MONEY LIE: I Can’t Save and Invest Money

Welcome to the “Money Lies” series here on the wildly popular In this series, I will be sharing many common money lies that people believe.

MONEY LIE #4: I can’t save and invest money.

This is the lie that keeps people broke for their entire lives. When we are young, we believe we have forever to prepare for retirement. After all, young people and young families need to provide for their household, their children, and are just starting out in life. There never seems to be enough money to put away for a rainy day or for the future.

If you tell yourself this money lie, there never will be enough money to save or invest. If this is you, TODAY is the day you stop believing the lie and begin funding the future! Here are some practical steps you can take toexplode your financial future:

  1. Understand compound interest.  Compound interest is what will allow an investment of $100 per month to reach $1,176,477 in just 40 years! If you just save a little ALL of the time, you will end up with a LOT at the end of your time! Use our “Investment Value Calculator” to see how much you could save!
  2. Take advantage of retirement plan matching.  If you work for another company or organization, there’s a good chance your retirement plan contributions are eligible for matching contributions from your employer. Whether it is a $0.50 per $1.00 match or a full “dollar for dollar” match, it is FREE money! Visit your Human Resources Department TODAY to ensure you are receiving the full company match.
  3. Make saving and investing MONTHLY (at least) and AUTOMATIC.  If you have to rely on yourself to write a check each month, your savings plan could be in great danger! Make it automatic – have it deducted from your paycheck before you ever receive it or have it zapped out of your bank account at a predetermined date each month.

You will be on your way to becoming a wealthy individual who will be able to live a life of generosity like you’ve never dreamed!

Read the entire series (available after 2/20/2013)

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MONEY LIE: I’ve Made Too Many Financial Mistakes to Win with Money.

Welcome to the “Money Lies” series here on the wildly popular In this series, I will be sharing many common money lies that people believe.

MONEY LIE #3: I’ve made too many financial mistakes to win with money.

This is one of the most common lies that people tell themselves. The believe that because they’ve … (insert financial mistake here – declared bankruptcy, had their car repo’d, run up a pile of medical bills without health insurance, are way upside down on a home, had a business fail, etc.) … then it is not possible for them to win with money.

Let me respond to this with one word: “FALSE!”

You CAN win with your money – regardless of financial mistakes you’ve made. Don’t let past mistakes and your current situation control the rest of your life!

Here’s what I know to be TRUE: If you deal with the issues NOW, the problems you are currently facing won’t even be able to be seen in your rear view mirror two years from now.

Many people respond to me with a statement that starts with “But Joe …” and then they provide all of the reasons (excuses) why they can’t make progress.

If you’ve been believing this Money Lie, then here are some practical steps you can take to begin winning again:

  1. Clarify your actual financial situation.  Many people who believe this money lie become overwhelmed, throw their hands up in the air, and give up. As a result, they no longer have a firm grasp on the truth of their financial situation. Here are two tools that can help big time: Budget & Debt Freedom Date Calculator. They are both FREE right HERE. A budget will help you understand your monthly situation. The debt freedom date calculator will help you understand your overall financial indebtedness.
  2. Have “I CAN DO THIS!” printed on a card and put it where you can see it.  I encourage you to put Philippians 4:13 on it as well.
  3. Make a decision to “make tough decisions” and TELL SOMEONE about the decision.  There are few things in life that will help you get tough decisions implemented like implementing accountability with someone you love and trust.
  4. Gain wisdom.  Get wisdom from people you know that have won with money. Buy books from all the financial teachers (at least the ones that have actually won with their money – there are quite a few broke financial advisers out there). Read one book per month on personal finances for the next year. Start with I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. (mine – it’s how I won with money). Then read Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace, Revisited.  After you read those two, send me an email and ask for the next reading assignment – I have a list of more than 40 books you need to read!

Read the entire series (available after 2/20/2013)

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CHURCH LEADER: Last Chance For HALF-OFF The Generosity Learning Experience

CHURCH LEADER: I’m excited about an upcoming set of events that INJOY Stewardship Solutions will be hosting in 9 different cities in the months of March, April, and May!

We’re going to be talking about leadership, vision, stewardship, and generosity. It’s going to be practical, fun, and I believe it could literally change the future of many ministries. Specifically, we’re going to be talking about:

On this amazing day, we will be talking about:

  • How to identify and disciple people who have the gift of giving (Big-Time Vision Funders)
  • How to increase regular giving by 30% (wouldn’t that be incredible?)
  • How to raise up leaders who will help carry the tremendous load
  • How to instill a culture of a generosity in your church

Three words will describe this day: PRACTICAL, ENERGIZING, & EQUIPPING.

