Archive - Next Steps

## Common Question About 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Many people look at 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card offers and wonder, “what’s the catch?” So let’s dive into this question.

QUESTION: Is the interest rate really 0%?
The answer is, “YES!” Many of these offers do, however, have a small transfer fee – usually around 3%.

Let’s use an example to see how this works.

Suppose you transfer a balance of \$5,000 from a card that has a 21.99% interest rate. You apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card. This offer comes with a 3% balance transfer fee, but it also provides 0% for 18 months.

Upon acceptance of your application, the 3% balance transfer fee (\$150) will be applied to your balance on the new credit account making your total balance owed equal \$5,150 (\$5,000 balance that was transferred PLUS the \$150 balance transfer fee).

Now comes the good part! You now owe 0% interest for the 18 month period – as long as you make all of your payments on time, of course. Let’s see how this plays out while making \$200/month payments – 21.99% credit card vs 0% balance credit card.

Just by making one decision that takes less than 15 minutes, you can make a HUGE difference with your finances!

## How to Make Credit Debt Disappear Quicker

It’s no surprise that I’m not a huge fan of credit cards. This is mainly because, in the past, I ran up huge balances on them three separate times. As a financial teacher, I have seen a large amount of people entangled in credit card debt and paying huge interest charges. While this is not an ideal situation to be in, there is always HOPE and a way out! So how do you make credit debt disappear quicker? One way is 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards!

Here’s an example – I recently met a family that had several credit cards. They were paying 7.99% interest all the way up to 22.99% interest. We used the Actual Cost of Debt Calculator to calculate the amount of interest that was being paid each month. It was a ridiculously large number! So I encouraged them to apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card. This type of credit card would ensure that 100% of their payment would go towards reducing the principal. Guess what? They tried it and were approved and the balance was transferred to 0% for 12 months. In just fifteen minutes, they had reduced their interest fees by over \$100/month. Over \$100/month for fifteen minutes worth of effort is a pretty good paying job! That’s a savings of OVER \$1,200 PER YEAR! Now they are working their way to 100% debt freedom even quicker!

Are you paying high interest on a credit card balance? If you are, why not roll over that debt to a 0% interest card so that 100% of your payments will go towards the balance owed? Having trouble finding a 0% balance transfer card? Just click HERE.

If you’ve already switched to a 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card, how much is it saving you every month?

## Budget Booster Update – Swagbucks

I first wrote about Swagbucks back in November 2008 when I first signed up for the program.   Swagbucks is a search engine just like Google, Ask, or Bing with one key exception – they PAY you to search!!!   Every so often, they reward you with a Swagbuck (or Swagbucks) when you search.   The Swagbuck is their own currency, and they can be redeemed for gift cards or merchandise.

I just redeemed my Swagbucks for another \$20 Target gift card.   So far, I have personally earned 389 Swagbucks!   It takes 235 Swagbucks to obtain a \$20 Target gift card.   It is FREE money!   YES!

Here is a great feature of this program.   Once you register, you can refer your friends.   For their first 100 Swagbucks, you can earn a matching Swagbuck!

You can check it out and register HERE.

NOTE: We have a TON of additional “Budget Boosters” located on the Next Steps site – I would recommend you start with the Top 5 Lists!

## Next Steps Site Update – Free Samples

For this Saturday morning, we have updated our Next Steps site "Free Samples" section with a link to Shop4Freebies.com.  It is a great place to sign up for a variety of free stuff – if you don't mind increasing the quantity of e-mail and regular mail!

Check out the free samples link HERE.  You might just want to browse the entire "Budget Boosters" section while you are at it.  It is how me and my team have saved TONS of money!

## Check Out The FREE Tools

How long has it been since you checked out the FREE (HERE) financial tools available via the I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. website?  Chances are pretty good that there are several tools that can really help you take your finances to the next level – and they are FREE!

It is our passion to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

This passion is the reason we offer the free tools.  It is the reason I write a blog post about personal finances every day.  It is the reason that I write a weekly newspaper column.  It is the reason I travel the nation speaking and teaching.  It is the reason that I wrote I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. and its related Group Study.  It is the reason that I am writing a book directed toward those young people who are about to embark on their big adventure into the real world.  It is the reason that we offer free financial counseling through over twenty churches (and increasing!).  It is the reason that I have been training team members at every single live event.

I'm FIRED UP and sold out to this God-given call on my life.

However we can serve you, it is our honor.

## FaxZero.com – Save Money On Faxes

I was SHOCKED, STUNNED, and DISMAYED last week when I had to FAX a medical document to a health insurance provider last week.

I called and asked for an e-mail address that I could send the eletronic document to, but they insisted that I fax it to them.  Or I could opt for the even better choice – US Mail.

