Archive for February 2012

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


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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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 – “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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