You Can Do This “Money Thing”!

This post is for the person who needs encouragement in their financial journey right now.

You may have experienced tremendous challenges recently. Perhaps you’ve encountered an unexpected lay-off. Maybe an illness. The car may have broken down and a child fell and broke his arm. Maybe an investment tanked or your small business that once thrived is now on life-support.

Whatever the case, you can do this “money thing”!

In fact, I’ve discovered that financially challenging moments are where I’ve learned new financial skills.

You see, if I had never experienced an empty bank account, I would never have saved money during times of plenty.

If I had never experienced car and credit card debt, I would not have known how important it was to avoid this type of debt in the future.

You can do this!

If I had never experienced a broken down car, I would not know the joy of driving a paid-for brand new one.

If I never had credit card bills beat me home from vacation, I would not know the luxury of paying cash for vacations.

You can do this!

When you are faced with a discouraging financial situation, remain steadfast in employing the financial fundamentals of:

  • Planning your income before you receive it (budgeting)
  • Saving for Known Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses (so you can avoid budget-crushing expenses)
  • Invest (so you can see compound interest work for you)
  • Give (there is something healing and soothing about giving to others – even when you are struggling financially)

You can do this!

One or Two Decisions Away From Changing Financial Future

After being able to serve more than 1,000,000 people with personal financial teaching and resources, it has become very clear to me that most people are just one or two major decisions away from completely changing their financial future.

Not twenty. Not forty. Just one or two.

And these key decisions are usually far easier to implement than most people think.

Consider the 23 year-old young woman who just obtained her first full-time “career” job earning $40,000 per year. Since she has just exited college, a $20 bill is like a million dollars. So she makes a decision in the human resources office to max out her contribution to the company retirement savings plan which is 13-percent of gross income at her place of employment. The company matches her contribution with an additional 3-percent. Even if she never receives a raise over her 44 year career, she will end up with over $5 million for retirement. Just one decision made the difference.

Or the 55 year-old couple who decided to eliminate their debt, including their home mortgage, by the time they retire at age 66. By doing so, they lower their monthly cost of living from $5,000 per month to $2,500 per month. This will allow their retirement nest egg to last more than twice as long. Just one decision made the difference.

Another person decided to invest in rental homes beginning at age 40 and managed to purchase and pay off 25 of them by age 70. With average rent of $500 per month, her investments are delivering $12,500 per month in gross income plus the homes are worth a combined total of $2 million. Just one decision to embrace the awkwardness of learning the rental investment business changed the trajectory of her retirement.

In my case, my pathway to financial success began with the simple implementation of a monthly budget. It allowed me to be very intentional with each and every dollar I received. As a result, I was able to prioritize giving, saving, and investing. It allowed my family to move into living a fully funded lifeJust one decision made the difference.

QUESTION: What are one or two decisions you need to make to completely change your financial future?

Monday Money Tip:

This is definitely a step you can take with your finances – checking your FREE credit report. The federal government has required the “Big 3” credit reporting agencies to provide access to our own credit reports at least once per year. You can do this with I encourage you to watch the short Monday Money Tip video where I will share some helpful tips you will want to know when pulling up your credit report.

Want to automatically receive a helpful and practical money tip every Monday? Register FREE at

3 Crazy Statements People Make About Money

People are crazy. We know that. I’m crazy. You’re crazy. We’re all crazy. When it comes to money, some of our “crazy” becomes amplified. With this post, I thought I would share three crazy statements people make about money.

  1. “I saved $50 today when I purchased these clothes!” saved money by spending money? If a person keeps saving money this way, they will end up in the poor house!
  2. “We wanted to spend more time together as a family, so we invested in a new camper.” Most campers/RVs drop in value even faster than new cars! If a person’s investments always dropped like this, they would almost do better by lighting their campfires with $100 bills.
  3. “It’s impossible for us to get ahead financially.” So how did millions of other people manage to move from total broke to prospering?

What are some other crazy statements you’ve heard people say about money?

The Importance of Diversification – Ecclesiastes 11:2

I have a question for you:

Are your investments appropriately diversified?

Before you answer this question too quickly, let me ask the question in a more extended version:

Are your investments appropriately diversified – both within and outside of the stock market?

This is a very important addition to the question. Let me explain.

When the entire stock market goes up, it tends to drag the stocks of lower performing companies up with it. However, when the entire stock market goes down, it tends to drag down the stock price of companies that continue to perform very well. This is why it is vitally important to diversify your investments – both within and outside of the stock market.

Many people only have investments within their company retirement plan where they are offered various stock market investment options. As a result, their investments are subject to the greater market’s performance.

Ecclesiastes 11:2 provides this great wisdom: Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

This is why I have invested in both market-based investments as well as non-market-based opportunities.

Here are some great non-market-based investments to consider:

  1. Rental Real Estate – Commercial and Residential
  2. Land – They’re not making any more of it – except in a few volcanic islands
  3. Precious Metals – Gold, Silver, Platinum, etc.
  4. Antiques
  5. Talents – Write a book, Record an album, etc.
  6. Business – Start up a small business

I’ve found Ecclesiastes 11:2 to be very helpful in my money journey. As I’ve invested in a variety of assets, some of them have encountered struggles. By having a widely diversified set of investments, my other assets have helped carry the load until a struggling investment improved.

Last Chance For $5 Book Offer (Ends at Midnight)

Today we wrap up our five day celebration of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.‘s 5th birthday!

SPECIAL NOTE: The special $5 book offer ends tonight at midnight, so be sure to GET YOUR COPY before this one-time offer ends.

As we finish our celebration, I want to share some final “behind the scenes” moments that have happened that have helped shape our organization.

ONE: The day we were invited guests to sit with Dave Ramsey during The Dave Ramsey Show.

My first question for Dave was, “I’ve written a book. Should I self-publish or seek a publisher.”

Dave’s response helped me greatly. He said, “Stay away from vanity press. Do print it and do sell it. It’s worth it man!”

Just five month’s later, we released I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. It is amazing what has happened since!!! Thank you, Dave, for everything you have done for me and my family.

TWO: That time when my story was shared in Money Magazine.

Thank you, Donna Rosato, for including my story. It helped fuel the dream more than you know.

THREE: When a church parodied the “” commercials with “I Was Broke. Now I’m”

The 1 min 9 sec YouTube video is still funny for me to watch!

FOUR: The “surprise” that happened 16 days after launching IWBNIN full-time on June 1, 2009 – And the encore 4 years later


On June 1, 2009, I left my full-time job with some saved money and a dream. Sixteen days later, we discovered a miracle was on the way, and I shared the news with the world. Now, four years later, we’ve even had this little miracle join us.

FIVE: Serving more than 1 million people over the past 5 years.


Through the live events all over the U.S. and Canada, our books and resources, free financial tools, and this website, we’ve encountered people from all walks of life and financial backgrounds. The stories you’ve sent to us through the years have been nothing short of AMAZING. We’re grateful to serve each and every one of you.

Can’t wait to reveal what’s coming next …  Here’s a hint: It’s a game-changer – coming This Fall!

Celebrating 17 Years of Marriage


Today, my bride and I are celebrating 17 years of marriage.

Count them.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 years.

What an amazing journey it has been:

  1. Having three children – a daughter, then a son, then another beautiful daughter
  2. Four great years at Purdue University. Then Clemson University for graduate school.
  3. Helping start NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC and watching it grow from 15 people to more than 32,000 people per weekend
  4. Renting a house and two apartments, then purchasing four different homes
  5. Working for a couple of huge publicly-traded companies, becoming a pastor at NewSpring, then launching I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. full-time
  6. Purchasing INJOY Stewardship Solutions
  7. Being broke and in debt up to our eyeballs all of the way to living a fully funded life
  8. Navigating tough circumstances together – knowing we have each other’s back all of the way through it
  9. Traveling all over God’s green earth to visit family and make memories

There are so many more great moments, and it is awesome to know we get to start our 18th year at the beach.

I love you, Jennifer Sangl!

Celebrating 5 Years of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not!


Have you ever had a “WOW” moment? Last Sunday, I experienced just such an occasion when this crazy dream to help people win with their money officially turned 5 years old! That’s right, it was five years ago when I left my full-time job and gave I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. my total attention. Statistics routinely show that 9 out of 10 new organizations fail within the first 5 years. I’m so thankful and grateful that we are one of the “1 out of 10” who succeeded!

And you have been a part of this success story! Whether you have attended a live event, downloaded one of our free tools, or purchased a resource, you have been a part of reaching more than ONE MILLION people with practical and relevant personal finance tools.

It’s time to celebrate!

To celebrate this milestone and your part in it, I want to do something very special. My finance guy is out of the office this week, and he may not be happy when he hears about this, but for the next 5 days, I’m making my two top-selling books available at a price we’ve never offered before. Just $5 each.

If you’ve ever wanted a copy of I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. and What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real World NOW is the time to grab your copies!

Purchase Joe’s 2 top-selling books for $5 each HERE!

It has been a distinct honor to be a part of your financial journey, and I can’t wait to share what’s coming in the next year. It’s game-changing!

Time To Prepare Your Monthly Budget

As the month draws to a close, it is time to once again prepare your monthly budget! I’m passionate about preparing a budget every single month because it is a huge reason that my family is no longer broke. I want to help you get your budget working well for you and your family so you too can live a fully funded life.

5 Budgeting Tips To Remember

  1. Prepare the budget BEFORE the month begins. It is nearly impossible to budget “in reverse” after money has already been spent. Planning your money before you’ve received it will allow you to maximize every single dollar.
  2. Be realistic. Don’t lie to yourself. Many people reduce or eliminate spending categories that they know they won’t be able to follow. For example, don’t eliminate all of your “dining out” money when you have three children involved in three different traveling sports teams.
  3. If married, work together. It’s extremely difficult to make a budget work when both spouses aren’t on the same page.
  4. Use cash envelopes for “impulsive” spending categories. For my family, these categories include: Groceries, Restaurants, Clothing, Spending Money, and Entertainment. Cash prevents overspending the budgeted amounts.
  5. Save for Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses. If you choose not to save for Christmas, vacations, special days (like birthdays and anniversaries), property taxes, car repairs, and insurance deductibles, you are ignoring reality. Which means you should refer to #2.

BONUS TIP: Use our FREE budgeting tools located HERE.

What other budgeting tips have helped you make your budget work well?

How To Destroy Your Finances – Part Five

Welcome to the latest series at the wildly popular – “How To Destroy Your Finances”

In this series, I will be sharing methods proven to cause financial pain and agony. Use these methods if you want to live with piles of stress and harm your relationships.

Part Five   Let Your Feelings Drive All Of Your Financial Decisions

When all else fails to destroy your finances, employ this method. After all, your feelings are always correct, right? I mean, there was that time you felt that one person was really awesome and wanted to date them and they turned out to be a terrible monster, but that was just a one time error. Your feelings should absolutely come first when it comes to finances. Employ Nike’s slogan: Just Do It. When you were thinking about saving some money, go ahead with your feeling to go shopping. When you wanted to go to Human Resources to set up your retirement plan contributions, go ahead with your feeling to go out with your friends.

Go ahead and date the person who has piles of debt and two bankruptcies. I’m sure they were telling the truth when they say it was all someone else’s fault. Even though your friends are telling you how awesome a budget is working for them, let your feelings of inadequacies force you to remain quiet instead of asking them to help you with your own budget.

When the salesperson says you look good in it – buy it. When you don’t want to eat the groceries in the fridge, just go out to eat every meal.

Your feelings rule.

Of course, if you don’t want to destroy your finances, you would prepare a budget (get free budget tools here) and automate the important things so you won’t have to rely on “feeling like it” for the things you know are important – like college savings, emergency savings, investments for retirement, and exciting things like Christmas and property taxes.

Memorial Day – A Time For Remembrance

Today is Memorial Day. A day set aside to remember and reflect upon the tremendous sacrifice made by men and women who have given their lives that others might be free. They gave their lives. Their families reeled with the ongoing impact.

The son who never met his father.

The mother who was denied the opportunity to hug her daughter ever again.

The fiancé who wasn’t able to celebrate her wedding day.

My young great-aunt who lost her husband of only a year or so in WW II and went on to have no children.

Does America have problems? Absolutely.
Will we always have problems? Absolutely.
Do I love my country. Absolutely.
Do I love, honor, and respect those who have sacrificed and are sacrificing to protect it? Absolutely.

On this Memorial Day, take a moment to thank a soldier, sailor, airman, and marine. They have chosen voluntarily to stand ready.

I’m grateful.

How To Destroy Your Finances – Part Four

Welcome to the latest series at the wildly popular – “How To Destroy Your Finances”

In this series, I will be sharing methods proven to cause financial pain and agony. Use these methods if you want to live with piles of stress and harm your relationships.

Part Four   Never Save Money.

This is a GREAT way to destroy your finances. Choose to ignore the fact that life happens, and it will cost money. Ignore the fact that your car tires and brakes are wearing out. Spend all of your money as soon as possible. Buy a Chia Pet. Refuse to acknowledge that appliances will break, the roof will leak, and that you will have a doctor bill one day. Live in a fairy land where the school never sends home fundraisers, you never have a need for emergency travel, or work doesn’t lay you off.

Instead, comfort yourself with lies like, “I just don’t make enough money to save.” Ignore when crazy finance people (like the ridiculous FIRED UP Joseph Sangl) say things like: “You can not PROSPER if you do not SAVE.”

