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Archive for February, 2008

Great Questions To Ask About Money

February 29th, 2008 at 08:57 pm

A random list of great questions to ask about money …

* Can you offer this to me at a lower price?
* I'm looking for a deal. Can you also include "X" if I purchase this item today.
* If I keep managing money they way I currently manage money, will I be able to accomplish my future hopes/plans/dreams?
* Who can I bless today?
* If my wife or child had to have emergency surgery today, would I be able to absorb the financial impact?
* If I died today, would those who depend on your income be protected?
* Do I really NEED this?
* Do I work for a paycheck or am I doing what I love to do?
* Do you add huge value to your business? Why not objectively ask for a raise. Look, you delivered "X" results that benefited the company. Why not improve the income?
* What could I do with all of this money that I send toward debt payments each month?
* What does life look like without ANY payments. No house payment. No student loan payment. No car payment. No credit card payments. NO PAYMENTS!

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REMINDER: Christmas is in 301 days!

February 28th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Just 301 days from now, we will be celebrating Christmas again.

How much are you going to spend on Christmas this year?

Will you pay cash for Christmas 2008, or will you finance it?

I highly recommend planning Christmas 2008 on paper! The http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-downloadMon... is a great tool to use to plan your Christmas spending.

Here's an example of how to use the Mini-Budget for planning Christmas. I have entered the amount that we plan to spend on each item for Christmas. This helps me understand the amount needed for Christmas.



You can see that "Cash - Expenses" shows a RED $1,080. To make it GREEN, I enter $1,080 in the "Cash Budgeted" line.





I know that I have experienced sticker-shock when I have put together my initial mini-budget for Christmas! The great thing about planning ahead is that I still have the opportunity to change how much I will spend!

So, go ahead and plan for Christmas 2008. Yes, you will be weird. Yes, no one else in your family is doing it. BUT, you will have a plan and be able to pay CASH for this year's Christmas! How many of your friends and family will be able to say that?

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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Discount Codes - Great web site!

February 27th, 2008 at 05:53 am

I recently discovered a new web site that is helping me save money.

It is called http://www.retailmenot.com/.

This web site has discount codes and promo numbers that allow you to save money at thousands of different e-tailers.

Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Victoria's Secret, Barnes & Noble … There are over 10,000 companies represented.

One thing I really like about this web site is it allows the users to rate the promo codes. If it did not work for you, you can communicate that to the next user so that they don't waste their time with it.

Try it out, and see if you can save some money!

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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$4.99 Mac-n-Cheese

February 26th, 2008 at 06:12 am

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!

I had an http://www.josephsangl.com/?p=488 recently.



My family traveled up to Burlington, NC to teach the Financial Learning Experience. We arrived on Saturday evening and went out to get dinner.

My lovely bride spotted a restaurant that does not exist near our home, so we went there.

It did not go well. It was 8:00 PM, but we had to wait twenty minutes to be seated.

I took one look at the menu, and began to employ my hero, Paul Marshall's method of choosing what to eat. I looked for the cheapest item on the menu and decided it was palatable.

This place sells hamburgers. HAMBURGERS. But not just any hamburger. They sell $10 hamburgers. What a RIP-OFF!

And then I see that the kid's menu has mac-n-cheese for only $4.99.

ONLY $4.99. I can buy AT LEAST twenty BOXES of mac-n-cheese for that amount of money.

I suffered through the experience. And, NO, I did not let my daughter order the ridiculous, outrageous, enormous, cruddy, massively overpriced mac-n-cheese. She had to share my $10 burger.

What a rip-off.

I am really sick of being ripped off by the so-called kid's menus at restaurants.

Who's with me?

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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My book is a bestseller …

February 24th, 2008 at 06:58 pm

I have been PUMPED by the number of copies of http://www.josephsangl.com/IWBNIN%20Book.htm that have been sold!

Over 460 books have been shipped out in just 27 days! AWESOME!

So I have named my book an official "Sangl Times Bestseller".



Oh, and some book reviews and thoughts about http://www.josephsangl.com/IWBNIN%20Book.htm have been surfacing around the web.

