U.S. National Debt Update – January 2013

The US National Debt has increased by $198,438,256,931 since our last update on November 11, 2012.  Another two months, and the United States has dropped another cool $198 billion in the hole.

National Debt as of 1/14/2013

$16,449,738,665,622

That is an increase of $3.101 BILLION PER DAY since our last update 64 days ago.

Our debt continues to spiral out of control like a person who is on a crazed spending spree. That NEVER turns out well!

I continue to stand by the following statements.

Whether we choose to address this problem as a nation or not, we WILL have to deal with it. We are really being faced with one of two decisions:

  1. Face the problem now by making some really tough choices  Like reducing some great programs or potentially eliminating some of them. NONE of us like to reduce spending. It is NO FUN. It STINKS. But we all have faced this in our personal finances before. Of course, we want to let our children participate in any activity they enjoy, but sometimes we have to say NO because of the costs! Of course, many people would love to have a huge house with every amenity known to mankind, but sometimes it is just not possible to carry the financial burden required to maintain it!
  2. Let the problem fester until we are FORCED to make the tough choices  Whenever I personally have let the clock run out on tough financial decisions, I have found that my options have been severely reduced and the pain is much greater. I’ve always found myself saying, “I wish I had made this decision sooner.” (NOTE: This is where Greece, Ireland, Spain, and several other countries are at this point. Decisions are being made that they no longer have full control of)

I wonder which decision the American citizens will make.

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BigCrumbs.com – Another Way To Save!

I have been using BigCrumbs.com since 2010 (November 8, 2010 to be exact), and it has given me back $283.42 of my on-line purchases.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create an account at BigCrumbs.com
  2. When you are going to shop on-line, visit the BigCrumbs.com website and in the search window at the top of the page, type in the on-line retailer you are going to be shopping with (like Expedia.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, etc.)
  3. It will generate a link for you to click on to begin shopping.
  4. Shop on-line (using promo codes from sites like RetailMeNot.com, of course :) )
  5. That is all there is to it!!!

Here’s how this gets you money back:

  1. Stores pay commissions to websites for generating traffic to their on-line site
  2. BigCrumbs.com chooses to share some of that revenue with you and me!
  3. When you click on the link provided by BigCrumbs.com, it “sets a cookie” on your computer that communicates to the on-line retailer that BigCrumbs.com generated traffic for them.
  4. When you purchase something, the retailer pays a commission to BigCrumbs.com.
  5. BigCrumbs.com pays you a portion of that commission!

Awesome! SIGN UP here and start getting some of your hard-earned money back!

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Chuck Norris Approved Budgets

There’s a good chance that you’ve heard one or two “Chuck Norris” jokes. Jokes like “Chuck Norris threw a hand grenade and 5 people died. Four seconds later, the grenade exploded” and “Chuck Norris wears a live rattlesnake for his belt.”

We decided to come up with some fun ones for I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

  • Our budgets are Chuck Norris approved. Put your money in the budget, and it HAS to behave!
  • Chuck Norris told us to GET FIRED UP. We’ve been FIRED UP ever since.
  • Interest rates ask Chuck Norris for permission to be increased.
  • Compound Interest is the 8th wonder of the world. Chuck Norris said so.
  • Joe Sangl wrote “I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.” Chuck Norris wrote “I Break.”

That was FUN! Any others you can come up with?

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THIS WEEKEND: Excited To Serve Central Christian Church In Las Vegas, NV

I’m so excited to be able serve Central Christian Church and Pastor Jud Wilhite again this weekend in Las Vegas, NV! I am going to be speaking as part of their “Resolutions” series – focusing on wholehearted change.

I’ll be sharing how my bride and I were able to keep our resolution of escaping financial bondage and how we walked into financial freedom. You will be able to catch the service LIVE on Sunday, 1/6/2013, at 7:30 AM, 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:45 PM, and 7:30 PM (All times Eastern Time).

You can view a list of our team’s upcoming events HERE.

5 Things You Can Do To Save Big-Time Money In 2013

Here are 5 things you can do to save big-time money in 2013:

  1. Have high interest credit card debt? Roll over the balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card. It takes five minutes or less and can change the interest on your credit card debt for a year or longer! Here is my list of great 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers.
  2. Haven’t checked your auto and homeowner’s/renter’s insurance rates lately? Insurance companies tend to creep their rates up over time. Many times you can end up with better insurance for way less than you are paying right now! I like to use an on-line quote site to get quotes. I type in my information one time, and all of the insurance companies start competing for my business! That means lower prices, and I like that!
  3. Have you checked your home mortgage interest rate lately?Rates have fallen to record lows. Chances are pretty good that a simple refinance of your house would allow you to cut 5 to 10 years off of your mortgage while still paying the same payment!
  4. Cut the cable/satellite service for one year. I have done this before, and we discovered our family had a LOT more time to spend together doing something other than staring at the TV. It also helped us save a lot of money!
  5. Establish a savings goal and set up an automatic draft to a bank account that is not immediately accessible. I really like Capital One 360. It is where I keep my savings that I want to ensure I keep my hands off of!

