Archive - September, 2010

How To Crush Your Finances: Divorce

Divorce is one of the top reasons that people struggle financially.   The old adage is true:

Marriage is grand.   Divorce is one hundred grand.

Divorce crushes finances because:

  • HOPE is lost
  • Maintaining 2 households instead of 1
  • Child support is very costly
  • Alimony is very costly
  • Attorneys take a huge chunk of cash

Have you been divorced or are you a child of divorce?   Would you be willing to share with us your experiences of how divorce has impacted you financially?

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NewSpring Church – The Blessed Life

I had the opportunity to speak at NewSpring Church on Sunday in their series titled “The Blessed Life.”

My message was Part 3 of the three part series, and it was titled “Positioned To Live The Blessed Life.”

You can watch/listen to the message HERE.

I am so grateful for the day that Perry Noble walked into my house and said, “God told me to go start a church.   Will you consider being a part of it?”   If you have never read his website, I consider it the top leadership blog in the world.   Yes.   I said THE WORLD.

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I am praying and pleading that I have met the last person who will say to me, “If I get , then I will be able to go do what I really want to do with my life.”

Are you kidding me?   Life is too short to spend wishing and hoping.   If you KNOW that you are called to do something, then get started today!   You may not be able to do it full time right now, but you can at least do it part time and develop the skills necessary to take it to full time.

You want to start a business?   Start doing the work part-time right now!   You want to be a stay-at-home mom?   Make the financial decisions necessary to at least work one less hour per day or one day less per week.   You want to travel around the world?   Start researching now on the Internet and save money to be prepared for the day that the dream WILL arrive!

STOP saying, “If I …”, and instead START saying, “I am ..” or “I will” or “When I”!

You CAN do what you are called to do.   What can YOU do to get started toward it today?

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I had the opportunity to speak at NewSpring Church on Sunday in their series titled “The Blessed Life.”

My message was Part 3 of the three part series, and it was titled “Positioned To Live The Blessed Life.”

You can watch/listen to the message HERE.

I am so grateful for the day that Perry Noble walked into my house and said, “God told me to go start a church.   Will you consider being a part of it?”   If you have never read his website, I consider it the top leadership blog in the world.   Yes.   I said THE WORLD.

Read recent posts 80% OFF Using Promo Code “Autumn”

Those who have attended a Financial Learning Experience or who read this blog regularly know that I love using gift certificates as a way to maximize my cash envelope money for Dining Out!

Through Sunday, is offering 80% Off of their gift certificates PLUS purchasers will also receive an additional $10 gift certificate!   Just search for your favorite restaurants HERE, and then grab a gift certificate – receive the discount by using the Promo Code: AUTUMN

As a matter of fact, I will be using a gift certificate today at one of my most favorite restaurants – Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill!

Just so you can see how the math works out:

$35 meal

– $25 gift certificate

+ $2 cost of gift certificate


$12 + tip!!!     For a $35 meal!!!

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93 Days Until Christmas

There are 93 days until Christmas!   Have you begun saving money so that you can purchase presents?

5 Things You Can Do To Prepare Financially

  1. Use the Mini-Budget (HERE) to write down every person for whom you are purchasing a gift. Use this tool to determine how much you are going to spend for each person.
  2. Set a target savings amount. Your Mini-Budget will help you establish your goal!
  3. Save an equal amount per paycheck. Divide your total goal amount by the number of paychecks you will receive between now and Christmas.   For example, if your goal is $720 and you are going to receive 5 paychecks between now and Christmas, you should save $144/paycheck.
  4. Be ready for Black Friday! My friend, The Saving Freak, always runs an annual series on Thanksgiving week helping people prepare to take advantage of amazing deals on the weekend following Thanksgiving.   Look at your newspapers and on-line deals – and have the money ready to take advantage of terrific savings!
  5. Stick to the plan! No matter what happens – do NOT overspend the plan!   By taking the time to plan now, you will greatly improve your chances of success this Christmas!

Repeat after me – “NO DEBT THIS CHRISTMAS!”

How have you prepared to pay for Christmas this year?

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Roland’s Cash Envelope

I just experienced one of the most incredible Financial Learning Experience weekends EVER at Messiah Church in Midland, MI!

On Friday night, Mark (IWBNIN Team Member) and I were able to grab dinner along with several of the financial coaches we were going to train the next morning.   It was at Pizza Sams – which is INCREDIBLE pizza!!!

Anyway, while there, Roland showed me one of the things that has changed his life the most when it comes to his finances – his grocery cash envelope.


It made me remember the reason that Jenn and I have used cash envelopes ever since we started our journey to financial freedom on December 2, 2002.

Here are three reasons I LOVE cash envelopes:

  • CONTROL We overspent our debit/credit cards.   We NEVER overspend cash money!
  • TRACKING It is so easy to understand how much is left for groceries – you just count the money in the envelope!   No more frustration related to counting up our bank and credit card transactions.
  • SAVINGS When you realize how limited your cash is for groceries, dining out, clothing, spending money, and entertainment, you will start searching for bargains and better deals!

Do you use cash envelopes?   If so, why?   If not, why?

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US National Debt- September Update

One of the most compelling reasons for  why we do what we do here at IWBNIN is the SOARING US National Debt.

National Debt as of 9/17/2010


This is an increase of 133,397,794,609 since last month!

