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Archive for July, 2008

Don't Do This

July 31st, 2008 at 06:59 am

I wonder how many people are currently at risk of having an article like THIS ONE written about them?

This is why I am in favor of "cash envelopes" and not "cash socks".

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My Desktop Picture

July 29th, 2008 at 06:16 am

Tony has placed a picture of his desktop picture on his website with the question, "Does your desktop picture say anything about you?"

So I am posting my desktop picture to see if it says anything about me.


What do you think? Does my desktop picture say anything about me?

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Air Conditioner

July 28th, 2008 at 11:54 am

I have written before about the fact that I have a thirty-year-old house that has thirty-year-old house problems. One of the problems is that the downstairs AC is the original AC for the house.

Problem 1 - January 2008
It was making a "banging" sound.

Diagnosis: Low on refrigerant - $75.

Problem 2 - May 2008
It was not cooling at all, and it was making a loud electrical "HUMMMMMMMM" sound.

Diagnosis: Condenser unit fan was not operating - $200+

Problem 3 - June 2008
It stopped cooling again. It was a day before vacation so I decided to have it looked at when I got back home two weeks later.

Diagnosis: Electrical wiring insulation had worn through and was shorting out the fan - $105

So we are back to enjoying the nice cool air conditioning in the dead-middle of a South Carolina summer.

I wonder when I will have to replace this unit? Part of me wants to bury my head in the sand and hope that it runs another thirty years. The realistic side of me says I should go ahead and start pricing out units. Initial looks have shown a cost of $5K - $7K. Just what I want to spend my money on … an air conditioner.

Why do I bring all of this up? Because it is so important to look ahead when preparing a financial plan. Jenn and I could pretend that this issue does not exist and then have a financial "emergency" when this AC really does fail permanently. In the past (when we were always broke), we would ignore this issue and then be surprised when it failed. Now, we recognize it as a known, upcoming expense, and we plan for it.

I do hope that it lasts another thirty years, though.

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Received: Another Shipment Of Books

July 21st, 2008 at 10:11 am


Last month, I wrote that I ordered more copies of I Was Broke. Now I'm Not.

I have now received that order of books.

I have to say I was stunned. STUNNED.

Why?

Let me go back to January 2006 …

It had been about two years since Jenn and I had become debt-free, and it was becoming very clear that we needed to go teach this personal finance stuff full-time. I really felt compelled to write a book that shared our journey out of debt and into financial freedom.

That last line I just wrote is FUNNY. I mean laugh-out-loud HA-HA FUNNY. I had never written a book. How does one write a book? What about copyrighting? What about barcoding, LCCN, and all of that stuff? What about the editing? Not to mention the formatting, editing, and PUBLISHING! I was totally intimidated.

I remember that Jenn and I made the trip down to NewSpring to visit Perry, Ken, and friends for New Years weekend. Perry and Ken had starting doing this new thing called blogging. I quickly realized that this was a way for me to start getting my thoughts written down on paper. At that time, I did not care if anyone read this blog. It was simply a tool for me to get my thoughts down on paper to possibly use in a book some day.

Fast forward two years later to January 2008. I took a HUGE leap of faith and self-published the book - I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. Let me break down what "self-published book" means. It means that I paid cash to a book printer to print this book. In other words, a publisher did not lay out the cash for me. Jenn and I had to lay out the cash. Lots of it.

We took a chance. We took a step of faith.

Fast forward to today and why I am so STUNNED. This week I received the same amount of books that I ordered in January. When I stacked the new delivery of books next to the first shipment, it DWARFED the first set. Why? BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE BELIEVED IN THIS CRUSADE! I am blown away, humbled, and very honored that so many people have invested in this crusade by purchasing a book. I am blown away and humbled by the kind words that have been shared by people whose lives have been impacted by what they have learned and applied through the book.

For all who have invested in this crusade, thank you. I am overwhelmed that I get to do this stuff for a living.

