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Archive for August, 2008

Making The Budget WORK At Month’s End

August 31st, 2008 at 06:29 am

Jenn and I budget every single month. We spend all of the money we expect to receive in the upcoming month in the

Text is Monthly Budget Form (Excel) and Link is http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=1
Monthly Budget Form (Excel) and AGREE on how that money will be spent.

THAT is the easy part. The hard part is following the plan for the entire month - especially at the end of the month.

It is easy to follow the budget at the start of the month because I have spending money, we have grocery money, we have dining out money, and we have entertainment money.

But as we arrive at the end of the third week and the start of the fourth week, it is not so glorious of a picture. You can bet that I have spent every dime of my spending money. The dining out fund is at or near zero. The grocery envelope is tapped out, and the entertainment envelope has kicked the bucket as well.

That is our story nearly every single month of the 62 consecutive months that we have planned our spending. Yet we stick with the budget, and it is where I see a ton of people fall off of the wagon.

How do we ensure that we stick to our plan? We hold each other accountable. We KNOW that if we spend more than we planned on these fun categories, then that extra money will be taken from another fund like vacation, Christmas, car repairs, retirement savings, or college savings. We simply refuse to mortgage our future just so we can have a little extra fun today.

That is HOW we stick to our plan and that is WHY we stick to our plan.

I would love to hear from others on HOW you ensure that you stick to your plan and WHY. Start the conversation in the comments below!

Tough Decisions

August 30th, 2008 at 04:59 pm



Many of you know that I have a house cat named Kiki. My daughter was given this nice kitty cat four years ago for Christmas, and it has been a great cat.

Until we moved back to South Carolina and bought an older home. An older home that used to have other animals in it. The smell of the other animals has ignited the stupid instinct to spray and mark its territory.

The cat has peed all over the tile floor of the laundry room. It has peed all over a box of shipping envelopes for my book. (Don't worry - I threw them away.)

It has pooped all over the new carpet. And we decided that the cat was going to get ONE MORE CHANCE to stop being instinctive with its pooping and peeing.

Well, it seemed as if our cat was behaving and things have went OK for a couple of months.

Let me stop that story to introduce a new storyline.

A new kitten showed up on our back deck two weeks ago. It was emaciated with its ribs sticking out and it had no tail. Melea immediately fell in love with it and started nursing it back to health. Me, being the sucker that I am, agreed that after a trip to the vet this new kitten could move in with us last Thursday.

Last Wednesday, the day before the kitten was going to move in, Jenn discovered that Kiki had been spraying FOR MONTHS in an undiscovered area. The undiscovered area? On our brand new carpet and TWO BOXES OF I Was Broke. Now I'm Not.!!!!!! Now, I know some budget-haters would love to do what Kiki has done, but THAT WAS IT.

Kiki has been kicked outside. The new kitten is not being allowed in the house. I wanted to see if Kiki could fly through the floor at a very high rate of speed, but I kicked her out instead.

In spite of ALL of that, this was still a very hard decision. You see, Kiki slept next to Melea every single night. Snuggled right up next to her, purring so nicely. Ever since Melea can remember, Kiki has been bounding around the house with her. Now, Kiki sits outside in tropical storm Faye, meowing forlornly and totally confused as to why she can not come inside.

In spite of the fact that the stupid cat had ruined two boxes of books. In spite of the fact that our new carpet smells like cat pee. In spite of the fact that it had sprayed an entire box of shipping envelopes. In spite of the tremendously annoying damage, it was still a very difficult decision.

It made me pause. This situation helps me understand just a little bit more why some people can not bring themselves to make the decisions necessary for them to win with their money. They KNOW that the car payments are peeing all over their ability to gain financial traction. They KNOW that the credit cards need to be chopped up because they are stinking up their ability to win with money. They KNOW that their finances are continually being trashed because they are unwilling to make a tough decision.

Folks - throwing out your eight year old daughter's cat is a difficult decision. So is selling a car and taking a second job. But I will tell you this - the relief I feel now that the decision has been made is AWESOME!

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SERIES: Restructuring Debt - Part Six

August 28th, 2008 at 10:39 am



Welcome to the latest series - Restructuring Debt

I am excited to embark on this series of posts because interest paid toward debt is one of the largest obstacles to gaining traction for one's own Debt Freedom March.

