The Race – Who Will Win?

As children, we’ve all heard the story about the tortoise and the hare challenging each other to a race.

We were shocked to learn at the end of the story that the slow-poke turtle beat the lickety-split rabbit.

Would it shock you to learn that people who choose the turtle approach with their finances usually end up much better off than those who choose the long-eared approach?

Those that choose the rabbit approach use the following two-step logic:

  1. “I wanted to buy a truck, and I was able to buy it that very day!”
  2. “Now, I want to get out of debt today, so I should be able to become debt free this very day!”

When their urgent desire to fix their financial situation wanes, the debt still remains and they give up.

Those that choose the turtle approach use the following two-step logic:

  1. “It was a series of decisions that put me in this financial situation.”
  2. “It will take a series of decisions that will take me to the financial situation I desire.”

Do you see the difference in the approach? Do you feel it?

I wanted to become debt free except for my house on December 2, 2002 when I experienced my IHHE Moment. But it took a series of committed decisions over 14 long months for my family to achieve debt freedom.

Which process will you choose? Or which process have you chosen?

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5 Things Every Student Should Know About Student Loans

I could never have attended Purdue University had it not been for student loans. I began dating Sallie Mae right away, and it took years for me to break up with her. With that said, there are several that every student should know about student loans. Here are five of them.

  1. Go to school for 4 years for a 4 year degree Or for 2 years for a 2 year degree. Not six years for a four year degree. This can have substantial financial consequences. For example, if you attend college for two years more than required for the degree, you will have to pay for two extra years of school PLUS you will forfeit the salary you could have earned during that two year period. For many people this is a $100,000 financial swing!
  2. Obtain a degree that will help you repay the loan There are many people who go to prestigious private colleges to obtain a degree that is the equivalent to underwater basket-weaving. While I think that underwater basket-weaving would be amazingly cool, it probably won’t help repay the loans. My mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University and MBA from Clemson University certainly helped me repay my student loans.
  3. Tech or Community College for the first two years can really lower costs Most states have established programs that allow all credits earned during the first two years of community college to transfer directly to the state schools. I have seen the costs for community college. They are much lower than state or private universities. The local community college where I live is literally one-third the cost of the state school.
  4. Obtain subsidized loans if possible Subsidized loans do not accrue interest while the student maintains at least half-time student status. They also do not accrue interest while the loans are in grace periods or deferment.
  5. The name of the college does not matter nearly as much as the effort you put into your studies Many students fall in love with a particular college and feel that they just must attend only that institution. I have discovered that no one really cares about the fact that I went to Purdue and Clemson – all they want to know is if I can help them accomplish their stated objective.

Print this out and have a conversation about it with your student or future student. My bride and I have been talking about this with our daughter since she was six or seven. I know it might seem like boring conversation, but I promise you that it has had a positive impact on our daughter and the plans she has made for education.

I have written an entire chapter on this topic in my book for high school and college students – What Everyone Should Know About Money Before They Enter The Real WorldI promise you it will help financially prepare your student for the real world. You can purchase that book HERE or for your e-reader HERE.

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Featured Tool Of The Month – Known Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses Calculator

Do you ever feel like your finances have been side-swiped by a major expense, and that sudden expense causes immense stress and pain?

Chances are that you have, and it probably was a “Known Upcoming Non-Monthly Expense.”  The key word in that phrase is “non-monthly“.  Because it is not a monthly expense, it can tend to become an “out of sight – out of mind” item that seems to appear suddenly out of nowhere.

Think about it. Have any of the below items happened to you before and created a financial emergency?

  1. Car tires need replaced
  2. Sickness that created enough hospital bills to consume the entire insurance deductible (or worse yet – happened without insurance)
  3. Heating & Air went out
  4. Christmas
  5. Vacation
  6. Annual life insurance premium
  7. Annual property taxes

Just go ahead and say, “Yes, I have!” because we ALL have experienced one or more of these scenarios.

Here’s the solution – use the “Known Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses Calculator” to transform your “non-monthly” expenses in “monthly” expenses.  See the example below:

Do you see it?  By converting the “non-monthly” expenses to a “monthly” expense of $579 every month, you have substantially lessened the impact on your budget!  Instead of having to suddenly come up with $1,200 when the annual property tax bill arrives, the money will just be there!