* Rob Singleton gives his thoughts about the book and gave a copy of it away http://www.robsingleton.net/2008/01/27/dont-say-i-never-give....
* Paul Neel provides his review http://paulneel.blogspot.com/2008/02/book-4-i-was-broke-now-....
* Tally Wilgis provides a review http://tallywilgis.blogspot.com/2008/01/i-was-broke.html.

By the way, you can also purchase I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. on http://www.amazon.com/dp/1605301906?tag=wwwjosephsang-20&cam....

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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Are you STUCK? - Part Four

February 20th, 2008 at 07:28 am

This is the latest series - "Are you STUCK?"



If you feel stuck financially, this can help you!

In part one, I asked WHY are you stuck?

Part two is Plan what you have!

Part three is Remember the priorities!

Part Four: Fill the "Go Get This" Gap

I am sure that some read this as "Go work like crazy and earn more money". I would certainly not disagree with working more and earning more! It is a GREAT way to fill in the "Go Get This!" Gap.

But there are many more ways to fill in The Gap! Here are quite a few.

* Pray. I am a Christ-follower, and I have seen the power of prayer.

* If married, ensure that your spouse is on board. There is POWER when you work TOGETHER on your finances! How do you get a spouse on board could be a year-long series, but it is so necessary. Jenn and I work together because we wrote down all of our earning and spending. When we saw that our OUTGO exceeded our INCOME, we knew that it was a serious issue! One strategy to try is to mail the kids off to Grandma & Grandpa's (eliminate distractions) and tell your spouse that you want to talk to them about something that you really need them to hear. Something that is really important to you. Very important to you. And then show them your family's finances planned out on paper. When it is written on paper, it tends to reduce the emotion toward each other and has the opportunity to become a unified effort!

* Govern your business. If your business is struggling, it might be worth putting some "mileposts" in place. Mileposts are points one month, three months, six months, and twelve months away. An example of a milepost is "If we are at $5,000 sales in three months, we will keep the business. If it is at $3,000, we will keep it open for three more months. If it is less than $3,000, we are going to have to shutter the business." The hardest thing in the world for an entrepreneur is to close their business. Tough, but necessary sometimes.

* Sell something. Maybe your house payment is eating you alive. Sell the house. Sell the motorcycle. Sell the boat. Sell the truck. Sell the swing set. Sell the four-wheeler. Sell the LCD 50" TV.

* Reduce OUTGO. Many times you can substantially lower your credit card payment just by calling them! I lowered my cable/internet bill by 75% just for calling! Get rid of the home telephone - you never use it anyway. Use cash envelopes for the categories you tend to spend impulsively (groceries, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, spending money). Call and get a new quote on your homeowner's/auto insurance.

* Chop up the credit cards. If they are a crutch that keeps trapping you, it is time to chop them up. December 2002 was the month I chopped mine!

* Make it a family effort! There is NOTHING like a unified family. Nothing.

* Pay secured debt before unsecured debt. If you can't pay everybody, consider paying just the secured debts. Call the unsecured companies and tell them that you will not be able to pay them this month, but that you fully intend to pay them. Tell the truth! There is power when you call someone and ask for help! They may or may not work with you, but when you are in bad shape financially you can't pay them if you want to!

Readers: What are some other ways to fill in the "Go Get This!" Gap?

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

Read the entire "Are You Stuck" series http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/series-are-you-stuck/.

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Are you STUCK? - Part Three

February 17th, 2008 at 07:51 pm

This is the latest series - "Are you STUCK?"



If you feel stuck financially, this can help you!

In part one, I asked WHY are you stuck?

Part two is Plan what you have!

Part Three: Remember the priorities!

When you have an extremely limited amount of funds, it is important to remember the priorities. I have met a lot of people who have been tricked, guilted, and shamed by credit card companies into paying the credit card bill instead of the house payment.

You have completed step two and planned what you do have, so now the next step is figuring out who gets paid and who does not.

My priorities are:
* Essentials: House payment (or rent), basic utilities, car payment, gasoline, and food. Does NOT include cable, internet, phone, restaurants, fashion clothes, etc.

* Secured Debt: If money remains after covering the essentials, then it is time to pay for the secured debts. If secured debts are not paid, the creditor has the right to come take the item. They will usually sell it at wholesale and come after the rest from guess who? So I would pay the secured debt next.