Of course, one way to eliminate the interest is to sell some stuff and become debt-free. But I recognize that for some people, they have debt that they are going to have to focus on and just pay it off. If this describes you, then I trust that this series helps you gain speed in your Debt Freedom March!

Text is Part One - Know What You Are Paying and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/19/series-restructuring-debt-part-one_42322/
Part One - Know What You Are Paying

Text is Part Two - Lower The Interest Rates! and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/20/series-restructuring-debt-part-two_42370/
Part Two - Lower The Interest Rates!


Text is Part Three - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/21/series-restructuring-debt-part-three_42420/
Part Three - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued


Text is Part Four - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/24/series-restructuring-debt-part-four_42511/
Part Four - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued


Text is Part Five - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/25/series-restructuring-debt-part-five_42529/
Part Five - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued


There are many approaches one can take to lower their interest rates. In Part Two, I covered the "negotiation" avenue. In Part Three, we covered surfing the balances to zero-percent credit cards. In Part Four, it was the debt consolidation option. In Part Five, it was the credit score option. In Part Six, I will be sharing my most favorite way to restructure debt.

Part Six - CRUSH IT, SMASH IT, HAMMER IT, DESTROY IT

I used to be broke. I used to have $4.13 in my bank account after paying all of my bills, and I was pumped because it was a positive balance. Yet, I was sending hundreds of dollars every single month to banks for debt. I finally experienced my I Have Had Enough Moment (IHHE Moment) and attacked my debt.

I know that the interest is annoying. I know that trying to get the lenders to lower their interest rates is frustrating and humiliating. Besides that - much of that is out of our control. But controlling how we spend our money from now on IS in our control. Not signing up for more debt IS in our control. Going to work for sixteen hours a day to eliminate our debt superfast IS in our control. Selling our car, boat, truck, collectibles, and other niceties IS in our control. No, it might not be fun, but paying hundreds and thousands of dollars a year in interest is MISERABLE and robs us of the ability to go do EXACTLY what we have been put on this earth to do!

So I end this series with two questions and their answers.

Q: How much interest do you have to pay when you have zero debt?

A: ZERO

Q: How much interest is paid to you when you have money in the bank or invested?

A: Anywhere from 3% to 12% or more! Paid TO you! I decided long ago to choose to have interest paid to me instead of paying it to someone else.

I trust that this series has helped you.

SERIES: Restructuring Debt - Feedback

August 26th, 2008 at 11:11 am



I am PUMPED to hear how people are applying the Total Interest Tool taught in Part One of the

Text is Restructuring Debt and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/series-restructuring-debt/
Restructuring Debt series.

I would love to see how you are using the tool to formulate your plan of attack for restructuring your debt and gaining traction for your Debt Freedom March!

For example, Kings Pray has blogged about how he used the Total Debt Interest tool. You can read that post
Text is HERE and Link is http://kingspray.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/joe-sangl-starts-a-new-series-restructuring-debt/
HERE
. Be sure to click on the link in the blog that actually shows the tool with his Total Debt Interest calculation. I love transparency and people being real.

If you blog about it, please comment below and provide a link to your post.

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SERIES: Restructuring Debt - Part Five

August 25th, 2008 at 06:14 am



Welcome to the latest series - Restructuring Debt

I am excited to embark on this series of posts because interest paid toward debt is one of the largest obstacles to gaining traction for one's own Debt Freedom March.

Of course, one way to eliminate the interest is to sell some stuff and become debt-free. But I recognize that for some people, they have debt that they are going to have to focus on and just pay it off. If this describes you, then I trust that this series helps you gain speed in your Debt Freedom March!

Text is Part One - Know What You Are Paying and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/19/series-restructuring-debt-part-one_42322/
Part One - Know What You Are Paying

Text is Part Two - Lower The Interest Rates! and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/20/series-restructuring-debt-part-two_42370/
Part Two - Lower The Interest Rates!


