You have 15 minutes left …

15 minutes left to live.

After all of the living that has been, you have 15 minutes to live.

How will you spend these 15 minutes?

With Family & Friends.  That is what I would choose.

Has your financial situation messed up your personal relationships with friends and family?  Has it messed up these relationships to the point that you could not spend the final 15 minutes of your life with them?

Why would anyone ALLOW money to control their personal relationships?   I refuse to allow portraits of presidents and important figures of American history to control my personal relationships.  I value my personal relationships too much.

If someone has stuck you with the bill, forgive them.

If someone owes you money and refuses to pay, consider it a gift.

If you were ripped off, let it go.

The day will come when you have 15 minutes left.  Who will you spend it with?   Just let it go.

 

Pain of Same > Pain of Change

You will change your behavior when the Pain of Same becomes greater than the Pain of Change.

I see people in my office occasionally who believe that they will be able to continue to behave the same way and achieve a different result financially.

"Joe, I want to spend $200/month at restaurants, $600/month at the grocery store, $150/month on cell phone bills, $150/month on cable, $800/month on car payments, and $1,300/month on house payments, but we really want to win financially."

"OK.  Spend $50/month at restaurants, $350/month at the grocery store, go to one cell phone and save $75, go to basic cable and save $100/month, sell the cars and reduce your payments by at least $600/month, sell the house and buy one that you can afford and save $500/month."

Joe, you are crazy!!!  Me?  Change?  If you do what I have suggested, you will save  $1,675!  Life WILL be different.  The beater vehicle WILL drive different.  The smaller house WILL be different.  Guess what?  You will save $1,675/month!!!

You can now give money away and you can save for college, retirement, and your dreams.

When will the Pain of Same become greater than the Pain of Change for you?

Practical Tool Day

Ever wanted a budget that works?  Use the budget form HERE to make it really easy.  Remember that you cannot spend more than you make and win financially!

Living paycheck-to-paycheck and want a budget form for that?  Click HERE.  Not only will you complete an INCOME-OUTGO=EXACTLY ZERO budget for the month, you will also see EXACTLY how each paycheck is spent.

Want to know the day that you will be 100% debt-free?  Click HERE to figure it out!

Want to keep track of the money in your savings account?  Click HERE.

Want to know what makes up a healthy financial plan?  Click HERE

Take a moment to look through the "TOOLS" portion of this web site to see the additional tools available to you!

Have another tool that you are looking for?  Notify me!

Budgeting/Saving Tips

Time for some more budgeting/saving tips:

  • Coupons.com has a lot of great coupons that you can print out
  • MyCoupons.com has a lot of great information on deals that are being found at various stores
  • Buy off-brand items.  Yes, some will taste like sawdust, but others are identical to the name brand.  If you have an ALDI grocery store in your area, it is worth the drive to purchase groceries there.  We save at least $50 a month by buying our essentials there – milk, bread, canned foods, eggs …  As a side note, their eggs can be somewhat non-uniform – I get double-yolk eggs, oblong eggs …  It is really interesting.
  • Try to go a week without going to the grocery store.  Put together meals from stuff that is in the cupboards!  You will enjoy some concoctions that you have not had in awhile (or never), AND you will be able to save a week's worth of grocery money to put toward your emergency fund!
  • Have the kids mow the lawn and do the landscaping instead of paying someone else to do it.  Pay your kids and teach them how to save/give/spend out of that money!  Can you spell, "LEARNING OPPORTUNITY"?
  • Cut all of your kids hair.  It will save many families $20 – $40 per month!
  • CONSIGNMENT stores/Goodwill/Salvation Army.  You can find some great deals on clothing there!
  • Shop your insurance for quotes.  Get at least three quotes and obtain one of them from an independent insurance agent.  You may be able to save $100 – $500/year on your insurance!
  • Take a low-budget vacation instead of that $3,000 one.  You will find that you will have just as much fun, and you may be able to save $2,000 – $2,500 toward debt reduction, emergency fund, or retirement fund!
  • Sleep on major purchase decisions.  This will really help you to avoid "impulse" purchases like a new car, a pricey vacation, a new plasma TV, etc.
  • Get rid of the home telephone.  Many people have so many cell phones that the home phone is becoming obsolete.  For basic home telephone service you will pay $25/month, and it will not come with the basic features that a cell phone has – free long distance, caller-id, call waiting, voice mail, camera, text messaging, games, etc.
  • Get rid of the movie channels on cable.  It is loaded with a bunch of trash movies anyhow, and it leads to a loads of wasted time.

