Organization – Got to have it!

Have you ever had a "THIS PLACE HAS GOT TO BE CLEANED UP OR ELSE" moment?  My bride has this moment quite regularly around our house!

Jenn is a total neat-freak.  It has to be in order.  If I lay my glass of sweet tea (I am in the South) down for 3 seconds, it is whisked away to the dishwasher whether I was finished or not.  If an important piece of paper is put out on the table, it will be filed within 4 seconds, whether I wanted it filed or not.

Jenn is organized.  She sees "clean" and "organized" at a level I can not seem to be able to see EXCEPT when it comes to our family finances.  I have three-ring binders – three of them to be exact.  They have been neatly titled – Investing I, Investing II, and Medical.  Within each of them, all of our investing and medical records are neatly organized in chronological order.  I can't stand to see this information disorganized!

Financial organization is so key to winning with money.  Here are some characteristics of well-organized finances:

  • Balanced checkbook
  • Able to obtain an important financial document within 60 seconds of request
  • A spending plan for your money BEFORE the month begins – Remember that it is EZ!
  • Husband and wife are both "in the know" of each account and the family's financial condition
  • A central location for all incoming bills to be placed
  • Clear responsibility defined for who is actually going to be writing the checks/setting up the draft/bill-pay service for each bill

Here are some signs that you are NOT organized well with your finances:

  • Bills are unopened for 3 or 4 months
  • No idea of the checking account balance
  • 16 bounced checks in one month
  • Confused as to what that bill named "NSF" is that keeps showing up in the account
  • One or both spouses has checked out of the game financially
  • It takes you 31 hours to obtain an important financial document
  • Incoming bills are placed in the trash can

GET ORGANIZED – It will help you take your finances to the next level!

Investing Choices

I constantly receive questions about where one should invest their money.

Many folks hear about investing in the stock market, and it all starts sounding like a bunch of gobly-gunk.  This is because of the huge quantity of options that are out there.

DISCLAIMER:  I am no investing specialist.  I don't sell mutual funds.  I am not an investing guru.  So go see your investing professional before you invest.

I thought today I would explain how I have invested in the stock market.

  • I start with the company's plan.  The fees are cheaper and this is where the company match goes.
  • Since I have a long time until I need the money, I split my investment choices into mutual funds that are highly focused on small, upcoming companies that have a lot of potential for growth.
  • My current retirement investment split is about 90% stock/10% bonds.
  • My retirement investment choices currently are about 30% International Stock Mutual Funds, 20% Aggressive Growth Stock Mutual Funds, 20% Growth Stock Mutual Funds, 20% Growth & Income Stock Mutual Funds, and 10% individual company stocks.

Now, the market has been on a run lately.  I am not able to predict market performance, but I have a long time until I need my retirement money.  SO, what is Joe and Jenn doing with their money?  Continuing to invest.  Every single month.  If the market goes down, we will continue to invest.  Every single month.

If you have the day off …

Since it is the day after July 4th, you may be lucky enough to have today off.

Here are some things you could do to speed toward financial independence.

  • Start investing in your 401(k) – At least get the match!  Every 3 months, bump it up 1% until you have reached 10% of your gross pay.  You will NEVER regret this decision.
  • Get organized!  Put together a 3-ring binder for your medical insurance claims, investments, bank statements, etc.  I know it sounds like nails on a chalkboard, but organization is KEY to achieving financial freedom.
  • Talk with your spouse about your next financial steps.  What are you going to do next?  Buy a rental house?  Buy mutual funds?  Start the kids 529 college savings plan?  What about the kid's wedding fund?  Which dream gets funded next?  The trip to Australia/New Zealand?
  • Go to the "TOOLS" link and put together your first ever written budget – BEFORE you receive the actual money.  Remember, it's EZ.
  • Go canoeing down the river (my choice).

Independence Day!

This Independence Day, I thought I would note some freedoms I enjoy. 

  • I am FREE of the bondage of debt
  • I am FREE to write about personal finances
  • I am FREE to pursue the clear and distinct call that God has placed on my life
  • I am FREE to help others with their personal finances through Financial Learning Experiences, Financial Freedom Classes, One-on-One Financial Counseling, Books, and Blogs
  • I am FREE of the stress of being financially broken

I am here to tell you today, on Independence Day, you can take action to enjoy the same freedoms!  You can do this!

I am not here to sell you anything.  I am only trying to get you to buy into some ideas.  Ideas that are tried and true and will help you achieve financial freedom!

You can do this!  Who is with me?  Who is declaring today as their official Independence Day? 

Something you should not is this – The founders of the United States of America issued their Declaration of Independence and ONLY THEN did the fighting start.  ONLY THEN did the real battles begin.

When you declare today as your Financial Independence Day, expect the real battles to begin.  But you can win.  I KNOW you can!  I believe in you!  Why?  Because I have been there, done that, and NOW I can afford the T-shirt!

Happy Independence Day! 