* Unsecured Debt: They cannot immediately come take something so they can be paid later if the money runs out.

* Fun: This is last on the list.
Besides I can have fun for free. Pickup basketball games, watching old movies, etc.

Who is the manager of YOUR money? It should be YOU! Not your creditors! YOU choose where it goes.

Even if you don't have enough money to pay all of the bills, go ahead and put all of the bills into your spending plan. This is a KEY step! You need to clearly understand how large the gap is between your INCOME and your OUTGO.

I call this gap the "GO GET THIS" gap. That is the next part of the series!

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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Are you STUCK? - Part Two

February 16th, 2008 at 05:37 pm

Welcome to the newest series - "Are you STUCK?"



So … are you? Do you wonder where to begin? This series is for you.

In part one, I asked WHY are you stuck?

Part Two: Plan what you have!

Now that you have written down the reasons that you are stuck, it is time to prepare a written spending plan.

Yes, a budget. Here is something I have learned - managed money goes farther than unmanaged money.

I know that what you have is limited. In some cases, VERY limited. BUT, it is imperative that you plan what you do have.

You can obtain FREE helpful budget forms by clicking the right one for you below.

http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-downloadMon... If you are paid once per month, this is the budget tool for you.

http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-downloadMon... If you are paid multiple times per month (twice/month, bi-weekly, bi-monthly, weekly, etc.), this is the budget tool for you.

If you want to learn how to put together a great budget, you might want to read the http://www.josephsangl.com/?p=469 series.

Next we will discuss how to choose who gets paid and who does not!

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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Are you STUCK? - Part One

February 15th, 2008 at 07:54 am

Welcome to the latest series - "Are you STUCK?"



Have you ever been stuck financially? I mean STUCK. Do you feel so stuck that you can't even gain any traction to get control of your finances?

Perhaps you have no income because you have lost your job. Maybe you are in college and accumulating debt to pay for it. Perhaps your spouse spends money faster than you make it. Or maybe you are just lost when it comes to managing money. It might even be the fact that you have so much unsecured debt that you feel that the creditors should just change the amount owed to a cool $1,000,000 because it might as well be that much! Maybe you are disabled, and can't figure out what to do to earn more money.

If this is you, this is a series for you!

In this series, I will be sharing steps you can take to become unSTUCK.

I am FIRED UP about this series.

Part One: WHY are you stuck?

It is important to understand why you are stuck. There are some situations that have definite ends to them (college) and other situations that have indefinite ends to them (job loss, disability, and overwhelming debt).

Why are you stuck?

Write it down on paper. Right now. Write "I am stuck financially because … ".

When I encounter situations where I don't know what to do, I start writing. Writing enables me to put all of my thoughts on paper.

After writing all of my jumbled thoughts down, I set it aside for awhile. After a day or two, I revisit what I have written and identify the repetitive thoughts. This helps me identify the core issue.

Readers: Would you comment on why you are stuck or what caused you to be stuck in the past?

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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Joe’s Book Is Now Available at AMAZON.COM!

February 14th, 2008 at 07:26 pm

I am FIRED UP to announce that you can now purchase my book via AMAZON.COM! Click http://www.amazon.com/dp/1605301906?tag=wwwjosephsang-20&cam...to view I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. on AMAZON.COM.



You can also purchase my book via PayPal by clicking http://www.josephsangl.com/IWBNIN%20Book.htm.

Want to read the Introduction? Click http://www.josephsangl.com/IWBNIN%20Book%20-%20Introduction%....

Volume discounts are available if you are purchasing 10 or more. Contact Joe http://www.josephsangl.com/?page_id=2 for more information.

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

Weekly Newspaper Article!

February 12th, 2008 at 11:26 am

Have you read the weekly newspaper article that I have been writing for the Anderson Independent-Mail?



It is published each Sunday on the front page of the Business section.

You can read them all by clicking http://www.independentmail.com/staff/joe-sangl/!

This is yet another opportunity to help people take their finances to another level, and I love it!