Here are the event dates:

  • MARCH:  Atlanta (5th), Chicago (6th), and Orlando (7th)
  • APRIL:  Charlotte (16th), Indianapolis (17th), and Dallas (18th)
  • MAY:  Baltimore (7th), St. Louis (8th), and Houston (9th)

Learn more and REGISTER to receive 50% OFF tickets purchased through Monday, February 18th!

MONEY LIE: My Spouse Will Never Work With Me On Our Finances

Welcome to the “Money Lies” series here on the wildly popular In this series, I will be sharing many common money lies that people believe.

MONEY LIE #2: My spouse will never work with me on our finances.

This is a tough one. The “non-participating spouse” is a very real concern that many people have. They believe their spouse will never work with them on their finances. The really believe it, but it is a LIE! So many people have shared this issue with me, and have asked me to help them. As I dig into each situation, however, I usually discover that this lie has run really deep and has blinded people to real things they can do to get on the same financial page.

Here’s the TRUTH: Your spouse WILL work with you on your finances.

The key is to find out WHY they aren’t currently interested. Here are some great questions to ask:

  1. Why do they say they aren’t interested?
  2. What are their “money wounds” – the things that have happened in their financial past? Understanding their past can be very helpful toward fixing the future. Did they grow up in utter poverty? Or maybe with excess wealth? Have they experienced bankruptcy? Maybe their parents had a very dysfunctional relationship regarding their finances.
  3. Have you done anything to betray their financial trust?

Here are some practical steps you can take to involve your spouse in financial decisions:

  1. Write down your plans, hopes, and dreams and share them with your spouse.
  2. Ask your spouse to take some time to write down their plans, hopes, and dreams and share them with you.
  3. Write down the cost of each one and ask the question of your spouse: “If we keep going the same financial direction, will we be able to fund these dreams?”


  1. Badger, yell, holler, or scream at your spouse
  2. Issue “Do this … or else!” commandments
  3. Demean your spouse
  4. Make this a four-hour long discussion

I’ve found that connecting the “non-participating” spouse’s plans, hopes, and dreams to financial decisions is a very effective way to gain their participation.

Read the entire series (available after 2/20/2013)

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10 Reasons I Love My Bride

I love my bride. As of today, we have been married for 15 years 252 days! Amazing!

Here are 10 Reasons I Love My Bride:

  1. She’s Beautiful!
  2. Off the charts SMART
  3. She’s an incredible adviser
  4. Organized!
  5. Three children: a daughter, a son, and a “currently not known” :)
  6. She’s the most patient person on planet earth
  7. She’s a saver
  8. She’s THE REASON our organizations have experienced success
  9. She challenges me to do scary things. Things like whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and bungee jumping.
  10. Three words: Polish Chicago Southsider

Happy Valentine’s Day! I HEART JENN SANGL!

MONEY LIE: I Just Need To Make More Money

Welcome to the “Money Lies” series here on the wildly popular In this series, I will be sharing many common money lies that people believe.

MONEY LIE #1: I just need to make more money to be able to win financially.

This is a terrible lie to believe. Here’s why: It gives us an excuse for not winning with our current income!

You see, if we buy this lie, it allows us to accept mediocrity right now. We have an excuse that satisfies us so we stay right where we are without making financial progress.

I’ve actually found that more money just amplifies my current financial behavior instead of improving it. The same is true for most people.

Here’s the MONEY TRUTH: You CAN win with the money you earn right now.

Have you been believing this money lie? If so, here are some practical steps you can take right now to begin winning with your current income:

  1. Prepare a written budget every single month BEFORE the month begins – use one of our FREE BUDGETS to get started.
  2. Set up an automatic contribution to your savings account of any amount (it could even be just $25) – set it up to be automatically taken out of your check!
  3. Begin automatically contributing to your company retirement account (or set one up for yourself if your employer doesn’t provide one) – contribute enough to obtain the full company match!

Read the entire series (available after 2/20/2013)

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SERIES: Money Lies Many People Believe

When I was a kid, sometimes as I would be sitting in the back seat of the family 1974 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale along with my five brothers (probably sitting on the hump because I was the youngest), my parents would say, “Look! There’s a falling star!” We would all scramble around the back seat of the big land barge to see it. I remember that most of them appeared to be greenish in nature.

