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Margin Survey Results – Personal Feedback – Part 2

The margin survey response was incredible, and the most compelling part for me was the personal responses that so many of you shared in the “Share your thoughts on what you can do to add more margin to your life” section.

Over the next couple of days, I wanted to share some of the feedback.  Would love to hear YOUR thoughts on these comments!

  1. “Time is always precious and hard to manage. It’s easier to manage money. For relationships, I think you have to ask the significant other, rather than yourself.”
  2. “I could delegate tasks to others; however, that is difficult when you’re a bit of a control freak!”
  3. “Work on becoming debt free. I have so much debt if not for my relationship with Christ I would run and declare bankrupt. It is so sad that I have ignored the wisdom God has tried to send and now I see and it is so overwhelming.”
  4. “Let God direct my schedule and priorities as opposed to assuming I know what they are”
  5. Say NO!!!
  6. “I honestly have no clue how to stop all the mistakes we are making. It is so painful and it just keeps happening…”
  7. “Add more hours to the day.  Plan my day better.”
  8. “Think about what’s important to me and “rank” everything.  Then allocate my time / finances accordingly.”

It has really been quite overwhelming to me to read all of these responses.  It has affirmed why I do what I do.

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Margin Survey Results – Personal Feedback

The margin survey response was incredible, and the most compelling part for me was the personal responses that so many of you shared in the “Share your thoughts on what you can do to add more margin to your life” section.  Over the next couple of days, I wanted to share some of the feedback.  Would love to hear YOUR thoughts on these comments!

  1. “Change something. Saying “No” to when I think it is my responsibility to fix others problems.”
  2. “I have noticed that as my children get older all three of these margins seem to shrink.  With games and practices almost everyday of the week, time margins seem to shrink and that then affects relational margins.  As the children become more active it also requires more money and will affect my financial margin.  So far what I have done for these issues is to make them a priority.  I make sure I plan ahead so we are less rushed on those busy days.  I make giving and saving a priority and we make what we have left work.  (we have been especially challenged with your oxen series and are looking at what oxen we can add to our lives).  I also make sure I have time for everyone in my family especially my husband.  I don’t want to send my last child off to college and then wonder who this man is who is living with me.  I want a marriage that will survive the empty nest and so spending time talking with him and maintaining our friendship has become a priority for both of us.”
  3. “Slow down!”
  4. “Keep my budget and savings goals!!!  Take time for God and me!!!  Be more available to others!!!”
  5. “I wish I knew. Doing less seems like a good plan theoretically, but never pans out. The stress is average really, nothing overwhelming. It’s the sense of accomplishment that’s lacking. At the end of the day I feel like I ran a 10k, but on a treadmill. Lots of work, no forward motion or major progress.”
  6. “I need to manage time and money better, starting with God. Praying first in my time margin and tithing first in my financial one. I used the excuse that we didn’t have a church that we went to for 2 years now, and that has changed recently and I need to stop using it as an excuse (even then it wasn’t much of an excuse when there are organizations like Focus on the Family, etc..that do great work). Prayer took a backseat when I just stopped thinking about it, but it was always there in the back of my mind and I knew I was leaving out important parts of my day. I even tucked my Bible away to stop being reminded because I would feel guilty. My Bible’s back out and I’m hoping that this is a positive change financially and spiritually for me starting today…no, starting yesterday!”

Which of these thoughts most connects with you?

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Margin Survey Results

About three weeks ago, I posted a survey asking people to rate the amount of margin they have in their lives.  The three items that were rated were as follows:

  1. Please rate how much TIME MARGIN you have in your life (1 to 10)
  2. Please rate how much FINANCIAL MARGIN you have in your life (1 to 10)
  3. Please rate how much RELATIONAL MARGIN you have in your life (1 to 10)

Here are the basic results charts:

My Observations

  • In general, people seem to be feeling better about their relational margins than their time and financial margins.
  • People were very reluctant to rate any category as having “Plenty” of margin
  • TIME MARGIN appears to have no direct correlation to FINANCIAL MARGIN
  • TIME MARGIN had a direct correlation to RELATIONAL MARGIN.  As people felt better about their time margin, they felt that they had better relational margin.
  • FINANCIAL MARGIN appears to have a direct correlation with RELATIONAL MARGIN.  The better the financial situation, the better the relational margin.