Text is Part Three - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/21/series-restructuring-debt-part-three_42420/
Part Three - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued


Text is Part Four - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/24/series-restructuring-debt-part-four_42511/
Part Four - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued


There are many approaches one can take to lower their interest rates. In Part Two, I covered the "negotiation" avenue. In Part Three, we covered surfing the balances to zero-percent credit cards. In Part Four, it was the debt consolidation option. In Part Five, I will be covering the credit score option.

Credit Scores Matter!

I know. I am brilliant. But it matters so much when it comes to reducing the interest that lenders will charge on your existing debt (this is a no-new-debt zone!). As your credit score improves, your credit card surfing and bill consolidation loan options will improve.

There is a company that actually specializes in consolidating loans for people with excellent credit. I was told about this company by a banker friend who has been extremely impressed with the way this company is doing business. It is called
Text is FirstAgain.com and Link is http://www.firstagain.com/
FirstAgain.com. It is actually stated on their web site that "Excellent and Substantial Credit Required". No need to apply if you have trashed credit, but it looks like a good option for those who are looking restructure their debt and gain traction with their Debt Freedom March.

Of course, there are also companies that specialize in loans for people with horrible credit. Payday loan joints, title loan sharks, pawn shops, and various other organizations provide loans that have HORRIFIC interest and should never be considered a viable option for someone who expects to gain traction on their Debt Freedom March. I have yet to meet the first person who became debt free because of their rip-off payday loan. I have met hundreds who have became completely hopeless because of their rip-off payday loan.

In the sixth and final installment of the Restructuring Debt series, I will be sharing my favorite way to restructure debt.

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SERIES: Restructuring Debt - Part Four

August 24th, 2008 at 06:22 pm



Welcome to the latest series - Restructuring Debt

I am excited to embark on this series of posts because interest paid toward debt is one of the largest obstacles to gaining traction for one's own Debt Freedom March.

Of course, one way to eliminate the interest is to sell some stuff and become debt-free. But I recognize that for some people, they have debt that they are going to have to focus on and just pay it off. If this describes you, then I trust that this series helps you gain speed in your Debt Freedom March!

Text is Part One - Know What You Are Paying and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/19/series-restructuring-debt-part-one_42322/
Part One - Know What You Are Paying

Text is Part Two - Lower The Interest Rates! and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/20/series-restructuring-debt-part-two_42370/
Part Two - Lower The Interest Rates!


Text is Part Three - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/21/series-restructuring-debt-part-three_42420/
Part Three - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued


Part Four - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued

There are many approaches one can take to lower their interest rates. In Part Two, I covered the "negotiation" avenue. In Part Three, we covered surfing the balances to zero-percent credit cards. In Part Four, I will be covering the debt consolidation option.

Debt Consolidation/Home Equity Loan
Another option to consider is to visit your local bank or credit union with your current debts and interest rates and see what they can do to lower your interest rates. Be careful with this, though. Banks are very likely to try to get you to use your home equity to consolidate your higher interest debts. If used properly, this can be a good thing because you are probably going to be able to deduct the home equity loan interest from your taxes.

But one thing that I see way too often is the fact that folks will consolidate their debts using their home equity and then NOT change their financial behavior that led to the debt in the first place. The results? A mortgage, home equity loan, AND the high interest debts have showed back up. My advice is to prove to yourself that you truly have changed your spending behavior for at least six months before using this option.

I speak from experience here. Several years ago, I obtained a debt consolidation loan for several credit cards and some department store debt. We paid $315.60 a month (I still remember the amount) for FOREVER. Finally the day came when the last payment was made. Guess what? Our credit cards were loaded back up with an amount equal to what we had consolidated in the first place! We had not changed our spending behavior, and it cost us. If we had consolidated the debt AND stopped our financial misbehavior, it would have been a great decision.

I know that
Text is Couple #3's Debt Freedom March and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/series-debt-freedom-march-couple-3/
Couple #3's Debt Freedom March
has been significantly improved by obtaining a 401(k) loan. I am NOT a big fan of this type of debt consolidation, but they had explored the "negotiation" and "surfing" options thoroughly and had run out of other options. As a result, they have decided to obtain a 401(k) loan. Guess what? It has lowered their interest SUBSTANTIALLY and if you check on their monthly progress (
Text is HERE and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/series-debt-freedom-march-couple-3/
HERE), you will see that this move has given them the traction they so desperately needed.

