Archive for December 2007

Setting 2008 Financial Goals – Part 3

Welcome to the latest series – Setting 2008 Financial Goals!

Setting goals is a HUGE part of achieving your lifelong hopes and dreams.

Here are the steps shared previously.


It is SO EASY to get caught up in the mumbo-jumbo everyday stuff and relax on achieving goals.  By writing down your goals, it will help ensure that you do not forget what is most important to you! 


There is nothing like setting a deadline to help motivate you to complete each goal! 


You are doing great!  You have written down your goals and established a target completion date for each one.  Now comes the really hard part … accomplishing the goals!

I have found that there is nothing so effective as personal accountability to ensure that a goal is accomplished.  Who is in your life that you really trust and wants to see you achieve your goals?  If you are married, your spouse should certainly hold you accountable!  If you are not married, who could you ask to hold you accountable?  Married or not, it is very effective to ask those you love and trust the most to hold you accountable.

I have a friend, Mike, who holds me accountable to a financial goal.  About once a quarter, he contacts me to see how I am progressing toward the goal.  I would hate it if he called and I have made no progress!  It helps me stay focused!

You may have different people hold you accountable for different goals.  I have a person who holds me accountable for my stock investment goals.  I have another person who holds me accountable for my real estate goals.  Yet another holds me accountable for the Sangl Family Home Pay-Off Spectacular!

Why don't you take some time right now to determine WHO will hold you accountable for each of your written goals?

Read recent posts by Joe 

SUBSCRIBE to receive posts FREE automatically in your E-MAIL

Setting 2008 Financial Goals – Part 2

Welcome to the latest series – Setting 2008 Financial Goals!

Yesterday, I shared step one.


Written plans allow you to FOCUS on your goals.  Did you take the time yesterday to draft your 2008 Financial Goals?  I know I did!  Next year is going to be quite a year for me!  My book, "I Was Broke.  Now I'm Not!", will be released in late January.  I can't wait!

After you have written down your goals, it is time for step two.


"Fail to plan.  Plan to fail."  A plan is not complete without assigning a completion date next to it.  This date will help hold you accountable to yourself!

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you look over the goals you have written down and assign expected completion dates.

  • If you are married, are you and your spouse on the same page with these financial goals?  If you are not on the same page, this will be VERY difficult!
  • Do any goals rely on another to be completed first?  (For example, if you are paying off two credit cards – does one need to be paid off before the other?)
  • Are the goals mildly realistic?  Ridiculous goals tend to de-motivate and demoralize.  Make sure the goal has a good fighting chance of being accomplished!  On the other end of the scale, don't be too easy.  Be sure to stretch yourself some!
  • Are any goals higher in priority than others?  If so, be sure that they are identified as such!

There have been times that I have placed my goals in a drawer.  This is NOT good!  Here are some tips for ensuring your goals are kept in front of you through the year.

  • Place a "Task" in your e-mail task list or Blackberry that will give you an alarm on the date that the goal is expected to be completed.
  • Place another "Task" in your automated list that will ask the question – "Review your 2008 Financial Goals"  This is REALLY EFFECTIVE if you actually include your 2008 Financial Goals in the "Task".  That way, the excuse of "I don't have my goal list with me" is totally removed!
  • Place the goal list in front of you at work or on the refrigerator.  Place it somewhere that is very visual and will be seen often!
  • Tell others about your goals!  That is great accountability!
  • Start a blog and share your goals with the world!  People like Jonathan at My Money Blog and the lazy man at Lazy Man and Money are sharing their personal financial picture with the world!  It makes me wildly uncomfortable to see their net worth, but I can't stop reading their blog!

Time for me to go assign dates to my 2008 Financial Goals!

Read recent posts 

Subscribe to receive posts FREE in your E-MAIL!

Setting 2008 Financial Goals – Part 1

Welcome to the latest series – Setting 2008 Financial Goals!


I once read this Chinese Proverb – "The faintest ink is sharper and longer lasting that the brightest mind."  That is so true!  When I write down something, I am much more likely to recall it!

Here are some items/questions that can help stimulate your goal writing.

  • Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps: His step-by-step method for winning with money was how I personally became debt-free.
  • If you use Microsoft Money or Quicken, print out an Income & Spending Report for the past year.  What needs changed?  What should be continued?  What should be done even more?
  • Is there something in your finances that is REALLY bothering you?  Many people have one thing that really bothers them.  What is necessary to make it stop bothering you?

Write down your financial goals for 2008.  Why not do it right now?  In ten minutes or less, you can have your goals written down on paper!

Time for me to stop writing – I'm going to write down my 2008 financial goals! 

Read recent posts at

SUBSCRIBE to receive FREE posts in E-MAIL!

My VISA debit card number was stolen …

Last weekend, my lovely bride was Christmas shopping on-line.  On Monday, I went to my bank's on-line site to make an on-line bill payment (I LOVE on-line bill payments!)

Here are some of the charges that I saw … 

Now, I knew that she had been shopping on-line, but I didn't know that it was for a new spouse!!!  Some of the fraudulent charges were from and Yahoo! Personals!

I called my bank, and they were fantastic!  The person who used the card apparently used it as a credit card – they did not know my pin code.  They immediately put a hold on the VISA check card and sent a new one to me.  They have already reversed the charges and credited them back to my account. 

So, I am now officially a fraud victim.

It makes me wonder how many readers have been a victim or know someone who has been a victim of this type of theft! 

Read recent posts by Joe 

SUBSCRIBE to receive posts FREE via E-MAIL!

Marching To Debt Freedom – Couple #1 – Month 03


Couple #1 has HAD IT with debt!  They have been married for many years and have two children.

It has now been three full months since they embarked on their Debt Freedom March!  That means that the hardest months are behind them!

On to the update for this month!

What went well this month …

I can see improvement not just in the numbers but in the actions of me and my family. The kids are starting not to hound me for things that cost so much.

Challenges and struggles for this month …

Christmas is LOOMING and I have not planned ahead.  I think what I have decided to do is to pay cash for Christmas and to pay the minimums on the debt just for this month and resume the march in Jan. This will be the last year of a Christmas not planned ahead.

Updated Debt Freedom Date …


 Month By Month Progress …

Sangl says …

I am FIRED UP by the progress that Couple 1 has made!  In just three short months, they have made two debts leave and paid off over $3,000 in debt!

Even more important, the family is getting on board!  The children are realizing how huge of a lifestyle change this is and are jumping on board!  There is NOTHING like a united family attacking debt.

I am thrilled to see that Couple 1 is going to start saving for Christmas 2008 in January!  It is SO MUCH EASIER to save for known, upcoming expenses over the course of months instead of absorbing the entire budget-crushing expense in a single month.

While they are going to pay less on debt, I am PUMPED to see that they are avoiding Christmas debt by paying cash!  This is so important!  As you attack debt, you will encounter expenses that threaten your ability to avoid debt.  You have to make the decision that NOTHING is important enough to go get debt.  Way to go!

Readers …

You can save for Christmas (and property taxes, annual insurance premiums, and other known, upcoming expenses) in advance as well with your own monthly escrow account.  THIS ARTICLE shows you exactly how to do it!

It is encouragement time for Couple 1.  Would you take a moment to share your thoughts with Couple 1?

You can receive each article FREE via E-MAIL by clicking HERE!