I would love to hear more ideas on how you can save money.  You leave a comment or contact me HERE.

Want Financial Freedom? Learn from Peyton Manning!

You may have recently embarked on a journey to obtain financial freedom.  Your journey may be starting from a place of paycheck-to-paycheck living, past due payments, and a pile of marital stress.  For others, your journey may be starting from a place of relative security, but you are wanting to take your finances to the next level.

Regardless of where you are starting, a look at Peyton Manning is worth a few minutes.

Here is a guy who did very well while a QB at the Unversity of Tennessee, but the team never won it all.  Yet, you never heard Peyton whine, grovel, or complain.

What did he do?  He resolved to work that much harder and that much smarter.  He was tireless at the study of game tape and working on his mechanics.

When he was drafted in 1998, people were somewhat surprised that the Indianapolis Colts selected Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf.  Now, for Peyton, the good news was that he was drafted #1.  The bad news was that he was now on the Colts which had regularly stood for Count On Losing This Sunday.  Radio stations had blues songs every week that described how the Colts would manage to bumble through another loss during the upcoming weekend.

So what did Peyton do?  Did he give up? NO WAY!  He applied himself all the more!  Study of game tape.  Review of pictures of every defensive set after every series.  Tireless practice with Marvin Harrison.  All the time.  Always preparing.  Always improving.  Relentlessly focused.

As his career has progressed, Peyton has broken record after record which earned him a lot of accolades.  Did he stop practicing thinking that he had "made it"?  NO!  He continued to improve.  He continued to practice.  He continued to develop himself.

All of his accomplishments put him in the position of earning that title, "Greatest QB to never win the Super Bowl".  The unflappable Peyton stood strong and tall through all of the talk.  He focused on the game.  He never turned negative.  He never whined to the media about how tough he had it.  First class all the way.

So on February 4th, 2007, when it was all said and done, Peyton stood holding the Lombardi Trophy and the Super Bowl MVP awards.  Victory.  Success.

What do you think Peyton is going to do now?  My bet is that he will start studying game tape and practicing even more.  Why?  Because that is what winners do!

What lessons from Peyton can you take away to apply to your journey toward Financial Freedom?

CONGRATULATIONS TO PEYTON MANNING AND THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS!  FIRST-CLASS ALL OF THE WAY! 

Go COLTS!

I grew up in the Indianapolis area.  I remember when the Colts left Baltimore in the middle of the night and moved to Indianapolis.  I remember that we were SO HORRIBLE that C-O-L-T-S stood for Count On Losing This Sunday.  I remember when Eric Dickerson was there in the twilight of his career.  I remember when Jim Harbaugh became "Captain Comeback" and the Colts were ROBBED of their chance at the Super Bowl by a blown call in Pittsburgh when Kordell Steward went out of bounds in the back of the end zone and then came back in to catch the winning TD pass.  I remember when the Colts were so good with Peyton, Edgerrin James (sp?), and Marvin Harrison, but we could never get past the Patriots.

I remember when God Himself tried to put the Colts in the Super Bowl when the refs blew 50 calls and then "The Bus" fumbled while going in for the dagger TD.  Ben tripped up the return – Colts miss the game-tying FG – the end.

Now, finally, twenty years after coming to Indianapolis, the Colts are in the Super Bowl.

