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3 Challenging Financial Statistics

Here are 5 financial statistics to mull over (and 3 challenging questions for you to consider):

  1. $10,890 is the median financial net worth of an American household today – According to calculations by Edward N. Wolff, an economics professor at New York University.  See how your net worth stacks up using the CNN|Money Net Worth Calculator
  2. The average large bank is currently paying 0.01% interest on regular savings accounts (and that interest is taxed). Let’s put this in real dollars and cents. If you had $10,000 in savings, you would be paid $1 in interest for the entire year. One single dollar. This is while they lend the money back to the average American with a credit card at 12% or higher.
  3. The poorest give more than the wealthiest to charity.  This article written by Ken Stern focuses on the research about why this is the case. The poorest give 3.2 percent while the wealthiest give an average of 1.3 percent of their incomes. According to the website JustGive.org, 75 percent of all gifts to charities are from individuals – not government or big corporate entities.

So here is the challenge for you right now – ask yourself these 3 questions and DO SOMETHING about them:

  1. Do you know what YOUR net worth is and where you stack up versus your peers? Take a quick moment to use the CNN|Money Net Worth Calculator to find out.
  2. What interest is YOUR bank paying on your savings account? Take steps to address it!
  3. How much money are YOU giving away? There’s nothing like giving. If you don’t like the amount you’ve been giving, take steps today to begin giving more away and discover the joy of helping accomplish great things together with like-minded people!

8 Ways To Save Money On Groceries

Food consumes 10 – 20% of the average American’s household gross income. With such a large spending category, it is helpful to understand some key ways to manage these costs while still eating healthy and very well.

  1. Go the store with a list. One of the largest places “impulsive spending decisions” occur is at the grocery store or in a restaurant. A list will ensure you minimize the impact of impulsiveness on your budget.
  2. Don’t shop while hungry. If you show up to the grocery store when you are hungry, you will end with all kinds of interesting things in your cart. You will look at pickled pig’s feet and say, “That looks amazing!” Instead of choosing one box of cereal, you’ll chose four. It’s how sardines and SPAM are purchased. I would venture to say that more than half of the items in your pantry right now were purchased as a result of going to the store hungry.
  3. Use coupons. This is very basic shopping knowledge, but it is amazing how few people take the few minutes required to clip a coupon or two. You don’t have to be an extreme coupon freak. It might take 30 minutes to get the coupons that could reduce your grocery bill by 10-percent.
  4. Use coupons on sale items. This is an ideal way to maximize your coupon. A great coupon site is Coupons.com. There are many great coupon websites that can help you such as CouponMom.com and SouthernSavers.com
  5. Stack coupons. This is where you match up Manufacturer’s Coupons with In-Store Coupons. It allows you to apply the discounts to each item.
  6. Go to discount stores. Chances are pretty good that an Aldi grocery store is near you – find out if one is near your home by clicking HERE. You probably have 1 or 2 additional local discount grocery stores as well that can help you save a ton on your grocery essentials.
  7. Look high and look low. Companies pay BIG MONEY to have their products positioned right at eye level and on end caps. If you look up and down, you will probably find a generic product (maybe even made by the same manufacturer) at half the price!
  8. Use a budget with cash envelopes. Prepare a written budget that clearly outlines the amount you plan to spend on groceries. When paid, pull that money out in cash. Once the cash is gone, grocery spending is over. The rule here is that once the money is spent, you can’t go back to the bank and get more (or use a debit/credit card). When you are spending cash with the rule that you can’t get any more until next payday, you will spend it differently!

Which of these items have worked well for you? What additional tips would you add?

My Next 40 Years

Today is my birthday.

My 40th.

I’ve been blessed greatly during these 40 years. Here are a few of the greatest blessings:

  • Awesome parents
  • 5 incredible brothers (including an identical twin – yes, there are TWO of us!)
  • Growing up on a farm in the country
  • Learning the value of work and serving others at a very young age
  • Literally seeing the principle of “sowing & reaping” at work all around me
  • Attending Purdue University and graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering
  • Meeting my bride, Jennifer, and getting married
  • Having a daughter when doctors were skeptical it could happen – and then having a son 10 years later, and then another beautiful daughter 4 years after our son. I still can’t believe we have three children. What a blessing!
  • Attending Clemson University and graduating with a Masters of Business Administration
  • Helping start NewSpring Church back in 1999 with my crazy lunatic friend, Perry Noble, and watching it grow to more than 33,000 people per weekend
  • Starting I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.
  • Multiple fishing trips – including many to Canada where I caught a 46.5″ 28# muskie
  • Purchasing INJOY Stewardship Solutions.
  • Purchased land where I can take my children to run free and wild like I did when I was a kid
  • Living in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 different dwellings (apartments & houses) in 4 cities (2 in Indiana, 2 in South Carolina)

