Archive - TOOLS RSS Feed

What Can We Do To Help You Most?

It is my stated passion to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible.

In other words, our entire team is committed to helping YOU win with your finances in such a way that you are able to pay your bills, free yourself of debt, and fund dreams. Because this is our calling, we are passionate about this! We believe in you and know that you can do this.

Because of our passion to serve you, we are always interested in hearing from you about resources and tools that would better help you to in your journey to financial freedom. So today, we want to hear from YOU regarding this question:

QUESTION: What resources and tools would better help you to win with your money?

We are going to take your feedback and do everything we can to create and build resources to meet those needs.

FIRED UP!

Read recent posts

Known, Upcoming, Expenses – Capital One 360 Sub-Account Tracking

//This blog post was written by Joe Ziska – I loved this idea so much that I personally implemented it with my Capital One 360 accounts!//

Q)  What two things do the following have in common?

Christmas; A flat tire; Your son going to college; Vacation in Hawaii; Your daughter getting married

A)  1. They all cost money.   2.  We forget that they cost money until the bill comes!

Let’s face it.  Even the most organized of us tend to forget things now and then.  Whether misplaced car keys or forgotten reservations for Valentines Day, our imperfect memories always seem to make life more difficult.   In my experience, forgetting large upcoming expenses is one of the most demoralizing things that can happen to you.  Unlike true emergencies, such as a sudden illness or job loss, known upcoming non-monthly expenses (KUEs) such as these listed above, can and should be expected!  As Joe always asks, “Should it be a surprise if your car breaks down?”  Of course not.  That’s what cars do!

Many of you reading Joe’s blog are trying desperately to get out of debt and gain financial freedom.  For my wife and me, one of the most disheartening things in that process was a big expense wiping out our emergency fund.  Just when we felt we were finally getting traction, a $500 car repair or having to pay for Christmas presents would knock us off course.  We constantly felt like we were starting over.  I knew that we should be saving for these expenses but didn’t have a good way to separate this from our emergency fund.  We’d generally leave a decent balance in our checking account and just hope that it would absorb most of these expenses when they came up.

I wanted to save for these KUEs.  However, the mathematical part of me rebelled at the idea of gaining no interest on our savings (especially as some of these expenses can be quite costly).  Wouldn’t it be better to just pay down some debt or invest the money?

Enter Capital One 360.  I’d been using HSBC and Capital One 360 to earn good interest on money we were saving for a down payment for our house.  However, it wasn’t until almost a year after opening our accounts that I realized how they could help with my KUE problem

One day, I was checking my account balance online and I noticed a large button labeled “Open an Account”.  I figured this was used for investing or to open a new CD but clicked on it anyway.  After browsing for about 30 seconds, I realized that Capital One 360 will let you create numerous new savings accounts linked to your original account.  Not only that, you can give each a unique name to help you identify them.  We created categories for all of our Known Upcoming Expenses to keep them separate from actual emergencies.  Below is an example screenshot from an account (click on it to see it better):


We have also set up automatic transactions to each individual account.  So now, at the beginning of every month we move $12 to our pet fund (unfortunately, our dog doesn’t pay her own vet bills), $40 to our Christmas fund, and so on.  When we need the money for these expenses, it takes only 3-4 days to move it back to our primary checking account.  Meanwhile we’ve been earning interest on our money instead of paying interest to a credit card company when these events sneak up on us.  Last time I checked, Christmas is still in December so you’ve got 5 months to save up for all those gifts.  Why not create an account for it and make it automatic?
========= End of Guest Post by Joe Ziska ===========

Thanks for the article, Joe!

Read recent posts

Featured Tool Of The Month: Mini-Budget

It is so important to PLAN the spending of each and every dollar earned.  Planning is THE REASON why my family started winning with money.

TOOL OF THE MONTH: MINI-BUDGET

The Mini-Budget was created for two specific uses:

  1. Planning the use of non-normal or unusual found money – such as tax refunds, bonuses, inheritance money, or money received by selling something
  2. Planning a major expenditure – such as a kitchen refurbishment project, daughter’s wedding, or finishing the basement

This budget tool is unique because it has THREE different budget forms.  This is because I have found that it is essential to think through the alternative ways to spend the money.  The first way that comes to mind is usually the most immediate or urgent use, BUT it is not always the best or most impactful use.

Let’s look at an example.  Suppose you were receiving a $2,500 tax refund. Your first thought was to put all of the money toward an existing credit card balance.

This, of course, is a decent way to spend the money.  But is just one way.  There are several ways this money could be utilized, and that is why there are THREE budgets placed next to each other in this tool.

What if this money were being planned by a person who had ZERO SAVINGS?  Another way to spend the money would be to put all of the money toward their Emergency Fund.

Another way would be to place some money in savings, some in FUN, and some toward the credit card balance.

