Archive - June, 2012

Lack of Understanding Can Cost You Big Time!

Do you understand insurance? Life insurance? Auto Insurance? Health Insurance? I know that it is certainly not the most interesting subject in the world, but if you do not take the time to truly understand these products, it will cost you big time.

Rules I follow when purchasing insurance:

  • Do not just “take an insurance agent’s word for it!” Truly seek understanding of the product! If you understand it, you will be able to make a good purchase that you will KNOW is a good purchase.
  • Understand what’s being offered  If you are speaking with an insurance agent, and you start feeling like you are being “sold” on a product – LEAVE IMMEDIATELY!!! Use Donald Trump’s words – “You’re fired!” Complete with the New England accent if you wish. You do not need to be sold on an insurance product, you need to understand the insurance products. Once you understand the products, you will be able to make a sound decision.
  • Obtain at least three quotes from three different companies. Ensure that at least one is an independent company that is able to surf your insurance needs among many different companies. Competition makes prices go down. When prices go down, you will get to keep more of your money. I use US Insurance Online to obtain dozens of quotes without calling anyone – they call and email me quotes from multiple insurance companies!
  • Do not cancel an existing insurance product until you have obtained a replacement. Do not cancel your auto insurance before you have obtained auto insurance from another company. Do not cancel your life insurance before you have obtained alternative life insurance from elsewhere. A gap in coverage is ripe territory for Mr. Murphy to show up.
  • Do not allow your insurance to be combined with another financial product. For example, cash value life insurance is both life insurance and an investment in one product. The problem with these types of products is that the fees are tremendous. Purchase your investments and insurance separately.
  • Send out your insurance every two years for new quotes. You want to ensure that your rates are remaining competitive with the open market.
  • Ask for a better deal. Insurance is a service product. Prices of service products are negotiable.
  • Be extremely careful when purchasing insurance from a family member or a good friend. You may have your judgment impaired because you really want to please and help them.

Again, insurance may be a boring subject. If you kept reading all the way to the end of this article, I am impressed! You can save a lot of money on insurance by employing these tips.

I personally use US Insurance Online to obtain quotes because it allows me to shop and compare without calling anyone!!!  Check their website out HERE.

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Proverbs 14:30-31

30: “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”

31: “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

As I help people get their finances in order, I cast vision as to “how things could be” IF “they would just do this, this, and that.”  Many times this involves selling some stuff – cars, boats, motorcycles, houses!  I want people to have nice stuff, but many times the nice stuff is eating up 50% of their budget OR MORE.  People just will not win with expenses like that!

As I cast vision, it is not unusual for me to say, “If you sell the two cars and buy two used cars, you could be debt-free except for the house in 12 months.  If you choose to keep the cars, you may be debt-free in 60 months.” Or I might say, “If you sell the boat and motorcycle, you could be debt-free immediately.  If you keep the boat and motorcycle, you may be debt-free in 72 months.”

When I mention selling some stuff, I begin encountering resistance!  This is their stuff!  They love their stuff!  They bought this stuff, and they want to keep it.  Even when it is eating them alive financially!  Even when they are not able to give one thin dime and are not assisting others at all!

As I go through meetings like this, I see that God’s word is true.  Proverbs 14:30 says that “envy rots the bones”.  When people have a bad case of stuff-itis, it is usually a result of envy.  They saw someone else with that item, and they wanted one too.  The difference is that they could not afford it.  The verse also says that “a heart at peace gives life to the body.”  When stuff-itis is cured, WOW!  The peace is awesome!  Knowing you could go to the store and buy anything in there, but not doing it because you really don’t need anything.  I am telling you it is AWESOME!  Jenn and I have been vaccinated against stuff-itis, and it feels good!

Proverbs 14:31 says that “whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”  I guess that is why it pains me so deeply in my soul when I see people up to their eyeballs in debt with a bad case of stuff-itis.  They are so loaded up with their own wants that they do not even see the the needy, let alone help them.

