Archive - May, 2011

Hey! You’re Robbing My Inheritance!

I meet people all of the time who “have this brother” or “have this sister” who is a complete and utter financial failure – and their parents continually bail them out.   I’m grateful that this has not been a problem in my family, but it is amazing how many families HAVE experienced this situation!

Here are some statements I have heard:

  • My sister has run up her credit cards at least three times, but my parents keep bailing her out.   It is so frustrating!
  • My brother refuses to get a job and constantly hits up our parents for money.   It is annoying!
  • My brother never buys clothing for his kids because he knows that our parents will take care of it.   Unbelievable!

While it is indeed annoying and frustrating, it could also be called something else – THEFT.

Let’s think about this in a step-by-step logical order.

  1. Parents usually leave all or most of their assets as an inheritance for their children (Prov 13:22)
  2. If a sibling has been continually tapping mom and dad for money, there is less inheritance to distribute
  3. Parents usually divide the assets equally among each of their children
  4. This means that the financially-misbehaving sibling receives the same amount of inheritance as the siblings who did not continually tap mom and dad for money

NET EFFECT: The children who behaved well financially are robbed of some of their inheritance by their financially-misbehaving sibling.

Have you ever looked at it this way?   Have you experienced this in your own family?

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5 Ways Joe Sangl Has FAILED With Money – Failed To Seek God’s Will

I am writing this series partly to help people win with their own money, but also as a reminder to myself that money pitfalls abound and that we are ALL susceptible to falling into making a poor financial decision.

Part Five Failed To Seek God’s Will

I am a follower of Jesus Christ.   Yet, I have found that some of my poorest financial decisions have been made when I failed to stop and consider what God’s Word had to say about it.   When we were living with an average bank balance of $4.13, it literally felt like Satan himself was attacking our finances.   Then I realized that I was not seeking God’s will for my finances and my financial decisions.   Psalm 24:1 says that God owns it all.   I believe it because I’ve never seen anyone be able to take anything with them when they die!   Proverbs 22:7 and Romans 13:8 each share important facts about debt.   Proverbs 13:22 talks about leaving an inheritance for my grandchildren.   Proverbs 13:11 instructs me to save little by little so that my money can grow.   Jesus’ parable in Matthew 25:14-30 clearly tells me that I will have more to manage if I focus on becoming a better manager of what I have right now!

The day that I began to read God’s Word and to prayerfully seek His will is THE DAY that my family began to be blessed incredibly – in many ways – not just financial.   Can I get an AMEN! in the house?

PROBLEM: Failed to seek God’s will

SOLUTIONS: 1) Learned what God’s word had to say about the subject   2) Prayerfully seek His will for each financial decision I make

Read entire series (available after 5/28/2011)

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5 Ways Joe Sangl Has FAILED With Money – Living With No Margin

I am writing this series partly to help people win with their own money, but also as a reminder to myself that money pitfalls abound and that we are ALL susceptible to falling into making a poor financial decision.

Part Four Living with no margin

If you have financial margin, you already know what I’m talking about it.   If you have NEVER established financial margin, YOU HAVE NO IDEA what this means.   I had experienced my IHHE Moment on December 2, 2002.   Living with no margin means that you are constantly faced with surprise and unexpected expenses that clobber your finances.   These surprise and unexpected expenses will still show up when you have margin, but you already have the money saved so it is just a matter of paying for it with no worries!

Because my family had no financial margin, we made less than stellar purchasing decisions – usually paying for the surprise expense with a credit card.   It felt like we were trapped into a cycle of broke with no margin.

My family first experienced financial margin beginning in February 2003.   We were able to put our tax refund into savings that month.   When that happened, I was literally able to breathe in a way I have never experienced before!   I highly recommend it!

Believe me when I tell you that life with margin is completely different from a life with no margin.   You CAN NOT PROSPER if you do not have margin.   It is IMPOSSIBLE.

PROBLEM: Living with no margin

SOLUTIONS: 1) Budgeting each month   2) Prioritizing savings in the budget   3) Holding each other accountable to not using the savings for random wants

Read entire series (available after 5/28/2011)

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5 Ways Joe Sangl Has FAILED With Money – Spent Future Earnings

I am writing this series partly to help people win with their own money, but also as a reminder to myself that money pitfalls abound and that we are ALL susceptible to falling into making a poor financial decision.