It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I realized I was believing a lie. I believed that the falling star was just that – a falling star. The TRUTH is that a “falling star” is just space junk entering the earth’s atmosphere. It’s probably a bag of Doritos that fell out of the space station! Disappointment fell upon me for a few minutes as I made the realization I had been believing a lie until I realized its probably a good thing it isn’t a star falling – that would be really bad!

I believed a LIE was the TRUTH.

When I was broke, I believed a lot of things to be true about my finances. But they were lies. Big lies.

But I thought the lies were truth. I could even explain why they were true. Regardless of my ability to rationalize, it did not change the fact that the truth I was believing was actually a big bundle of lies keeping me broke! Now that I’ve won with money, I see that many people believe the same lies I did.

Money Lies Many People Believe:

  1. I just need to make more money to be able to win financially.
  2. My spouse will never work with me on our finances.
  3. I’ve made too many financial mistakes to win with money.
  4. I can’t save and invest money.
  5. I can’t budget – I don’t have enough … (choose one or more) time, money, I have unpredictable income, etc.
  6. I can’t give money away and still make it financially.

Over the next several days, I’m going to be sharing why each of these items are LIES and provide practical ways to overcome each one.

This will be fun!

Read the entire series (available after 2/20/2013)

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5 New Things I Learned About Money In The Past Year

I love to learn. Every day, I read 40 web sites about personal and small business finances, leadership, and macro-economics. It might mean that I am a nerd, but it also means that I’m not broke anymore! Education has helped me take my finances to an entirely different level.

Here are 5 new things I learned about money in the past year:

  1. Mindset change drives a lot of money behavior. Instead of saying, “I can’t afford that.” say “HOW can I afford that?”
  2. Contrary to many investment “gurus” advice, I finished paying off my house, and it is AWESOME.  I realize that most investment “gurus” haven’t paid their house off and are merely “parroting” the advice they’ve heard from other people who haven’t paid their house off.
  3. More money merely amplifies who people are – it doesn’t change them. More money just enables behavior – whether good or bad. If a person was an extremely generous person when they were broke, they will be an extremely generous wealthy person. If they were greedy when they were broke, they will most likely be incredibly greedy should they encounter wealth.
  4. Waiting for a bank to say “yes” to fund a dream will usually take way longer than finding an alternative way to fund it. I’ve bought land and a business without a bank loan. For fun, I actually approached banks on both deals. On both deals, I was told, “NO!” (They must have discovered this web site!)
  5. Consistent persistence (say that 5 times really fast) truly pays off! It was 10 years and 1 month ago that my bride and I decided to pay off our house early. We set a goal of June 2014. Consistent persistence allowed us to beat the goal by 16 months!

What are some new things you have learned about money in the past year?

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10 Signs You’re Becoming Financially Fit

The journey to financial freedom can become laborious at times, and it can be difficult to know whether or not you are really progress. Here are some signs you can use to help determine if you are truly becoming Financially Fit:

  1. You prepare a monthly budget – every single month!
  2. You know what “net worth” means – and you track it at least once a year.
  3. You value saving and investing more than spending.
  4. You have eliminated all high interest debt.
  5. You have funded at least one personal dream in the past 12 months.
  6. You have been labeled as “odd” or “weird” by friends and family because of your focus on taking your finances to another level.
  7. When a friend shows off their new financed car, you feel sorry for them instead of excited.
  8. You know the interest rate that Capital One 360 bank, Ally Bank, HSBC, and Emigrant are paying!
  9. If married, you and your spouse are able to have a productive conversation about money – without arguing!
  10. You don’t have to check your bank account balance every morning or even think about it on a daily basis because YOU KNOW there is more than enough money in the account to cover the bills. In fact, you know your balance to the penny.

What other signs would you add?

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I’m excited, PUMPED, and STUNNED to announce that God has worked another miracle in our lives: We’re expecting another Sangl!

Last month, we paid off our house. Just 13 days after paying that off, we find out that we have the blessing of another child on the way!!!


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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – February 2013 (“Paid Off House” Special Edition)

This is a special edition of the Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular. It is the “Paid Off House” edition!

As I announced on January 18th, we paid off our house!!!

