15 of My Greatest Money Decisions

I’ve spent some time pondering the money decisions I’ve made since my “I Have Had Enough Moment” on December 2, 2002. Below is a list of several key moments that have helped me move into a fully funded life.

  1. Deciding to prepare a budget
  2. Contributing the maximum amount to my employer’s 401(k) (back when I was an employee)
  3. Working together with my bride to fund our dreams
  4. Diversifying my investments within the stock market
  5. Diversifying my investments beyond the stock market – land, businesses, etc.
  6. Making giving a top priority – to my church, people in need, and other causes my family chooses to support
  7. Automating my investments into a 529 college savings plan for my children
  8. Seeking wisdom from financially savvy leaders – both personally (local business leaders) and via financial teachers (Dave Ramsey, David Bach, Robert Kiyosaki, etc.)
  9. Tracking net worth on a monthly basis
  10. Building and keeping financial margin
  11. Establishing accountability for wise financial decision making
  12. Eliminating debt
  13. Starting a small business
  14. Purchasing a small business
  15. Relentless pursuit of more knowledge – living the life of a continual learner

Of course, there are many more decisions and moments that have helped me financially, but these particular have helped me tremendously.

What are the greatest money decisions you’ve made?

Ready to take your finances to another level? Check out the “Ultimate Financial Book Bundle Special” – where you can purchase a copy of each of my money books at a special bundle price!

Money is a JOURNEY. Not a MOMENT.

I’ve experienced the following scenario more times than I can count:

Excited person approaches me: “I’m so ready to change the way I manage my finances. I can’t wait to get started. What are some key things I need to do?”

My response: “For me, preparing a list of my plans, hopes, and dreams was my first step. It provided the fuel to make the tough changes in the way I had been managing money. Then I began preparing a written budget – a spending plan – every single month before each month began.”

Less excited person responds: “Oh. Okay.”

You see, in this moment, the person has realized the following truth:

“Money is a JOURNEY. Not a MOMENT.”

This is perhaps the greatest challenge we will face when dealing with our money. Maybe it’s because it is the absolute opposite of poor financial behavior.

For example, when I wanted a new car, I was able to purchase it within a day – and signed up for four years of debt payments. It was a moment. I got what I wanted, and it happened nearly immediately.

However, when I decided to eliminate my debt, it was not a moment. It was a journey. I got what I wanted – eventually instead of immediately. After lots and lots of intense focus, effort, and preparing and living by monthly budgets that reflected my desire to kill my debt.

If you want to truly make your money work for you and prosper, it will require a journey. Not just a momentary desire, feeling or decision.

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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Hire Me As Your Money Coach

In case you haven’t heard, registration is now open for the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Core Coaching Program (CCP) – my coaching program that includes 14 sessions taught over a year.

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Over the past 12 years, my finances have changed dramatically. From having an average bank balance of $4.13 at the end of every month to owning several businesses. From attempting to teach myself financial principles to teaching hundreds of thousands each year.

It is my passion to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances. While I travel all over the U.S. and Canada teaching people about money, I’ve never lost my core passion to help people one-on-one – coaching them through their money journey.

When you sign up for the CCP, you are hiring me to be one of your money coaches. (You do have a money coach, right?) I have personally written each experience, and I teach every one of them. When you have a financial question, there’s a good chance I will be personally responding to it.

The 14 Core Lessons of the Core Coaching Program include:

  1. The Path The I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Financial Freedom Ladder
  2. Dreams How to accomplish far more than you ever thought possible
  3. Budgeting How to budget in a way that actually works
  4. Saving Money 3 things everyone must save for
  5. Debt How to attack your debt and achieve financial freedom
  6. Investing All the way from investing “basics” to “advanced” investing
  7. Insurance Protecting your financial progress
  8. Comprehensive Financial Plan The most in-depth financial planning lesson you’ve ever received
  9. Net Worth How to calculate, track, and increase your net worth
  10. Children & Money Parents love this practical teaching that helps them prepare their children to win money.
  11. Wills & Estate Planning No one likes to think about it, but the day is coming for all of us. This lesson will equip you to have a rock solid end-of-life plan.
  12. Oxen Study #1 – Identifying Oxen Based on Joe’s book, Oxen, this coaching session will transform the way you think about money and help you identify incredible financial opportunities that could be right in front of you!
  13. Oxen Study #2 – Birthing, Acquiring, and Leading Oxen This session will equip you to acquire “oxen” that will carry your financial burdens for you!
  14. Next Level Thinking In this incredible final coaching session, Joe will share how he was able to transform from “broke thinking” to “financially free living.”

 Upon successful completion of the program, you will even receive a graduation certificate!

If you are serious about taking your finances to another level and want to receive encouragement and accountability along the way, join the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Core Coaching Program.

