Biblical Financial Lessons – Proverbs 22:7

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

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Proverbs 22:7  The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

This verse is merely an observation of reality.

When you have margin, you are positioned to fund dreams, build businesses, and have influence over others. Wealth positions you to have conversations with people that focus on “What if?” instead of “That’s impossible.” Have you noticed that people with money are the ones who are building houses, businesses, and funding huge projects?

The borrower is truly a servant to the lender. Anyone who has ran into trouble paying their bills clearly understands this part of the verse. They know EXACTLY what it means to be a servant to their lender. The lender is super nice when the money is provided to the borrower, but the sharpness of the lender’s teeth are felt the very instant that the borrower fails to fulfill their obligations.

You must perform exactly to the terms set forth in the loan agreement, or else you will have serious issues such as law suits, judgments, and harassing phone calls or even person visits from the lender.

YOU have a choice – to be rich or to be poor – and it all starts with a mindset.  A mindset of “I am not going to live a broke-to-broke life.” and “I am going to apply biblical wisdom to free myself from the bondage of debt and poverty.”

THE DAY that I decided to stop being broke was THE DAY that my family started winning with money. It happened on December 2, 2002. Of course, it was a process to move toward financial freedom, but it started with a declaration that we were no longer going to live a lifestyle beyond our income.

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Savings Tip – Open Up The Pantry

If you are looking to gain substantial margin in your budget, try this tip: Open up the pantry!

Seriously, you probably have a month’s worth of canned and dry goods in there.  Yes, you will have to purchase the perishables like milk, bread, and veggies, but you could probably get by on 30% or less of your typical monthly grocery spending this month!

Here are some tips to maximize the use of your pantry inventory:

  1. Pull everything out and place on the dining room table
  2. Put meals together based on this total overview of your inventory
  3. Write down the meals on paper so you don’t forget the ideas you have

I love these types of meals!  Is there anything better than chicken chow mein?  Or spaghetti? Or sardines and saltines? Or made-from-scratch biscuits and gravy?

For many families, doing this for just one month will save $200 or more!

QUESTION:  Have you ever done anything like this? If so, what was the strangest meal you ever put together with the items you “discovered” in your pantry?

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A Choice

I meet so many people who are believing something that is completely false and untrue.

They believe that their financial situation determines their dreams.

They will dispute this, of course, but their ACTIONS (which speak way louder than words) indicate otherwise.  I tend to look past the rhetoric to see a real indication of belief.

I’ve found that I have been susceptible to this as well!  We are so good at self-deception.

For example, here are some situations I have seen a person say that they:

  • Really want to be debt-free, but they continue to spend money without a budget!
  • Really want to be debt-free, yet they pull the plastic out to charge items not in the budget!
  • Want to improve their marriage, but they refuse to work with their spouse to plan their finances.
  • Believe they can take a dream trip, but no money is saved for the trip.
  • Want to start a business, but have never started the first step toward it because the challenge is so intimidating and daunting.

I’ve determined that I am going to pursue every dream given me.  I will surely fail at some of them, but the successes are so very worth it!

You have a choice – TODAY – to write down your dreams or to never write them down.

You have a choice – TODAY – to write down dreams regardless of the cost or to write down only the dreams you know you can afford.

You have a choice – TODAY – which will you choose?

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular – February 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:  1070  1090

Squares Remaining:  1356  1336

% of House Owned By The Sangl’s:  44.1% 44.9%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo:  55.9% 55.1%

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

Another HUGE CHUNK has been paid off!  It is so exciting to see the mortgage balance declining at such a rapid pace, and we are so blessed to be able to do this!  It has now been 10 months since we cranked up our focus on the mortgage.  In that time, we have been able to pay for 8.6% of the house – that is almost 1% per month.

Jenn and I don’t take this blessing for granted. We know that we have been blessed beyond anything we could ever ask or imagine!

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

Monthly Budget Reminder – February 2012

It is the last day of the month and you know what that means …

It is time to prepare your budget for FEBRUARY!

Here are some great things to consider for this month:

  • If you are expecting to receive a tax refund, be sure to use the Mini-Budget to plan that money also!
  • Be sure to review your Known, Upcoming Non-Monthly Expenses to ensure you are not going to be caught off-guard by a surprise expense (like vacation, property taxes, or a car repair)
  • Review January’s budget to see if you accomplished everything you planned

Get fired up!

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Biblical Financial Lessons – Proverbs 13:22

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

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Proverbs 13:22  A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

There are two distinct parts to this verse.  Let’s focus on each part separately.