Part Three Spent Future Earnings

It happened EVERY Christmas.   We failed to save money for this Known Upcoming Non-Monthly Expense so we would pull out the plastic and tell ourselves, “We’ll pay this off with our tax refund.”   In other words, we spent future money before we ever received it.   Some people call this “Dead Presidents” – this is when your money (with pictures of famous people and some dead presidents) show up dead on arrival since they are already pledge toward a debt.   Isn’t it a terrible feeling to receive a paycheck, bonus, or tax refund and know that it is just going to immediately go on to someone else?   I lived this way for years!

This happened on a much larger scale when I purchased cars with debt.   In reality, I spent nearly half of a year’s gross salary just to purchase a vehicle.   Not good if you want to win with your money!

I started winning with money when I spent money in a way that generated future earnings (investing!) instead of taking future earnings away (debt!).

PROBLEM: Spent future earnings before even receiving them!

SOLUTIONS: 1) Prepare a budget every month before I’m paid   2) Firing my “wanting” 3) Realized that when I told myself “NO!” I am really telling myself “YES!” to something even more important

Have you ever hurt your finances by spending future earnings poorly?

Read entire series (available after 5/28/2011)

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5 Ways Joe Sangl Has FAILED With Money – Overconfidence In My Ability

I am writing this series partly to help people win with their own money, but also as a reminder to myself that money pitfalls abound and that we are ALL susceptible to falling into making a poor financial decision.

Part Two Overconfidence In My Ability

Have you ever saw someone who was really skilled at a particular craft and said to yourself, “I can do that as well as them.”?   I remember this happening to me when I had the opportunity to attend the Shell Houston Open PGA Tournament in 1996.   I had just finished my FINAL final exams of my college career, and I had the opportunity to fly to Houston and watch the PGA golfers tee it up at the Woodlands.   After four days of watching them swing perfectly, putt beautifully, and dress really well, I apparently became delusional and thought that I could golf just as well – so as soon as I arrived home, I went to the golf course.   I dressed really well.   The golf clubs were great – and nearly identical to many of the Tour players.   Then I made the mistake of swinging the club.   After spraying shots all over the golf course, I shot a 68 …   by hole #13.   I was overconfident.   What I had seen did not translate into ability.

This cost me financially when I made the decision to purchase a “fixer-upper” house.   My reasoning and logic was impeccable (or so I thought).   After all, my wife watched ALL of the home improvement shows.   She loved the shows – so she would love the opportunity to try her hand out at it – right?   Ummmm …

My brilliant thinking continued as I thought, “My father has built homes for 50+ years so surely I will be able to this basic remodel work.”   Ummmm …

Of course, I was dreadfully wrong.   I discovered that in real life, home improvement projects took approximately 4 billion years – not 30 minutes like the TV show.   I also discovered that I was very limited in my own skill set.   While I knew what needed to be done, getting it done (and done well) was a much different thing.

The end result is that we got to spend THOUSANDS of extra dollars due to my overconfidence in my ability.

PROBLEM: Overconfidence in my ability

SOLUTION: 1) Seeking counsel when I realize that I just don’t know   2) Listening to my bride   3) Write down the actual costs of repair and then multiply it by two

Has overconfidence in your ability ever caused you to fail with your finances?   Share your story!   It will help us all learn, and it might even be a little therapeutic!

Read entire series (available after 5/28/2011)

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5 Ways Joe Sangl Has FAILED With Money – Gotta Have It Now

I am writing this series partly to help people win with their own money, but also as a reminder to myself that money pitfalls abound and that we are ALL susceptible to falling into making a poor financial decision.

Part One Gotta Have It Now

I had graduated from college, and I was the first person in my family to complete a college education.   With a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in hand, I was FIRED UP to have completed my education, and to be finally earning money.   My college sweetheart had also just said “YES!” when I asked her to marry me.   So to celebrate, I wanted to get a new car.   After all, I felt that I needed a new car so I bought one.   I did not even really negotiate the sales price.   It is quite possible that I paid twice for that car when you toss in the interest that I paid.

1997ChevyCavalier

Of course, hindsight tells me that I just really wanted a new car, but my “Gotta Have It Now” desire overtook reason and logic.   The result was 48 months of payments for that smokin’ HOT Chevy Cavalier.

This is, of course, just ONE example of many times that I allowed myself to give in to “Gotta Have It Now” Fever, and it is a great reminder to me to be ever vigilant to ensure it doesn’t happen again!

PROBLEM   “Gotta Have It Now” Fever

SOLUTIONS 1.) A written budget   2.) Working together on the budget with my bride   3.) Waiting overnight before making a major purchase decision

Have you ever failed with money because of “Gotta Have It Now” Fever?   Share your story – we can all LEARN from each other!