In Part Five, I will be sharing a resource available on-line that can be a huge help to those with excellent credit who are looking to lower their interest rates.

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SERIES: Restructuring Debt - Part Three

August 21st, 2008 at 05:23 pm



Welcome to the latest series - Restructuring Debt

I am excited to embark on this series of posts because interest paid toward debt is one of the largest obstacles to gaining traction for one's own Debt Freedom March.

Of course, one way to eliminate the interest is to sell some stuff and become debt-free. But I recognize that for some people, they have debt that they are going to have to focus on and just pay it off. If this describes you, then I trust that this series helps you gain speed in your Debt Freedom March!

Part One -

Text is Know What You Are Paying and Link is http://www.josephsangl.com/2008/08/13/series-restructuring-debt-part-one/
Know What You Are Paying

Part Two -
Text is Lower The Interest Rates! and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/20/series-restructuring-debt-part-two_42370/
Lower The Interest Rates!

Part Three - Lower The Interest Rates! - Continued

There are many approaches one can take to lower their interest rates. In Part Two, I covered the "negotiation" avenue. Today, we will discuss moving the debt.

Surf The Debts To Lower Interest/Zero Interest Offers

If you live in America or any other heavily-leveraged society, then the chances are that you will receive numerous offers of debt every week. Most of these offers have a "trickeration" ploy that generates consumer interest. The trickeration is typically a "Zero-percent for some number of weeks/months/years" ploy. The reason I call it a trickeration ploy is the fact that the majority of these debts are not paid off within the set timeframe and the interest rate is back-dated all the way to the date of purchase - usually at a very high rate.

But the zero-percent surfing game CAN work for you. I have seen MANY people gain substantial traction with their Debt Freedom March through this technique alone.

Here is how the surfing game works. You receive a "zero-percent for twelve months" credit card offer. There is usually a $75 balance transfer fee, but there is no interest for the twelve month period. One simply applies for the 0% card and transfers their high interest debt to the credit card. When that introductory period is drawing to a close, surf the balance to another "zero-percent for twelve months" card. Keep surfing the balance until the debt is paid off to $0.

If you successfully do this, you have actually tricked the trickeration ploy into working for you!

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SERIES: Restructuring Debt - Part Two

August 20th, 2008 at 06:57 am



Welcome to the latest series -

Text is Restructuring Debt and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/series-restructuring-debt/
Restructuring Debt

I am excited to embark on this series of posts because interest paid toward debt is one of the largest obstacles to gaining traction for one's own Debt Freedom March.

Of course, one way to eliminate the interest is to sell some stuff and become debt-free. But I recognize that for some people, they have debt that they are going to have to focus on and just pay it off. If this describes you, then I trust that this series helps you gain speed in your Debt Freedom March!

Text is Part One - Know What You Are Paying and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/2008/08/19/series-restructuring-debt-part-one_42322/
Part One - Know What You Are Paying


Part Two - Lower The Interest Rates!

There are several ways to lower the interest rate that you are paying on your debt. Here are several ways that have been used very successfully.

Call The Debt Owner
This really catches some people off-guard. For some reason, they believe that the interest rate is truly fixed on their debt. Well, just as "fixed rates" on credit cards are not truly fixed and can be (will be) changed at any time, your "fixed rates" are negotiable.

Paying high interest on a debt? Call the customer service line and try some of these lines out (only if they are true, of course!).
* "I am really trying to eliminate my debt, but these high interest rates are really hurting my ability to do that. Can you please lower the interest rate?"
* "Can you please lower the interest rate on this loan? I have been a very loyal customer, and I could really benefit from some help right now."
* "What can you do to help me lower the interest rate on this loan?"

Things NOT to say …
* "You stink. Your company stinks. You are lying, cheating, good-for-nothing scammers. I wish a 1,000 SPAM e-mails per minute upon your life."
* "You're ugly. You're responsible for the recession. I am going to talk about you on my Facebook page."

The first person you talk to will probably not have the authority to change the terms of your loan. Be persistent and ask to speak to their manager. I have had people tell me that it has taken several separate phone calls before they got their interest rates lowered. Many times in spite of a great effort, folks have been unsuccessful and the interest rate was not lowered at all. That brings us to another option. - Move The Debt - and this will be discussed in the next part of the
Text is Restructuring Debt Series and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/series-restructuring-debt/
Restructuring Debt Series
.