MORE THAN ANYTHING – it was YOUR COMMENTS that you shared that caught me off-guard.  Your transparency was amazing, and I am going to be sharing some of these anonymous comments over the next few days.

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Margin – Part 4 – Fill Up The Tank

Welcome to the latest series of JosephSangl.com – Margin.   This is a series where we will focus on the real and emotional effects of living life WITH and WITHOUT financial margin.   As part of this crusade to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money, I see so many people living life on the edge with no financial margin.   Lack of financial margin leads to lots of issues.   Through this series, we will be discussing the benefits of establishing and keeping financial margin.

Part 4Fill up the tank.

There are so many benefits to having financial margin, but one of the greatest is the ability to just “fill up the tank.”   Let me explain.

When there is no financial margin, it may not be possible to drive to the gas pump and fill up the gas tank.   Lack of margin means that one has to put $20 in one time and $37 the next.   Whatever money is available goes into the gas tank.   This can be very costly – especially in time costs!

When you are not filling up the tank every time, you lose time because:

  • You have to fill up more often
  • You have to waste time figuring out how much can be spent this time

For many people, it also costs more money because more visits to the gas station means more trips into the convenience store to buy super-overpriced soda and snacks!

When you have margin, you can just “fill up the tank.”

Here are other ways this applies to having financial margin:

  • You can buy the proven name-brand appliance instead of the el-cheapo model
  • You are in the position of power so you are not subject to obtaining financing and buying the junk they are trying to sell you
  • Pawning, short-term financing, and other highly expensive ways to obtain money become completely unnecessary

To me, the sacrifices to obtain financial margin are worth it just to “fill up the tank” every time!

Read the entire series (available after 6/8/2011)

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Margin – Part 3

Welcome to the latest series of JosephSangl.com – Margin.   This is a series where we will focus on the real and emotional effects of living life WITH and WITHOUT financial margin.   As part of this crusade to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money, I see so many people living life on the edge with no financial margin.   Lack of financial margin leads to lots of issues.   Through this series, we will be discussing the benefits of establishing and keeping financial margin.

Part 3Improved Relationships

Individuals who are against the wall financially for extended periods of time can many times hurt people in ways that they never would do if they had financial margin.   I’ve seen business owners (with no margin) who completely lose their minds on a customer who owed them $1,000 even though they are late on $10,000 of bills to their own suppliers.   They are agitated, angry, and threatening.   But a third party could easily say that the business owner is completely out of line.   What is causing this issue?   No financial margin!

I’ve seen countless relationships injured or destroyed because of no financial margin.   Children continue to borrow money from Mom and Dad.   Mom and Dad demanding money from their children.   Friendships.   Business relationships.   Working relationships.   My bet is that you’ve seen it too and many of you have experienced it!   It is incredibly hurtful and can cause enormous stress and heartache.

Here is the question of the day:

What would these situations look like if each person had financial margin?

Wouldn’t there be a lot less borrowing?   Wouldn’t there be less heartache, pain, and agony?

Make the greatest investment into your peace and state of mind – establish financial margin!

Read the entire series (available after 6/8/2011)

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Margin – Part 2

Welcome to the latest series of JosephSangl.com – Margin.   This is a series where we will focus on the real and emotional effects of living life WITH and WITHOUT financial margin.   As part of this crusade to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money, I see so many people living life on the edge with no financial margin.   Lack of financial margin leads to lots of issues.   Through this series, we will be discussing the benefits of establishing and keeping financial margin.

