<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: October, 2008
 

Archive for October, 2008

NEXT STEPS - A New Part Of The Crusade - Part 3

October 30th, 2008 at 10:07 am

I am PUMPED about Next Steps, the newest division of IWBNIN. In this series, I will be sharing different components of this division which is solely focused on providing practical next steps toward financial freedom.

Free Tools
The Free Tools are organized into logical subgroups (sorry, some of my engineering nerdiness there Smile )

Here are some of the sections in the Free Tools section.
* Budgeting Tools Monthly; Weekly; Bi-Weekly; Bi-Monthly; Specific Project or Event - Every budget tool you may need can be found on this page.
* Debt Reduction Tools Calculate your Debt Freedom Date and Actual Cost of Debt here. You can also use the Early Pay-Off Calculator to find out how much sooner a larger payment will make a debt leave!
* Calculators Chances are really good that the financial calculator you need is located on this page.
* Saving Tools Find out how much your monthly savings can equal in a few years on this page.
* Pay-Off Spectaculars These are some of the most popular tools, and this page takes the spectaculars to an entirely new level. There are now thumbnail pictures of each spectacular for you!
* Saving Spectaculars As with the Pay-Off Spectaculars, the Savings Spectaculars have been reorganized for ease of use.

I am PUMPED about Next Steps and the opportunity to help you take practical next steps toward financial freedom!

Read more of the series on Next Steps HERE

NEXT STEPS - A New Part Of The Crusade - Part 2

October 29th, 2008 at 05:43 am

On October 3, 2008, I announced the formation of a new division of IWBNIN called Next Steps.

For the next several days, I will be sharing some specifics about this new division.

Vision
It is my passion to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances so that they can be freed up to go do EXACTLY what they have been put on earth to do.

As I speak and teach about personal finances, I receive many questions like "Who do you recommend?" and "Where would you go?" Next Steps was created to answer these questions and provide practical next steps for those seeking to take their finances to a new level.

Prepare A Plan
The "Prepare A Plan" link was created to share the key items that I believe are fundamental for a sound financial plan. These items include:
* Planned Spending It is so important to have a written plan! This link leads to a page chock full of budgeting tools.
* Freedom From Debt Want a huge pay raise? Eliminate the debt payments, and it will free up a ton of money! This link leads to the debt freedom date calculator, actual cost of debt calculator, and an early pay-off calculator.
* Saving & Investing I love saving and investing! This is what will allow me to accomplish my plans, hopes, and dreams. This page leads to links for high-interest paying on-line savings and checking accounts, mutual fund investment companies, and 529 college savings plan links.
* Insurance Insurance can be frustrating. This page was created to make it easy to obtain multiple quotes with just a few minutes of effort! The average annual savings on auto and home insurance for folks who have not obtained a new quote in the last two years is nearly $600. That will spend just like money!
* Leaving A Legacy According to Bankrate.com, 57% of Americans do not have a written will. This means that the government will be left in charge of determining who gets what! This page was prepared to help you get a written will at a very reasonable cost.

Read more of the series on Next Steps HERE

NEXT STEPS - A New Part Of The Crusade - Part 1

October 28th, 2008 at 10:54 am

Before this moment, there were four key ways this crusade was carried out:

* Speaking (Churches, Businesses, and Civic Organizations - Upcoming Events HERE)
* Teaching (Financial Learning Experience, Financial Freedom Experience)
* One-On-One Financial Counseling (Financial Counseling Experience)
* Resources (I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. and its Group Study)

Today, I am PUMPED to introduce a fifth way that this crusade is carried out: NEXT STEPS

Let me tell you how this newest part of the crusade came about.

First I will start by reiterating my passion. It is my passion to see others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances. The reason I am so passionate about this is because I believe that when people are financially free, they are much more likely to go do EXACTLY what they have been put on this earth to do.

As I partner with churches and businesses throughout the nation to help teach PRACTICAL personal finance tools, my passion and this vision drives me to constantly ask the question, "What is a PRACTICAL next step that we can offer folks?"

Let me be more specific.

* "After this message series on money, what is the PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"
* "After Joe speaks at our business, what is a PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"
* "After the Financial Learning Experience or Financial Freedom Experience, what is a PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"
* "After someone reads I Was Broke. Now I'm Not., what is a PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"
* "After someone participates in the I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. Group Study, what is a PRACTICAL next step we can offer to help people take their finances to the next level?"

Next Steps is a website created to answer these questions. Over the next several weeks, there will be several series written about the practical tools and solutions that we have placed on the site. I encourage you to check it out HERE, and see if there are ways that can help you achieve YOUR next steps!

SERIES: Lost Purse Part 5

October 27th, 2008 at 06:44 am

This is a series about a certain purse owned by the Sangl Family. Unlike every other series I have written, I am NOT excited to be writing this one.