Which way is the best way?  I don’t know which would be right for this person, but I am confident that the first scenario would not be the best!  The challenge of spending the money three different ways on paper before it is spent for real can really help you maximize your money.

QUESTION: How are YOU going to use this tool?

Read recent posts

I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. APP

I’m excited to announce that our APP has been updated to include the most requested feature – The ability to sync your budgets across multiple phones/devices!

Our APP is available FREE for all Apple mobile products including iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad as well as all Android mobile products!

Download the APP now:

Read recent posts

Personal Finance App For Apple AND Droid

I am FIRED UP to announce that the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. App is now available for APPLE and DROID!

This App gives you the ability to:

  • Carry your budget with you
  • Calculate key financial figures like payments, debt pay-off, investment values, tips, and tithe!
  • Email a financial question directly to our team!
  • PLUS WAY MORE!

Here’s the great news – because so many people have invested in this dream to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances, we are able to offer this APP for FREE!

Get The Apps:

I would LOVE to hear your feedback on these tools because WE WANT YOU TO WIN WITH YOUR MONEY and want these apps to be the best available!

Read recent posts

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.

How Much Money Do You Need To Retire Well

Do you know how much money you will need to retire well (independent of Social Security)?

There are many ways to calculate an estimate, but I really like the Retirement Nest-Egg Required calculator that we have placed in the FREE TOOLS section.

To calculate your number, you will need to know two numbers:

  • The annual amount you want to live on at retirement (in today's dollars)
  • The number of years until you retire

Suppose one wants $50,000/year (today's dollars) during retirement and plans to retire in thirty years.  Punch the numbers into the Retirement Nest-Egg Required calculator and this is what you will see:

 

Because inflation erodes the spending power of money, the annual amount we want must be adjusted.  Using an assumed inflation rate of 4%, one will need $162,170/year in thirty years to have the same spending power of $50,000 today.

At different rates of return, you can see different amounts that need to be saved.  Eight percent is a common rate of return on investment that financial planners use.

What is your number?  Are you going to achieve it?

Read recent posts

Debt Pay-Off and Saving Spectaculars

I love filling in the squares on the Sangl Family Home Pay-Off Spectacular every month.  It is so satisfying to visibly watch the debt leave.

Over the past year, we have developed an entire set of Debt Pay-Off and Saving Spectaculars.  In fact, they have been downloaded thousands of times!  That floors me.

I would love to hear your ideas on additional Spectaculars we can provide.

So … ask yourself the following questions: 

What are you paying off?  and  What are you saving money for?

Put your suggestions in the comments below, and the team will work to provide spectaculars for them over the next several weeks! 

New Savings Spectacular! Emergency Funds

After numerous requests, JosephSangl.com now has Savings Spectaculars for Emergency Funds!

If you are saving for a $1,000 Emergency Fund or a $2,500 Emergency Fund, we have the forms for you!

Savings Spectacular - Emergency Fund One Thousand Dollars Savings Spectacular - Emergency Fund Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars

Color in the squares as you purchase financial freedom for your family!

If you have a request for a Savings or Debt Pay-Off Spectacular and it is not listed on the TOOLS page, share in the comments by clicking HERE!  We will get one prepared for you.

Read recent posts 

TOOLS: Calculate Mortgage Payment

Welcome to the latest series on the wildly popular website – www.JosephSangl.com!  With this series, I will be sharing how you can  use some of the calculators from the "TOOLS" page to take your financial plan to the next level.

A mortgage or real estate loan is really the only type of debt that I can tolerate (barely), so here is another FREE tool from the "TOOLS" section of the web site.

To calculate your principal and interest mortgage payment (does NOT include any escrow such as PMI, property taxes, HOA Fees, or hazard insurance), you will need to know three things.

  1. Interest Rate
  2. Mortgage Period
  3. Mortgaged Amount 

If you want to calculate the monthly principal & interest payment for a fixed-rate 5.750%, thirty-year $125,000 mortgage, pull up the "Mortgage Payment Calculator".

Suppose you want to understand what the P&I payment would be for the same mortgage, but for a 15-year term.  Change the mortgage period to 180 months.

The payment goes up $309/month, but one will become debt-free FIFTEEN years sooner!

One could also use this calculator when considering refinancing.

TOOLS: Pay Off The Mortgage Early!

Welcome to the latest series on the wildly popular website – www.JosephSangl.com!  With this series, I will be sharing how you can  use some of the calculators from the "TOOLS" page to take your financial plan to the next level.

I remember the first day that I put together my "Sangl Family Home Pay-Off Spectacular".  I realized just how little of my home I actually owned!  When the question was asked of me, "Are you a homeowner?", I could no longer answer, "Yes."  Wells Fargo was my homeowner!

