Archive - June, 2011

What Is The Vision?

Most people struggle with managing their money well.   When asked about the cause of their financial struggles, many reasons are presented, but most of them are inaccurate or misguided.   Too little income, high expenses, non-participating spouse, high debt load, health issues, and bad luck are often presented to me as the reason for financial misery.

All of these reasons are SYMPTOMS of a poor financial situation, but they are not the CAUSE.

I truly believe that the number one cause of financial failure is LACK OF VISION.

Proverbs 29:18 KJV says, “Without vision, the people perish.”   Observe great leaders and you will realize that they have tremendous vision.   Speak with individuals who have won with their own money, and you will realize that they also have a clearly defined vision for their life and finances.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Write down your vision for your life and family.

Do it right now!   Here are some good starter statements:

  • In 20 years, we want to have given away $XX,XXX to the following organizations.
  • In 20 years, we want to have traveled to …
  • In our lifetime, we want to be able to …

I would be honored if you would share some of your vision statements with me!   Send them to me HERE.

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You Can Do This TODAY!

As I was walking through a parking lot on a recent trip, my attention was drawn to a gentleman who was walking nearby.   He might have been a millionaire, but if so he certainly hid it well.   I saw outward signs of poverty.   Unclean.   His countenance was cast down.   No spark in his step and no sparkle in his eye.

For whatever reason, I felt a prompting to give him some money.   He had not approached me.   He did not ask for it, but I walked over to the man and said, “Let me bless you today”, handed him the money, and turned away.

His surprise was obvious.

I have no idea what he did with the money, but I believe he probably needed that money way more than me.

LIFE LESSON:   Living generously is the only way to live.

ACTION FOR TODAY: Find someone that you can bless with a gift of money, service, or time – and do it TODAY!

Have you ever been able to bless someone like this?   Share your story with us in the comments!

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FREE Savings Webinar

I am FIRED UP about our new website!   As part of our celebration, we have made the decision to GIVE AWAY our “How To Save $1,000 RIGHT NOW!” webinar.   Why would we do this?   Because it is our passion to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money!

This webinar is fast-paced and filled with over 18 ways that you can start saving money in your current budget today!

We recently received the following comment from Shirley:

“Joe, I have been taking your course at my church for 5 wks now and just listened to your save $1000 now webinar. I am a dog groomer and needed to order supplies, so, I looked up retailmenot and got a %10 off code for my supplies. My bill went from $278.09 to $250.28. I am thrilled to have your help and suggestions. BTW, I have saved up over $500 so far in 5 weeks!

God Bless and keep up the great work!”

Thanks, Shirley, that is what this crusade is all about!

I challenge you to watch the FREE “How To Save $1,000 RIGHT NOW!” webinar.

Just click HERE to start saving!

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SERIES: Joe Sangl’s Favorite Financial Tools – Early Pay-Off Calculator

Welcome to the latest series at JosephSangl.com – Joe Sangl’s Favorite Financial Tools

In this series, I will be sharing the tools that I love the most.   There are several reasons I love these tools, but mostly I like them because they literally helped me change my life!

Part TwoEarly Pay-Off Calculator

The early pay-off calculator is a HOPE-GENERATOR!   Do you want to get FIRED UP?   Do you want to see the answer to the question, “What if?”   Use the Early Pay-Off Calculator to answer the question!

I have found that the Early Pay-Off Calculator is most impactful when used to calculate how much more quickly a home mortgage would be paid off if one were to begin paying extra principal each month.

As example, consider a $150,000 home mortgage financed for 30 years at 5% annual interest.   The principal and interest payment would be $805/month.

  • Pay just $905/month ($100 extra), the early pay-off calculator shows that the mortgage would be eliminated in 23.5 years (6.5 years sooner)
  • Pay $1,000/month ($195 extra), the mortgage pay-off would occur in 19.7 years
  • What if one were able to make two payments per month ($1,610/month)?   Pay-off would occur in 9.8 years!

Don’t think it is possible to make two payments per month?   Think again!   Most people could make two, three, or even four payments per month if they eliminated all of their other debts!   I challenge you to pull up the Early Pay-Off Calculator, punch in your numbers and discover why this tool will be one of your favorites too!

TOOL:   Early Pay-Off Calculator

RESOURCE: My book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not., is a great resource to help you attack debt and make it leave your life!

Read the entire series (available after 6/17/2011)

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Chopped Up Credit Cards

I received a great Twitter message the other day with the following statement and picture:

“2 credit cards cut up and outta here! One with zero balance! One more to go and I’m done with these things @joesangl

wpce

Listen – if you plan your spending and pay your cards off every month, get all the points you want.   But I had to chop mine up.   Apparently, this was the right decision for Desiree Dare too!