Hope this list helps you have the most prosperous year ever!

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Want To Help People Change Their Life?

Let me ask you a question:

What would it feel like to KNOW that you helped someone change their life?

When you help someone change their life, you enjoy one of the most incredible feelings a person can ever experience!

I have had the incredible privilege of witnessing thousands of people change their financial lives through the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Study Kit. This study focuses on helping people implement practical financial tools that are the very foundation for financial success.

Just today, I received another “DEBT FREE!!!!!!” email sharing the following news with me:

I’m not sure, but I think this is the best start to a New Year that I have had in my lifetime. Today I will be heading to the bank to make the last payment on the last of our debts (not including the house), our car!

We began our IWBNIN journey last November with the 6 week class … When we started we had $26,949.82 in debt. We owed money on furniture, medical bills, a credit card, and a car loan. During the last 13 months we have managed to pay off all of that debt, plus we also paid cash for several things that we would have used credit cards on in the past. Things like tires for my wife’s car, a new washing machine when ours was too costly to repair, and our 10 year anniversary. We have also given away more money this past year then ever before! Our son has had to have some medical procedures done over the past month and we will be paying cash for that as well.

Thank you so much for making it so EZ!!! to get out of debt! My family appreciates the effort you put into your ministry! And it is something that I have come to be passionate about as well. I am hoping to start some IWBNIN classes at a new church our family is now attending in the coming year to help spread the word and help others win with money!

Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you pay your house off in the next month or two!

Sincerely,  [Name Withheld], Monroe, North Carolina

By starting an I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Study at your church, business, or organization, you will literally be changing people’s lives.

Here are some links to learn more and get started:

As always, you can EMAIL US or CALL US (864.332.4151 8AM to 5PM Eastern Time) with any questions.

Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – January 2013

Every month there will be an update of Joe & Jenn’s Home Pay-Off Spectacular! Here’s this month’s update! Total Squares:  2,426 Paid-For Squares:  1420  1913 Squares Remaining:  1006  513 % of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  58.5%  78.9% % of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  41.5%  21.1% Here is the updated Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular (click to view large size) As I sharedover the last two months, things were going to get really interesting around the Home Pay-Off Spectacular over these next few updates. We were able to color in 493 squares this month with a payment that was the equivalent of 55 monthly payments! Could we have used our savings for something other than paying down our mortgage balance? Yes, we could have. However, this has been one of biggest goals my bride and I ever established – and we set this goal way back in December 2002 when we experienced our IHHE Moment! We are positioning ourselves to accomplish what once seemed impossible – paying off our house before the age of 40. Let’s see what next month holds! YOU can do this too! Start your own home pay-off spectacular using our free tool here => Pay Off Spectacular – House.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

The entire I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. team wishes you the best year ever!

Here’s to funding and fulfilling dreams, giving more money away than ever before, and enjoying meaningful time with friends, family, and the new friends we make this year!

QUESTION: We want to know your New Year’s Resolutions (goals)! Would you share them with us in the form below?

 

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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!

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Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

It is an honor to serve you and to be a part of your financial journey.

We wish you a wonderful time with family and friends!

Joe & Jenn Sangl

Top Ways To Prevent The “Fiscal Cliff” From Impacting YOU

It seems like the words “fiscal cliff” are mentioned every few minutes on every news broadcast I read, see, or hear.

This “fiscal cliff” is a combination of expiring tax reductions/exemptions, increasing insurance and living costs, as well as a faltering economy. Just hearing the way that news people are discussing it is enough to make one fearful – even if we don’t even know what the “fiscal cliff” really entails. Here are some ways to prevent the “fiscal cliff” from impacting you:

  1. Maintain substantial financial margin.  There is nothing like having money in the bank for emergencies and to cover surprise expenses. It also allows you to better handle a job layoff.
  2. Lock in low interest rates. They are at record lows right now. It seems unlikely they will decrease further.
  3. Prepare and live by a budget. This allows you to maximize every dollar you have and ensures you will immediately recognize increases in prices being passed on to you.
  4. Own paid-for fixed assets. When you own your home with no debt, you have secured your housing situation – regardless of the economy. When you own your car with no debt, you have secured your transportation – regardless of the economy.
  5. Run all news reports through a “does this make sense?” filter. The media exists in large part these days to deliver “zinger” news. They want to shock you into listening. And, guess what? FEAR sells TV. Half of what I hear the media talking about is bogus “fear-mongering” nonsense.

We certainly are living in challenging times, but it has always been that way! Life itself is challenging, and that’s what makes it AWESOME!

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That’s Just Not My Style

One of the great things about travel is that I have the joy and privilege of meeting people from all walks of life. Some are incredibly amazing. Others are brilliant. Some are absolutely crazy.