What should I do with my car? Part THREE

It has been fun hearing everyone's thoughts about what Jenn and I should do about our 10 year old car that has been failing routinely and helping my mechanic friends achieve financial freedom!

I do want to remind everyone that I did try to replace my car, but the deal fell through!

So with all of the problems, all of the frustrations of the old Purdue car, we have decided to replace her.

She was replaced last Tuesday with a SUV that is able to run over the old car without the driver even noticing.

God gave us an incredible deal!

So the saga of the old car is over.  She is replaced.

And, yes, Steve_Sr1 (see his comment below that post), I will be changing the oil routinely and checking the oil regularly.  Thanks for the reminder!

Should I replace my car? – PART TWO!!!

WOW!  What a tremendous response to my post about my MOM telling me via the blog to REPLACE THE CAR!!!

There was a multitude of well-thought out responses that have me thinking …

Here are some of my thoughts about the responses:

  • "Steve_Sr1" cracked me up when he said that I should have listened to my dad about checking the oil occasionally – He's right!
  • "Indiana Pal" knows WAY TOO MUCH about me – he brought out a reference to a 1981 Datsun B210 that I used to drive
  • "Joe D." needs to understand that I will pay cash for a car – car payments – did he say CAR PAYMENTS?  May my voice never utter the words CAR PAYMENT ever!!
  • "Julie Brown", "Rich Brott", "Moneymonk", and "Paul Moyer" all just flat-out agreed with Mom.
  • "Mark Asbell" and "Chip" offered excellent responses that indicates that they may have encountered this situation before.
  • "Just Me" needs someone to help her out with her car!

The amount of responses to this topic really have made me think a lot about this.  There are so many people who have to deal with making the two key decisions when it comes to their car:

1.  Should we replace the car?


2.  If we decide to get rid of the car, what should we replace the car with?

Tell me some of your stories about how you made these decisions in the past, and I will post a consolidated group of those stories to help us all make a more informed decision.

PS:  The Sangl's HAVE made a decision and HAVE TAKEN ACTION in regards to the car situation.  Details to follow … Smile

Jerry Falwell

Jerry Falwell passed away a month ago.

I will tell you this.  Whether you agree with Falwell's positions or not, you cannot dispute the following facts.

1.  He was a man of great vision!

  • Jerry Falwell was given a God-inspired vision to reach Lynchburg, VA.  He took hold of that vision and unabashedly proclaimed from the mountain tops, streets, and anywhere ears were present to listen!
  • He was given a vision to start a university.  From its start in 1971, it has grown to over 20,000 students.

2.  He flat got it done!

  • Thomas Road Baptist Church has grown to a membership of over 22,000 people.
  • Liberty University has grown to over 20,000 students.

3.  His integrity was unquestioned!

  • With all of the heat that Jerry took from his opponents, they would have LOVED to have something on him to derail his vision.  It never happened.

4.  His family was STRONG!

  • You look at Jerry and you see his wife, sons, daughter, and grandchildren.  A tight family.  What better legacy could anyone leave than a TIGHT family?

5.  He aimed HIGH

  • He purchased the land for the university on a prayer (he didn't have the money).  By the time the note was due, the money was there.
  • He bought a MOUNTAIN for the university.  God can move mountains.  He can also give mountains!

At the end of the day, let the people say what they want or wish, but let the FACTS show that I was a great father, husband and that I took hold of the God-inspired vision given to me and DROVE it to completion!

Let the FACTS show that I had a TIGHT family.  Let the FACTS show that I got it done.  Let the FACTS show that I had unquestionable integrity.  Let the FACTS show that I aimed high.

Thank you, Dr. Jerry Falwell, for a life well-lived.

Should I replace my car?

Well, my 10-year old car is starting to make decisions that could alter our relationship.

First, she decided to die in the middle of my 10-year anniversary evening.  As you can see in the comments to this post, my MOTHER actually wrote a comment telling me to dump the car.  The car's brakes went out.  When Jenn went to get the oil changed and tires aligned, they made her sign a waiver because the oil wouldn't register on the stick and the tires were too worn to align.  While at the oil changing joint, someone HIT the car.  Now, the stupid vent fan won't operate again in the low setting (I've had this problem before – $19 fixes it).

Total expenses since September 2006 have been around $1,200 (around $120/month).

I was wondering, if your 66-year-old mother tells you "ON THE INTERNET" "THROUGH YOUR BLOG" to get rid of the car, should you?

UPDATE TO STORY:  You won't believe the rest of this story.  More on this in the next couple of weeks.

Financial Learning Experience – Thoughts

The Financial Learning Experience at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC last night was AWESOME!!!

I am PUMPED UP by the fact that 272 people attended and had the opportunity to learn the actual tools that Jenn and I used to win with our finances!