NOTE: Only 150 spots were available for the CCP, and many of those have already been taken. Click HERE to learn more and to get started!

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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Money Saving Idea: Have High Interest Debt? This Solution Can Fix It!

When I embarked upon my journey to eliminate my high interest debt, I was disappointed with my initial progress. When I sent a large payment to my debt, the balance owed did not seem to go down very much. I soon realized that the interest rates I was being charged were incredibly high.

For example, a $7,000 debt balance with a 19.99% interest rate generates an interest rate charge of around $116.61 per month. In other words, I would have to pay $116.61 every month just to keep the balance the same.

That’s when I discovered the power of using 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards. I applied for one of these cards in under 5 minutes. My application was accepted and suddenly my interest rate was zero percent for a long time into the future! Even though I was charged a small transfer fee, this simple transaction positioned me to eliminate my debt very quickly because ALL of my payment was now being applied to reduce my debt balance!

In the previous example, nearly $2,000 in interest would be paid if only the minimum payments were paid over the next 18 months. This can be avoided by using a 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card!

I encourage you to use a 0% offer you’ve received in the mail, or here’s one I’ve found that is 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers:
Discover it® – 18 Month Balance Transfer


College Students and Money: A Special LIVE On-Line Event THURSDAY August 14, 2014 at 8PM ET

I’m FIRED UP to be teaching a LIVE On-Line Event titled “College Students & Money” on Thursday evening at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. In this one hour on-line event, I will be speaking to college students and their parents about the financial challenges facing college students today. Even more, very practical tips and tools will be shared that can help your college student thrive financially – both during and after college. If you have a college student (or soon will have one), you won’t want to miss this event.

EVENT TITLE: College Students & Money

  • DATE Thursday, August 14th 8:00 PM Eastern Time (7:00 PM Central; 6:00 PM Mountain; 5:00 PM Pacific)
  • COST No cost
  • LENGTH 60 Minutes (40 minutes speaking – 20 minutes Q&A)
  • REGISTER Click HERE or copy & paste this link in your favorite browser: https://iwasbroke.leadpages.net/august14thwebinarleadpage/


Monday Money Tip: How To Pay Off Student Loans Faster

In today’s tip, I share how you could eliminate your student loans even faster! While you may believe you will still be paying on your loans in your 40s – or even later, it doesn’t have to be the case. I was able to eliminate all of my student loan debt in my 20s by using these techniques!

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How To Recover From A Financial Mistake (Purchasing Car That Is Too Expensive)

This post is part of the “How To Recover From A Financial Mistake” series here at JosephSangl.com. Click HERE to read the entire series of posts.

Financial Mistake: Purchasing Car That Is Too Expensive

Raise your hand if you’ve ever made this mistake. I remember graduating college and running down to the car lot to purchase a new vehicle. My twin brother and I had been sharing two cars: a 1981 Datsun B-210 and a 1986 Pontiac Firebird. They weren’t in very good condition after enduring years of abuse from us.

datsunb210 firebird

I went to the new car lot and purchased a brand new 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier. I even bought one to reflect my allegiance to the mighty Purdue Boilermakers. It was painted black with a metallic fleck in it, and I had a gold pinstripe added to it to reflect the Purdue Black & Gold colors.


It was a financial mistake. With student loans, credit card debt, engagement and wedding ring debt, and an approaching wedding and honeymoon to help pay for, it turned out only to compound my financial woes.

So, how does one recover from this financial mistake? Consider employing one of the following methods.

  1. “Sell it” Method  Sell the car, absorb the financial loss, and purchase a used car.
  2. “Attack the debt” Method Adjust budget so you can swiftly pay off the car and then drive it for at least four more years after completing pay-off.

“Sell it” Method  This approach requires one to sell the vehicle immediately. For example, suppose a person recently purchased a new car for $25,000 with payments of $564/month for 48 months. They are experiencing great financial distress due to this purchase, but they owe more on the car than it is worth (also known as being “upside down” in a car). They have paid the debt down to $24,000, but the car is only worth $19,000. Here is how they can sell the car – even with this negative equity:

  1. Determine the true value of the vehicle. This is an important step. The owner of the vehicle will invariably over-value their car and potential buyers will naturally under-value it as they seek a good deal. Kelley Blue Book is a terrific resource for understanding the true market value of your vehicle.
  2. Find $7,000 to bridge the “negative equity gap” This could be a combination of a 401(k) loan, tax refund, selling some stuff, or working an extra job. This is a challenging step for many people, but it is definitely achievable!
  3. Find a buyer who will pay the true value of $19,000 for the car  You will be able to put the $19,000 from the purchaser with $5,000 of the $7,000 you’ve gathered in Step #2 so the lender can be paid in full. This provides a clear title to the purchaser and eliminates your car note.
  4. Purchase an “I’m fixing my financial situation” car with the remaining $2,000  Now, it is imminently clear that a $2,000 car is nowhere near as nice as a $25,000 vehicle, but it is amazing on a budget.
  5. Save the monthly payment for the next two years and upgrade. By saving $564 for the next two years, this family will have $13,536 to upgrade their ride – with cash money and zero debt!
  6. Presto! You’ve fixed your financial mistake!

