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Managing Money As A Single Parent – Part 02

Welcome to the latest series here at the wildly popular JosephSangl.com – “Managing Money As A Single Parent”!

Part Two  Eliminate as much work as possible!

Your time is extremely valuable. As a single parent who must run kids to practice, go grocery shopping, ferry kids back and forth from school, and, oh yeah, work, you realize more than most people that there are only 1,440 minutes in a given day. To ensure you have enough time for the most important things in life, seek to eliminate as much work as possible when it comes to managing your money.

To ensure you have enough time for the most important things in life, seek to eliminate as much work as possible when it comes to managing your money.

One key way to do this is to automate every bill you possibly can. For individuals or businesses who can’t accept automatic online bill payments, establish automatic checks. This is a free option from nearly every major bank.

For impulsive spending categories like food (grocery and restaurants), clothing, entertainment and spending money, use cash envelopes. Once you are paid, withdraw cash for the budgeted amount you’ve allocated to each of these categories. Put the money into an envelope and only use the money for these impulsive expenses. Once the money is gone, don’t spend money in that category until you are paid again. Employing these principles not only reduces the time you have to focus on money, but it also makes budgeting much simpler.

PRACTICAL STEPS TO TAKE:

  1. Establish automatic bill payments for your monthly bills as much as possible
  2. Implement the Cash Envelope System (see my short YouTube video explaining this in more detail)

Managing Money As A Single Parent – Part 01

Welcome to the latest series here at the wildly popular JosephSangl.com – “Managing Money As A Single Parent”!

Part One  Prepare and live by a monthly budget

A monthly budget allows you to tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it all went. Without this basic financial tool in place, you will not be able to maximize the money you have worked so diligently to earn. One of the greatest benefits of budgeting is being able to stop the morning routine of checking your bank account balance! You should prepare a budget every month, and it should be completed before the month actually begins. This systematic approach will allow you to review your financial performance over the previous month and make any adjustments necessary for the upcoming one.

“You can eliminate a lot of insanity from your life simply by preparing and living by a budget.”

By preparing your budget before the month begins, it will provide you an opportunity to recognize upcoming financial challenges and implement steps to address each one. For example, suppose your budget revealed a gap of $220 in the approaching month. Because you prepared a budget before the month began, it provides you the opportunity to either (a) eliminate $220 of expenses in the budget or (b) determine a way to produce an extra $220 in income (like working overtime, selling something, etc.) You could even potentially do a combination of options (a) and (b).

However, if you encountered this scenario without a budget, when would you would discover the $220 gap? That’s right. When your money ran out! This would leave you with little option beyond putting the overages on a credit card or using overdraft. You can eliminate a lot of insanity from your life simply by preparing and living by a budget.

As you approach the end of each month, follow these two simple steps:

  1. Review your budget for the month you are completing.
    • What went well?
    • What surprises did you encounter?
    • What do you need to adjust for upcoming months?
  2. Update your budget for the approaching month.
    • What items need to be included in this budget?
    • Do you need to make any changes to existing budget expenses?

Remember it is important to prepare your budget BEFORE the month begins! This process should take less than 15 minutes each month.

PRACTICAL STEP TO TAKE: Use the free budget tools from IWBNIN: www.iwbnin.com/tools and prepare your budget!

Managing Money As A Single Parent – Part 00

Welcome to the latest series here at the wildly popular JosephSangl.com – “Managing Money As A Single Parent”!

So many people are faced with this very situation, and it is a key issue many people face today. Life as a single parent is very challenging. Balancing your children’s needs with the demands of your job creates a near-constant tension. Toss money into this equation, and life can become overwhelming! The good news is it is still possible to thrive financially even when faced with what, at times, can feel like insurmountable odds. This series has been prepared to provide key steps you can take to win with money in spite of your circumstances.

Over the next several days, I will be sharing seven key steps single parents can take to win with money. If you apply these principles and take the practical steps outlined in each section, you will eliminate a ton of stress and frustration. You can do this!

As part of this series, I would love to hear from some single parents about the financial challenges you have faced. Will you take two minutes to share your thoughts with me? If you can’t see the survey, please click here to access the survey.