The solution?  Get a vaccination against stuff-itis!

Read the series

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U.S. National Debt Update – June 2012

The US National Debt has increased by $84,945,657,221 since our last update on April 22, 2012.  Another month, and the United States has dropped another cool $85 billion in the hole.

National Debt as of 6/5/2012

$15,759,816,680,078

That is an increase of $1.93 BILLION PER DAY since our last update 44 days ago.

Although the rate of debt acquisition has slowed, the credit card apparently still has some room left before we hit the limit …

I’m doing something about this issue. I’m wondering how many others are willing to do their part.

What are YOUR suggestions for addressing this?

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Two Types Of Financial Margin

Margin. The very word speaks strongly.

In writing, margin means “space.” Teachers tell us to leave margins and “don’t write in the margins.”

For any individual or organization to last, maintaining margin must be a priority. Here’s why – you will experience economic downturns. If financial margin has not been established, it can cause immediate financial issues and even jeopardize the solvency of the individual or organization.

There are two types of margin every person or organization should have in place.

  1. Cash On Hand Savings (Financial Reserves)
  2. Monthly Savings (Operational Margin)

1.  Cash On Hand Savings (Financial Reserves)

Having money in the bank allows you to focus on your mission instead of exhausting yourself by determining the steps necessary to keep the doors open and the lights on. Financial reserves also allow you to ponder future opportunities to expand or grow your business or investments. Cash on hand also allows you the opportunity to encounter surprise expenses without worrying about how you will pay for them. In short, cash on hand allows you to sleep a lot better at night!

GOAL: 3 months of operating expenses

2.  Monthly Savings (Operational Margin)

This type of margin is created by managing your costs such that you are able to add money to the bank account each and every month. This is what happens when you have a profitable organization or life. This type of margin allows you to know that current bills will be paid without having to erode financial reserves and to also fund future dreams!

GOAL: 15 to 20-percent profit margin

If I were to have a choice of one type of margin, I would choose #2 – Monthly Savings because I would be able to immediately begin funding #1 with the surplus profits!

Where are YOU personally when compared to this goals? Where is YOUR ORGANIZATION in relation to these goals?

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In my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not., I share three things every person should save for and HOW to achieve it. You can purchase HERE or acquire a Kindle Version HERE.

Importance Of Margin – Nehemiah 1

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

Nehemiah 1

While Nehemiah was in the city of Susa, his brother Hanani came into town from Judah.  Nehemiah asked him how things were in Jerusalem, and the answer he heard absolutely wrecked him.  Hanani responded, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.

When Nehemiah heard of the terrible plight of Jerusalem, he was distraught and devastated. It is recorded that he said, “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept.”

You see, Jerusalem had no wall which meant that they had no protection!  In other words, they had no margin.

Think about it. If they grew crops or built something of value, their enemies could approach without anything blocking them. Without margin, the city of Jerusalem was in great trouble and disgrace.

There is a huge financial lesson to be learned from this story. Without financial margin, a person faces great trouble and disgrace!  If you ever want to truly prosper, you MUST have margin. Margin offers protection against whatever life may throw at you.

If Satan can keep you broke, he can keep you ineffective.

Here are some fundamental truths:

  1. Life IS going to happen
  2. WITHOUT margin, you will face incredible challenges, stress, and anguish
  3. WITH margin, you will have a defense that allows you to remain focused on the mission and vision of your life
  4. It is easy to achieve BROKE. It requires focused effort to build and maintain financial margin.
  5. You CAN do this!

Just as we can learn from the book of Nehemiah, the first step toward establishing margin is to recognize that we don’t have it and that we need it!

Do YOU have financial margin?

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – June 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:  1150   1170

Squares Remaining:  1276   1256

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  47.4% 48.2%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  52.6%  51.8%

Here is the updated Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular (click to view large size) Another 20 squares!  I’m so FIRED UP!  In two months, we will “officially” own over half of our house.

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.

Read previous Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular Updates

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