If I’m blessed to live 40 more years, here are some of my dreams for those years:

  • Help my children graduate college without student loan debt
  • Fund my wife’s dreams (she’s be VERY patient while I pursued many of my dreams)
  • Maximize time with family through intentional blocking out chunks of quality time with them
  • Visit the world beyond North America – including Israel, Australia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan, South Africa, Egypt, Brazil, and Argentina.
  • Serve 10,000,000 people through I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.’s personal finance and small business programs – enough to make a measurable difference in their individual situations and in the world economy.
  • Help NewSpring Church reach its goal of 100,000 people per weekend (and beyond)
  • Write 20 more books/resources/equipping classes
  • Become a trusted resource to and help influence the decisions of the United States Federal Government in such a way that we achieve a balanced budget and substantially reduce the National Debt
  • Start a university that is thriving after 40 years

Ultimately, I would love to achieve my life goal of being on the Great Wall of China when I’m 90 years old. Time will tell if I reach that goal. Check with me in 50 years.

4 monthsBy the way: Happy Birthday to my identical twin brother, Dr. John Sangl! We were 4 months old in the above picture!

Sad Realities About How People Manage Money

Here are some sad realities about how most people manage money:

  1. We know more about our favorite team or TV show than we know about our own financial situation.
  2. We spend more money on video games for our children than we save for their college education.
  3. We say we have plans, hopes, and dreams, but most of us never take the time to even write them down – let alone prepare a plan to accomplish them.
  4. We will spend hours planning for a Super Bowl Party but no time preparing a financial plan.
  5. We spend all of our money every month and then claim the lack of savings is someone else’s fault.
  6. We raise kids for 18 years and somehow never take the time to teach them about money management – giving, saving, investing, budgeting, compound interest, etc.

I’m committed to helping people change this reality. It’s good to have a favorite team (especially if it’s the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, and the Chicago Cubs), but not if it takes the place of ensuring my finances are in order and funding plans, hopes, and dreams. It’s awesome to have an incredible Super Bowl Party (especially if my Colts are in it), but not if I am overspending money because I didn’t have a budget.

Are you ready to help millions of people change their lives? One step is to be a part of our Core Coaching Program – CLICK HERE to learn more.

Crazy Statements People Make About Money

Here are some crazy statements people make about money:

  • “My children are my retirement plan.”
  • “I’ll always have a car payment.”
  • “I don’t need to save any money for retirement because Social Security will cover me.”
  • “I can’t pay my house off in 10 years because it is a 30 year mortgage.”
  • “I want to buy a 401(k).”
  • “I’m still paying off the original Nintendo.”
  • “Money is evil.”
  • “I can’t budget.”

What crazy statements have you heard people make about money?

Signs Your Financial Priorities Are Out Of Order

Sometimes I see situations that just make me shake my head in wonder. Situations where a person obviously has their financial priorities out of order.

Here are a few:

  1. If you know everything about your favorite team or TV show but do not have a financial plan …
  2. If you pay for your child to participate on a traveling sports team, but have nothing saved for their college education …
  3. If you’ve purchased 85 video games and 3 different game consoles for your kids, but have nothing saved for their college education …
  4. If you have worked for 5 years and haven’t saved any money …
  5. If you have worked for 20 years and have nothing saved for retirement …
  6. If you say, “I just need to make more money,” …
  7. If you believe the lottery is the only way you will ever be able to retire …
  8. If you have not given away any money …
  9. If you think 401(k) is a radio station …
  10. If you have purchased a brand new car (that will drop 60% in value in the first 4 years) and have invested nothing …
  11. If you do not take time to plan the use of your paycheck before you spend a dime of it …
  12. If you continually blame others for your financial situation …
  13. If you refuse to talk with your spouse about money …
  14. If you have regular pedicures/manicures, a smartphone, and cable/satellite TV and say, “I can’t afford to invest or save …”

In the past, many of these items were true for me. Are any of them true for you?