 

SERIES: The Reluctant Spouse – Part 5

Welcome to the latest series at JosephSangl.com – “The Reluctant Spouse”

Perhaps the most challenging issue I face as a financial author, teacher, and coach is “the reluctant spouse.” One spouse wants to prepare and live by a budget, invest, save, give, and live frugally. Meanwhile, their spouse is very reluctant to participate in the budgeting process and routinely makes contradictory financial decisions. In this series, I will share some tips and ideas to help bring the reluctant spouse on board as an active and willing participant in financial decisions.

Part Five  Be Realistic

It is important to recognize that your spouse may never share your excitement about money management. While an Excel spreadsheet and budgeting may light your fire, it might always drive your spouse crazy. Don’t ask them to become involved with the tasks as much as you ask them to become involved in the decisions and execution.

Think about this for a moment. If you have a reluctant spouse right now who refuses to participate with any money decisions, which of the following is a better outcome?

  1. For your spouse to prepare the budget each month
  2. For you to prepare the budget each month and gain your spouse’s final input and support to follow it?

Of course, the answer is #2. Because it is their involvement you are seeking.

Change is difficult and will take some time. Depending upon the reasons for their reluctance outlined in Part One, it can be vital to seek marriage coaching/counseling.

There is hope, and I should know because I used to be a reluctant spouse. And now I’ve written multiple books on the subject and started a business teaching about it!

SERIES: The Reluctant Spouse – Part 4

Welcome to the latest series at JosephSangl.com – “The Reluctant Spouse”

Perhaps the most challenging issue I face as a financial author, teacher, and coach is “the reluctant spouse.” One spouse wants to prepare and live by a budget, invest, save, give, and live frugally. Meanwhile, their spouse is very reluctant to participate in the budgeting process and routinely makes contradictory financial decisions. In this series, I will share some tips and ideas to help bring the reluctant spouse on board as an active and willing participant in financial decisions.

Part Four  Invite your spouse to participate

As you tell your reluctant spouse about your plans, hopes, and dreams, you will be sharing your passion. After all, you can’t separate your heart from money. This means your passion will flow out of you as you share your dreams. Bill Hybels has shared this about vision, “Vision is painting a picture with passion and then putting people into it.”

As you passionately tell your spouse of the vision you have for your marriage and future, it is important to “paint them into the picture.” Ask them to share some of their dreams with you. Ask the, “If we won the lottery …” question. Write their ideas down.

Then ask for their help in making those dreams come true.

Let’s be very clear. Ask them to take one step. Perhaps you will ask them to help prepare the monthly budget. Maybe you would like them to accompany you to a meeting with an investment officer. Even bolder, ask them to turn in their debit card and convert to the cash envelope system to control impulsive spending decisions.

Remember: one step. Not twenty. Not even five. One.

I’ll finish the series with an important reminder in Part Five.

Read the entire series (available after 10/21/2014)

SERIES: The Reluctant Spouse – Part 3

Welcome to the latest series at JosephSangl.com – “The Reluctant Spouse”

Perhaps the most challenging issue I face as a financial author, teacher, and coach is “the reluctant spouse.” One spouse wants to prepare and live by a budget, invest, save, give, and live frugally. Meanwhile, their spouse is very reluctant to participate in the budgeting process and routinely makes contradictory financial decisions. In this series, I will share some tips and ideas to help bring the reluctant spouse on board as an active and willing participant in financial decisions.

Part Three  Share the WHY

As you live out the principles in your life, it is important to begin addressing the reasons you’ve identified as the cause of your spouse’s reluctance to participate in financial decisions. This can include marriage counseling/coaching as well as ongoing one-on-one conversation.

Ultimately, you must convey to them why you want them to participate in financial decisions. This should be done with a few key things in mind.