Seriously?  I could not believe it.  I mean, really, the 1990s have called.  They want their fax machine back.

Since I do not have a fax machine (do you?), I embarked on an internet search to find a free solution.

I found a GREAT solution.  Why?  Because it was FREE!  It is called FaxZero.com  If you agree to let them have their advertisement on the cover page, you can receive two faxes FREE every single day.  Since this is the first fax I have sent in approximately five years, I think this option works well for me.

So, if you ever get into a pinch and need to fax, you should check out FaxZero.com. I am going to add this to the "Budget Boosters" section of our Next Steps site.

## Ways To Save Money

My team has been working on a page on our Next Steps site to provide practical ways that people can save money on common items that people purchase.

For example, what are some ways you have saved money on:

• Groceries
• Internet
• Cable TV
• Cell phone service
• Car insurance
• Hotel
• Dining out

Share your ideas and check out the "Budget Boosters" section of our Next Steps site to see if there are any ways YOU can save money right away!

## RedPlum – Free Coupons

I have been learning how to use CouponMom.com to save a ton on my grocery bill.  This service is FREE, and it matches discounted products with coupons that have been published in the Sunday newspaper.

I noticed that the Sunday coupons are produced by a couple of different companies.  One is from RedPlum.  I was preparing to write about CouponMom.com, and I decided to search the internet to see if RedPlum had a website.

Do they ever!!!  They have a website that is chock full of great coupons and moneysaving tips.

Check it out HERE.  I can see several ways that this is going to save me money, and I am PUMPED!

Related Information

## 0% Credit Cards Make Credit Debt Disappear Faster

I am not a huge fan of credit cards because I ran up huge balances on them three separate times.  As a financial counselor, I have seen lots of people entangled in credit card debt and paying huge interest charges.

For example, I recently met with a family that had several credit cards and they were paying 7.99% interest all of the way up to 22.99% interest.  We used the Actual Cost of Debt Calculator to calculate the amount of interest they were paying each month.  It was a large number!

So I told them that I would apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card so that 100% of their payment would go toward reducing principal.  Guess what?  They tried it, and they were approved for the first card they applied for.  The balance has now been surfed to 0% for 12 months.  In just fifteen minutes, they reduced their interest fees by over \$100/month.  Over \$100/month for fifteen minutes worth of effort is a pretty good paying job!  That is a savings of over \$1,200 per year!  Now they are speeding their way to 100% debt freedom!

Are you paying high interest on a credit card balance?  If you are, why not roll over that debt to a 0% interest card so that 100% of your payments will go toward the balance owed?  Having trouble finding a 0% balance transfer card?  There are several 0% interest balance transfer cards located HERE that you can apply for on-line.

Readers:  Have you surfed high interest credit card debt to zero interest credit cards?  If so, how much is it saving you every month?  Click on the comments below and share your story!

## Budget Booster – Swagbucks

I am a big fan of receiving money for doing something that I already do, and that is why I am pumped about Swagbucks.

Let me tell about Swagbucks.  It is a search engine that you use to find stuff on the internet.  By signing up for and using Swagbucks for your internet searches, you can earn Swagbucks – a currency that can be converted into rewards ranging from five dollars to hundreds of dollars.

A single Swagbuck has a value of around \$0.08, but it can add up!  At the rate I have been earning Swagbucks, I believe that I will be able to obtain a \$50 gift card every three months or so.

Based on what I have seen, Swagbucks returns the same results as Google.com but pays you to use it!

You can register for your own Swagbucks account HERE.

Find dozens more budget boosting ideas on the Next Steps site.

## NEXT STEPS – A New Part Of The Crusade – Part 4

I am PUMPED about Next Steps, the newest division of IWBNIN.  In this series, I will be sharing different components of this division which is solely focused on providing practical next steps toward financial freedom.

Eliminate Debt

The Eliminate Debt section was developed to help folks develop a plan that will allow them to become 100% debt-free.  I was in debt up to my eyeballs, and my bride and I made a commitment in December 2002 to rid ourselves of debt.  In just fourteen months, we became debt-free except for the house and are now well on our way to eliminating the mortgage!

You can become debt-free too, and the Eliminate Debt section was prepared especially for you.

Here are the pages located in the Eliminate Debt section.

• Debt Freedom Date  This page is focused on helping you understand your debt situation.  There are links to obtain your free credit report (it truly is FREE), calculate your debt freedom date, calculate the actual cost of your debt, and an early pay-off calculator.
• 0% Interest Balance-Transfer Credit Cards  I am not a fan of credit cards at all, but if you are carrying a balance and paying interest – why not surf the balance to a 0% card?  That way ALL of your payment is applied toward the debt!  We have searched the internet to find cards that charge a minimal transfer fee, but allow you to transfer the balance and pay 0% interest for an entire year.  There are even a few cards that allow you to transfer the balance with no transfer fee.
• Debt Pay-Off Spectaculars  Yes, these are also located in the Free Tools section, but for your convenience we have also located the page in the Eliminate Debt section.