  • Be sure to recalculate your monthly savings number at least once per year
  • Don’t forget more long-term expenses such as college, weddings, vehicle replacement, and major home renovations
  • Set your savings for these expenses AUTOMATIC – by establishing an auto-draft

NOTE: This tool and dozens more are covered in more detail in my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not.

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You CAN Do This!

Anybody who has ever participated in a Financial Learning Experience has heard me say, “You CAN do this!”

These words are throughout my books as well.

There is a reason for this – it’s because I truly believe it!

  • I know you have an excuse, but you CAN do this!
  • I know you have a reason, but you CAN do this!
  • I know you have endured struggles, but you CAN do this!
  • I know you have encountered unfair situations, but you CAN do this!
  • I know you may be old, but you CAN do this!
  • I know you may be young, but you CAN do this!

One of my brothers recently graduated college … he’s turning 50 this year.  It’s never too late to fulfill a dream.

Another brother went through significant challenges and military tours … he’s now a doctor.

I have a friend who was $85K in non-house debt and had received foreclosure papers on his house … he’s now debt-free.

I know a young lady who makes less than $1,500 a month, and will completely own her first house by the age of 25.

I KNOW that you may have a good reason/excuse for why you have yet to achieve a dream, but it does not negate the fact that you CAN still accomplish it.

QUESTION: What is the dream you need begin believing in again?

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This Monday – Financial Learning Experience – Spartanburg, SC

I’m FIRED UP to be teaching the Financial Learning Experience at Restoration Church in Spartanburg, SC this coming Monday!

The event is FREE (thanks to Restoration Church!), but registration is requested.  Here are the details:

  • WHERE  Restoration Church 6655 PotteryRd Spartanburg, SC 29303
  • WHEN  Monday, May 7, 2012 @ 6:30PM
  • COST  Free!
  • REGISTER  Register by clicking HERE (or copy and paste the following link in your browser:
  • WHO IS INVITED? You are!
  • CHILDCARE  Provided (birth thru 6th grade)

Who’s coming?

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – May 2012

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:  1130   1150

Squares Remaining:  1296   1276

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  46.6% 47.4%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  53.4%  52.6%

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

We were able to color in another 20 squares this month!  That FIRES US UP!!!  Within the next three months we will “officially” own over 50-percent of the house.  That is an amazing day!  Even so, the interest component of our regular house payment still accounts for 60-percent of the overall payment!  Think about that for a minute – do YOU know how much of your payment is just going to pay the bank interest?  If you’ve just started out on a 30-year mortgage, chances are that it is 95-percent or more of your overall payment.  Just one more reason my bride and I are so hyper-focused on eliminating this note!

How are you doing on YOUR house pay-off spectacular?

If you do not have one, you can get one here => Pay Off Spectacular – House.

Read previous Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular Updates

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Short-Term Urgent vs Long-Term Significant

I’ve noticed a trend in my life, and perhaps you have seen it as well in your own life.  It seems that things which are short-term urgent tend to trump items which are long-term significant.

Here are two common examples:

  1. Purchase a video game for our child (who already has 85 games) but there is no money saved for his college education
  2. Spend our money at yet another expensive restaurant (only to be hungry again 3 hours later), but refuse to save money for the health insurance deductible even though we know that we WILL get sick someday

This issue is best defeated by having a monthly budget (short-term plan) as well as a fully thought out “Plans, Hopes, and Dreams” list (long-term plan).

When you know the actual dream that is being sacrificed when faced with a short-term urgent item, there is a much greater likelihood that you will overcome that temptation.

QUESTION:  What is the one short-term urgent item in your life that seems to keep destroying your finances and erodes your ability to fund your long-term dreams?

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Seed Costs Money – Mark 4:26

This is a series that appears on a weekly basis here at – “Biblical Financial Lessons”

Seed Costs Money – Mark 4:26-29

26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

Most financially broken people fail to recognize the fundamental fact that in order to have a harvest, one must first sow seed.  No matter how much you pray, seek God, call down fire from the heavens, or plead with God to bring you a tremendous harvest, one will have no harvest if seed is not sown.  This is so clear to me because I grew up on a farm.  If we did not invest the time and energy to plant seed in the Spring, there would be no harvest in the Fall.