  • You are both rested  Trying to have a financial conversation when your spouse is exhausted is a recipe for a terrific argument.
  • Without the kids present  Children tend to be very distracting to serious conversation. Hire a babysitter and go out to a nice dinner at a place where you can have a real conversation free of interruptions.
  • Focused on the issue – and the emotions  Attempting to separate emotions from finances is an impossible task. Acknowledge this fact and remain focused on the issues – which is the “why” you want their participation in financial decisions. Don’t make any personal attacks.
  • Not too long  Your spouse probably isn’t naturally drawn to financial conversation like you are. Don’t drag out the conversation.

With these items in place, it is the moment to share WHY you want their help with financial decisions. Have your reasons written down on paper. Your preparedness will quietly convey the importance of this conversation. Remember, “Your level of EXPECTATION will determine your level of PREPARATION.” Because of your high expectations, you must be prepared!

Your reasons should not be focused on financial principles and tools like “I want to have a budget that works.” This is uninspiring to your reluctant spouse. Instead, focus on the outcomes that will occur as a result of excellent budgeting. Outcomes like “I want to be able to retire by age 55.” Even better, “I want us both to be able to retire by age 55.” Here are a few statements to help you get started with your own list:

  • “I want us to be able to build our dream house.”
  • “I would like to own a cottage at the beach.”
  • “I want to pay cash for our children’s college education so they don’t have student loan debt like us.”
  • “I want to see you start that business you’ve always talked about.”

Do you see it? Share the WHY and then apply the fourth step which I’ll share in the next part of this series.

Read the entire series (available after 10/21/2014)

SERIES: The Reluctant Spouse – Part 2

Welcome to the latest series at JosephSangl.com – “The Reluctant Spouse”

Perhaps the most challenging issue I face as a financial author, teacher, and coach is “the reluctant spouse.” One spouse wants to prepare and live by a budget, invest, save, give, and live frugally. Meanwhile, their spouse is very reluctant to participate in the budgeting process and routinely makes contradictory financial decisions. In this series, I will share some tips and ideas to help bring the reluctant spouse on board as an active and willing participant in financial decisions.

Part Two  Quietly live the financial principles in your own life.

This is very important. Asking your reluctant spouse to take financial steps you are unwilling to take yourself is the very definition of hypocrisy.

If you are asking your spouse to prepare and live by a budget, be certain to prepare and live by a budget each month. Of course, there will be certain categories that your spouse will not follow. For the categories you can control, live out the principles.

Notice the word “quietly” in this key step. It is very unhelpful to announce, “I’m preparing a budget like Joseph Sangl says we should.” or “I’m attacking debt like Dave Ramsey instructs.” or “I called Suze Orman, and she said we can not afford to buy that item.” It only makes a reluctant spouse dislike the financial teacher!

Here are some quiet ways to employ financial principles:

  1. Prepare a budget and post it in a visible place. As you pay bills, mark them off. This demonstrates active utilization of the budget without saying a word.
  2. Utilize one of our free “Savings Spectaculars” (opens in new tab) and begin saving for a dream you both share (like a Disney cruise).
  3. Use cash envelopes to manage impulsive spending categories like groceries, restaurants, clothing, entertainment, and spending money. I’ve prepared a short video HERE (03:16) that teaches how to implement this system.
  4. Write down your plans, hopes, and dreams. Post in a visible location (like the refrigerator) and include some blank lines and a pen. Perhaps they might feel compelled to include a few of their dreams on your list! As a bonus, put the cost of each dream next to each one.
  5. Be nice. Nagging automatically moves people to become defensive.

In Part Three, I’ll be sharing a way to invite your reluctant spouse into the conversation.

Read the entire series (available after 10/21/2014)

SERIES: The Reluctant Spouse – Part 1

Welcome to the latest series at JosephSangl.com – “The Reluctant Spouse”

Perhaps the most challenging issue I face as a financial author, teacher, and coach is “the reluctant spouse.” One spouse wants to prepare and live by a budget, invest, save, give, and live frugally. Meanwhile, their spouse is very reluctant to participate in the budgeting process and routinely makes contradictory financial decisions. In this series, I will share some tips and ideas to help bring the reluctant spouse on board as an active and willing participant in financial decisions.

Part One  Identify “WHY” your spouse is reluctant to participate in financial matters

This is an important moment for you. Consider the reason(s) your spouse may not want to participate in financial decisions. This is not an attempt to discover what is “wrong” with your spouse. The ultimate goal is to gain understanding.

