Archive - April, 2011

NO Equals YES

It is hard to be told the word, “No!”   Just observe your children when you utter this word to them!

As hard as it is to be told, “No!”, it is even harder to say this word to ourselves.   After all, don’t we know what is best for us?

Let me tell in on a big secret:

NO actually means YES

When you tell yourself NO right now, you enable yourself to say YES to something more important in the future.


  • Saying NO to another video game purchase allows you to say YES to funding their college fund
  • Saying NO to a new car now allows you to say YES to funding your retirement account
  • Saying NO to a little vacation now allows you to say YES to funding a dream vacation later
  • Saying NO to a kitchen upgrade allows you to say YES to giving money to a worthy cause
  • Saying NO to debt now allows you to say YES to pursuing a dream job even though it pays less right now

See?   NO equals YES!

Have you ever said NO (even when it was hard to do so) and it allowed you to say YES later to something more important?   Share your story in the comments!

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IHHE RANT: What Difference Does It Make Now?

I routinely meet people who are so broke that they cannot see the forest because of the trees.

They can sit through an entire two-hour Financial Learning Experience where I teach the power of having a written plan for life and a written plan for their money.   I have taught the enormous power of attacking debt with the Debt Freedom Date Calculation and using the debt snowball to eliminate it.

After all of this, I still encounter people who say, “This can never work for me.   I’m beyond help.   What difference does it make now?”   Then they offer their reason (excuse) for why they can’t win with their money:

  • “I’m too old.”
  • “I’m too deep in debt.”
  • “I have no income.”
  • “I have too little income.”
  • “My spouse won’t participate.”
  • “I am stupid with money.”
  • “My parents didn’t teach me about money.”
  • “There’s no hope for me.”

Are you kidding me?   “What difference does it make now?”   Let me count some ways …

  • You’ll prove to yourself that you COULD do this!
  • You won’t have to eat Alpo during retirement!
  • You can help your children go to college and graduate debt-free!
  • You can use your past mistakes (and successes) to teach your children and grandchildren how to win with their money!
  • You won’t have to say, “Hi.   Welcome to Wal-Mart.” when you are 83 years young (unless you CHOOSE to)
  • You will develop a positive outlook on life – which leads to a longer, better, and more productive life
  • You will be able to leave an inheritance for your children and causes you really care about
  • You can position others to win with their money by leading the way!
  • Your ACTIONS will speak and teach way louder than any words you ever use.

What you do starting TODAY can make a major difference tomorrow!

QUESTION: What is ONE THING you can do today to make a difference tomorrow?

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Teach Your Children About Money – Need Your Help!

Since you have all voted that the subject matter of my next book should be focused on “How To Teach Your Children About Money”, I have begun writing!   I’m FIRED UP!

But I need your help!   Especially from those of you who have already raised children who have proven to be RESPONSIBLE with their finances.

How have you taught your children about money?   Please share with me in the form below!   If you can’t see the form, click HERE.

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Top 5 Reasons I Love Taking Paid-For-In-Advance Vacations

You may have wondered why there was silence on the blog for most of the past week.   It was because I was able to kidnap my bride away from our two beautiful children and do something we have never done before – go on a cruise through the beautiful Caribbean!

As we boarded the 991-foot long Caribbean Princess bound out of San Juan, Puerto Rico for St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, Barbados, and St. Lucia, I was overwhelmed at how blessed I really am!   I can not believe that I am so blessed that I am able to take such a tremendous vacation – and to do it without debt.

I just want to share a picture (click on the picture to get a better view) and a few things that I love about taking “paid-for-in-advance” vacations.


Top 5 Reasons I love taking “paid-for-in-advance” vacations:

  1. No debt follows me home
  2. Able to totally enjoy the trip – knowing we saved for it!
  3. Total relaxation knowing that we funded a dream – and lived the dream!
  4. Able to negotiate a better deal because we had to plan early to save for this trip!
  5. My bride is happy!

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Joe Sangl’s Next Book: The VOTE Results Are In

A few days ago, I asked you to vote on which book I should write next.   After a nationwide vote, the results are in.   According to your votes, I should write …

2011-04-19 Joe's Next Book


I am really excited about getting started with this next book, and I am hoping for a release early next Spring!

If you voted for one of the other books, please know that I will be writing both of them.


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One Share of US National Debt

This is a guest post by IWBNIN team member, Mark Asbell.

It is very frustrating to see the US National Debt total consistently going up up and up with little to no plan for ever being able to fix it.  When Joe updated everyone in March about the new total US National Debt, I caught myself in the middle of a very disturbing thought and emotion.

It isn’t difficult to understand that the number is going up up and up, but the number is SO LARGE I can’t even begin to really comprehend it.  Throw all the analogies my way about how it would take so many hundred dollar bills that it would fill up the ocean or whatever – I still can’t really wrap my mind around $14,000,000,000,000 (trillion).