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Flushing Money Down The Toilet

MoneyFlushPicture

Ever spent money and felt like you might as well be flushing it down the toilet?

I’ve had those experiences.   We all have.

Situations like the following come to mind:

  • Moneypit House Repairs
  • Fixing a boat
  • Health club membership and haven’t been to health club in years
  • Giving money to a friend/family member who refuses to change their poor financial behaviors

Maybe you are doing this right now – and you don’t even realize just how big it is costing you!

  • Paying interest on your home mortgage – adds up to THOUSANDS per year!
  • Paying interest on a credit card balance or furniture purchase – can add up to THOUSANDS per year!
  • Purchasing a brand new car/boat/truck/ATV/etc – and HUNDREDS and THOUSANDS of dollars are lost the moment it is taken off the lot!
  • Paying for a storage unit for stuff you don’t even use!

These “hidden costs” can add up to a TON of money that can be used in so many more ways than just “flushing it down the toilet”.

What is ONE THING you could do today to make a huge difference tomorrow?

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Southcrest Church – Newnan, GA

I am FIRED UP to be at Southcrest Church in Newnan, Georgia this weekend!   I will be speaking as part of their “G90X” series – three morning services immediately followed by the Financial Learning Experience.

It is all about helping people become financially healthy so they can accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their lives! Do I really get to do this for a living?!?!?

GET FIRED UP!

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Mark And Shawna’s Story

Many of you know that Mark Asbell is a huge part of this crusade to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances. He has been a tremendous help in growing this crusade at NewSpring Church and taking this message to the nation.

What you may not know is Mark and Shawna’s financial story.   If you want to GET FIRED UP and BE ENCOURAGED – take 3 minutes to watch their story:

If you can’t view the video, click HERE.

If your financial story were put into a 3-minute video, what would you say?

“And there will be a party.”   I’m going to that party!!!!

By the way, Mark writes a blog about money and relationships.   You can read that HERE.

GET FIRED UP!!!

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May 2011 National Debt Update

The US National Debt has increased by $125,876,004,304 since our last update in March 2011.  This continues the trend we saw in March, that the National Debt is now increasing at a decreasing rate each month.

National Debt as of 5/19/2011

$14,386,055,258,209

Does this mean as a country that we are starting to take steps to actually gain control over our National Debt?

Have you personally began taking steps to gain control over your personal debt?

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Countdown to 200,000 miles – 8,319 to go! NASCAR Edition

I’ve started the countdown for my clunker (AKA The Green Hornet) to reach 200,000 miles traveled.   You can see a picture of this beautiful piece of work HERE.

CURRENT MILEAGE:   191,681

In this series, I will be sharing some of my favorite features of The Green Hornet as well some favorite moments.

The “NASCAR Racing Stripe” Moment
We had just purchased our current home back in early 2007, and we were fixing up and updating some of the 30-year old features of our home.

I drove The Green Hornet through the fence gate that enters into the back yard to bring materials around to the back of the house.   It was early in the morning and the dew was still on the grass.   It was also slightly uphill into the back yard.   The truck needed a little “extra” help to get through the fence, so I stepped on the gas pedal.

The rear tires swung to the right, caught, and then jumped through the fence.   As I jumped out of the truck, the look on my wife’s face was frightening.   She was staring at me with an “I can’t believe I just watched that happen!” look.   With dread, I walked around the truck and viewed the newest feature of The Green Hornet – a NASCAR Racing Stripe.   It was just like I had hit the wall of Darlington at 180 mph.   A picture for your viewing pleasure is below.

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THE RESPONSE: Do Parents Owe Their Children A Paid-For College Education?

I was BLOWN AWAY by the response to THIS BLOG POST where I asked the question, “Do parents owe their children a paid-for college education?”!!!!!!

Here is a summary of the responses:

  • 76% said NO! Parents do not owe their children a paid-for college education.
  • 24% said YES! Parents owe their children a paid-for college education.

In fact, many people were more than a little “bothered” (read: absolutely frustrated) by the use of the word “owe”.

Here are a few of the TONS of comments that I wanted to share with you:

Those who said YES! Parents owe their children a paid-for college education.

  • “I think parents should pay for their children’s education, I guess I don’t like the word owe.”
  • “College is right up their with providing other needs such as medical, dental. Parents should PLAN for college/technical education for their children.”
  • “My mom and daddy paid for my college degree. I graduated with no school debt which made looking for a job in a rough economy a lot less stressful because I did not have worry about loans.”
  • “Start NOW! What a great thing for your kids to not be burdened with college debt!”

