US National Debt – My Letter To My Representative

As the United States faces such a HUGE obstacle of increasing its debt limit yet one more time, I wrote the following letter to my elected representatives.  I encourage you to write YOUR REPRESENTATIVE and demand a BALANCED BUDGET!

Dear Representative,
I am writing to encourage you to continue to demand that spending cuts are tied to the national debt increase bill. When my own personal budget is faced with shortages, we do not continue to increase our debt – we choose to cut spending instead. Some of these cuts are not fun, but it is what MUST happen in order for my family to prosper.

The same is true for the United States. Please ensure that the fundamental rule of INCOME minus OUTGO must equal EXACTLY ZERO is applied to our budget. While it is absolutely imperative that the national debt is increased at this moment, it is essential that the necessary steps are put into action to ensure that this is THE LAST TIME that we increase our nation’s debt. I don’t want to hand a financially broken and bankrupt nation to my children. I appreciate your leadership and focus on this extremely important issue.

With the highest regard,
Joseph Sangl

I know that I am simple man, but INCOME – OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO works with $1,000 or with $14,000,000,000,000!

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Debt Free WOO-HOO! Call

When we travel the nation to teach the Financial Learning Experience, we encourage people to call us when they achieve debt freedom.  We’re getting these calls more and more, and I just wanted to share one of those calls with you.

Listen to the call HERE  (takes only 4 seconds!)

It’s that simple – and it feels really cool to YELL once you’re debt-free!

When YOU achieve debt freedom, will you call us?  Just yell – no names or anything.  We’ll celebrate knowing another person has achieved such a monumental moment!

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Companies That Are Debt-Free

What do the following companies have in common?

  • Apple (AAPL)
  • Fastenal (FAST)
  • Panera Bread Corp (PNRA)
  • Texas Instruments (TXN)
  • Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY)

Besides being TOTALLY UNRELATED organizations, they are all 100-percent DEBT-FREE!  Google was 100-percent debt-free until 2010 and Microsoft was 100-percent debt-free until 2009.  Each company possesses more than enough cash to eliminate the debt without any financial margin issues.

Take a good look around at America’s businesses – they are almost ALL carrying some debt.

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Surprised Kitty

YouTube is incredible.   Anybody can post a video with the potential for anyone in the world to watch it.

For example, the below video (can’t see it – click HERE) has had over 50 MILLION views.   50,000,000!

Now, I love kitty cats.   My family has two of them.   Here is an alarming fact, however.

Watching kitties will make us smile for a few minutes, but failing to learn how to win with our finances can make us frown for decades.

So … watch the kitty video, smile, and then start learning about how to make your money work for you to fund your dreams so that you can smile for decades!   A good place to start is the “How Do I Budget Series” HERE.

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0-Percent Balance Transfer Credit Card

Updated 12/9/2013

I am constantly looking for 0% APR Balance Transfer Credit Card offers so that people with high interest credit card balances can restructure that debt to 0% interest.   This allows ALL of the monthly payment to be applied directly to the principal balance of the loan.

Credit card lenders have begun really offering better terms recently as they have extended the 0-percent terms and lowered transfer fees.   The best offer(s) I’ve currently located are listed below.

Discover it™ Card  0% Interest on Balance Transfers for 18 MONTHS! (Small Transfer Fee)

Discover it Card – 18 Month Promotional Balance Transfer

Click HERE to apply on-line in just a couple of minutes!

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July National Debt Update

The US National Debt has increased by $91,092,718,497 since our last update in June 2011. This increase comes as the debate in Washington rages on whether or not to raise the US Debt Limit.

National Debt as of 7/18/2011


Moving politics aside, action needs to be taken.   Our nation MUST gain control of the debt before it becomes completely out of control.   Over the next several weeks, I will be sharing some of the lessons I believe individuals can learn from our country’s debt issues.

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Financial Storms Are Necessary

I was driving through a severe storm recently (the one pictured was one I experienced recently while in Erie, PA), and it was incredible, scary, awesome, and fearsome – all at the same time!

Major Storm

Here is the order of events:

  1. We saw the storms coming in the distance
  2. We were warned by a “Severe Thunderstorm Warning” for our county.
  3. The winds picked up a little
  4. We heard thunder grumbling in the distance
  5. We saw lightning and then thunder
  6. MAJOR wind arrived (40 to 50 mph)
  7. MAJOR lightening/thunder/wind/rain arrived
  8. Heavy rain continued for about 30 minutes
  9. Light rain continued for another 30 minutes and then the storm passed by
  10. The sunlight returned with the Earth having received a good washing

The storm knocked down lots of limbs, some power lines, and a few trees.