“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children”

This is a very challenging statement.  It forces us to understand that we are not just supposed to look at the “here & now”, but also to the future.  Here are some key learnings I take from this:

  • It’s not all about me
  • I’m supposed to bless my children and my grandchildren
  • The way I live my life will affect my descendents
  • Blessings are generational

“but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous”

What an interesting statement to follow the first portion of the verse with!  This part is making an observation that God will bless the righteous and that those who ignore Him and His commands will have their wealth transferred to those who will pursue Him.

Question: If you keep managing money the way you are currently managing it, will you leave an inheritance for your children’s children?

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Maximize Your 401(k) – Get The Full Match

If you have a retirement plan available to you at your workplace:

  • 401(k)
  • 403(b)
  • RRSP
  • TFSA
  • SIMPLE IRA
  • 457
  • TSP

AND your company provides matching funds – such as a “dollar-for-dollar up to 3-percent of pay” or “50 cents on the dollar up to 6-percent of pay” then

I BEG YOU TO DO THIS ONE THING …

Check with your employer to ensure you obtaining the absolute maximum amount of the company match.

It is FREE MONEY, and it is part of your compensation.

Go to Human Resources and ensure you are contributing enough to at least obtain the full company match!

QUESTION:  Would you share with me about your company match and whether you are receiving the full company match?

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Biblical Financial Lessons – Proverbs 13:11

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

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Proverbs 13:11  Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

The part of this verse that speaks strongest to me is “he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”  For some reason when I was broke, I felt like the only way to win with money and gain margin was to save money in HUGE CHUNKS.  Since that was impossible, it almost felt pointless to even get started.

BUT when I started saving money a little at a time, I STOPPED being broke and have been able to live to financial margin.

Questions:

  1. Do you BELIEVE that you can save money little by little?
  2. How much are you saving from each paycheck?
  3. How much (or how much more) could you start saving from each paycheck?

What is ONE THING you could do today that would make a difference tomorrow?

Read the series

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Friday Savings Tip – Use Promo Codes

This is part of a regular series of Savings Tips shared at JosephSangl.com.

Anyone who shops on-line knows that most retailers offer promo codes.  The key is finding them!

Of course, you could use Google to search for them, but that can land you in the endless circle of coupon and promo code sites that provide zero assistance.

The best promo code site I have ever found is RetailMeNot.com

Over the past three years, I estimate that RetailMeNot.com has saved me over $2,000 in hotel, printing, and merchandise purchases.  If you shop on-line, I highly recommend using this great site to SAVE MONEY – one of my favorite things to do!

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Disclosure.

Great Personal Finance Website – MyMoneyBlog.com

I am going to be sharing my favorite personal finance websites through this new monthly series here at the wildly popular JosephSangl.com.

January’s Featured Website – MyMoneyBlog.com

Here are the reasons I love his site:

  • He is smart.  Crazy smart!
  • He has focused on personal finances for YEARS and his content has never “dulled out”
  • Relevant content to those interested in maximizing their money
  • He has established clear and concise goals for his Emergency Fund, Home Pay-Off, and Investments (and he is achieving them …)

This is one of the few blogs on my daily reader.  It would benefit you to do the same!

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Featured Tool Of The Month: Mini-Budget

It is so important to PLAN the spending of each and every dollar earned.  Planning is THE REASON why my family started winning with money.

TOOL OF THE MONTH: MINI-BUDGET

The Mini-Budget was created for two specific uses:

  1. Planning the use of non-normal or unusual found money – such as tax refunds, bonuses, inheritance money, or money received by selling something
  2. Planning a major expenditure – such as a kitchen refurbishment project, daughter’s wedding, or finishing the basement

This budget tool is unique because it has THREE different budget forms.  This is because I have found that it is essential to think through the alternative ways to spend the money.  The first way that comes to mind is usually the most immediate or urgent use, BUT it is not always the best or most impactful use.

Let’s look at an example.  Suppose you were receiving a $2,500 tax refund. Your first thought was to put all of the money toward an existing credit card balance.

This, of course, is a decent way to spend the money.  But is just one way.  There are several ways this money could be utilized, and that is why there are THREE budgets placed next to each other in this tool.

What if this money were being planned by a person who had ZERO SAVINGS?  Another way to spend the money would be to put all of the money toward their Emergency Fund.

Another way would be to place some money in savings, some in FUN, and some toward the credit card balance.

Which way is the best way?  I don’t know which would be right for this person, but I am confident that the first scenario would not be the best!  The challenge of spending the money three different ways on paper before it is spent for real can really help you maximize your money.