Part 5 - A Final Word
Losing a purse is terrible, but it happens. It has caused me to give serious thought to the actions one should take when personal items go missing. I have made a list of the actions I took and some I was preparing to take once we knew the purse was lost.

* Stopped all debit cards (should stop credit cards too if you have them)
* Placed stop-payment on all checks in the checkbooks
* File a police report to let them know you have misplaced an item. I am told by the bank that many recovered items end up being taken to a police station.
* Cut off the cell phone number from the phone
* Place an alert on your credit report. You can do so by contacting one of the three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian) and placing a "fraud alert" on your account. This will require the credit reporting agencies to actually make contact with you before a new line of credit can be opened. The person at the bank recommended Experian because they are open for twenty-four hours. You can click HERE to access Experian's Fraud Alert page.
* Contact the Social Security Administration if your SSN has been compromised. You can click HERE to visit the SSA's Fraud page.

I hope this sort of event never happens to you! If it does, I hope it turns out as well as this situation has for us.

Read recent posts

Read the entire "Lost Purse" series

SERIES: Lost Purse Part 4

October 23rd, 2008 at 07:56 am

This is a series about a certain purse owned by the Sangl Family. Unlike every other series I have written, I am NOT excited to be writing this one.

Part 4 - The Conclusion

On Wednesday this week, Jenn received a package at the house! Below is a picture!



The purse with ALL of its contents - including cash, iPod, cell phone, and the kitchen sink were still there!

I am so humbled by the honesty of all the people who saw the unattended purse and left it alone, and we are blown away by the kindness and quick action of the McDonald's staff at the following address:

McDonald's 331 Harding Place Nashville, TN

I called the manager of the McDonald's that same day and profusely thanked them for their kindness and told her of her employee's great work.

The reward has been mailed. It is substantial, and it is worth it.

We are so blessed.

Read recent posts

Read the entire "Lost Purse" series

SERIES: Lost Purse Part 3

October 22nd, 2008 at 07:49 am

This is a series about a certain purse owned by the Sangl Family. Unlike every other series I have written, I am NOT excited to be writing this one.

Part 3 - A Chance
Jenn was devastated over the loss of her purse. I gave her some money to go get the Chinese food and started unloading the car.

About ten minutes after Jenn had left, my cell phone rang with the caller ID reading "Jennifer Sangl". I thought, "Jenn has found her phone!"

I answered the phone and said, "Jenn! You found your purse!"

A voice on the other end said, "Hello?"

Short story - the caller was the McDonald's employee. They had went out in the lobby and Jenn's purse was still sitting IN THE LOBBY. It had been there for over seven hours!

I asked the caller to tell me her name and told her that if she would mail it to me, there would be a reward. I think she is a teenager - she had no clue about how to mail something. No clue! I had to walk her through exactly how to mail it.

That was on Sunday evening.

On Monday, late in the morning, I received another phone call from Jenn's phone. The girl was at the post office to mail the purse! She said, "I have no money. Can I use some of the money in the purse?" Apparently, the money was still in the purse!!!

My answer? AB-SO-LUTE-LY!

Read recent posts

Read the entire "Lost Purse" series

SERIES: Lost Purse Part 2

October 21st, 2008 at 11:15 am

This is a series about a certain purse owned by the Sangl Family. Unlike every other series I have written, I am NOT excited to be writing this one.

Part 2 - The Panic
Upon discovery that the purse was missing, I immediately logged in to our bank accounts to see how much of our money was missing with fraudulent charges. $0 of unexpected charges were there. Whew!

I then had Jenn prepare a list of everything that was in the purse. It was a mile-long list.

I called the bank and had them shut off the debit cards. The person at the bank was extremely helpful. I could not believe how helpful they were!

Then I tried to remember where exactly the McDonald's was. I remembered that there was a Red Box outside the store that was not working. I looked up on Red Box's website to find the McDonalds in the Nashville area. There were none that made sense.

So I pulled up Google Maps and searched "McDonald's Nashville, TN". I found two that were located about where I thought we had pulled off. When I zoomed in on the "Satellite" view, I was able to narrow in on the store.

I called the store and confirmed that they had a Red Box outside that was not working and the type of interior the store had. I asked them if a purse had been turned in. They said, "Yes!" I was PUMPED! Then they told me that it was actually a backpack with a bunch of clothes in it. I was SAD!

They said that they did not have a purse, but that I should call back each day to see if it were turned in. Right. Like that is going to flippin' work!

Oh - one more thing - did I mention that Jenn left her cell phone in her purse? Now we have no purse, all the cash is gone, the iPod is gone, the checkbooks are gone, our old Purdue college IDs are gone. It is ALL gone.