Blame your failure to save on other people and things. It’s your employer’s fault for paying you too little. It’s your kids fault for continuing to grow. It’s your landlord’s fault for not insulating the house. It’s GOT to be someone else’s fault because if it isn’t, then it might be your fault. And we all know that ain’t isn’t possible.

Whatever you do, just spend it all. Live for the moment. We’ll deal with the stress later.

Of course, if you don’t want to destroy your finances, you will choose to save some money every single time you are paid. Even better, you would automate your savings into a great savings account.

How To Destroy Your Finances – Part Three

Welcome to the latest series at the wildly popular – “How To Destroy Your Finances”

In this series, I will be sharing methods proven to cause financial pain and agony. Use these methods if you want to live with piles of stress and harm your relationships.

Part Three   Don’t Invest – Retirement Is Too Far Away Anyway

When offered a company match for your retirement savings plan (401(k), RSP, 403(b), TFSA, IRA, Roth IRA, etc), refuse it. You need that extra money for your budget spending right now. Say things like, “I don’t ever plan to retire anyhow” and “I’ll make my kids take care of me.”

Choose to remain ignorant in the ways of investing and how compound interest works. Use the wonderful excuse, “Investing is just too confusing.” You only have $100 to invest each month, anyway. What difference could that money really make?

Rely on the lottery as your best chance of retirement. Demand an inheritance from your parents. Better yet, continually hit them up for money right now. If they don’t immediately comply, use the “guilt trip” approach. When your siblings approach you about your leech behavior, become outraged and tell them, “You just don’t understand how hard it is for me.” And, of course, when mom and dad do give you money, don’t you dare invest it. AB-SO-LUTE-LY do not do this! To properly destroy your finances (and relationships), spend it on something ridiculous like an original VCR.

Of course, if you don’t want to destroy your finances, you will invest some of what you earn each paycheck. You will choose to lasso the power of compound interest that makes $100 per month for 40 years at 12% annual growth equal $1,176,477. You might even look at my current list of investments as a starting point for your investment strategy.

How To Destroy your Finances – Part Two

Welcome to the latest series at the wildly popular – “How To Destroy Your Finances”

In this series, I will be sharing methods proven to cause financial pain and agony. Use these methods if you want to live with piles of stress and harm your relationships.

Part Two   Use Your Credit Card To “Fill In The Gaps”

When you run out of money, pull out a credit card and swipe away. This is a great way to destroy your finances. Put daily living expenses like groceries and utilities on the credit card. Instead of making the difficult decisions necessary to balance your budget to Exactly Zero ™, just finance the difference. Besides, putting $254.78 on the credit card this month isn’t so bad, right?

Be sure to carry a balance each month with the highest interest rates possible – preferably a department store credit card with interest rates above 20%. Make the minimum payment and continue to run up the balance. Plus, the department store receipt says you “saved” money today which means you are obviously a savvy shopper.

If you really want to maximize the destruction, obtain multiple credit cards and use one card to pay the payment on another one. Flipping the balances between cards feels like you are doing something to address your financial situation – and we all know that our feelings should drive our financial situations.

Of course, if you don’t want to destroy your finances, you will prepare a balanced budget and refuse to carry a credit card balance. If you did have a credit card balance, you would roll it over to a 0% balance transfer credit card and pay it off while paying no interest.

How To Destroy Your Finances – Part One

Welcome to the latest series at the wildly popular – “How To Destroy Your Finances”

In this series, I will be sharing methods proven to cause financial pain and agony. Use these methods if you want to live with piles of stress and harm your relationships.

Part One   Refuse to work with your spouse on money decisions.

Whenever your spouse wants to talk about money, choose to throw a fit. Stomp away. Huff and puff. Pout. Make outrageous statements like, “You’re just trying to control me!”

When your beloved hands you cash envelopes for impulsive spending categories like “spending money” and “entertainment”, spend it right away. Then go to the ATM and pull more money out without telling them. When they want to speak with you about your “unauthorized withdrawal,” tell them that it’s your money because you worked for it and that you will spend it “any ole way I want to.” If possible, say this with the highest level of sarcasm possible.

Choosing to ignore your spouse when it comes to money is one of the surefire ways to destroy your finances. And most likely your marriage. Which could lead to divorce proceedings. And that will ensure any remaining money is spent.

Of course, if you don’t want to destroy your finances, it would be ideal to work together with your spouse. It’s one of the top ways I began winning with money. I share my story in my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

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