It made me think – what would happen to all of the dead limbs if storms did not happen?   The tree would be left holding up all of that dead weight.

It makes me thankful that I experience financial storms from time to time.   It helps me re-evaluate what is important to me and my family. It helps us get rid of dead weight – costs that are no longer necessary or are merely “wants” instead of “needs”.

YOU can share! I’ve experienced many financial storms, and I am sure you have too!   I would love to hear about some of the financial storms you have experienced and how you came out better because of it!   Share in the comments below!

TRUTH: We can either despise the storm or welcome it knowing that we will be better in the future because of it.

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Blogs And Websites Joe Sangl Reads Daily

There are many great blogs and websites out there, but there are a few that I have chosen to read every single day.   I believe that consistent reading of these sites has helped me grow as a leader, business owner, and individual.

Personal and Business Finances Sites/Blogs

Leadership Blogs

News and Sports

Social Media

Communication and Schedule Management


Some of you may be thinking, “Does he really type all of those web site addresses in every single day?”   The answer is NO – I use the multi-tab feature of my web browser (I like Firefox and Google Chrome).   When I open my browser, these websites automatically load.   I spend less than 15 minutes of each morning catching up on what is news.

I would love to hear about the sites you visit on a daily basis – share them with me in the comments!

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – July 2011

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:   932 952

Squares Remaining:   1494 1474

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:   38.4% 39.2%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:   61.6% 60.8%

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

Blog Sangl Family Pay-Off Spectacular - Analysis 2011-07

I can not tell you how GREAT it feels to smash the mortgage again this month – for the 4th month in a row!   In the next two months, we will fully own our sun room and move on to buying squares in the rest of our house.

How are you doing on YOUR house payoff spectacular?

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

Read previous Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular Updates

What Is The Vision?

Most people struggle with managing their money well.   When asked about the cause of their financial struggles, many reasons are presented, but most of them are inaccurate or misguided.   Too little income, high expenses, non-participating spouse, high debt load, health issues, and bad luck are often presented to me as the reason for financial misery.

All of these reasons are SYMPTOMS of a poor financial situation, but they are not the CAUSE.

I truly believe that the number one cause of financial failure is LACK OF VISION.

Proverbs 29:18 KJV says, “Without vision, the people perish.”   Observe great leaders and you will realize that they have tremendous vision.   Speak with individuals who have won with their own money, and you will realize that they also have a clearly defined vision for their life and finances.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Write down your vision for your life and family.

Do it right now!   Here are some good starter statements:

  • In 20 years, we want to have given away $XX,XXX to the following organizations.
  • In 20 years, we want to have traveled to …
  • In our lifetime, we want to be able to …

I would be honored if you would share some of your vision statements with me!   Send them to me HERE.

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You Can Do This TODAY!

As I was walking through a parking lot on a recent trip, my attention was drawn to a gentleman who was walking nearby.   He might have been a millionaire, but if so he certainly hid it well.   I saw outward signs of poverty.   Unclean.   His countenance was cast down.   No spark in his step and no sparkle in his eye.

For whatever reason, I felt a prompting to give him some money.   He had not approached me.   He did not ask for it, but I walked over to the man and said, “Let me bless you today”, handed him the money, and turned away.

His surprise was obvious.

I have no idea what he did with the money, but I believe he probably needed that money way more than me.

LIFE LESSON:   Living generously is the only way to live.

ACTION FOR TODAY: Find someone that you can bless with a gift of money, service, or time – and do it TODAY!

Have you ever been able to bless someone like this?   Share your story with us in the comments!

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FREE Savings Webinar

I am FIRED UP about our new website!   As part of our celebration, we have made the decision to GIVE AWAY our “How To Save $1,000 RIGHT NOW!” webinar.   Why would we do this?   Because it is our passion to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money!

This webinar is fast-paced and filled with over 18 ways that you can start saving money in your current budget today!