Marching To Debt Freedom - Couple #3 - Month 07

July 17th, 2008 at 02:14 pm

Introduction
This couple has been married for many years and have one child. They have HAD IT with their debt and have been marching toward debt freedom since November 2007. They are THROUGH with credit cards.

What went well this month?
The 401(k) loan payment won't be taken out of the paycheck until July 1, so we were able to increase our payment to $200 on National City this month! YEAH!! We are hoping once the loan payment comes out we can continue doing this……. It is nice to see some balances coming down…..

What were the challenges/struggles this month?
We are just trying to stay on track and see the big picture at the end…BECOMING DEBT FREE!!! The cost of gas and groceries going up is impacting our budget some…but we are shifting things around so that INCOME - OUTGO = EXACTLY ZERO……we couldn't live without the budget sheet!!! It helps us out TREMENDOUSLY!!!!!

Updated Debt Freedom Date …


Month By Month Progress …


Have you taught any of your friends/family this stuff? If you have, how did it go?

My husband has shared this with several co-workers who were excited about it….he gave them the website so that they could learn more about it.

Sangl Says …
Couple #3 is in position to make dramatic debt reduction. Will it happen? Let us watch and see!

Readers …
If you have debt, what steps do you need to take to position yourself to make dramatic improvements to your debt situation? What will it take to make you take those steps?

Marching To Debt Freedom - Couple #1 - Month 10

July 16th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Introduction
Couple #1 is THROUGH with debt! They have been married for many years and have two children. They are now NINE months into their Debt Freedom March.

What went well this month?
Staying on schedule. I am glad we started this months ago. I would hate to be carrying that extra debt through these tough times.

What were the challenges/struggles this month?
Expenses are taking all the disposable income right now. Food and gas are unbelievable. We are determined not to create new debt. We are being very creative about saying no.

Updated Debt Freedom Date


Month By Month Progress


What has helped you stay on this Debt Freedom March?
The day that I can say I owe no money to anyone will be a benchmark in my life!

Sangl Says …
Next month, Couple #1 will clear $20,000 of debt paid off in the first 11 months of their Debt Freedom March! That is AWESOME! Also, it appears that the American Express card will be ditched completely! This stuff works!

Readers …
How is your own Debt Freedom March progressing?

In my book, I Was Broke. Now I'm Not., I share the story of my Debt Freedom March and teach the exact tools that Jenn and I used to become debt-free. You can do it too! You can read the book's introduction HERE.

4,000 Miles, Big Fish, and Mount Rushmore

July 8th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Recently, my family loaded up the car and embarked on the longest vacation we have ever taken - for two weeks.

We journeyed through the following states: South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota.

The first key stop was a week at a fishing cabin in northern Minnesota. I won all of the big fish contests (pictures below to prove it).

Northern Pike


Walleye (my biggest walleye ever)


Bass


After the week in northern Minnesota, the family traveled to a couple of family reunions in Iowa and then we traveled over to the western edge of South Dakota with the ultimate goal of visiting the Badlands, Custer State Park, and Mount Rushmore. The vacation's top moment was the Independence Day Fireworks at Mount Rushmore. Everyone needs to experience them at least once.







What a great vacation! Lifetime memories were made. Lots of time was spent with family. We all got to rest.

Best of all - it was paid for in cash before we ever left. There is NOTHING like a vacation that does not have debt following it home. You can learn how to save for Known, Upcoming Expenses like vacation and Christmas HERE.

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Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular - July 2008

July 7th, 2008 at 04:20 pm

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: WAS 743 IS 748

Squares Remaining: WAS 1683 IS 1678

% of House Owned By The Sangl's: WAS 30.6% IS 30.8%

% of House Owned By Wells Fargo: WAS 69.4% IS 69.2%

Here is the updated "Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular" (Click on the picture to view the larger version)


You can read about how Jenn and I stopped being broke, and won with money in my book, I Was Broke. Now I'm Not.