As a financial coach, I’ve identified several reasons a person takes on the role of “The Reluctant Spouse”:

  1. Relationship Status  Many times, financial behavior is an indicator of deeper relational issues. Are there areas of your marriage that need addressed? In a world full of blended families and past marriages, these past relationships can also play a role.
  2. Income Challenges  When income does not meet expenses, it can cause some people to shut down completely. “There just isn’t enough money to manage,” they reason.
  3. Past Money Mistakes  Has your spouse been burned by a financial decision they have made? Have you made a money mistake that has created a trust issue? Poor money decisions can cause some people to “freeze up” and choose to avoid them completely in the future.
  4. Upbringing  Perhaps their behavior has been informed by their own parents. Maybe they saw all of the money decisions handled by one parent and honestly believe the same should be true for their own marriage. They may have been raised in a family that didn’t hear the word “no” used very often when it came to spending.
  5. Power  Does your spouse feel like you are manipulating them to get something you want? Because money is attached to our hearts (read Matthew 6:21), it is powerfully and deeply connected into our plans, hopes, and dreams.
  6. Education  Most people have had little money education. The feeling of ignorance can be very powerful and cause a person to feel the “fight or flight” defense mechanism.
  7. Embarrassment  No one wants to be perceived as broke or unable to manage their money. We all want to be able to provide well for our family. When one doesn’t feel like they have done this very well, it can be embarrassing. This feeling is amplified if the “the exuberant spouse” is pushing “the reluctant spouse” to meet with a financial coach because they know they will be faced with their financial shortcomings.
  8. Financial Infidelity  Perhaps there is a hidden financial decision that will have to be revealed once “the reluctant spouse” becomes an active participant. It could be a hidden debt, poor spending decisions, an addiction, or hidden income.

Which reasons apply to your reluctant spouse? Again, reviewing these reasons is not to be used as a way to identify “who is right” and “who is wrong.” The goal is to identify the key reasons causing your spouse to be very reluctant when it comes to money decisions.

The first step is to obtain complete understanding. In Part Two, I will reveal another key step you can take, and it’s about YOU – not your reluctant spouse!

Read the entire series (available after 10/21/2014)

Monday Money Tip: Core Principle #4 – Have Fun Managing Money

Many people believe that budgeting requires the elimination of all fun from their life. They believe that anyone who focuses on eliminating their debt will be forced to eat spam and sardines every single day. It just isn’t true, and in this Monday Money Tip, I will show you how to have fun managing your money.
 

 
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Monday Money Tip: Core Principle #3 – Have A Plan For Your Life

Nothing is more powerful than setting a goal and pursuing it. Think about it: EVERY great accomplishment happened because someone first dreamed of it and then made a decision to move. This Monday Money Tip can be life changing!
 

 
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Monday Money Tip: Core Principle #2 – Avoid The Debt Trap

Keeping bad debts in your life can rob people of their dreams. In this tip, I share the importance of avoiding the debt trap.

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Monday Money Tip: Core Principle #1 – Power In Partnerships

There is unbelievable power in partnerships. The partnership between you and your spouse. Business partnerships. Community partnerships. In this tip, I share how these partnerships can help you accomplish far more than you ever thought possible with your personal finances.

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Monday Money Tip: The Importance of Written Plans, Hopes, and Dreams

In today’s Monday Money Tip, I share about the importance of having written plans, hopes, and dreams. I hope it inspires you to take some time TODAY to write down some of your life’s dreams.

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Monday Money Tip: Company Stocks Explained

In this tip, I share information about the most basic of investments – company stocks. Stocks are foundational components of the Stock Market, and it is vital to understand how they work!

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Monday Money Tip: Mutual Funds Explained

One of the most confusing aspects of money is investing. We routinely hear people discuss things like compound interest, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, ETFs, and real estate, but many end up more confused than ever! In today’s Monday Money Tip, I explain exactly how mutual funds work. This tip will allow you to have more financial confidence and encourage you to grow in your money journey.

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