In March Joe posted how much $14 trillion translates for each of us as individuals if we all split it evenly.  The number is over $46,000 per person in the US.  I can understand $46,000, in fact I had heard a number like that before.  When I read that my portion of the bill was only $46,000 I caught myself literally thinking “my part hasn’t gone up that much since the last time I heard that number”, and I felt as though it wasn’t so bad.  That is a ridiculous thought to have, and it reminded me of a tragic flaw in the thought process I once had with my own personal finances.

For several years, my wife and I racked up a horrible amount of debt.  I never dreamed we would ever get behind on bills but we did.   As I think back on those times, I realize part of the problem was I would get a credit card bill, see the balance going up by large amounts and think “dang”.  But then I would see the minimum payment only go up a little bitty bit and I would think, “I can handle that for now and pay it off later.”  Fast forward a year or two – the same credit card balance was still going up and the minimum payment was eventually getting beyond my means.  I eventually had to reach a breaking point to turn things around.

My family almost lost everything when we hit our breaking point.  It doesn’t have to be that way for our personal finances OR our national finances.  We should be more concerned with what the OVERALL TOTAL US Debt is and take it VERY seriously that our share is going up a little bit more every day.  How long will it take for us to view that number as beyond our means?  What is the breaking point going to be for our Nation?

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VOTE: Joe Sangl’s Next Book

I am FIRED UP to begin the writing process for my next book!   Here’s the deal – we want to hear from YOU about which one I should write next.

Can you take a moment to place your vote HERE (or in the form below).

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Repetitive Financial Failures

Have you ever known someone whose life seemed to always be be in financial turmoil, BUT there really was no reason for it to be that way?

After all, they appear to have everything necessary to succeed financially.

They have:

  • Education
  • Good-paying job
  • A good marriage
  • Great personality
  • Lots of friends

But they are completely B-R-O-K-E.   Every single paycheck is immediately handed over to the lenders.   They’ve declared bankruptcy once, and it appears that they feel like a second one wouldn’t be too bad.   Every little bit of extra money is immediately spent on stuff that has zero value (or soon will have no value).

As the leader of an organization on a crusade to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances, this can be extremely frustrating.   We KNOW that everyone can win with their money.   We KNOW that it is possible for everyone to prosper.   Yet, it appears that some people choose poverty.

Surely you know somebody (somebodies) that lives this way.

I want your help understanding this behavior. Can you leave a comment below sharing the reasons you believe some people choose to live this way?

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National Debt: What YOU can do about it – 3

If you weren’t able to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, you should do that first.

PART THREE Become informed

If you do not know where all of America’s money is going, it will be really difficult to speak with authority on the topic.   It is important to become informed – understand where the money goes and why it is going to each program.

Here are some great places to start becoming informed:

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National Debt: What YOU can do about it – 2

If you weren’t able to read Part 1 of this series, you should do that first.


This financial mess is ridiculous.   Instead of being a lender to many nations, we have become a debtor to many nations.   In order to get the budget to balance, we will need to CUT SPENDING.   This means that some great programs will suffer budget cuts.   It means that some great programs will be cut out altogether.

We must understand that the cuts do not mean that the programs are not good.   It just means that our nation is out of money!

I am a simple person, so let’s make this really simple.   If my budget shows a deficit, I MUST balance it to EXACTLY ZERO.   After all, it is my trademarked catchphrase: INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO

There are two ways to balance the budget:

  1. Increase INCOME (raise taxes or stimulate the economy so that more taxes are paid)
  2. Decrease OUTGO (reduce/eliminate programs)

Experts generally agree that some of both #1 and #2 must happen.   BOTH will require personal sacrifice.   Get ready.

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National Debt: What YOU can do about it – 1

You’ve seen our monthly US National Debt updates,   and it is not good news.

If you are like me, the sheer enormity of it can cause one to say, “That’s really bad.”   Then …   nothing happens.   We do nothing about it.   Our leaders do nothing about it.

Collectively as a nation, we continue to spend ourselves to oblivion.

What CAN we do about it?   It turns out that we can do a lot!   Here are some ideas to get you started.


Seriously – if YOU won’t live a fiscally responsible life – with a balanced budget, with manageable debt (or no debt!), with margin (savings), and continually planning for what’s next – why on Earth would we ever expect our leadership to do so?

Are YOU living it in your own life?   If you are, you have the authority and the authenticity to hold our leadership accountable.   If you are not, yet you are complaining about the debt and financial mismanagement – that is called … a hypocrite!

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – April 2011

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:   881 893

Squares Remaining:   1545 1533

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:   36.3% 36.8%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:   63.7% 63.2%

Here is the updated Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular (click to view large size)

Blog Sangl Family Pay-Off Spectacular - Analysis 2011-04

As promised last month, we have begun our full-out assault on the mortgage!   After facing enormous financial challenges with the unbelievable and long-awaited blessing of our baby boy and having heat pumps, hot water heaters, and many other costs, we are now in position to attack the mortgage again.   Next month will be an even larger chunk!

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