I. Love. It. Everyone of them. I LOVE PEOPLE!

It is clear that we are all different. Occasionally I receive feedback from a participant at one of our Financial Learning Experiences (you should come to one! View our speaking schedule HERE) that goes like this: “Joe, I loved this event. It was very inspiring, but I’m not sure I can do this becauseit’s just not my style.”

“That’s just not my style.”

Translation

  1. This is going to cause me to change, and change is tough. It is indeed.
  2. It is hard to say, “No!” It is indeed.
  3. I’m not a detail-oriented person, so taking time to plan my spending is going to be a challenge. It will indeed.

A phrase that continually applies to my life is this: “What got me here won’t get me there.”

If I truly want to continue to grow and experience ongoing success,I must change.

If you are a person who has said something like “I can’t budget because that’s just not my style.” I urge you to acknowledge the difficulty required to change and then EMBRACE IT!

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Have You Achieved Your 2012 Financial Goals?

Two Simple Questions Today:

  1. What were the financial goals you set for 2012?
  2. Did you achieve them?

Would you share your answers with me in the comments? Also, it would be incredible to hear how our team could better help you with achieving your 2013 financial goals!

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A Scary Moment

Have you ever experienced a scary moment? I mean an “I think I might die” moment? I had one of those last week.

My bride and I were headed to New York City last week to attend a conference. As soon as our plane left the ground, a heavy odor (smelled like jet fuel?) went through the aircraft and nearly immediately thereafter, an alarm began ringing in the front area of the jet. The flight attendant burst up from her seat to check it out. With the alarm still ringing, she turned around with a panicked expression and raced to the back of the jet. She then raced back to the front. For about 90 seconds, there was some panic on the aircraft.

While the flight attendant was trying to determine what was going on in the cabin, the pilots leveled off the plane at low altitude and immediately banked back toward the airport. The flight attendant (nearly out of breath) informed us that the fire alarm had went off, but no visible issues existed and that we would be making an emergency landing shortly. Thankfully, we landed safely and were immediately greeted by airport fire personnel. We even made the local news.

After calming down and processing through everything we experienced, here are some random thoughts I had during and following this event:

  • In the midst of it, I prayed out loud to Jesus. It allowed me to remain calm.
  • As crazy as it sounds, in the brief few moments of panic, I was not scared of dying. My thoughts were focused instead on the sadness of not being able to hug and raise my children.
  • I knew that my bride and I have taken care of our family as best as we can by having: (a) a written will, (b) life insurance, and (c) clear guidance on regarding our children and assets.
  • I was attempting to utilize my engineering degree to determine what altitude we needed to be at in order to glide back to the airport (I am so glad we didn’t have to rely on that knowledge!)
  • Life is very fragile, and I really have very little control over it – other than to LIVE IT FULLY while I am alive!
  • It was important for me to get right back onto another airplane – getting right back onto the proverbial “horse that kicked me off” – so that fear did not gain a foothold.
  • My little boy thought the fire truck pictures were so cool.
  • I still love planes.
  • I don’t want to experience that type of situation ever again.

By the way, the airline was INCREDIBLE at taking care of everyone. They obviously had a well-planned and thought-out crisis management process. They sent me an incredibly well-written email that showed they had full knowledge of what happened, empathy for the fear that could have been experienced, and a commitment to make it right to the best of their ability.

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Are You Receiving The Full 401(k) Match From Your Employer?

Here is a question that could literally be worth $1 million or more to you:

“Are you receiving the full 401(k) match from your employer?”

Or 403(b), Roth-401(k), Roth-403(b), 457, SIMPLE IRE, RRSP, TFSA, CPP, or TSP match?

Regardless of your company’s retirement plan, you should KNOW that you are receiving any and all of the company’s matching contribution! The sad fact is that many people have no idea about their company’s matching. As a result, they do not receive the FREE money the company willingly matches!

Let’s say you are 30 years old and are earning $40,000 per year and contributing 3% of your income to your company retirement plan. Your company matches your contribution “dollar-for-dollar (or 100%)” up to 6% of your pay. This would mean that you would be missing out on 3% of your salary in FREE MONEY that the company would match in your retirement account.

If you received pay raises of 2% each year, the total amount of matching contributions that you would miss out on receiving would add up to $67,338! If you consider a 10% growth rate on your investment, this $67,338 would actually be worth $529,231!!!

The decision to NOT contribute enough to obtain the full company match would be worth more than HALF OF A MILLION DOLLARS!

ACTION #1:Go to your Human Resources/Benefits coordinator RIGHT NOW and ensure you are contributing enough to receive the full company match!

ACTION #2: Tell ALL of your co-workers about it and help ensure they do the same!

ACTION #3: Get FIRED UP!

You may not remember my name 35 years from now, but you will definitely have more cash in your hand if you do this!

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