Those who said NO! Parents do NOT owe their children a paid-for college education.

  • “I want to be able to help my child with their education, but it is by now means something I owe them.”
  • “I feel that parents should give their childern guidance and a help entering college. This may mean financial assistance the first year which is often overwhelming academically and socially.   It will mean more to the child to earn their own way.   Often, the child will work harder and be more responsible. My in-laws took a different approach with my wife.   She had to pay her first year and they funded the rest of her education.”
  • “It’s been my experience that kids who pay for their own college education are less likely to “goof off” or be lazy in college.   They take their education more seriously and tend to appreciate it much.   Also, if they work their way through school rather do 100% of it through student loans, they develop a good, strong work ethic.”
  • “Parents don’t owe it, but it should be a priority for them to save for their children’s education.   We have saved to pay 100% of tuition and room and board for our children’s education and hope it is a great blessing to them.   They have also worked hard to obtain scholarships knowing that we have worked hard to provide this for them.   Next year, with two kids in college, we will have $0 debt/student loans, but $30,900 in academic scholarships.”
  • “I was responsible for books and living expenses, but at no point and time did I think that my parents owed me an education.   My dad said that he would pay for 4 years.   After that I was on my own.”   Note from Sangl: This was my personal favorite response.

I was OVERWHELMED by your participation in this survey!   We literally had HUNDREDS of people respond and write us paragraphs of great thoughts!

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Dreaming Big Dreams

When was the last time that you sat back and dreamed about this question: “What would happen if I …?”

I’m not talking about “What would happen if I went to the store now versus three hours from now?”

I’m talking about asking BIG QUESTIONS like:

I wonder what would happen if I …

  • got serious about KILLING MY DEBT?
  • got off the couch and put my jogging shoes on?
  • went to college and got the degree I’ve always had a passion for?
  • asked her to marry me?
  • asked a business leader to mentor me?
  • started that business I’ve always dreamed of?
  • took a chance on myself?

Here are some big questions I’m asking myself:

I wonder what would happen if I …

  • hired more team members to further reach this nation with this crusade?
  • wrote two books each year?
  • asked everyone associated with this crusade to make a commitment to focus on teaching one person in their life how to win with money?
  • gave away even more resources for free?
  • took this crusade to other nations?
  • took this crusade to the radio and to TV?
  • took this crusade to the nation’s capitol and helped this NATION become debt-free?

Those are some of the BIG QUESTIONS I am asking myself.

I would love to hear some of the BIG QUESTIONS you are asking yourself!

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Do Parents Owe Their Children A Paid-For College Education?

This ought to be fun …

One of the largest financial challenges faced by many young people today is the cost of higher education.   College expenses have continued to increase at nearly twice the rate of inflation.   This has led to many graduates owing an entire year of salary (or even two or three year’s worth) in student loan debt!   In many cases, these young people are repaying student loan debt equivalent to a home mortgage.

Parents can position their children to financially succeed by paying for their education – whether it is vocational school, technical college, or university.   After all, there is an 18 year notification that a child is going to be headed to college.   BUT education is very expensive, and there are so many items competing for our money.

Some people say that parents OWE their children a paid-for education.   Others say that their children should pay for it themselves.

I want to hear your thoughts!   Please share them in the quick 15-second survey below (or click HERE if you can’t see it).

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Countdown to 200,000 miles – 8,880 to go!

I’ve started the countdown for my clunker (AKA “The Green Hornet”) to reach 200,000 miles traveled.   You can see a picture of this beautiful piece of work HERE.

CURRENT MILEAGE:   191,120

In this series, I will be sharing some of my “favorite” features of The Green Hornet as well some “favorite moments”.

The “OMG What is going on!!?!?!?!?!” Moment

I was driving TGH (The Green Hornet) along a nice road in my fair hometown of Anderson.   This road had a speed limit of 45 mph.   As I was traveling along at the speed limit, I hit a mild bump and THE HOOD flew up!   I’m not talking about popping up three inches and catching the safety.   I’m talking COMPLETE BLINDNESS – the hood completely blocked my view!!!   In town.   On a busy road.   Oh – and the road had curves and I was on one of them.

Now, this is a special moment for anyone, but the fact that I got to share it with TGH made it extra special.   God alone kept me from being in a huge accident that day, and all TGH has to show for it are two supremely beautiful large dents in the hood.   You can see them in high-res by clicking the photo below.

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Have YOU ever had a moment like this with your “special” vehicle?

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