Would you add anything to this list?

My Favorite Thoughts This Year

Every now and then I have a thought that really strikes a chord within me. I usually write it down in Evernote. Here are a few of the personal finance thoughts that resonated with me this year:

  1. “I’ve rarely met a person who felt they could “afford” to save, but a few somehow navigate those feelings & save ANYHOW.”
  2. “I changed my life when I experienced an IHHE Moment – an I Have Had Enough! Moment!”
  3. “My favorite word to use is “Awesome!” My favorite 3 words to use are “I’m fired up!”
  4. “The facts are so obvious – those who invest: win; those who do not: whine”
  5. “It’s not a popular word these days, but “SACRIFICE” (1) gets people’s attention, (2) creates focus, and (3) unites people together!”

What is the financial thought that really stuck with you this year?

Monday Money Tip – Free Service From I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

Every single Monday, we offer a free money tip to help you take your finances to another level. The video below will offer more insight into the vision we have for the Monday Money Tip.
 

 
To receive your weekly Monday Money Tip,
REGISTER HERE
.

Your Mondays just got a little better. Get fired up!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is Thanksgiving in the United States, and I’m truly filled with thanksgiving! I’ve been blessed beyond measure.

Here are some key things I’m thankful for:

  • My bride  We celebrated 16 years of marriage this year!
  • My first daughter  She turned 14 this year. She’s a beautiful amazing person, artist, and athlete.
  • My son  He turned 3 this year. He is FIRED UP from about 5:00 AM each morning until about 10:00 PM every night!
  • My second daughter  She made her appearance just nine weeks ago. Amazing how beautiful she is!
  • The I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Team  We’re growing in our reach and influence. It’s because of the incredible team that has signed on to help us take our message to the nations!
  • The INJOY Stewardship Solutions Team  This team is growing in its reach and influence too! It is amazing to be able to serve great leaders around the world through this 21 year old organization that was founded by Dr. John C. Maxwell. I can’t believe I get to lead this organization!
  • My family  All of my brothers, my parents, my bride’s parents and her brothers and sisters. All of the awesome nephews and nieces that are showing up make it even better!
  • My church  NewSpring Church has impacted my life in more ways than I can list. Indescribable to see what God is doing through this church!
  • Jesus  The ultimate example of generosity and giver of grace.
  • You  It’s an honor to serve you on your money journey. Every day we wake up and strive to live out our 15-word passion statement to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances!

What are YOU grateful for?

Monday Money Tip

I am FIRED UP to finally be able to make our next HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT! As of today, November 25th, we have launched a brand new resource called Monday Money Tip.

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We know Monday’s are usually not everyone’s favorite day of the week, and this is our way of helping make it better!

Here’s what you can expect when you register to receive the Monday Money Tip:

  • A practical and simple money tip in a brief 3 to 5 minute video
  • Delivered every single week on Monday to your email inbox
  • A variety of topics including:
    • Savings Tips
    • Debt Reduction & Elimination Strategies
    • Investing Ideas
    • Budgeting Tips
    • Encouragement (everyone needs this!)
    • Tips to help you Persevere
    • Tips to speed up your climb up the IWBNIN Ladder!
  • COST: It is totally FREE!

Click HERE to register! You will immediately receive the first Monday Money Tip in your email inbox and every Monday thereafter.

Here’s to better and more prosperous Mondays!

Change Your Financial Life With Two Words

“I do.”

When Pastor David Terhune challenged me on June 7, 1997 with a marriage vow to my bride, I responded with, “I do.”

It wasn’t “Maybe” or “Unless.” It was simply, “I do.”

This commitment changed my life forever. It has led to more than 16 years of marriage, three wonderful children, and a life partnership I only dreamed of having.

What would it look like if we made a similar commitment to manage our finances in an honorable and upright manner?

Something like:

Do you promise to give and to save and to invest? Will you commit to provide for your family to the absolute best of your ability? To forsake destructive debt and get-rich-quick schemes? To commit to teach your children the joys of frugality, strong money skills, and the power of compound interest? To work together on all major money decisions? To promise to be honest in all of your financial dealings? As long as you both shall live?

“I do.”

It could change your financial life forever.