Here's to Peyton, Tony Dungy, and the entire Colts organization on taking it to the Bears this evening and bringing the trophy home to Indianapolis.

I'm calling it right now – 4 TD passes by Manning and at least 2 defensive TDs scored by the Colts. 

It is TIME

What are you waiting for?  Are you looking for a sign?  What type of sign?  You already have the burden to do it.  You already know what it is that you have been put on this earth to do.  You have been putting it off forever.  You can deny yourself (and God) forever, but in the end is all of the frustration and sadness worth it?

You can do it!  Maybe finances are blocking your way to do it right now – well then, let's get on about fixing the situation!  I am so SAD about the people I have met that are incredibly gifted and talented, but are in financial bondage!  I KNOW that they could be able to go do exactly what they were made to do in just a few short months or years if they would just take the time to fix their finances.  I KNOW that they would be doing exactly what God put them on earth to do!  I KNOW that I would see them at their finest – at their most alive point in life – if they would just eliminate the financial stress and go do the very thing they were put on earth to accomplish!

IT IS TIME!!!!  I can not wait any longer!  Your gift and your life's objective is TOO important to me!  You were put on earth to do something very specific.  If you do not do it, who will?  Who will not be administered to?  Who will be denied an opportunity?  Who will be left without?  Who will be at risk?  Who will be in trouble?  Who will not have a mentor?

Go get your finances in order and get about doing exactly what you were made to do!!! 

Top 10 Reasons Joe Sangl is Investing

1.  I want to start a college

2.  I want to visit New Zealand and Australia

3.  Canadian Fishing Trips need to become an annual event

4.  I want to visit China when I am 90

5.  I want to own a 200 acre farm complete with horses, chickens, pigs, cows, and lots of gardens

6.  I want to give $1,000,000 away at one time to a cause I care deeply about

7.  My dad gave me a book when I was twelve called "The Wealthy Barber" by David Chilton.  The facts are so obvious – those who invest: win; those who do not: whine

8.  I am on a crusade to help others with their finances, and it will require substantial cash to take it to the world!

9.  To pay for my children's education – all of it – even through doctoral school

10.  To be free of the bondage of debt and to pursue exactly what God has put me on earth to do – 100% of the time!

I’m not taking any more exuses!

After much consideration, I have decided to implement a "no excuses" policy for all financial counseling.

I am THROUGH with hearing people who are making $100,000 a year saying that they can't afford to save for retirement.  I am THROUGH hearing people who are making $50,000 say that they just don't make enough money to save for their children's college.  I am THROUGH listening to people who are making $45,000 say that they can't give any money to their local church.  I am THROUGH listening to people who make $200,000 a year who have a pile of debt and say they just don't make enough money to be debt free.  I am THROUGH hearing the lame excuse that "they have had to do without for so long that they just are not willing to wait anymore".

BOO to you!  Down with you!

I am implementing the "No Excuses" policy because:

  • I know people who make less than $25,000/year who are debt-free except the house, are saving money every month, and will pay off the house within the next decade!!!
  • I see the $150 cable bill, the house payment that is twice as large as any financial planner would advise, the $300/month of dining out and an unwillingness to change any spending behavior.  Someone has to deliver the bad news that something has to change in order to win financially!
  • Excuses are just lame ways to avoid the FACT that ALL of us have misbehaved with money!  I have been there, and I came up with the best excuses known to mankind!
  • It is time to face reality and make the hard decisions!  Nothing changes until someone decides that the "pain of same" is worse than the "pain of change"
  • You can do this, and excuses will just delay the actions that are necessary to win.  I don't want you to have to deal with the stress another SECOND!  I want you to have a plan that will help you win financially.  Excuses just delay that from happening!

What decisions do you need to make?  Is that HUGE boat payment worth it?  That HUGE house payment?  That HUGE car payment?  Those HUGE car paymentS?  Is the HUGE dining out bill worth it?  Is the STRESS worth it?