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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Hank Aaron’s Home Run - Credit Card History

February 11th, 2008 at 07:42 am

I was running on the treadmill at the YMCA (I'm training for another marathon) the other day, and ESPN was talking about baseball.

They ran the clip of Hank Aaron's 715th home run, and while watching it I saw something I had not seen before.

There, dead-center in the middle of the shot showing the home run ball leaving the park is a huge credit card billboard.

This was April 8, 1974. I remember the home run very well since I was nine days old at the time.



It was 1974 and credit cards were just taking off.

Look closely at the billboard. What does the the "Bank Americard" (now known as VISA) purport itself to be? MONEY

"Think of it as money."

Genius branding. Too many people have viewed credit cards as money, and now realize that it is really BORROWED MONEY.

By the way, you can watch Hank's home run http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z57uJv9Mxp4.

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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What was your first credit card?

February 10th, 2008 at 06:07 pm

My first credit card was an Advanta VISA card with a really low limit.

How did I get it? I signed up for a free t-shirt during my first few weeks as a freshman on the campus at Purdue University.

What did I do with it when I received it? I went and charged it up!

It was so easy! Yet, it began a ten year mess of debt. I was a huge loser with credit cards. Maybe you have done better. Maybe not.

So my question today is:

What was YOUR first credit card?

AND

Did it help you or hurt you?

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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Marching To Debt Freedom - Couple #2 - Month 05

February 8th, 2008 at 10:01 am

Introduction
This couple is THROUGH with debt! It has now been five months since they announced that they were breaking up with debt.

Here is this month's update!

What went well this month …
This is month five, and as you can see (from our Debt Freedom Date calculation) we are on the way to debt freedom. Joe's system gets much easier with time! We've really changed our financial lifestyle.

Challenges and struggles this month …
This month was fairly easy. We'd like to pay more than $325 on the Discover, but some other things came up and we had to plan for them. However, we didn't accumulate any new debt! We'll use our tax refund to pay off the Discover balance, and begin working to pay vehicle #1 off about ten months early!

Here is their updated [b]http://www.josephsangl.com//?page_id=151 …[/b]


Month By Month Progress …


Anything else you want to share?
We get paid on the 15th and 30th every month. A few months ago I couldn’t wait for those checks to come in because we were dependent on them.

About three months in to this, the “pay days” became regular days.

Any challenges you want to issue to others who are reading the web site?

My wife basically dragged me to our first meeting with Joe. Our finances weren’t horrendous, but weren’t great either. We had a few thousand dollars in savings, but were living pay check to pay check with some debt. I was embarrassed for an outsider to look into our personal business. My first question to Joe was, “What qualifies you to tell me how to handle my money?” Joe briefly told his story and I began to listen and realized I wasn’t going to be judged on my past financial decisions. This put me at ease.

We’ve been doing this for 4-5 months now, and it has changed our lives. I still buy what I want, eat what I want and go where I want, it’s just budgeted. We are paying off debt quickly, and working towards financial freedom.

My point … I know someone out there is skeptical or embarrassed about their situation, its okay. Call Joe!

Sangl says …
I am so fired up by Couple #2's progress! I am ready to CRY!

Couple #2 is ON FIRE! They have been on this journey for just FIVE months, and they have already paid off $11,693! They are experiencing a time of blessing, and they are taking full advantage of this time to knock out their debt! While they did not totally eliminate a debt this month, they did reduce their debt by $1,720. Simply amazing.

Readers - What you are seeing unfold before you with Couples #1 and #2 is what I am seeing literally HUNDREDS of people do! There are HUNDREDS of people who have taken control of their finances, developed a written spending plan, and are absolutely changing their entire financial future!

Couple #2 - You guys are inspiring others to take their finances to the next level! Thank you so much for sharing!

Readers …
Have you had enough? Have you had your "I Have Had Enough" Moment? It's time to put together a plan that helps you win with your finances. You can start by putting together a written plan using one of the budget forms available on the "http://www.josephsangl.com/?page_id=151" page.

Want to read my story and learn how to take your finances to a new level? Purchase a copy of http://www.josephsangl.com/IWBNIN%20Book.htm I can promise you that it is written at a level you can understand and immediately apply to your finances!

http://www.josephsangl.com//?cat=20

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