The Importance of Consistency

To accomplish anything great, it will usually require consistent effort over long periods of time.

Here are some examples:

  • Run a 26.2 mile marathon  I’ve run two of these events – the San Diego Rock ‘N Roll Marathon and the Houston Marathon. Each one required several months of intense training (I really like the free training plans offered by Hal Higdon)
  • Pay off a house  I was able to accomplish this by age 38. It took years of consistent and intentional focus to accomplish this major financial goal.
  • Education  It takes 13 years of consistent performance to obtain a high school diploma. Four years of effort to earn a bachelor’s degree. More for a professional graduate degree.
  • Raise a great child  I’ve not successfully done this – yet! With a 13 year old, a 3 year old, and a baby in the house, we are well aware of the need for consistency and its important role in raising a great child!
  • Losing weight  Anyone who has faced the challenge of losing weight and succeeded clearly understands the power of consistency in maintaining a good diet and regular exercise.
  • Building a business  Rarely is a business built overnight. I once heard one of my financial heroes, Dave Ramsey, say, “It took us 17 years of hard work to become an overnight success.”

Consistency allows you to accomplish “elephant-sized” dreams and objectives “one bite at a time.”

To achieve long term financial success, here are some key financial practices one must strive to consistently employ:

  1. Give  Make it your habit to live a generous life. Consistent giving ensures I am constantly aware of the great needs of others.
  2. Save  You can not prosper financially if you do not save.
  3. Invest  Investing a little bit of money all of the time usually trumps investing lots of money every now and then.
  4. Budget  Giving every dollar a name every single month will ensure that all of your finances are used to their maximum potential.
  5. Continually learn about money  Your financial education is built over time – just like your regular education. Commit to consistently learn about money.
  6. Insure  If you do not have all of your assets consistently insured, you will be at risk of losing everything you have built up.

Are you living a consistent financial life?

You Can Not Prosper If You Do Not Save

Quick: Think of someone you know that is wealthy who has no money.

I suspect you will be thinking a very long time because it is not possible!

And how did they get all of that money? Was it:

A) It appeared on the back of a magical unicorn.
B) It grew on a money tree.
C) They stole it from a bank.
D) They chose to save money little by little until it became a lot.

Here’s the secret of most wealthy people – they choose to manage their money differently than broke people.

They recognize that you can not prosper if you do not save.

Savings allows you to have margin.

Savings allows you to invest.

Savings allows you to focus on long-term initiatives.

Are you prospering? Maybe the better question is: Are you saving?

15 Words Drive Us

“To help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.”

These 15 words guide everything we do at I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Because we are so energized by this calling, we believe it is more than a mission statement – it is our passion statement.

To give you a glimpse under the hood of the IWBNIN organization, I thought I would share exactly what we intend to to communicate with this passion statement.

“To help people”

We want to help people. Period. We don’t want to ever be involved in tasks that don’t directly or indirectly help people.

“accomplish”

It is our passion to help people get things done and to accomplish the plans, hopes, and dreams they have for their lives.

“far more than they ever thought possible”

We believe that a great financial education can help people fund huge and seemingly impossible dreams. Without vision, the people perish. Without money, the vision will perish. We strive to equip people to live fully funded lives.

“with their personal finances.”

We are focused on equipping people with their financial educations. It is our calling and passion.

What are the words that adequately describe YOUR “passion statement”? And how many words does it take?

Please share with us!

Favorite Money Quotes

Here are a few of my favorite quotes about money:

  • “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.” – Dave Ramsey
  • “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every single time.” – Zig Ziglar
  • “You can either play now and pay later, or you can pay now and play later. The choice is yours.” – John C. Maxwell
  • “The question is not, ‘Can I afford this?’ The better question is, ‘How can I afford this?’” – Robert Kiyosaki
  • “Early to bed, early to rise, keeps you healthy, wealthy and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.” – Charles Dickens
  • “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” – Matthew 16:26 (The Holy Bible – NIV)
  • “Act your wage.” – Dave Ramsey
  • “The principles of money are basic: Live on less than you make and save money for a rainy day.” – Anonymous
  • “People buy things they cannot afford to impress people they don’t even like.” – Attributed to various people
  • “Your pay raise becomes effective when you are.” – Anonymous

For more great money quotes, visit this great page.

Do YOU have any favorite money quotes? Please share them in the comments!

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