People get fired up about the idea of a huge harvest, but then they realize that seed costs tremendous money.  For example, special hybrid seed can cost 20 to 30 times what the harvested seed will sell for!

Think about an author who dreamed of having a published book, but no publisher would print it for them.  Without being willing to spend money to self-publish the book, the author would just be standing around hoping for her dream of having a real-life printed book become reality.  BUT if she were willing to spend money to self-publish the book (sowing the seed), the author would be positioned to reap a harvest as the book was sold around the world.

MAIN POINT: Most people remain broke without ever reaping a tremendous harvest because they lust for the harvest, but are unwilling to spend the money necessary to acquire, plant, and cultivate the seed.

Application Questions

  1. Have you saved up money to be able to purchase seed?
  2. Are you actively sowing seed?

Read the series

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Just Because You Say So …

Have you ever firmly believed something only to discover that it was not true?

Santa Claus ring a bell?  The Easter bunny?  Tooth Fairy?

“Santa IS real!” we would exclaim when confronted with the brutal facts.  In others words,Just because you say so, doesn’t mean it is so.”

We might smile about the “oh my goodness!” moments when we discovered that our beliefs were dashed about Santa, but I’ve seen that many people believe things about money that are untrue.  No matter how much a person exclaims, protests, or yells, it won’t change reality.

Here are some common mistaken beliefs people have when it comes to money:

  1. “Even though I have a job, I need to earn more money to be able to actually win financially.”
  2. “I’m too old to win with money.”
  3. “I can maximize my money even though I do not have a budget.”
  4. “Earning money under the table means that I shouldn’t have to pay taxes on it.”
  5. “I can never save and never invest and still retire well.”

Have you ever believed one of these falsehoods?  Any others that you have believed that you later discovered to be untrue?

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U.S. National Debt Update – April 2012

The US National Debt has increased by $177,705,716,826 since our last update on March 13, 2012.  Another month, and the United States has dropped another cool $177 billion in the hole.

National Debt as of 4/22/2012


That is an increase of $4.4 BILLION PER DAY since our last update 40 days ago.

The credit card apparently still has some room …

My question remains:  At what point in time will this type of spending stop?

I believe the answer remains the same – When the citizens of the country as a collective whole start managing their own money responsibly!  When we not only talk the talk but walk the walk!

What are YOUR suggestions for addressing this?

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Funded And Free Church Leadership Conference – LIVE Today

I am so excited that Injoy Stewardship Solutions is hosting the Funded And Free Church Leadership Conference today in Mooresville, NC.  Hundreds of leaders from around the country are gathered together to learn how to have a Fully Funded Vision.

The good news for all church leaders is that our host, The Cove Church, has been able to establish a LIVECAST of the conference!  All you have to do is:

  1. CLICK HERE (or copy & paste the following link:
  2. Fill out the brief registration form

And just like that, you will have INSTANT ACCESS!

So, church leader, jump on in to the conversation!

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We’re Hiring – Again

I am so excited about what is happening through the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. Team!  We have seen our dream literally become reality and EXPLODE (in a good way) before our very eyes!

With all of this growth, we need help.  Before I get to the position, let me clarify a few things that are not negotiable for this position.

  • You must be committed to complete excellence
  • A typo or spelling error needs to drive you absolutely crazy
  • You need to be very creative (even artsy)
  • Deadlines really are deadlines – not dates to be negotiated in the future

On to the position …


  • Able to design incredible looking graphics
  • Able to shoot and produce incredible short videos
  • Able to work within set deadlines and timelines
  • Able to work well with others
  • Passionate about excellence in design
  • Able to spell “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (we will test this)
  • Currently studying graphic design in college
  • Local to Anderson, SC or can arrange to live there for the work period
  • Work from May 15 thru August 15

The position pays US currency, but you won’t get extremely rich this summer.  What we CAN provide, however, is exposure of your work throughout the world and meaningful projects that will literally touch hundreds of thousands of people.

