Posts by jsangl

Have the Best Financial Year in 2018

Are you ready to have your best financial year ever? A year where you look back and see noticeable changes to your financial status: an increased bank account balance, reduced debt, and growth in your investments?
There is no better time than 2018 to achieve your best year ever!
Have the Best Financial Year in 2018
Step #1  Identify your current status.  Here at I Was Broke. Now I’m Not., we identify three different financial status points: STRUGGLING, STABLE, or SURPLUS. Most people can readily identify their current status. This allows you to clearly determine your next steps.


(Download your free PDF copy of the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Ladder)

Step #2  Identify your next rung on the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Ladder.  Once you’ve identified your current status, it is helpful to look at the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Ladder (pictured above) to determine your next step. Below is some general guidance for each financial status.

  • STRUGGLING  If you are struggling, your goal should be to achieve Rungs #1, #2, and #3 this year. Consider the results that you would enjoy:
    • You would understand your “why” (Rung #1 – set goals)
    • You would have financial margin (Rung #2 – a month’s worth of expenses in savings)
    • You would begin to benefit from having your money work for you through investments (Rung #3 – investing each month)
    • KEY TOOL: Monthly Budget (we really like these free budgeting templates)
  • STABLE  If you are stable, your goal should be to position yourself to prosper and experience surplus. Your goal should be to work through Rungs #4 and #5. Consider the results you would enjoy:
    • You would eliminate all non-house, non-business debt! No student loan debt. No credit card debt. No furniture loans. All of your vehicles would be paid off. You wouldn’t owe any family members or friends.
    • Your savings account will have grown substantially which provides you with incredible margin to focus on the things that matter most!
    • KEY TOOL: Debt Freedom Date Calculator (here’s a great one – download it)
  • SURPLUS  If you are enjoying the blessings of surplus, you can position yourself to live a fully funded life that positively impacts the lives of those around you: your family, the least-of-these, and causes you are passionate about supporting! It is time to climb on up to the top of the IWBNIN Ladder by completing Rungs #6, #7, and #8. Consider the amazing results you get to experience:
    • You would have 30-percent of your gross income in investments which positions your money to earn more money for you – a secret all wealthy people have discovered.
    • You would have zero house payment. None. Zero. Nada.
    • KEY TOOL: Investment (this is a great, and simple, calculator)

Step #3  Set five key financial goals for the year. Rarely does anyone accomplish anything great without first making it their goal.

  1. INCOME GOAL Be sure to think outside of your normal income source(s). What are some alternative ways to produce more income this year?
  2. GIVING GOAL  What are the causes you want to support financially throughout the year?
  3. SAVING GOAL What are the things you are saving for? Consider your dreams, both short- and long-term. What are some expenses you could eliminate from your life that would allow you to boost your savings?
  4. INVESTING GOAL This is money that is positioned to grow. There might be some risk required (think stock market), but it provides you the opportunity to beat inflation and grow your money to a level such that big-time dreams become possible. Dreams like retirement, paying for college educations, and that big trip around the world!
  5. DEBT ELIMINATION GOAL Take a moment to document all of your debts. Which ones would you like to eliminate before the next year ends?

We prepared a handy DOWNLOAD for you to use to document your goals.

[2018 Financial Goals Free Download]

Step #4  Establish accountability. No matter the passion in which we pursue our goals, we are all susceptible to falter along the way. Share your goals with someone, but don’t just share with anyone! Share it with someone who shares similar goals and has already achieved many of the same goals you are pursuing.
Step #5  Increase your financial education. We have all heard the famous statement: “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.” The same is true with your financial future. It will require an investment from you – and in you! Read some financial books. Attend a financial conference or two. Hire a financial coach. I’ve never heard anyone say that they regretted investing in their financial education!
Accomplishing greater things will require activities and decisions you may have never made before. It will cost you time and money. It might make you feel uncomfortable, and the truth is that most of your friends and family will think you are plain weird to do something like this. Just remember this truth: “There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone.”
You are positioning yourself to prosper. Congrats! Let’s have an amazing 2018.

Voya’s Retirement Calculator

As part of our retirement planning series, we’re reviewing various online retirement calculators.

TODAY’S FOCUS: Voya Financial’s MyOrangeMoney Retirement Calculator

Key statistics:

  1. # of Questions: 5 Total Questions
    • “How old are you?”
    • “What’s your annual income?”
    • “How much have you saved for retirement so far?”
    • “How much are you saving per month today?”
    • “How much future income are you expecting from other sources?”
  2. Results: 3 Key Numbers
    • “Estimated monthly income”
    • “Estimated monthly goal”
    • “A difference of”

Thoughts regarding this calculator:

  1. Ease of use: 1  (1: Easy | 5: Challenging | 10: Very Difficult)
  2. Scenario Analysis Excellent. User is able to easily make adjustments to the initial data points using simple sliders and clicks.
  3. Conservative Calculation This calculator is fairly conservative. It assumes the following:
    • Retirement Income: 70% of working income. This might be a little low. Many calculators use 80% as their working assumption.
    • Rate of Return: 5% growth rate is the default. You can adjust this rate up or down using a simple slider.
    • Inflation Rate: This calculator uses 3% inflation rate. This is conservative relative to the more recent past.
  4. Spouse not included The user must combine incomes and investments savings in order to calculate their overall progress toward retirement. While this might seem intuitive for some people, it is not readily obvious.