With that realization, I decided to pay off my mortgage early.  And, God-willing and if the creek doesn't rise, Jenn and I will pay off our house in two years and nine months.  How do I know that?  Because of another FREE tool on this wildly popular website known as www.JosephSangl.com!

The tool is called the "Early Pay-Off Calculator".

Here is how it works.  You need to know three things to use this calculator.

  1. Mortgage interest rate
  2. Mortgage balance
  3. Amount of principal & interest payment that you will be paying (don't include the escrow!)

Let's say that one has a thirty-year mortgage with a $150,000 balance and a 6.125% fixed interest rate and a $911/month principal & interest payment.

Suppose you want to know what a monthly principal & interest payment of $1,000 will accomplish.  Use the "Early Pay-Off Calculator" to calculate it for you!

Just by paying $89/month extra, the thirty-year mortgage will pay off 6.3 YEARS sooner!  How awesome is that?!

One item to note is to designate all extra money to be applied to "principal reduction"!  Some of the sly mortgage companies will attempt to apply it to "prepaid interest".  That would be a bank error in their favor!  Make sure that all extra money is applied to your mortgage principal.

What if the above mortgage holder wanted to pay off their mortgage in five years?  You can use the calculator to find out how much would need to be sent each month. 

For the low-low price of $2,900 each month, the mortgage will leave in just FIVE years!  Can you do that?

Let me ask you another question, if you were debt-free except for the house, could you do this?  It is amazing what you can accomplish when you are not bound up in debt!

How early will you pay off your mortgage?

Oh, by the way, you can use this calculate to calculate the early pay-off of ANY type of loan! 

In the next part of this series, I will be sharing how you can calculate your mortgage payment.

Read recent posts by Joe

Automatically receive each post in your E-MAIL

TOOLS: How Much To Invest Each Month?

Welcome to the latest series on the wildly popular website – www.JosephSangl.com!  With this series, I will be sharing how you can  use some of the calculators from the "TOOLS" page to take your financial plan to the next level.

In the last post, I shared how you can calculate the amount you need to save for retirement.

For many people, the number revealed by completing the retirement nest-egg calculation leads to an "Oh Crap" Moment, but it is usually easier to achieve than one would initially think.

Introducing another great tool available via the "TOOLS" link at the top of the page … the Investment Value Calculator.

In the previous post, I calculated that one would need $3,699,458 to receive the equivalent of $75,000 per year upon retirement in 35 years.

The immediate next question is "How much do I need to invest each month to achieve $3,699,458 in 35 years?"

Using the Investment Value Calculator, I can quickly calculate the number. 

If one has not started investing, then $575 needs to be invested every single month with an annual return of 12% to achieve the goal.

Isn't that cool?  I LOVE this stuff!  For just $6,900 per year, one can ensure a secure non-Social Security-reliance retirement!

What is your number?

In the next post, I will be sharing about another tool that shows you how extra money toward your mortgage each month reduces the life of that mortgage! 

Read recent posts by Joe

Automatically receive each post in your E-MAIL

My first book, "I Was Broke. Now I'm Not.", was released on January 20th.  It is available via PAYPAL or AMAZON.

TOOLS: Calculate Amount Needed For Retirement

Welcome to the latest series on the wildly popular website – www.JosephSangl.com!  With this series, I will be sharing how you can  use some of the calculators from the "TOOLS" page to take your financial plan to the next level.

One of the things that I do as part of both of the classes that I teach is to have people calculate how much they will need to retire well.

The calculation usually yields what I call an "Oh crap!" Moment with the majority of folks responding with "YIKES!" and "Oh no!".

I have people calculate this number for the following reasons:

  1. Most people have never seen how much they will need to retire well.
  2. When people realize how large the number is, it helps them realize how important it is to have a solid plan.
  3. It hammers home the point that investing needs to start early and often.

So, how much DO you need for retirement?  Well, it is really simple to calculate with the Retirement Nest-Egg Required Calculator

Here are couple of things to note about this retirement calculator

  1. This calculation assumes that you will never touch the principal.
  2. This calculation assumes that you will give your nest-egg a "cost-of-living-raise" of 4% each year.
  3. This calculator adjusts the "annual amount you want" for average annual inflation of 4%.

Below is a calculation I ran for an "annual amount I want" of $75,000.

 

Note that the calculator shows that with 4% annual inflation, I will need $295,957 per year in 35 years to have the same purchasing power that $75,000 has today.

If I expect my retirement nest-egg to grow at an annual rate of 8%, then I will need $7,398,917 when I retire.  If I expect my retirement nest-egg to grow at an annual rate of 12%, then I will only need $3,699,458.

So …  What's your number?

In the next post, I will share a tool that helps you determine the amount you need to save each month to fully-fund your nest-egg.

Read recent posts by Joe

Automatically receive each post in your E-MAIL