We have been on this journey to debt freedom for 10 years and 1 month. It feels so good to hit this milestone. As we paid this thing off, we encountered so many challenges that could have easily derailed us. I took some time over the past few weeks to read the monthly “Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectaculars” I have written every single month since October 2007 (5.5 years worth!). It was amazing to reflect on the journey. Here are some key statements from those monthly updates that impacted me as I reviewed them:

  1. In my first update on October 8, 2007, I wrote, “So Jenn and I have shook hands and made an agreement that the house payments will be gone within four years.”  We missed it by 1 year and 4 months, and I’m okay with that!!!
  2. In November 2007, I wrote, “ARGH!!!! I HATE house payments!”  I still do.
  3. In December 2007, we took real action to improve our financial situation. We cut our cable to basic cable, and started taking our lunch to work. It created margin we could use to attack the house with.
  4. Beginning in 10/2007 and continuing for TWO YEARS, we paid off the external wall of our house. It took just over THREE years to own the rest!
  5. We had to slow down our payments because we encountered SUBSTANTIAL FINANCIAL CHALLENGES. We paid for MAJOR medical expenses, replaced our air conditioning units, made I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. an independent organization, and then ON TOP OF ALL THAT, found out on June 16, 2009 that we were expecting a miracle of a 2nd child. He showed up in February 2010 – without maternity insurance. I’ve encountered virtually every financial challenge possible. Don’t tell me you can’t do this!
  6. In June 2008, my wife became a full-time mom again. This was way more than a financial decision. I’m so glad we made it.
  7. In March 2011, I declared war on the mortgage. It is amazing what happens when you are diligent!
  8. In October 2011, I “called my shot” and said, “God-willing, we could even see our home mortgage eliminated by January 2013. And God willed it be so. I’m so PUMPED!!!  (and FIRED UP!!!!)

Here’s what I know to be true: When I set a HUGE GOAL and DILIGENTLY PURSUE IT, I am able to accomplish far more than I ever thought possible. It is why my life’s mission and passion statement is “to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible.”

I truly believe that most people have no idea of the power and potential they possess to change their life and the lives around them for better.

I. Am. So. Blessed.

Read ALL of the “Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectaculars”

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The Importance of a Financial Coach

I recently asked the following question on Twitter (via @joesangl): “What does it mean to be a “COACH”? What does a COACH do?” The responses were awesome and are shared below:

  • @Shelton_22: @joesangl A coach must Love, Develop, Motivate, Construct, Encourage, Prepare, and Inspire an individual for the future.
  • @peteraug: @joesangl brings out the potential in others
  • @CynnamonClinton: @joesangl A coach, teaches, leads, motivates, and instructs based on their own achievements, mastery & experiences!
  • @RealAustinHall: @joesangl to lead, motivate, be an example, inspire, encourage, discipline, show compassion, challenge and direct towards a common goal.
  • @PaulJolicoeur: @joesangl A coach comes along side, to push you beyond where you thought your limit was!

Every single successful person I know has had someone in their life who provides coaching to them. So-called “self-made” persons KNOW that they have achieved greatness because of the help and coaching of others!

This is why I have three financial coaches.

When I was broke, I realized I was seeking advice from broke friends! It was like accepting long distance running advice from a sumo wrestler.

Proverbs 15:22shares, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

I was broke, and I knew wisdom was necessary for me to change my financial life. I established desired criteria my coaches should possess:

  1. They had to love me.
  2. They weren’t interested in selling me anything.
  3. They had availability to mentor me.

My financial coaches helped me change my life!

Do YOU have a financial coach?

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5 Reasons Why Budgeting Is Important

“You need a budget.”

Chances are pretty high that you’ve heard that statement before.

If you are a saver, your heart started beating wildly (because you LOVE budgets). If you are a spender (like me), you probably felt the hair raise on the back of your neck and immediately felt flashes of frustration.

So this post is written primarily with the spender in mind. Savers: feel free to print out and show to your spender spouse or friend!

5 Reasons Why BUDGETING Is Important

  1. It maximizes every dollar you earn.  As a spender, I can “accidentally” spend money. Preparing a monthly budget (and an annual budget once each year to cast vision for the future) allows me to know that money is limited and ensures that I maximize every dollar I do receive.
  2. It makes you aware of your impulsiveness.  This is not the most pleasant feeling, but it very helpful to be reminded that it is much easier to remain broke than it is to win with money. My budget ensures that I am continually aware of my impulsiveness and the danger that presents to my long term goals.
  3. You can buy stuff without feeling guilty.  This is probably my favorite reason for budgeting! I used to play a round of golf and feel guilty because I knew it wasn’t in the budget (because we didn’t have a budget). I’ll never forget the day that I was able to just go enjoy a round of golf and KNOW it was in the budget and I had planned for it! It didn’t help my golf score, but it did help me and my marriage!
  4. You have probably married a saver (or if you aren’t married, and hope to be some day, you will most likely marry a saver)  I married a saver. Jenn is a beautiful and amazing bride, but she just does not have any desire to go spend all of our money. So when we didn’t have a budget, I nearly drove her crazy with my random ATM cash withdrawals and surprise expenses. I am certain she was the one celebrating the most when I finally “got it” and began participating in the monthly ritual of planning our spending and following that plan!
  5. Budgeting will fund your dreams faster.  I know that I said #3 is probably my favorite, but I’m taking it back. This one is my favorite! I love funding my dreams. Because of budgeting, my family has been able to give more money away than we ever thought possible. We have been able to take wonderful cash-paid-for-in-advance vacations, pursue our dream of launching this organization, and pay off our house! All in 10 years and 1 month! I can’t WAIT to see what happens in the next 10 years!!!!

