devotional to start the day

A great day!

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SERIES: Stategies For Saving Money

Part Two  Create An Escrow Account For Known, Upcoming Expenses

For those unfamiliar with an escrow account, it is a savings account that is generally established by a mortgage company.  The mortage company totals the annual cost of property taxes and homeowner's insurance and divides it by the number of payments being made each year.  The mortgage company then pays for the taxes and insurance from this escrow (savings) account.  For example, if the property taxes are $1,200/year (sorry Chicago folks – this is how low they are in the South) and the insurance is $600, then the total amount needed each year is $1,800.  The mortgage company will collect $150 extra with each monthly payment to place into the escrow account.

An escrow account smooths out the cost over a year – instead of having to pay for it all in one month.  It tightens the monthly budget, but having a fully funded escrow account sure is AWESOME when vacation arrives and the money has already been saved to pay cash for it!  Those who have a mortgage with an escrow account will testify to the fact that they never worry about paying for the taxes and insurance – ask someone!

Take a moment to read THIS POST about how to calculate the amount you need to save each month for your known, upcoming expenses.

Take it from one who has lived it – if you do not plan for your known, upcoming expenses, your ability to save money will be tremendously hampered!

SERIES: Stategies For Saving Money

One of the largest issues I see during our one-on-one financial counseling meetings is the inability to save money. Saved money is essential to long-term sustainability.  Saved money relieves stress.  Saved money allows you to take a chance.  Saved money allows life to happen (job loss, disability, pay cut, injury, etc.).

But you already knew that part.  Yet, even though we KNOW how important it is to save money, most people fail to do so.  This series will focus on PROVEN techniques that have allowed many people to save money.

If you have negative savings (no money plus overdrafted accounts and debt), the goal is to bring you to zero.  If you are at zero, the goal is to get to at least $2,500.  If you have been able to save a substantial amount of money, it is my hope that you will participate in the discussion and share your own tips that have worked well for you!

Part One  Automatic Draft From Paycheck

Establish a savings account and have the money drafted from every single paycheck.  Whether it is $25 or $250 per pay period – just SAVE!  You KNOW that the car is going to break down.  You KNOW that the school is going to send home a surprise expense.

By establishing this draft, it allows the money to be "out-of-sight."  When money is out-of-sight, it can be out-of-mind.  This allows the account to grow without being robbed.

Now, I personally had a problem with this when I did not have a monthly budget.  I would ROB my own savings account about 2.1 microseconds after I was paid.  Only after I had a plan developed that Jenn and I agreed to did my savings account begin growing in a healthy manner.

How about you?  Do you have an automatic draft for your savings account set up from your pay check?

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