Can I ask you to do ONE THING?

  1. Go to Desiree’s Twitter page and leave her an encouraging note (HERE)

It is our team’s goal to help EVERYONE take their next steps toward their financial goals – and to accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money!

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Countdown to 200,000 miles – 6,272 to go! Jerk 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:   193,728

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

IMG-20110613-00009

The JERK! Moment

I purchased this vehicle from one of my brothers, and he had purchased The Green Hornet (TGH) brand new.   In the year 2000, I had traveled all the way to Canada for a fishing trip in this vehicle and really liked how it performed.   I told him that if he ever wanted to sell it that I wanted him to call me first.   In 2001, he was ready to sell, and I was ready to buy (I bought with debt – remember I was making BROKE-type decisions back then).

About a year after purchasing TGH, I was traveling north for our 2002 Canada fishing trip.   When I arrived outside of Asheville, NC, I met the familiar bottleneck of traffic where I-40 and I-26 intersect.   As TGH moved slowly through the stop-and-go traffic, the automatic transmission would SLAM! into 2nd gear from 1st gear.   I’m not talking about shifting “kind-of” rough, I mean it literally lurched the vehicle forward.   It was the JERK! moment.   It is a familiar situation for many.   I owed a lot on the vehicle, had zero savings, and had a lot of miles to go.   I nervously continued on the trip and left it behind at a car repair place in Indiana while I went ahead with the fishing trip.

The end result of this stressful moment?   The auto repair mechanic told me to drive it until it totally broke.   I did, and would you believe that the truck went another SEVEN YEARS before the transmission finally gave out – shifting hard all of the way to the end?

Yet another special moment I have shared with TGH.   On to 200,000 miles!

QUESTION: Are you driving a green hornet?  I would love to see pictures and hear your story!  Send to me at info@iwasbrokenowimnot.com

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Exciting Announcement & A Free Gift!

== SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ==

I am so EXCITED to announce that we have launched our brand new I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. website!   This is so exciting for us because it is much more user-friendly, and allows us to serve each of you better as you pursue your next financial steps.

FREE GIFT Our team is celebrating this huge milestone by GIVING AWAY our “How To Save $1,000 Right Now!” Webinar.   All you have to do is click HERE or visit http://www.iwasbrokenowimnot.com and click on the orange box that says “How To Save $1,000 Right Now!”

We hope that you will take a few moments to review the new website and that you save $1,000 by applying the money saving tips.

Blessings!
Joe

PS:   The first 100 people who take advantage of the free webinar offer will also be entered into a drawing for free gifts – like IWBNIN T-shirts, books, and resources.   Can you tell that we are FIRED UP?

SERIES: Joe Sangl’s Favorite Financial Tools – Monthly Budget

Welcome to the latest series at JosephSangl.com – Joe Sangl’s Favorite Financial Tools

In this series, I will be sharing the tools that I love the most.   There are several reasons I love these tools, but mostly I like them because they literally helped me change my life!

Part One – Monthly Budget

Preparing a monthly budget each month BEFORE the next month actually began has been the single largest reason that Jenn and I started prospering with our money.

Our monthly budget applies the basic rule of “Spending less than we earn.” It is a key hallmark of the Financial Learning Experience that I teach and all of our resources – the basic formula of:

INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO

We ensure that the “outgo” includes giving money away, saving, investing, and paying our bills.

Every. Single. Month.

Not just once every now and then.   EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH.   We prepare a monthly budget and then we do something completely crazy: we follow it!

Do surprises show up? Absolutely.   Do we have to make adjustments?   All of the time.

BUT the budget helps us stay on course.   We have realized that our budget is the engine that makes our financial vehicle run with power!   The finely tuned budget ensures that our life hums with funded dreams, giving, and peace.   It can do the exact same thing for you!

TOOL: Monthly Budgets

RESOURCE: My book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not., is a great resource to help you prepare a budget that actually works.

Read the entire series (available after 6/17/2011)

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June National Debt Update

The US National Debt has increased by $ 35,045,072,270 since our last update in May 2011.  This is great news as we continue to see the increase in national debt each month drop drastically.  The increase we have seen since this time last month is now only half of the increase we saw in the prior month.

National Debt as of 6/10/2011

$14,421,100,330,479

With all of the talk about raising the National Debt Ceiling, we are seeing the debt grow much slower.  We would love to hear your opinions on how the government should handle the National Debt.

Should the US raise the debt ceiling?  If so what type of contingencies should be attached to make sure the US does not continue on this path of running up debt?

What type of effect do you think raising the debt ceiling will have on the economy?