Read recent posts

Read the entire "Lost Purse" series

SERIES: Lost Purse Part 1

October 20th, 2008 at 05:27 am

This is a series about a certain purse owned by the Sangl Family. Unlike every other series I have written, I am NOT excited to be writing this one.

Part 1 - The Loss
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that Jenn and I traveled to southern Illinois recently to celebrate her grandfather's 90th birthday party. It was a wonderful trip. Her grandfather is a real-life WWII and Korean War hero. He was machine gunned down in WWII in the Battle of the Bulge and fought in the Koren War too. He is an amazing man, and it was our honor to attend his birthday party.

Anyway, we headed home on Sunday. It was about a nine hour drive home. We stopped and grabbed some lunch at a McDonald's just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. We then stopped one more time for some gas. As we arrived home at around 8PM on Sunday evening, I told Jenn that it would be great to grab some Chinese food.

Jenn said, "No problem. I will unload the car while you go pick it up. Let me get you some cash for the food."

She reached down to grab her purse, and the feeling of dread set in. She immediately knew that it was not in the car and that it had to be at the McDonald's that we had stopped at nearly SIX HOURS ago.

Panic might be an understatement. Many of our cash envelopes were in the purse. It also contained debit cards, checks, an iPod, and a lot of other stuff. Frankly, I could not believe everything that Jenn said was in that purse. Ladies who read this blog - HOW do you fit all of that stuff in your purses?????

So ... what do you do when you lose your purse?

Read recent posts

Marching To Debt Freedom - Couple #3 - Month 10

October 16th, 2008 at 06:03 am

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.

Good things this month
We are seeing balances come down due to making higher payments (National City) and lower or no interest on the others! YEAH!!!!

Challenges this month
Still gas prices … BUT we have restructured our schedules to only run errands once a week if possible and it has really helped out!

Updated Debt Freedom Date


Month By Month Progress


Sangl Says
You can see the progress being made by Couple #3 now! There were several months where the debt was being restructured by transferring credit card balances to 0% and low interest rate credit cards. Now that all of that money is going directly to the principal, look at how swiftly they are dropping!!! Couple #3 dropped their debt by a huge amount last month! Outstanding.

Readers
Are you paying high interest on your credit cards? Move the balances to zero percent and low interest cards! That can really help one gain traction toward debt freedom. There are several 0% balance transfer credit cards available on the Next Steps page.

My book, I Was Broke. Now I'm Not., is available via AMAZON.COM, BORDERS.COM, and PAYPAL. In this book, you will learn exactly how Jenn and I became debt-free in just fourteen months.

Marching To Debt Freedom - Couple #1 - Month 13

October 15th, 2008 at 07:39 am

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

Couple #1's Thoughts This Month
I am so thankful for your help and encouragement in these tough times. If we were carrying our previous levels of debt it would be stressful to say the least. We are seeing our 401k shrivel but we all know that will return with time and stability. I only hope Americans now see that being in debt is dangerous combination of timing and chance.

Updated Debt Freedom Date


Month By Month Progress


Sangl Says
Another boring month of debt reduction … Smile Couple #1 has figured this thing out. They have a plan that is working, and that means more debt has left. Way to go!

Readers
How is your 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.

Receive each post automatically in your E-MAIL by clicking HERE.

SERIES: Sell Car With Negative Equity - Part 5

October 13th, 2008 at 05:43 pm

Welcome to the latest series - "Sell Car With Negative Equity"

The fact that most cars drop in value by sixty percent in the first four years causes an enormous part of the American population to struggle with huge car payments and an inability to rid themselves of the car without acquiring yet another new car and rolling in the negative equity to the new loan.

It is my hope through this series, that you will be equipped to sell a car that has negative equity.

Part 1 - Recognize How Much A Car Really Costs

Part 2 - Determine Your Car's Negative Equity

Part 3 - Sell The Car With Negative Equity - Option A - Pay ...

Part 4 - Sell The Car With Negative Equity - Option B - Tran...

Part 5 - Benefits Of Selling A Car With Negative Equity

Lower Debt!

This is obvious, but it is a wonderful benefit of eliminating the car with negative equity. In the example used in this series, debt has been reduced by $18,000 in Option A or $12,000 in Option B. Either one is fantastic!

Money Freed Up Every Month!

This is also obvious, but the monthly payment will be eliminated or vastly reduced. This allows one to have more margin in their monthly finances to give, save, or invest (three of my favorite parts of money!).

Not so obvious is the reduction in other fringe expenses. Car insurance will go down. Car property taxes will go down. Gasoline consumption will go down. Car repair costs will go down. These can total up to hundreds of dollars in savings each month!