We recently received the following comment from Shirley:

“Joe, I have been taking your course at my church for 5 wks now and just listened to your save $1000 now webinar. I am a dog groomer and needed to order supplies, so, I looked up retailmenot and got a %10 off code for my supplies. My bill went from $278.09 to $250.28. I am thrilled to have your help and suggestions. BTW, I have saved up over $500 so far in 5 weeks!

God Bless and keep up the great work!”

Thanks, Shirley, that is what this crusade is all about!

I challenge you to watch the FREE “How To Save $1,000 RIGHT NOW!” webinar.

Just click HERE to start saving!

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SERIES: Joe Sangl’s Favorite Financial Tools – Early Pay-Off Calculator

Welcome to the latest series at – Joe Sangl’s Favorite Financial Tools

In this series, I will be sharing the tools that I love the most.   There are several reasons I love these tools, but mostly I like them because they literally helped me change my life!

Part TwoEarly Pay-Off Calculator

The early pay-off calculator is a HOPE-GENERATOR!   Do you want to get FIRED UP?   Do you want to see the answer to the question, “What if?”   Use the Early Pay-Off Calculator to answer the question!

I have found that the Early Pay-Off Calculator is most impactful when used to calculate how much more quickly a home mortgage would be paid off if one were to begin paying extra principal each month.

As example, consider a $150,000 home mortgage financed for 30 years at 5% annual interest.   The principal and interest payment would be $805/month.

  • Pay just $905/month ($100 extra), the early pay-off calculator shows that the mortgage would be eliminated in 23.5 years (6.5 years sooner)
  • Pay $1,000/month ($195 extra), the mortgage pay-off would occur in 19.7 years
  • What if one were able to make two payments per month ($1,610/month)?   Pay-off would occur in 9.8 years!

Don’t think it is possible to make two payments per month?   Think again!   Most people could make two, three, or even four payments per month if they eliminated all of their other debts!   I challenge you to pull up the Early Pay-Off Calculator, punch in your numbers and discover why this tool will be one of your favorites too!

TOOL:   Early Pay-Off Calculator

RESOURCE: My book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not., is a great resource to help you attack debt and make it leave your life!

Read the entire series (available after 6/17/2011)

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Chopped Up Credit Cards

I received a great Twitter message the other day with the following statement and picture:

“2 credit cards cut up and outta here! One with zero balance! One more to go and I’m done with these things @joesangl


Listen – if you plan your spending and pay your cards off every month, get all the points you want.   But I had to chop mine up.   Apparently, this was the right decision for Desiree Dare too!

Can I ask you to do ONE THING?

  1. Go to Desiree’s Twitter page and leave her an encouraging note (HERE)

It is our team’s goal to help EVERYONE take their next steps toward their financial goals – and to accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their money!

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Countdown to 200,000 miles – 6,272 to go! Jerk Edition

I’ve started the countdown for my clunker (AKA The Green Hornet) to reach 200,000 miles traveled.   You can see a picture of this beautiful piece of work HERE.


In this series, I will be sharing some of my favorite features of The Green Hornet as well some favorite moments.


The JERK! Moment

I purchased this vehicle from one of my brothers, and he had purchased The Green Hornet (TGH) brand new.   In the year 2000, I had traveled all the way to Canada for a fishing trip in this vehicle and really liked how it performed.   I told him that if he ever wanted to sell it that I wanted him to call me first.   In 2001, he was ready to sell, and I was ready to buy (I bought with debt – remember I was making BROKE-type decisions back then).

About a year after purchasing TGH, I was traveling north for our 2002 Canada fishing trip.   When I arrived outside of Asheville, NC, I met the familiar bottleneck of traffic where I-40 and I-26 intersect.   As TGH moved slowly through the stop-and-go traffic, the automatic transmission would SLAM! into 2nd gear from 1st gear.   I’m not talking about shifting “kind-of” rough, I mean it literally lurched the vehicle forward.   It was the JERK! moment.   It is a familiar situation for many.   I owed a lot on the vehicle, had zero savings, and had a lot of miles to go.   I nervously continued on the trip and left it behind at a car repair place in Indiana while I went ahead with the fishing trip.

The end result of this stressful moment?   The auto repair mechanic told me to drive it until it totally broke.   I did, and would you believe that the truck went another SEVEN YEARS before the transmission finally gave out – shifting hard all of the way to the end?

Yet another special moment I have shared with TGH.   On to 200,000 miles!

QUESTION: Are you driving a green hornet?  I would love to see pictures and hear your story!  Send to me at

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