Here are my thoughts about last night:

  • 272 adults attended FOR FREE
  • 77 children were cared for FOR FREE
  • NewSpring volunteers are awesome!
  • Lives were changed last night – no doubt about it
  • Everyone who was there CAN achieve freedom from debt and win with their money
  • The stage set-up was awesome – stripped down and simple – this is something we can definitely take on the road with us!
  • The NewSpring staff works well together to pull off great events
  • On-line signups work great
  • I made it – even after having triple hernia repair surgery 7 days prior!  When you are on a crusade, you sometimes have to play hurt!
  • I love getting to do what I was made to do!
  • I-O=EZ – Never forget it!

Financial Learning Experience TONIGHT!!!

TONIGHT is the Financial Learning Experience at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC.

It is FREE!  It has FREE childcare!  It will change your life!

Sign up HERE.  Sign up your parents!  Sign up your spouse!  Sign up your children!  Sign up your neighbor!  Sign up your friends!  This is open to the entire community!  If you are within 3 hours of Anderson, SC, you should register and get into your car and come over for an evening that might just change your financial future FOREVER!

The Financial Learning Experience takes road trips!  Interested in bringing the Financial Learning Experience to your church or business?  Contact Joe HERE!

Financial Learning Experience – Anderson, SC!!!

I am PUMPED about the Financial Learning Experience that is being held at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC TOMORROW, June 26, 6:30PM – 8:30PM.

It is FREE!  Childcare is provided for FREE!  It is open to ANYONE in the community!!!

If you are within a three-hour radius and want to take your personal finances to the next level, you need to be at NewSpring Church TOMORROW evening!!!  Bring your friends!!!  Bring your spouse!!!  Bring your parents!!!  Bring your children!!!

To register for the FREE class, sign up HERE.

The Financial Learning Experience takes road trips!  Interested in bringing the Financial Learning Experience to your church or business?  Contact Joe HERE!

Financial Learning Experience! NewSpring Church

I can't wait to host the 2nd Financial Learning Experience at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC this coming TUESDAY, June 26, from 6:30PM – 8:30PM.

It is FREE!  Childcare is provided for FREE!  Your life might just be CHANGED FOREVER!

Come join me on Tuesday!  This is open to the entire community.  You can bring along your friend, neighbor, parents, children, spouse, or in-law!

Just register HERE, and be at NewSpring Church on Tuesday evening at 6:30PM! 

If you are within a 3-hour drive of Anderson, SC, you will not regret driving over for this event! 

The big break-up!

I went through a big break-up about five years ago.

It was painful, but man I am SO GLAD that I made that decision.

You see, it was about five years ago that me and DEBT broke up.

We parted ways.

We aren't even friends anymore.

If I met DEBT on the street today, I would have this to say: "Too bad.  So sad.  Go call your Dad." 


OK – pardon me while I jump up and down and have a general fit of craziness!

Here's the deal.  You all know that I am on a crusade to help others with their finances.  You all know that I have met with over 300 people in the last eight months helping them put together a plan to win financially.  You all know that I have been traveling around teaching the "Financial Learning Experience".  You all know that I am on a quest to teach 100,000 people over the next five years.

Well, I am on this crusade because this stuff works!!!

Here is the latest example:

A man came in to my office last October, and we put together a plan for his finances.  When we calculated his DEBT FREEDOM DATE, it showed that he would be debt-free in July 2009.  Guess what?  His world has been rocked.  He is on a mission to achieve freedom from debt, and he is now on pace to become debt-free in January 2009!!!!  That is SIX MONTHS sooner.

Folks, let me put it to you this way, in the EIGHT MONTHS that he has been working towards debt freedom, he has GAINED fourteen  months!!!

That's what happens when you apply the first rule of holes to your debt – "When you are in a hole, STOP DIGGING!!!"

Way to go, man!  You pump me up!

I want to meet with Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is one of my financial heroes!

It was a book that Dave Ramsey wrote that helped position me to truly pursue financial freedom.

The name of the book?  Financial Peace, Revisited

Jenn and I became debt-free in 14 months by learning the most powerful word in the English language – NO!  The experience birthed a passion in me to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances!  So much so that I left corporate America and negotiated myself a massive pay cut to do so.  Don't feel sorry for me!!! I LOVE what I do and I no longer have to work for a living!  I am on a CRUSADE!

Part of this CRUSADE must be to meet with Dave Ramsey.  I would love to be able to meet one-on-one with Dave Ramsey to obtain mentoring and to be able to learn from him!

Some questions I will ask Dave when I meet with him are:

  • How do you balance family with your work?  The opportunities are endless at this point to do something other than go home to your family – what helps keep your family the highest priority?
  • You wrote your first book, type-set it yourself, and had it self-published.  What did you learn from that process?
  • You are in a field that can be emotionally draining.  What keeps the passion high for what you do?
  • What do you look for when hiring a new employee?  What are the absolute MUST-HAVES?
  • Has your mission/vision changed since you started?  How has it changed and what helped you figure this out?

Dave – I want to meet with you!  Tell me when and where.  I'll be there, buy the lunch and ask all the questions!