I believe it is NOT worth it!  I am on a CRUSADE to help others out of the "keep up with the Jones'" mess!  Won't you join me?

Oh yeah, I just want to say it again …  I know people who make less than $25,000 who are debt-free except for the house, are saving money every month, and are going to pay off their house within the next decade.

Compound Interest Calculator – Investing

For those of you wanting to calculate your own investment future value, you can go HERE!

Have you looked at your credit report?

By law, you are allowed to view your credit report once per year.  You can obtain your FREE credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com

It is FREE once per year!  At the end, they will ask if you want to see your FICO score for somewhere around $6.  You are NOT obligated to do that!  Just decline it and you will obtain your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifa.

You will be able to print it out as well.  You NEED to do this at least one time per year.  Statistics show that over 50% of credit reports have errors on them.  Go get a copy of yours and ensure that it is accurate!

Want to send me an e-mail?  Click HERE.

There is no substitute for direct observation!

My life has been impacted greatly through education and learning.  I remember a specific article I read from the Harvard Business Review about Toyota.  Now, in case you have not noticed, Toyota has it going on in the automotive world.  This particular article was discussing how Toyota develops its people.

There was a single line in this multi-page article that just blew me out of the water!  It just reached up and smacked me around!  I love it when I learn something!

What was the line?  It said "There is no substitute for direct observation!"  They explained that when they hire a new engineer, they would take them to the manufacturing floor and make them stand in one spot for an entire day.  Why?  Well, there is no substitute for direct observation!

Have you been there?  Have you had the person who had NO CLUE come tell you how you should be doing your job?  Isn't that annoying!!!  By ensuring that their employees are directly observing the process, Toyota helps ensure that people will know what is going on.

Have you observed what is going on with your finances lately?  What about grocery shopping?  Instead of complaining about how much is spent at the grocery store, maybe it would help for you to actually go along with your spouse for a trip or two.  There is no substitute for direct observation!

Have you participated in the budgeting of your family's finances?  Instead of wondering where all of the money is going and having NO CLUE, how about directly observing the process?

What about obtaining insurance, preparing a will, investing, eliminating debt?  If you don't get in the game, you will be that annoying know-it-all who actually knows jack crap about what is going on.  We know who you are! 

There is NO SUBSTITUTE for direct observation!

Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

Have you ever been involved in a big project?  I mean a big project!  One with large quantities of work, assignments, people, and deadlines involved?   If you have been associated multiple projects like this, I can virtually guarantee that you have experienced the "mired-in-the-details-I-have-no-clue-about-what-is-going-on" leader.

This is the type of leader who, when leading a project to solve world-hunger, will spend fifteen days determining what type of tablecloth to have at the fund-raising dinner.

This is the type of leader who, when leading a project to build a new school, will spend seven days figuring out the number of brick it will take.

Most of the items that the project leader focuses on ARE important, it is just not important for them to figure it out!

I believe that all people have been stuck in the details at one point or another.

Examples include:

  • Polishing up the entire house for Thanksgiving dinner, but forgetting to put the turkey in the oven.
  • Making sure the children are delivered to and picked up from school on time, but never taking time to see how school is going.
  • Obtaining that huge promotion at work, but neglecting the entire family for three years to get there.

I see a great example of this in the Bible, Acts 6.  The widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food, and the disciples were being asked to attend to the widows.  Was feeding the widows important?  Absolutely!  However, what was the Main Thing for the disciples?  Tellling others about Jesus!  So, what did the disciples do?  They selected seven trustworthy individuals and put them in charge of serving the widows.

The disciples said it so well …  "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables."

Are you keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing?  Have you been distracted from the ultimate reason you have been put on this earth  It is time to refocus!