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SERIES: Restructuring Debt - Part One

August 19th, 2008 at 05:53 am



Welcome to the latest series - Restructuring Debt

I am excited to embark on this series of posts because interest paid toward debt is one of the largest obstacles to gaining traction for one's own Debt Freedom March.

Part One - Know What You Are Paying
I have said and will continue to say that I believe that the top causes of financial failure are disorganization and the lack of a plan. If you want to gain the maximum traction on your Debt Freedom March, you need to pay the minimum interest possible.

In many of my financial counseling appointments, we add up the amount of interest that is being paid each year, and it SHOCKS the ones who have been paying it! There is something about SEEING IT ON PAPER that really connects us to the fact that paying interest is not a healthy financial plan.

I have developed a tool to help you easily calculate the amount of interest you are paying every month and year. The

Text is Debt Listing (Excel) and Link is http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=70
Debt Listing (Excel) is an Excel spreadsheet tool that will help you organize your debts and clearly understand the amount of interest that is being paid on the debt.

The form is very user-friendly. All you have to do is enter the debt name, the balanced owed, the monthly payment you are actually paying, and the annual interest rate of the debt. Below is an example.


In this example, you can see that this person has four debts totaling $44,650. The big issue is that $4,317 is being paid in interest every year. In fact, only 53.6% of the monthly payments is being applied to principal reduction.

Now that we are organized it is time to look for ways to reduce/eliminate the interest being paid. That will be covered in Part Two of "Restructuring Debt"!

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Marching To Debt Freedom - Couple #3 - Month 08

August 18th, 2008 at 06:11 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.

This month's update
We have still increased our payment on the National City card and are determined to get it paid off SOON! We absolutely could not do this without the budget/budget form. It is AMAZING how much that tool helps us! (Get your own budget form

Text is HERE and Link is http://www.josephsangl.com/tools/
HERE)

Struggles? Hmmm… Nothing specific really.

We have transferred two of the credit cards a couple days ago that will show up on the next month's sheet and that what went well! Smile More on that one next month!

Updated Debt Freedom Date …


Month By Month Progress …


Sangl Says …
When Couple #3 started out, they had an incredible level of high-interest debt. The high interest was absolutely crushing their efforts to become debt-free. They have taken the first few months of their Debt Freedom March to restructure their debt such that they can make tremendous strides toward their goal of ZERO debt. Nearly all of the debt has been restructured at this point, and you can see that fact very clear through their progress in just one month. They are sending the same amount toward their debt each month, but now it is nearly all going toward the principal balances.

Watch out Franklin Financial, National City, and JC Penney!

Readers
Do you have high interest debt that is crushing your attempts to lower your debt? Restructure it! A series on restructuring debt will be appearing soon on this wildly popular website known as JosephSangl.com!

Help Is Available!

If you have tried to put together a budget that works and it just is not working, I want you to know that help is available. We provide FREE one-on-one financial counseling here at NewSpring Church - both the Anderson and Greenville campuses. There are about fifteen incredible volunteers who are passionate about helping others win with their money. You can request an appointment by clicking
Text is HERE and Link is http://www.josephsangl.com/?page_id=2
HERE. We even provide a limited number of on-line appointments too!

You might consider picking up a copy of
Text is I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. and Link is http://www.josephsangl.com/iwasbroke/
I Was Broke. Now I'm Not.
In this book, I spend four chapters telling my family's story of walking out of debt and into financial freedom. In the final nine chapters, I teach the practical tools that we used! It is a fast read at 121 pages, and it might just change your life!

Debt Freedom March - Couple #2 - Month 11

August 13th, 2008 at 07:33 am

Introduction
This couple is THROUGH with debt! It has now been eight months since they announced that they were breaking up with debt. They have agreed to share their Debt Freedom March with everyone in the hopes to inspire others to do the same!