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Margin – Part 4 – Fill Up The Tank

Welcome to the latest series of JosephSangl.com – Margin.   This is a series where we will focus on the real and emotional effects of living life WITH and WITHOUT financial margin.   As part of this crusade to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money, I see so many people living life on the edge with no financial margin.   Lack of financial margin leads to lots of issues.   Through this series, we will be discussing the benefits of establishing and keeping financial margin.

Part 4Fill up the tank.

There are so many benefits to having financial margin, but one of the greatest is the ability to just “fill up the tank.”   Let me explain.

When there is no financial margin, it may not be possible to drive to the gas pump and fill up the gas tank.   Lack of margin means that one has to put $20 in one time and $37 the next.   Whatever money is available goes into the gas tank.   This can be very costly – especially in time costs!

When you are not filling up the tank every time, you lose time because:

  • You have to fill up more often
  • You have to waste time figuring out how much can be spent this time

For many people, it also costs more money because more visits to the gas station means more trips into the convenience store to buy super-overpriced soda and snacks!

When you have margin, you can just “fill up the tank.”

Here are other ways this applies to having financial margin:

  • You can buy the proven name-brand appliance instead of the el-cheapo model
  • You are in the position of power so you are not subject to obtaining financing and buying the junk they are trying to sell you
  • Pawning, short-term financing, and other highly expensive ways to obtain money become completely unnecessary

To me, the sacrifices to obtain financial margin are worth it just to “fill up the tank” every time!

Read the entire series (available after 6/8/2011)

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Margin – Part 3

Welcome to the latest series of JosephSangl.com – Margin.   This is a series where we will focus on the real and emotional effects of living life WITH and WITHOUT financial margin.   As part of this crusade to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money, I see so many people living life on the edge with no financial margin.   Lack of financial margin leads to lots of issues.   Through this series, we will be discussing the benefits of establishing and keeping financial margin.

Part 3Improved Relationships

Individuals who are against the wall financially for extended periods of time can many times hurt people in ways that they never would do if they had financial margin.   I’ve seen business owners (with no margin) who completely lose their minds on a customer who owed them $1,000 even though they are late on $10,000 of bills to their own suppliers.   They are agitated, angry, and threatening.   But a third party could easily say that the business owner is completely out of line.   What is causing this issue?   No financial margin!

I’ve seen countless relationships injured or destroyed because of no financial margin.   Children continue to borrow money from Mom and Dad.   Mom and Dad demanding money from their children.   Friendships.   Business relationships.   Working relationships.   My bet is that you’ve seen it too and many of you have experienced it!   It is incredibly hurtful and can cause enormous stress and heartache.

Here is the question of the day:

What would these situations look like if each person had financial margin?

Wouldn’t there be a lot less borrowing?   Wouldn’t there be less heartache, pain, and agony?

Make the greatest investment into your peace and state of mind – establish financial margin!

Read the entire series (available after 6/8/2011)

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Margin – Part 2

Welcome to the latest series of JosephSangl.com – Margin.   This is a series where we will focus on the real and emotional effects of living life WITH and WITHOUT financial margin.   As part of this crusade to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money, I see so many people living life on the edge with no financial margin.   Lack of financial margin leads to lots of issues.   Through this series, we will be discussing the benefits of establishing and keeping financial margin.

Part 2Freedom

When financial margin is established, it provides a sense of freedom!   I know that when we finally established some beginner margin in February 2003, it was like scales fell from our eyes.   We saw life in an entirely new light!   Instead of wasting tons of energy determining how each bill was going to be paid (anyone who has lived paycheck-to-paycheck KNOWS the energy this takes!), we began looking forward.   It allowed us to start asking new questions like:

  • How much should we save each month for our children’s college?
  • Any question that starts with “I wonder what would happen if … ?”
  • Who can we bless this month?
  • Is this the life that allows us to use our gifts and talents in the most impactful way?

Here’s a weird emotional effect that I felt.   I discovered the freedom of knowing that I could pursue a dream!   It did not matter as much if I really did pursue the dream – what mattered most was the fact that I could pursue the dream!   I’m not sure this really makes much sense, but knowing that fact was incredible.   Let me share a few examples to better explain this.   I am entrepreneurial by nature.   This means I love starting things.   When I was broke and living paycheck-to-paycheck, the option to start a business or new venture was out of the question.   Financial margin gave me the freedom to consider the options without being overcome by the fear of living in a cardboard box.

Here’s another example.   When I took the leap of faith to go on staff at NewSpring Church, a church Jenn and I were a part of starting and LOVE being a part of, I took a massive paycut.   Jenn was able to make the decision to work or continue to be a stay-at-home mother without really having to worry about the financial aspects.   This was possible only because we had financial margin.   How many people can take a 50% paycut and still have this option available to them?   Not many, but I will tell you with 100-percent confidence that those who have established financial margin CAN – and that FREEDOM to choose is incredible!

If you have no financial margin, make a decision to start building it today!   If you do have financial margin, celebrate the fact that you have made the necessary choices to establish it and then use that freedom to pursue a dream!

Read the entire series (available after 6/8/2011)

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14th Wedding Anniversary!

Today is my 14th wedding anniversary!

14thJenn

We celebrated it early by taking a 7-day Southern Caribbean cruise with stops in St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua, Barbados, and St. Lucia on the Caribbean Princess with Princess Cruise Lines – and the entire trip was INCREDIBLE!

On this very special day, I want to list the:

Top 10 Things I Love About Jenn Sangl

  1. Smart (dominated classes at Purdue University)
  2. Beautiful (gorgeous!)
  3. Puts up with me (a major chore)
  4. An incredible mother (to 2 beautiful children)
  5. Focus (anyone who knows Jenn understands what I mean when I say, “She’s in the zone.”
  6. Attention to details (I’m not so good at these)
  7. Adaptability (We’ve moved 5 times in 14 years – we’re done with that!)
  8. She’s the reason we’ve won with money (The budget was her idea!)
  9. Pursuit of God (anchored in the Word)
  10. Her laugh (hilarious when she has one of her “spells”)

Marriage is incredible!

Margin – Part 1

Welcome to the latest series of JosephSangl.com – “Margin”.   This is a series where we will focus on the real and emotional effects of living life WITH and WITHOUT financial margin.   As part of this crusade to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money, I see so many people living life on the edge with no financial margin.   Lack of financial margin leads to lots of issues.   Through this series, we will be discussing the benefits of establishing and keeping financial margin.

Part 1Less Stress

I remember the day that my family first established financial margin.   It was in February 2003 when we received our tax refund.   Instead of applying this money toward the tax refund, we put it into our savings account.   This meant that we were not able to attack debt with this money, but our eyes had been opened to the absolute need to establish financial margin.   Depositing the check into our savings account was incredible, but it was the emotional feeling that surprised me!   We were able to breathe in a way we had never breathed before.   I’m talking about literally being able to breathe differently.   With that one key decision, we eliminated a load of stress that we did not even realize was there.

Gone were the days of fearing the question, “What will happen next?”   Over were the days of stating, “How in the world will we pay for THAT?   Instead of dreading the clunking sound coming out of the dryer, we could simply say, “Appliances break.   Let’s purchase a new one – with our financial margin money.”

As part of this crusade, we are privileged and honored to help people 1-on-1 in developing their financial plan.   STRESS is the #1 reason most people say that they wanted to meet with a financial coach.   The stress of living with no financial margin can lead to a lot of effects:

  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Feelings of dread
  • Marital discord (or even divorce)
  • Anger
  • Combativeness
  • Snappy responses
  • Impatience
  • Frustration
  • Feelings of scarcity/lack
  • Craving
  • Unfulfilled

Having money is certainly not the answer to all of life’s issues, but the establishment of some financial margin certainly goes a long way toward easing many of the struggles of daily life!   I definitely know that is true in my own life.

With all of the negative consequences related to living life this way, is it not worth the effort it will take to establish some financial margin?   We recommend $2,500 as the first financial margin goal with the ultimate goal of having saved a year’s worth of expenses.   It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen faster than you ever thought!

Read the entire series (available after 6/8/2011)

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Coca-Cola 600 – Earnhardt, Jr Runs Out Of Gas

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to watch both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.   Both races were incredible throughout and ended with incredible drama.

At the end of the Coca-Cola 600, Earnhardt Jr had the opportunity to win the race – his first win in forever.   He was in front.   There was just one problem, he was low on fuel.   He did everything he could possibly do to conserve fuel – even resorting to cutting off his engine and coasting while under the caution flag.   Would it be enough?   Watch the result below or click HERE.

CRAZY FINISH!

The end of the race did not turn out like he wanted.

There are a couple of financial lessons can we take from this:

  • Sometimes you have to take a calculated risk When I speak with business owners who started companies, they all have one thing in common – they all took a risk.   They weren’t guaranteed success for a year – let alone for life.   Not all of the calculated risks will pay off, but what is the worst that could happen?   You get to start over!   Dale Jr gets to race again the next race!
  • Do everything you can do Jr turned his car off.   He drove on the flat apron of the track to ensure the car would keep running.   He drove slower.   In your financial situation, the best you can do is the best you can do!   I always challenge myself to look in the mirror and be able to honestly tell myself that I did everything I could do.   It reminds me of the Bible verse (1 Cor 3:6) that says we plant and water the seed, but God makes it grow.   In other words – there is only so much one can do – but make sure you do it!

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