By the time this post was completed, the national debt increased by an additional  $1million.

Your thoughts?

The Crusade is Heading to Midland, MI

We are PUMPED to carry the crusade to Messiah Church in Midlands, MI this weekend!!!!!

We will be training financial coaches and teaching the Financial Learning Experience.

If you are in the area and would like to join us for the Financial Learning Experience you can register here.

Get FIRED UP!!!!  We can’t wait to help people win with their money God’s way!!!!

Church Leaders: FREE Conference Call “Funded And Free”

If you are a church leader, I would love to you have you participate in the “Funded and Free” FREE Conference Call tomorrow (today?) – WEDNESDAY, 9/15, @ 1PM Eastern Time.   Topics include: Year-End Giving and Launching The New Year right!

I will be speaking as well as my Funded And Free co-author, Casey Graham.

You can register HERE.

More than 100 leaders have registered ALREADY!!!

I can’t wait!!!

Save Before Paying Off Debt

It happened again.   I had another set of conversations with people who have fallen into the trap of “attacking the debt” without first beginning to save money.

Here’s the deal.   Credit card companies KNOW that life is always going to have financial emergencies.   ALWAYS.   If they can convince you to use them for “emergencies”, they know that individuals are much less likely to maintain a savings account for emergencies.   As a result, when there is an emergency, the credit card is the hero and the individual sinks further into debt.

Just stop it.   Before paying a dime more than the minimum payment, build up your emergency savings account.   Save at least $1,000 – make it $2,500 if you have kids and/or own a home.   Yes, it slows down the debt pay-off.   Yes, it is frustrating to focus on savings when one has debt with interest.   BUT if you save first, you will secure your ability to stop acquiring new debt which is the biggest step toward true financial freedom you can make.

Save.   Save.   Save.

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Learn the three things you should always save for in my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. You can pick up a copy HERE.

WORDLE: I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Book

There is a new tool I have discovered on the Interwebs called Wordle.   You can plug in a bunch of text, and Wordle will produce a word picture for it.

I took the entire text of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. and plugged it in and Wordle produced the following picture:

Awesome!   The words “Money”, “Budget”, “Debt”, “Month”, and “Insurance” all stand out to me.

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Reverse Bucket List: What I’m Never Doing Again

Recently, many of you shared some of the items you have placed on your “Bucket List” – HERE.   Today, I want to talk about some “Reverse Bucket List” items – things I am NEVER doing again.

I was introduced to this concept by my mother when she announced to me that she was never going to a roller coaster park again.   She said, “That is on my reverse bucket list.   I’m never doing that again.”

It made me stop and think about this from a financial sense.   What are some things I am NEVER going to do again?

Here’s the start of my “Reverse Bucket List” …

I’m never going to:

  • Have non-house debt again (working feverishly to eliminate the house debt as well!)
  • Finance a car again
  • Finance anything with 90 days “same as cash” again – it is NOT the same as cash
  • Buy something and say, “My tax refund is coming, and I will pay for it then.”
  • Operate a single month without a written spending plan for that month’s money
  • Miss a single month investing for my two kiddos college and retirement
  • Operate without at least $2,500 in my emergency fund
  • Buy anything that costs more than $200 without first talking to Jenn about it

What are some items on your “Reverse Bucket List”?     Share some of your thoughts below!

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Bucket List: What Do You Want To Do?

In the movie, The Bucket List, one of the two individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness writes down his “bucket list” – the things he wanted to do before he “kicked the bucket.”

Call me crazy, but I believe that writing down one’s bucket list AFTER being diagnosed with a terminal illness is usually bad timing.   Of course, if you have a terminal illness and have not yet written down your bucket list, it is never too late!

So today, I am challenging you to write down your bucket list.   If you already have one, pull it out and update it.

Perhaps you would share some of your bucket list with all of the readers below. Once you have submitted your ideas, you can see everyone’s submissions by clicking the link provided that states “See previous responses” – Maybe you can get some more ideas to add to your list!.

By the way: We ALL have a terminal illness – it is called “being a human”.   The last I checked, the mortality rate was 100%.   So let’s get FIRED UP and LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST while we can!

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Why Do You Do What You Do?

I can’t believe that I get to do what I get to do for a living! Every single day, I get to help people, churches, and businesses FREE themselves financially.   Every. Single. Day.   It is life-giving, joy-filled, and affirming!   I get to help hopeLESS people become hope FUL.   I get to help leaders fund their dreams.

So on this lovely Friday, I want to start off this Labor Day weekend with a huge POSITIVE.   I want to hear what you do and why you do it!   Click on the “comment” link and share with us all.   Let’s share and read each other’s reasons and celebrate the fact that we get to do Life-Giving work!

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – September 2010

Every month there will be an update of Joe & Jenn’s Home Pay-Off Spectacular!

Here’s this month’s update!

Total Squares:   2,426

Paid-For Squares:   863 865

Squares Remaining:   1563 1561

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:   35.6% 35.7%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:   64.4% 64.3%

Here is the updated Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular

Blog Sangl Family Pay-Off Spectacular - Analysis 2010-09

A miserable two squares paid off this month.   We are debating major options on this home pay-off plan.   Options that may eliminate the mortgage entirely …     Things that continue to make you all say, I wonder what Sangl has cookin’?   Stay tuned …

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