Margin

When all of the money leaves as soon as it is earned and one is living paycheck-to-paycheck with zero margin for life to happen, it creates serious stress. By eliminating debt and its related payments, one gains tons of financial freedom and drops loads of stress.

Final Note: I know that this stuff is HARD, but I am convinced that financial freedom is worth all of the effort that it takes. When Jenn and I embarked on our debt freedom march, it seemed like it would take forever. Fourteen months later, we were debt free. That was in February 2004. We have never looked back. No car, TV, boat, lawn mower, or Llama has looked good enough for payments. Frankly, a new house does not even look good enough for house payments. We have worked way too hard to achieve financial freedom to fall back into the debt trap. It has been SO WORTH IT! You can read more of my family's story HERE.

SERIES: Sell Car With Negative Equity - Part 4

October 8th, 2008 at 05:29 pm

Welcome to the latest series - "Sell Car With Negative Equity"

The fact that most cars drop in value by sixty percent in the first four years causes an enormous part of the American population to struggle with huge car payments and an inability to rid themselves of the car without acquiring yet another new car and rolling in the negative equity to the new loan.

It is my hope through this series, that you will be equipped to sell a car that has negative equity.

Part 1 - Recognize How Much A Car Really Costs

Part 2 - Determine Your Car's Negative Equity

Part 3 - Sell The Car With Negative Equity - Option A - Pay ...

Part 4 - Sell The Car With Negative Equity - Option B - Transfer The Negative Equity Balance

In this series, we are assuming that we have a car with an actual value of $12,000 but the loan balance is $18,000. This means that the car has negative equity of $6,000.

This is quite the lovely situation, but it is possible to make the car leave.

Obtain A Signature Loan From The Bank or Credit Union
One usually must have decent credit to obtain a signature loan. Obtain a $6,000 loan from the bank. Next, find a purchaser who is willing to pay $12,000 for the vehicle. Use the signature loan money to pay off the negative equity portion so that the title is clear. With this one transaction, the debt has been reduced by 66% - from $18,000 to $6,000!

Transfer The Negative Equity Balance To A 0% Credit Card
I really do not like credit cards, but I really do not like huge car payments and car loans either! If one has the option to roll the negative equity to a credit card at 0%, it will allow the car to be sold and all of the subsequent payments on the remaining $6,000 will go directly to principal! I have also seen several credit cards that offer 2.99% for the life of a balance transfer. You can find some 0% credit cards HERE.

Option B does not entirely eliminate the debt or the payment, but it will substantially reduce it! It will certainly help one's journey to financial freedom obtain serious traction.

In the final part of this series, I will be sharing some side benefits to eliminating a car with negative equity.

Read the entire "Sell Car With Negative Equity" series HERE.

Receive each post automatically in your E-MAIL by clicking HERE.

SERIES: Sell Car With Negative Equity - Part 3

October 7th, 2008 at 07:12 am

Welcome to the latest series - "Sell Car With Negative Equity"

The fact that most cars drop in value by sixty percent in the first four years causes an enormous part of the American population to struggle with huge car payments and an inability to rid themselves of the car without acquiring yet another new car and rolling in the negative equity to the new loan.

It is my hope through this series, that you will be equipped to sell a car that has negative equity.

Part 1 - Recognize How Much A Car Really Costs

Part 2 - Determine Your Car's Negative Equity

Part 3 - Sell The Car With Negative Equity - Option A - Pay Off The Balance

Let's assume that a car has an actual value of $12,000 but the loan balance is $18,000. This means that the car has negative equity of $6,000.

This is quite the lovely situation, but it is possible to make the car leave.

Use Savings
If one wants to sell the car, then the negative equity must be covered in order to provide a clear title to the purchaser. The fastest way to clear out the negative equity is to find a purchaser who is willing to pay $12,000 for the car and use $6,000 from savings to clear up the negative equity. This is by far the fastest and easiest way to clear up the negative equity situation - IF you have $6,000 in savings!

Earn the Difference
If one does not have the money to cover the negative equity, then another way to accomplish the exact same thing is to earn additional income. Work overtime or acquire a second job to earn enough to cover the negative equity.

This is definitely not a fun answer, but I do not like negative equity situations either. The tough part about this option is the fact that it takes additional time and it is possible that the negative equity will increase because the car will continue to go down in value.

Sell Something Else
If one has an item that they no longer need, want, or use that has value, it can be sold to cover some of the negative equity.

I prefer Option A the most because it eliminates the entire debt and frees up the entire car payment to use for additional debt pay-off, savings, giving, and investing.

In the next part of this series, we will continue to discuss ways to sell the car even with negative equity.

Read the entire "Sell Car With Negative Equity" series HERE.

Receive each post automatically in your E-MAIL by clicking HERE.