OVERALL RATING: 4 (out of 5)

How Much Money Do You Need To Retire Well?

“How much money do you need to retire well?”

This is an important question we should all be able to answer. If we don’t know, it is impossible to measure our progress.

There are several excellent retirement calculators that can help you determine two key facts:

  1. Current Status Where do you stand right now? Using just a few key pieces of information, these calculators can help you understand whether or not you are on track for your preferred retirement lifestyle.
  2. Necessary Adjustments  Most of these calculators offer suggestions for improvement. Maybe you need to increase your monthly contributions. Perhaps you need to consider working a few extra years. Maybe you are actually ahead of plan and can scale back on your investments!

Here are some good retirement calculators to explore:

  1. Voya Financial’s MyOrangeMoney Retirement Calculator
  2. Fidelity’s Fidelity Retirement Score Calculator
  3. Vanguard’s Retirement Income Calculator
  4. Transamerica’s Retirement Calculator
  5. AARP’s Retirement Calculator
  6. BlackRock’s CoRI – Retirement Calculator
  7. MarketWatch’s Retirement Planner
  8. I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.’s Retirement Nest-Egg Calculator

Take a few minutes and browse through a couple of these calculators. You’ll be on your way to positioning yourself for an excellent retirement!

Financial Freedom Experience opens tomorrow

Today is the day! At 9:00 AM Eastern Time, registration has officially opened for the Financial Freedom Experience!


Here are all of the details and news about all of the bonuses available to early registrants.

Financial Freedom Experience (the details)

  1. 10 Experiences These lessons are quick and to the point. All practical and immediately able to be applied. On Demand.
  2. Downloadable audio lessons All lessons are downloadable as mp3 files so you can learn “on-the-go” and “off-line”.
  3. Bonus Lessons These additional lessons are for specific situations such as “Kids & Money” and “How to Manage Money with a Non-Participative Spouse)
  4. Dedicated Help A dedicated email address providing direct access to me and our team for your questions.
  5. Private Facebook Forum You will be given the opportunity to join a private Facebook Forum where you can celebrate accomplishments together and gain encouragement from a community of people who are climbing the IWBNIN Ladder to live a fully funded life.
  6. Payment Options There are two payment options – one-time and monthly

One-Time Payment: $197 (best value)

Monthly Payment: $37/month for six months


In addition, everyone who registers for the FFE will receive the following bonuses:

  • Bonus #1 Signed hardback copy of Joseph Sangl’s book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. ($20 value)
  • Bonus #2 Glossy poster of the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Ladder (11/x17) ($5 value)
  • Bonus #3 Three free ebooks: “Help! I can’t pay my bills!”, “Successfully Manage Money as a Single Parent”, and “Successfully Manage Money with a Non-participating Spouse” ($6 value)

Everyone who registers via the “one-time rate” of $197 will receive additional bonuses:

  • Bonus #4 Copy of Joseph Sangl’s book for young people, What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World ($13 value)
  • Bonus #5 Signed hardback copy of Joseph Sangl’s book, OXEN: The Key to an Abundant Harvest ($25 value)
  • Bonus #6 Invitation to a special online event with Joseph Sangl. This exclusive event is designed to launch your finances to the next level. (Invitation Only)

Learn more and register via THIS LINK.

Since this is the last time we’re offering FFE this year, we’re expecting quite a few people to pounce on this opportunity right at 9AM. Please bear with us if the site slows down a little.

A Fun Way To Track Debt Pay Off

When I was focused on paying off my debts (student loans, credit cards, truck, car, furniture, our house, and my parents), it was difficult to really “see” the progress I was making. Even though I was making extra payments on my smallest debt (using the debt snowball), the bills kept on arriving each month. I wanted a way to actually see it visually – not just numbers on a page.

That’s when we created something we called our “Home Pay-Off Spectacular.” This was such a great and fun way to monitor our debt elimination progress! It allowed us to transform this “elephant”-sized debts into “bite”-sized chunks. In fact, it birthed more than 20 different “Debt Pay-Off Spectaculars” – and they are all FREE right HERE.

If you want to see exactly how to use this tool, watch this short YouTube video (4:45) and you’ll be on your way to debt freedom.

I encourage you to download your debt pay-off spectaculars right now and celebrate as you color in those squares!