QUESTION: How are YOU going to use this tool?

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Biblical Financial Lessons – Proverbs 21:5

Welcome to a new series that will be appearing on a weekly basis here at JosephSangl.com – “Biblical Financial Lessons”.

I believe that the Bible is the best money book ever written, and I really want to take some time each week to share the money lessons I have learned from the Word.

Proverbs 21:5  The plans of the diligent lead to profit, as surely as haste leads to poverty.

This verse is the guiding principle of every financial decision I make.

There are two potential outcomes that exist in this verse:

  • Profit
  • Poverty

I may not know anything about you, but I do know this – you would choose profit over poverty every single time.  We all want our lives to be profitable.  This verse provides the map for a profitable life.

Look at the verse again. It shares two key principles that will help each of us have profit.

It states that “the PLANS of the DILIGENT” leads to profit.  We must have a plan.

Let me ask you a question – “Do YOU have a plan?  For your life?  For your marriage?  For your MONEY?

Having a plan is not enough, however.  We must be diligent in following the plan!  Diligence means that we are steadfast, consistent, persistent, disciplined, focused, and willing to persevere in spite of difficult circumstances.

Let’s break this down into practical terms and circumstances.  Planning with diligence means that we …

  • Have a budget and actually follow it
  • Have a life plan and pursue it daily
  • Life purposefully instead of lazily
  • Refuse to listen to the critics and continue to relentless pursue our dream

Questions:

  1. Do you have a long-term financial plan?
  2. Do you have a monthly budget?
  3. Do you follow your monthly budget?
  4. Is your life leading to profit or poverty?

What is ONE THING you could do today that would make a difference tomorrow?

Read the series

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U.S. National Debt Update

The US National Debt has increased by $505,581,392,352 since our last update in September 2011.  Another quarter and we have dropped another $500 billion in the hole.

National Debt as of 1/13/2012

$15,227,955,687,201

Our nation’s leaders will soon be entering into the same conversation that they had just a few short months ago – because we are about to hit the debt limit AGAIN!

As was known by EVERYONE at the time we increased the debt limit, issuing the equivalent of another credit card to pay the bills of another credit card did not work.

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

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Improving 0% Interest Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers

As regular readers of JosephSangl.com know, I am passionate about connecting people to ways to lower the interest rate on existing credit card debt.  This is why I was so excited to see that credit card providers have begun offering 0% Interest Balance Transfer offers with no transfer fees!

We have updated the on-line offers that we have found HERE (http://www.josephsangl.com/2011/07/19/0-percent-balance-transfer-credit-card/).

If you have existing credit card debt that you are paying a ton of interest on, this is a great way to reduce that interest to ZERO!

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Win With Your Money In 2012 – 5

Welcome to the latest series here at JosephSangl.com – “Win With your Money In 2012″

It is our passion to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances.

If you apply what is taught during this series, you WILL be able to win with your money in 2012.  Happy New Year!

Part 5 Make Your Goals AUTOMATIC

Despite our best efforts, we can fail to achieve the goals that we have established.  One key way that we can ensure that our financial goal is achieved is to make each one AUTOMATIC.

  • Want to give away $4,000 this year to your church?  Set up on-line giving to make it automatic!  $333.33 each month will ensure the goal is achieved.
  • Saving $2,000 for your emergency fund in 2012?  Establish an automated transfer of $166.66 each month from your regular bank account into a savings account and the goal will be accomplished in December!
  • Want to max out your Roth IRA this year?  Set up an automated transfer of $416.66 each month into your Roth IRA and you will achieve $5,000 by year’s end (or save $500/month if you are over age 50 and are catching up with $6,000/year)!
  • Want to pay cash for a $1,500 vacation in July?  Set up an automated savings account to save $250/month and you will be able to do so!

Trust me – it is usually NOT EASY to force yourself to set up these giving, saving, and investing goals to be automatic because:

  1. We KNOW that once it is set up to happen automatically – it IS going to happen, and
  2. We KNOW that it is going to make the monthly budget tighter

But it is so worth it!  Yes, it will be tough for the first few months, but I have found that our family adjusts within a couple of months.  After that, we don’t even notice anymore until …

  • vacation time rolls around and the money is there to pay cash!
  • you receive your giving statement and find out just how much you were able to give away!
  • you recognize that you are actually moving toward your retirement savings goals!

THAT is when you will say, “I’m truly winning with my money in 2012!”  GET FIRED UP!

Read Entire Series (Available after 1/9/2012)

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