Back when I was swimming in debt, I asked myself the two following questions that changed my life forever.

• "How much do I pay each month to debt?"
• "What else could I do with this money?"

Use the Next Steps' Eliminate Debt section to get started on your own Debt Freedom March!

## NEXT STEPS – A New Part Of The Crusade – Part 3

I am PUMPED about Next Steps, the newest division of IWBNIN.  In this series, I will be sharing different components of this division which is solely focused on providing practical next steps toward financial freedom.

Free Tools

These are the same free tools that are located via the "Tools" link here at JosephSangl.com, but they are much better organized.  We have taken this opportunity to organize the Free Tools into logical subgroups (sorry, some of my engineering nerdiness there …)

Here are some of the sections in the Free Tools section.

• Budgeting Tools Monthly; Weekly; Bi-Weekly; Bi-Monthly; Specific Project or Event – Every budget tool you may need can be found on this page.
• Debt Reduction Tools  Calculate your Debt Freedom Date and Actual Cost of Debt here.  You can also use the Early Pay-Off Calculator to find out how much sooner a larger payment will make a debt leave!
• Calculators  Chances are really good that the financial calculator you need is located on this page.
• Saving Tools  Find out how much your monthly savings can equal in a few years on this page.
• Pay-Off Spectaculars  These are some of the most popular tools, and this page takes the spectaculars to an entirely new level.  There are now thumbnail pictures of each spectacular for you!
• Saving Spectaculars  As with the Pay-Off Spectaculars, the Savings Spectaculars have been reorganized for ease of use.

I am PUMPED about Next Steps and the opportunity to help you take practical next steps toward financial freedom!

Read more of the series on Next Steps

## NEXT STEPS – A New Part Of The Crusade – Part 2

On October 3, 2008, I announced the formation of a new division of IWBNIN called Next Steps.

Vision

It is my passion to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances so that they can be freed up to go do EXACTLY what they have been put on earth to do.

As I speak and teach about personal finances, I receive many questions like "Who do you recommend?" and "Where would you go?"  Next Steps was created to answer these questions and provide practical next steps for those seeking to take their finances to a new level.

Prepare A Plan

The "Prepare A Plan" link was created to share the key items that I believe are fundamental for a sound financial plan.  These items include:

• Planned Spending  It is so important to have a written plan!  This link leads to a page chock full of budgeting tools.
• Freedom From Debt  Want a huge pay raise?  Eliminate the debt payments, and it will free up a ton of money!  This link leads to the debt freedom date calculator, actual cost of debt calculator, and an early pay-off calculator.
• Saving & Investing  I love saving and investing!  This is what will allow me to accomplish my plans, hopes, and dreams.  This page leads to links for high-interest paying on-line savings and checking accounts, mutual fund investment companies, and 529 college savings plan links..
• Insurance  Insurance can be frustrating.  This page was created to make it easy to obtain multiple quotes with just a few minutes of effort!  The average annual savings on auto and home insurance for folks who have not obtained a new quote in the last two years is nearly \$600.  That will spend just like money!
• Leaving A Legacy  According to Bankrate.com, 57% of Americans do not have a written will.  This means that the government will be left in charge of determining who gets what!  This page was prepared to help you get a written will at a very reasonable cost.

## NEXT STEPS – A New Part Of The Crusade – Part 1

Before this moment, there were four key ways this crusade was carried out:

Today, I am PUMPED to introduce a fifth way that this crusade is carried out: NEXT STEPS

First I will start by reiterating my passion.  It is my passion to see others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.  The reason I am so passionate about this is because I believe that when people are financially free, they are much more likely to go do EXACTLY what they have been put on this earth to do.

As I partner with churches and businesses throughout the nation to help teach PRACTICAL personal finance tools, my passion and this vision drives me to constantly ask the question, "What is a PRACTICAL next step that we can offer folks?"

Let me be more specific.

• "After this message series on money, what is the PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"
• "After Joe speaks at our business, what is a PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"
• "After the Financial Learning Experience or Financial Freedom Experience, what is a PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"
• "After someone reads I Was Broke. Now I'm Not., what is a PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"
• "After someone participates in the I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. Group Study, what is a PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"

Next Steps is a website created to answer these questions. Over the next several weeks, there will be several series written about the practical tools and solutions that we have placed on the site.  I encourage you to check it out, and see if there are ways that can help you achieve YOUR next steps!