Ideas for Saving Money

  • Cash a $5 bill every time you go to the vending machines at work.  Save the change.  If you go to the vending machines three times in one day, cash a $5 bill every time.  Save the change.  I have a friend who become debt-free using this very technique!
  • Use cash envelopes for any budget item that is subject to impulsive spending.  For me, my impulsive spending list includes groceries, restaurants, clothing, entertainment, and blow money.  By pulling out the budgeted amount and placing it into the envelope, I will not spend more than I budgeted.  Period!  This is a key reason that Jenn and I became debt-free.  By the way, we saved over $200 PER MONTH by putting our grocery money into an envelope.
  • Have your insurance rates quoted every two years.  Get at least one quote from an independent insurance agency.  Many people can save $200 – $500 per year!  Consider raising your deductible and driving more carefully!
  • Make it automatic!  If you begin investing $50/month and need to write a check every single month to make that investment happen, there is a big chance that you will not invest $50/month.  It will be too easy to say, "I'll make two deposits next month, I need the $50 for something else this month."  By making it an automatic draft, it will happen without a question and without any action taken by you.  You will be amazed at how fast this can add up!
  • Get rid of the huge, honking car payments!  Sell the expensive car with the big payment!  Drive a beater!  I know that this is not "cool" and it is not "your style".  My question is this, do you want to be stylish and broke with a bad case of stuff-itis or do you want to be wierd and actually have money to pay cash for things.  Listen, I love a nice car, but something is out of line when it is robbing you of your ability to give and save money!
  • Don't go to Aruba for vacation.  Go to the local campground!  Again, I love to travel to nice places, but something is out of line when you have not saved a dime for retirement and are taking really expensive trips.
  • Share items.  If you need a drill, borrow one!  If you need a saw for a small, two-day job, borrow one!  If you are going to cook a whole pig, don't go buy the pig cooker - borrow/rent one!  If you want to go fishing/skiing, rent a boat!  It is so much cheaper to rent a boat for the 5 times you actually go fishing/skiing than it is to pay for the payments, insurance, storage fee, winterization, summerization, breakdowns, frustrations, etc.
  • Refuse to buy anything unless you have the cash on hand to do the deal.  By making this commitment, it will prevent you from making a bunch of dumb decisions!  I can tell you this, when Jenn and I established this rule, it really helped us out when we experienced bad cases of stuff-itis!

Other Items

  • I am including this MORTGAGE CALCULATOR for the person who requested it last night.
  • You can do this!  I believe in you!

I am on a crusade! Won’t you join me?

I am on a crusade to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible!  I am on this crusade because my life has been changed because someone else took the time to help me.  My world was rocked because I took note of wise counsel and listened.  While I listened, I actually heard what was being said!  Then, I did the outrageous!  I actually applied what I had learned!

Guess what?  It worked!!!  My savings and checking accounts had always hovered around $4.13.  I was never able to hold on to any money that we earned.  It all just went right back out to pay someone else for something that I just could not resist (and now was usually relegated to storage in the garage or attic).

My life has been changed!  I want the entire world to know about it!  This is life-changing stuff!  Jesus Christ rocked my world through dying on the cross for me.  Guess what?  When I was "saved" from my financial idiocracy (word?), it felt a whole lot like when I was saved by Jesus Christ!  I am FREE!  I am free to pursue the very thing that I have been put on this earth to do!  I am free of the worries related to paycheck-to-paycheck living.  I am free to help others!

How awesome is that?  Won't you join me in this crusade?  Who do you know in your neighborhood or family that needs "salvation" from a financial mess?  Who do you know that you could take the time to teach about "saving for a rainy day" and "spending less than you make" and "INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO"?

What have you got to lose by offering?  If they actually do this, they will NEVER forget you, they will never be the same, and their worlds will be rocked.  Then, when their worlds have been rocked by the kindness you have shown them – they will go tell others about it!  They may even consider a relationship with Jesus Christ as a result of the experience!

I am on a crusade.  Won't you join me?

In other news …

  • I will be speaking in a breakout session of this conference on Thursday, March 15, 2007 at NewSpring Church.  I can't wait!!!