“Attack the debt” Method  This approach requires diligence and changes to the monthly budget in order to pay off the vehicle in a swift manner. For example, suppose a person has purchased a $25,000 car of which they still owe $24,000. Their monthly payment is $564 for 48 months. Here is how they can fix their financial mistake.

  1. Eliminate costs from budget and apply savings to the car payment. Suppose this family decided to reduce their cable television services, eliminate their home phone, cease their gym membership they haven’t been using anyway, and reduce their visits to restaurants. By taking these steps, they are able to apply an extra $300 per month toward their car payment.
  2. Focus. Focus. Focus.  Nothing of significance really happens without great perseverance. By sticking to this for just 29 months, the vehicle will be paid off!
  3. Drive the car for another 4 years and pay the car payment to yourself. Reward yourself for paying your car off by adding the $300 savings back into your budget for other items, but continue paying the $564/month payment to yourself. In just four years, you will have saved $27,072 for your next car!
  4. Presto! You’ve fixed your financial mistake!

If you are interested in learning how to take your finances to an entirely new level, I encourage you to check out the study I have written called I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. The study can be completed as a group or on an individual basis. If you are serious about changing your financial future, check out the study HERE.

How To Recover From A Financial Mistake (SERIES)

Let’s face it. We have all made financial mistakes. Whether you once carelessly spent money on useless trinkets while on vacation or bought a house at the peak market price only to have it drop in value like a rock, financial mistakes hurt. They hurt a lot.


I remember receiving a brand new Velcro wallet for Christmas one year when I around 10 years old. There was a place for paper money as well as coins. If I were to sum up this wonderful new wallet in one word, I would choose “Amazing.” In this amazing wallet was money I had received from my aunts and uncles and grandparents. A total of $38 in paper money was in the wallet plus some change. After Christmas was over, we took one of my older brothers to the airport so he could fly back home. He was looking to purchase a newspaper. Since I wealthy beyond measure with my $38 cash money, I offered to buy the paper for him.

At the newspaper stand, I took out my wallet and opened it. This yielded the unmistakeable Velcro sound so everyone in the concourse knew I was opening my treasure chest. I chose the coins necessary to buy the paper and then placed the wallet on top of the newspaper stand so I could have both hands free to purchase the paper.

With newspaper purchase complete, I walked away – leaving my wallet on top of the newspaper stand.

You can probably guess what happened next: I soon discovered my error and raced back to find my wallet. I found it, but the money was gone. What a terrible and awful feeling it was!

Financial mistakes have a way of making us feel really low. This leads to any number of negative feelings: despair, depressed, frustration, desperation, anger, embarrassed, humiliated, confused, and ignorant.

In this series, I will be addressing some of the most common financial mistakes people make. We will talk about each mistake, its consequences, and how to recover from it.

The good news is you can recover from a financial mistake. It took several weeks, but I recovered from my lost Velcro wallet. And my huge credit card balance. And my student loans. And my furniture loan. And my engagement/wedding ring loan.

You can do this!

NOTE: If you have a particular type of financial mistake you want to make sure we include in this series, please fill out the CONTACT FORM and tell us about it.

Read the entire series (available after 8/10/2014)

Monday Money Tip: 5 Swings of an Ax – PERSISTENCE

In today’s Monday Money Tip, I share a great parable on the topic of PERSISTENCE. This applies to far more than money so be sure to take 5 minutes to watch it right away. I truly believe this particular tip could change your life TODAY.

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Monday Money Tip: Make Your Debt Pay-Off Journey VISUAL

In today’s Monday Money Tip, I share one of the ways I had FUN while I attacked my debt – coloring! It made our Debt Freedom March much more visual and enabled us to see the progress we were making.



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Free Budget Template Tools

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The I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Team takes great joy in being able to provide practical personal finance tools that help people win with their money. Over the past month, we’ve been working on a “How To Budget” series of videos, emails, and tools to help with this vision.

The series contains approximately 10 videos/emails that will be received over the course of a few weeks. If you have been struggling with your budget, I really encourage you to sign up for this helpful series. It even includes a special announcement about our Core Coaching Program – our intensive 12-month personal finance class.

Learn more and register HERE.

Can’t see the link? Copy & paste the following link in your favorite browser: http://iwasbrokenowimnot.com/freebudgetdownload


Monday Money Tip: How Compound Interest Works

In this Monday Money Tip, I share how compound interest works – and how it can be your greatest friend or enemy.

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