Part 2Freedom

When financial margin is established, it provides a sense of freedom!   I know that when we finally established some beginner margin in February 2003, it was like scales fell from our eyes.   We saw life in an entirely new light!   Instead of wasting tons of energy determining how each bill was going to be paid (anyone who has lived paycheck-to-paycheck KNOWS the energy this takes!), we began looking forward.   It allowed us to start asking new questions like:

  • How much should we save each month for our children’s college?
  • Any question that starts with “I wonder what would happen if … ?”
  • Who can we bless this month?
  • Is this the life that allows us to use our gifts and talents in the most impactful way?

Here’s a weird emotional effect that I felt.   I discovered the freedom of knowing that I could pursue a dream!   It did not matter as much if I really did pursue the dream – what mattered most was the fact that I could pursue the dream!   I’m not sure this really makes much sense, but knowing that fact was incredible.   Let me share a few examples to better explain this.   I am entrepreneurial by nature.   This means I love starting things.   When I was broke and living paycheck-to-paycheck, the option to start a business or new venture was out of the question.   Financial margin gave me the freedom to consider the options without being overcome by the fear of living in a cardboard box.

Here’s another example.   When I took the leap of faith to go on staff at NewSpring Church, a church Jenn and I were a part of starting and LOVE being a part of, I took a massive paycut.   Jenn was able to make the decision to work or continue to be a stay-at-home mother without really having to worry about the financial aspects.   This was possible only because we had financial margin.   How many people can take a 50% paycut and still have this option available to them?   Not many, but I will tell you with 100-percent confidence that those who have established financial margin CAN – and that FREEDOM to choose is incredible!

If you have no financial margin, make a decision to start building it today!   If you do have financial margin, celebrate the fact that you have made the necessary choices to establish it and then use that freedom to pursue a dream!

Read the entire series (available after 6/8/2011)

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Margin – Part 1

Welcome to the latest series of JosephSangl.com – “Margin”.   This is a series where we will focus on the real and emotional effects of living life WITH and WITHOUT financial margin.   As part of this crusade to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money, I see so many people living life on the edge with no financial margin.   Lack of financial margin leads to lots of issues.   Through this series, we will be discussing the benefits of establishing and keeping financial margin.

Part 1Less Stress

I remember the day that my family first established financial margin.   It was in February 2003 when we received our tax refund.   Instead of applying this money toward the tax refund, we put it into our savings account.   This meant that we were not able to attack debt with this money, but our eyes had been opened to the absolute need to establish financial margin.   Depositing the check into our savings account was incredible, but it was the emotional feeling that surprised me!   We were able to breathe in a way we had never breathed before.   I’m talking about literally being able to breathe differently.   With that one key decision, we eliminated a load of stress that we did not even realize was there.

Gone were the days of fearing the question, “What will happen next?”   Over were the days of stating, “How in the world will we pay for THAT?   Instead of dreading the clunking sound coming out of the dryer, we could simply say, “Appliances break.   Let’s purchase a new one – with our financial margin money.”

As part of this crusade, we are privileged and honored to help people 1-on-1 in developing their financial plan.   STRESS is the #1 reason most people say that they wanted to meet with a financial coach.   The stress of living with no financial margin can lead to a lot of effects:

  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Feelings of dread
  • Marital discord (or even divorce)
  • Anger
  • Combativeness
  • Snappy responses
  • Impatience
  • Frustration
  • Feelings of scarcity/lack
  • Craving
  • Unfulfilled

Having money is certainly not the answer to all of life’s issues, but the establishment of some financial margin certainly goes a long way toward easing many of the struggles of daily life!   I definitely know that is true in my own life.

With all of the negative consequences related to living life this way, is it not worth the effort it will take to establish some financial margin?   We recommend $2,500 as the first financial margin goal with the ultimate goal of having saved a year’s worth of expenses.   It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen faster than you ever thought!

Read the entire series (available after 6/8/2011)

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