There’s my list. What would YOU add to it?

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Winning With Money Requires Practice And Disipline

Several years ago, before my bride and I had children, I took the time to build a radio control airplane from a really basic kit.

It took a LONG time because it was intricate work, but the work produced a really nice airplane with six foot wide wings that would fly really well.

Along came our daughter and time for the hobby disappeared as the necessities of building a career, completing my master’s degree, and life itself. The plane somehow made it through several moves without being totally destroyed.

Now that my son is running around everywhere, he is enchanted by the plane. He always wants to see the plane, touch the plane, fly the plane, fly on the plane, and sit in the plane (not possible – but he’s too young to determine that).

Recently, I pulled it off the shelf to see if I could get the motor to start. It did not. For literally three hours, I tried to fire the engine unsuccessfully. My son became bored and wandered off. He eventually went down for an afternoon nap, and then it suddenly started for me! There was only one issue – the throttle was stuck! There was no (safe) way to turn it off, so I literally held it until the fuel ran out.

When my son awakened, I told him that I had managed to fire it up so we needed to go outside. He lost his mind in excitement. We ran outside, and it would not start. NOTHING I tried worked. I eventually put the plane back up in the garage.

The next day, I woke up with aching legs and arms from attempting to start the stupid airplane (if you’ve ever experienced starting an RC airplane with a chicken stick, you know what I’m talking about). The stiffness helped me realize I had done about 400 squats and 2,000 reps of “chicken stick motions.”

There’s a financial lesson to be learned here. Many times, we will start off our financial journey with a dream, a budget, and detailed plan to accomplish it. Everything goes well as long as you continue to dream, budget and plan. But eventually, time can cause our enthusiasm for important things like budgeting and planning to wane.

So we stop.

We put away the tools.

Time passes. A lot of time passes, and one day we discover the need to utilize the tools again. But when we pull out the tools, we’re rusty. It doesn’t operate like it used to.

No matter how much effort we put into it, it just won’t seem to work anymore. You discover the “throttle is stuck” on an expense, and it is going to require some work to turn it off! You may not be able to get your spouse to participate.

It is for this reason my bride and I:

  1. Put together a budget EVERY MONTH – planning our spending BEFORE the month and the bills arrive. This is EVERY MONTH, not every now and then!
  2. Share our dreams with each other – and keep a list. This allows us to remind ourselves and each other WHY we are doing the discipline of planning and budgeting.
  3. Save money EVERY MONTH – we know we simply cannot prosper if we don’t save!
  4. Give money away EVERY MONTH – we truly believe we are blessed to bless others!
  5. Invest money EVERY MONTH – we can’t fund huge dreams without the assistance of compound interest!

Take a few minutes to think about the disciplines and practices you need to pull back out and start up again, and be sure to recognize that you are going to have a few “stuck throttles” and “misfires” as you get back in the groove of discipline.

In the meantime, I’ll be out in the garage firing up my RC airplane.

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Every month there will be an update of Joe & Jenn’s Home Pay-Off Spectacular!

But there is MAJOR NEWSregarding this series: TODAY will be the last installment in this series because …


Way back in December 2002, my bride and I decided to change our financial life. We set a goal to pay off our house by January 2014. We were able to beat our goal by an entire year.

Because of that decision, we get to experience the JOY of paying off our house!

Here’s this month’s update!

Total Squares:  2,426

Paid-For Squares:  1,913  2,426

Squares Remaining:  513  0

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  78.9%  100.0%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  21.1%  0%

Here is the updated Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular (click to view large size)

Just look at that! The entire house is completely filled in!!!

We’re experiencing a range of emotions:

  • Excitement!
  • Relief
  • An overwhelming sense of blessing

I’ve written this in nearly every “Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular,” but I want to say it again: YOU can do this too!

Start your own home pay-off spectacular using our free tool here => Pay Off Spectacular – House.

Read previous Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular Updates

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