If you meet all of these requirements and want to be a part of our team this summer, apply by sending a resume and samples of your work to with the subject line of “I WANT TO BE THE IWBNIN INTERN”

NOTE:  This posting will cease 4/25/2012.

Great Graduation Gift Idea – Give The Gift Of Financial Freedom

Do you have a high school or college graduation coming up in the next month?  If so, the What Everyone Should Know About Money BEFORE They Enter The Real World Study Kit would make a great gift for the graduate!

Here’s 5 Reasons This Makes A Great Gift:

  1. Don’t YOU wish you had learned more about money before you entered the real world?
  2. Avoiding financial mistakes is a lot less painful than fixing them!
  3. The book has chapters focused on building credit, purchasing a home, how to budget in a way that really works, how to capture the power of compound interest, and the importance of having a plan for life.
  4. Most of these graduates will have had little to no formal training on HOW to manage money.
  5. Credit card companies and lenders might be circling your favorite student …

Here’s an idea – Write a personal note in the book telling your favorite graduate(s) all of the reasons you wanted her/him (them) to receive this teaching.

As a special offer, purchase your kit by 5/25/2012 to receive 10-percent off your group study purchase by using the gift code “graduate” in the “special code” box during checkout.

View all of our resources in the I Was Broke. Now I’m Not. STORE

Results From “Why Do You Do What You Do” Survey

The response to the “Why Do You Do What You Do” Survey was amazing!

First, let me share the data.

In response to the question, “Do you LOVE your job?“, 43.9% said NO and 56.1% said YES.







In response to the question, “If money were not the object, would you still do the same work you do today?“, 55.1% said NO and 44.9% said YES.







In other words, while 56.1% of people said they LOVE their job, about 20% of those people don’t love their job enough that they would keep doing the same work if money were not the object keeping them there.

An open-ended question was also asked – “Why do you do what you do?” The responses varied from amazing, interesting, weird, and ridiculous. I wanted to share EVERY response with you, but it would take an entire book to share them all.  Below are some of my favorite responses.

  • “My work helps people CHANGE their lives!!!”
  • “Because there’s nothing else around right now.”
  • “Could not make the same money doing what I love”
  • “I enjoy helping others and making a difference. This opportunity came along and I took this job as a sacrifice for my children. It has wonderful benefits, hours, and I am now in my 13 th year. I took a 20 thousand dollar paycut when I first started but it was a sacrifice I felt like I needed to make at the time for my children.”
  • “It’s what I worked a long time to achieve and I love it.”
  • “I like people and I am challenged by what I do and receive much gratification when I succeed at my work.
    I am in the selling business and have many failures and successes and learn from both, everyday is an education day.”
  • “Money and it is a love/hate relationship! I feel stuck can’t move up! can’t move out without making less!”
  • “It is a family business which i was “forced” into. While the pay is over the top, the drama and stress is ridiculous. I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment.”
  • “It is a calling not a job!”
  • “To pay the bills. If we were in a financially better place I would spend more time with my daughter and less time working.”
  • “Briefly: To see people experience LIFE in Christ. So far in just a little over four years we have been a part of 1,376 people saying YES to Jesus.”
  • “I am 73 years old and thanks to you and your inspiring words (I took your course last year at my church in Coldwater, AL) I am now debt free (I even paid my car off and have no car payment for the first time since I was 30 years old!). I am not a retiring type, and wanted a job where I could set my own hours, talk to people daily, with no stress or worry to supplement my social security. I am happy to say I found it and still have time to be with my family, write, read and enjoy the joy of living each day that the Lord gives me!”
  • “Why do I do what I do? Because I like to turn little kids into musicians. I like it when they “get it” (that light bulb moment) and when they can sing or play something without my help as a music teacher. I like it when they can think about music independently and come up with their own thoughts about what they’re hearing. Little kids can sometimes be so creative and thoughtful. It’s great to interact with them.”

Awesome response – I am so honored that so many of you chose to participate!

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Why Do You Do What You Do?

As we start out another week of this great adventure we call LIFE, I would be honored to have you participate in our brief survey below: