Archive - February, 2012

Goals – A Great Definition

“A goal is a DREAM with a DEADLINE.”

I recently heard a friend of mine (a great leader) say this, and it can really help you with the accomplishment of your dreams.

If you refuse to establish a DEADLINE, the DREAM is very unlikely to be accomplished.

If you just have DEADLINES without a DREAM, life can be really bland.

QUESTION:  Do YOU have a deadline established for each of YOUR dreams?

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Monthly Budget Reminder – March 2012

Can you believe ANOTHER month is over?  Even with an extra day this year, February still finishes so quickly.

It is time to prepare your budget for March!

Here are a couple of tips for March:

  • Be sure you are saving money each month so you are ready for a debt-free summer vacation!
  • Spring is arriving – be sure to budget for some clothing – especially for the kids
  • Tax time is arriving – ensure you file on time and be ready for any taxes you might owe

Get fired up!

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Are You Enslaving Your Children? – II Kings 4:1

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at JosephSangl.com – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Debt Enslaving Children

II Kings 4:1  The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord.  But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.”

In this incredible story, a man has passed away while still having young boys in the house.  Apparently, this man had incurred substantial debts, and his untimely death placed the family into a financial tailspin.  The situation is so terrible that the creditor is going to take the two boys as slaves to repay the debt.

No one prepares to die before they grow old, but we see obituaries of young people all of the time.  It’s awful.  Without a plan, this situation can literally enslave the family just as is recorded in this story.

It’s time for you to ask yourself two questions.

1.  Has your debt situation become so bad that it has enslaved you and your family?

  • Are you BOUND to your job because you have to receive the paycheck?
  • Are you doing things at work that you are morally or ethically against, but your financial situation has prevented your standing up for what you believe?
  • Do you have a second job or demand overtime just to pay the bills?
  • Are your children paying a tremendous price because of your financial situation?

If so, it is time to calculate your Debt Freedom Date and start the journey toward freedom!  Being a slave to debt is a terrible way to live life!

2.  Would your family prosper even if you die prematurely?

  • Do you have substantial savings that would sustain the family over a two to three month period?
  • Do you have life insurance that is equal to 10-times your annual take-home pay?

I have met with families after the untimely loss of a spouse.  I have seen families that had no plan and were enslaved.  It was a terrible moment, as I watched the family move toward poverty overnight.  On the other hand, I have met with families that had planned appropriately, and they were able to focus solely on grieving.

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Think Systems. Not Silver Bullets.

My friend, Casey Graham, teaches a principle that could potentially change your life.

Think Systems. Not Silver Bullets.

Whether you realize it or not, you have probably fell into the trap of pursuing a “silver bullet” solution instead of installing a “system” that would absolutely ensure that the change you desire will happen.

Think about it.  Have you ever …

  • Got sick of being overweight and bought a pill to fix it – and did not change diet and initiate regular exercise?
  • Wanted to get in shape, and signed up for a gym membership – only to use it once or twice a year?
  • Wanted to get out of debt and after only a month or so began swiping the credit card again?
  • Wanted your child to behave and bought a book to help you –  yet stopped applying what is taught because after disciplining them for bad behavior two or three times – you stopped because it was so emotionally exhausting to continue?
  • Wanted to win with your money so you downloaded a free budget from our website – yet you did not follow the very plan you prepared?

SYSTEMS are the key to real and lasting change.  SILVER BULLETS rarely do.

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Biblical Financial Lessons – Proverbs 15:22

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at JosephSangl.com – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Proverbs 15:22  Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Have you ever attempted to accomplish something that was HUGE for you, yet failed in spite of all of the planning?  First, let me welcome you to the club!  Second, let me ask you a question – Did you have a set of mentors to help you?

Perhaps one of the top things I have learned as I have launched a couple of businesses and purchased another is this – “I do not know everything!”  The act of ASKING FOR HELP and ASKING FOR WISDOM from people who have “been there – done that” has been so rewarding.

My mentors have helped me in the following ways:

  1. Helped me identify potential major issues
  2. Asked me great questions that forced me to really evaluate WHY I was even considering the initiative
  3. Provided connections to other people that had experience with what I was attempting
  4. Prayed with me, for me, and for the initiative
  5. Provided key steps for me to take to safeguard against or avoid pitfalls
  6. Shared options with me that I would have never even thought of (this was HUGE)

QUESTION:  Do you have a set of mentors?  Who could you ask TODAY to begin coaching/mentoring you?

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Savings Tip – Save Tax Refund

Are you looking to THRIVE in 2012?  Are you sick of surviving and want to move to thriving?

One of the key steps required to thrive is to SAVE MONEY. Build margin between you and Murphy’s Law.

My challenge to you TODAY is to save your tax refund.

I know that you want to …

  • Spend it!
  • Go on vacation with it!
  • Kill debt with it!
  • Pay off Christmas 2011 with it!

BUT, if you do not have AT LEAST $2,500 in your emergency savings account, then you should put it directly into savings. Margin is what will allow you to think in terms of five and ten years from now instead of five and ten minutes from now.

QUESTION: What are you going to do with your tax refund?  Would you please share it with me in the comments?

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U.S. National Debt Update

The US National Debt has increased by $93,188,029,341 since our last update in January 13, 2012.  Another month, and the United States has dropped nearly another $100 billion in the hole.

National Debt as of 2/6/2012

$15,321,143,716,542

QUESTION: Have you ever lived this way – where you used a credit card or some other form of debt to spend money that you did not have?

My question is this:  At what point in time will this type of spending stop?

What are YOUR suggestions for addressing this?

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BROKE MENTALITY QUESTIONS: How Much Are The Payments?

I am passionate about helping people win with their money.  This means that I really focus on the statements that people make and how they make them.  I observe their body language, tone, pitch, and wording.

There are some statements that are particularly telling of what I call a “broke mentality” – the thinking of a financially broke individual.

One of those statements is “How much are the payments?

People who are not broke ask the better question – “How much is the total cost – the purchase price AND the ongoing operating expenses?

I have observed that people who ask “How much are the payments?” are more likely to:

  • Pay a much higher purchase price
  • Pay a much higher rate of interest
  • Be unaware of the ongoing operating expenses
  • Finance their purchase versus pay cash
  • Still be paying for their purchase even after that item has been discarded

We are ALL susceptible to falling into the “broke mentality” – Have you ever made decisions this way?  Would you mind sharing your story in the comments?

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5 Swings Of An Ax – John C. Maxwell

I am a HUGE fan of leader Dr. John C. Maxwell for many reasons, but here are a few of the top reasons:

  • His book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities Of A Leader, was given to me by my friend and pastor Perry Noble when we were launching NewSpring ChurchThis book impacted me immeasurably.
  • He combined his entrepreneurial spirit with ministry.  I didn’t know that was really possible.
  • He is a continuous learner.
  • He makes complex topics understandable and applicable.
  • His voice is ridiculously great.

Anyway, I heard him share a story once at a conference we were speaking at, and it is so good I wanted to share it with you.

5 Swings Of An Ax

Suppose you want to cut down a huge tree in your front yard and all you have is an ax to cut it down with.  You could approach it a couple of ways:

  1. Go after it!  Swinging vigorously and mightily until you were completely worn out.
  2. Pace yourself.  Swinging strongly 5 times each day.

If you were to choose Option #1, you could swing vigorously and mightily until all of the strength had left you body, but all you would end up with is complete exhaustion and a tree with some chop marks in it.  And because you had exhausted yourself so completely, you might not even be able to bring yourself to pick the ax back up!

If you were to choose Option #2, you would make a serious mark each day with your five swings and there would be NO QUESTION of “if” the tree were going to come down.  The only question would be “when” the tree would fall – because with this method of 5 swings of a ax EVERY DAY, it WILL fall!

This is so important when pursuing a financial goal.  If you go crazy and loco after the goal, you might make a short-term difference, but chances are high that you will burn yourself out and just give up.

Choose instead to establish a pattern of “5 swings of an ax” toward your goal.  Every single day, get up and take 5 swings toward your goal.  Every. Single. Day.

Then your goal is no longer a matter of “IF” – only a matter of “WHEN”!

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Biblical Financial Lessons – Proverbs 22:7

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at JosephSangl.com – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Proverbs 22:7  The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

This verse is merely an observation of reality.

When you have margin, you are positioned to fund dreams, build businesses, and have influence over others. Wealth positions you to have conversations with people that focus on “What if?” instead of “That’s impossible.” Have you noticed that people with money are the ones who are building houses, businesses, and funding huge projects?

The borrower is truly a servant to the lender. Anyone who has ran into trouble paying their bills clearly understands this part of the verse. They know EXACTLY what it means to be a servant to their lender. The lender is super nice when the money is provided to the borrower, but the sharpness of the lender’s teeth are felt the very instant that the borrower fails to fulfill their obligations.

You must perform exactly to the terms set forth in the loan agreement, or else you will have serious issues such as law suits, judgments, and harassing phone calls or even person visits from the lender.

YOU have a choice – to be rich or to be poor – and it all starts with a mindset.  A mindset of “I am not going to live a broke-to-broke life.” and “I am going to apply biblical wisdom to free myself from the bondage of debt and poverty.”

THE DAY that I decided to stop being broke was THE DAY that my family started winning with money. It happened on December 2, 2002. Of course, it was a process to move toward financial freedom, but it started with a declaration that we were no longer going to live a lifestyle beyond our income.

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Savings Tip – Open Up The Pantry

If you are looking to gain substantial margin in your budget, try this tip: Open up the pantry!

Seriously, you probably have a month’s worth of canned and dry goods in there.  Yes, you will have to purchase the perishables like milk, bread, and veggies, but you could probably get by on 30% or less of your typical monthly grocery spending this month!

Here are some tips to maximize the use of your pantry inventory:

  1. Pull everything out and place on the dining room table
  2. Put meals together based on this total overview of your inventory
  3. Write down the meals on paper so you don’t forget the ideas you have

I love these types of meals!  Is there anything better than chicken chow mein?  Or spaghetti? Or sardines and saltines? Or made-from-scratch biscuits and gravy?

For many families, doing this for just one month will save $200 or more!

QUESTION:  Have you ever done anything like this? If so, what was the strangest meal you ever put together with the items you “discovered” in your pantry?

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A Choice

I meet so many people who are believing something that is completely false and untrue.

They believe that their financial situation determines their dreams.

They will dispute this, of course, but their ACTIONS (which speak way louder than words) indicate otherwise.  I tend to look past the rhetoric to see a real indication of belief.

I’ve found that I have been susceptible to this as well!  We are so good at self-deception.

For example, here are some situations I have seen a person say that they:

  • Really want to be debt-free, but they continue to spend money without a budget!
  • Really want to be debt-free, yet they pull the plastic out to charge items not in the budget!
  • Want to improve their marriage, but they refuse to work with their spouse to plan their finances.
  • Believe they can take a dream trip, but no money is saved for the trip.
  • Want to start a business, but have never started the first step toward it because the challenge is so intimidating and daunting.

I’ve determined that I am going to pursue every dream given me.  I will surely fail at some of them, but the successes are so very worth it!

You have a choice – TODAY – to write down your dreams or to never write them down.

You have a choice – TODAY – to write down dreams regardless of the cost or to write down only the dreams you know you can afford.

You have a choice – TODAY – which will you choose?

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – February 2012

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:  1070  1090

Squares Remaining:  1356  1336

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  44.1% 44.9%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  55.9% 55.1%

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

Another HUGE CHUNK has been paid off!  It is so exciting to see the mortgage balance declining at such a rapid pace, and we are so blessed to be able to do this!  It has now been 10 months since we cranked up our focus on the mortgage.  In that time, we have been able to pay for 8.6% of the house – that is almost 1% per month.

Jenn and I don’t take this blessing for granted. We know that we have been blessed beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine!

How are you doing on YOUR house pay-off spectacular?

If you do not have one, you can get one here => Pay Off Spectacular – House.

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