Here is this month's update.
We are still on the wagon, just very busy. Everything is still going well. We are still using our

Text is cash envelopes and Link is http://www.josephsangl.com/2007/01/20/why-i-am-such-a-big-fan-of-cash-envelopes/
cash envelopes …and loving it!! We have really gotten the hang of things and luckily we don't have a whole lot of ups and downs. Everything is running steady and smooth. Our upcoming goal is paying off vehicle #1. It won't be long!!! The most exciting thing for us right now is seeing our balances (debts) get lower and lower. One vehicle balance is less than $4,000 and the other just dropped below the $20,000 mark. Seeing little accomplishments like those keep us going. We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is very exciting.

Here is their updated Debt Freedom Date calculation …


Month By Month Progress …


Sangl Says …
Couple #2 is in a time of financial blessing, and they have decided that they are going to manage it to the very best of their ability. In just 10 months, they have reduced their Debt Freedom March by 16.9 months. At this rate, they will be be 100% debt-free in just 16.1 months!

Vehicle #1 will be gone just in time for Christmas! There is nothing like a paid-for car. The $1,000/month payment will then be applied to the SC Student Loan. Too bad for SC Student Loan. They expected that Couple #2 would be paying toward that loan for the next ten years. Instead, it will be gone in the middle of 2009.

Simply awesome.

Readers …
Couple #2 is on a roll. You can do the exact same thing! Pull up the
Text is Debt Freedom Date Calculator (Excel) and Link is http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/download-monitor/download.php?id=4
Debt Freedom Date Calculator (Excel) and put together your own Debt Freedom Date!

If not now, when?

Text is Read Previous Updates For Couple #2 and Link is http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com/series-debt-freedom-march-couple-2/
Read Previous Updates For Couple #2


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Marching To Debt Freedom - Couple #1 - Month 11

August 12th, 2008 at 06:19 am

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

Good/Bad This Month
We are really struggling with the economy right now. We are in sales and am currently way below last year's figures. For the first time in twenty years, we laid off people in our home office. Things are really scary. On the bright side, we are not carrying near as much debt as this time last year so we are not creating new debt which to me is the most important thing. I thank God for all we have and pray for those who are struggling way more than my family. Thanks for all of your help and wisdom.

Updated Debt Freedom Date


Month By Month Progress


Sangl Says
Another debt has left Couple #1's household! The American Express has been kicked out forever. Nice!

Here is what is so incredible - Couple #1 began attacking their debt just eleven months ago, and they have paid off $20,462! Way to go Couple #1 - I can't wait to see where you guys stand at the end of your first full year of attacking your debt!

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

Text is HERE and Link is http://josephsangl.com/iwasbroke/
HERE.

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I Can Not Believe This!

August 11th, 2008 at 06:17 am

I had an amazing Monday a week ago.

First, I had an incredible weekend teaching the

Text is Financial Learning Experience and Link is http://www.josephsangl.com/FLE Details.htm
Financial Learning Experience and the Financial Counseling Experience at NewSpring Church.

And then Monday showed up. As I walked out of the door, I saw a FedEx envelope wedged in the door. It said it was from "First National Bank". I was not expecting anything from FedEx, especially from a bank. Then I noticed that it was from First National Bank of Omaha. FNBO. As in FNBO Direct. As in the on-line savings account provider that is currently paying 3.50% interest.

Let me set this up before I tell you what was in the envelope.

A couple of months ago, a reader wrote me saying that I should enter a contest being sponsored by FNBO Direct called "Pay Yourself First". All I had to do was prepare a video that shared a major savings obstacle and why I was focused on paying myself first. I did that and uploaded it to YouTube as instructed. A few weeks later, I was awarded a $10 Amazon.com gift card for being one of the early entrants.

Well, here is where Monday and the FedEx envelope rolls in.

The letter inside stated that I have been selected as one of the twenty semi-finalists and that I have been awarded $500 for reaching the semi-finalist level! FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! I am BLOWN AWAY!

From the twenty semi-finalists, FNBO Direct will select five finalists who will compete in a six-month savings journey. FNBO Direct will match the savings dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000! FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS! Are you kidding me?! I am so blessed. SO BLESSED.

You can check out my YouTube entry
Text is HERE and Link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6TJVxmoj3g
HERE. In the video, you will see/hear me mention the Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular. I am so focused on eliminating our mortgage that I provide monthly updates on our pay-off spectacular.

What a great Monday!

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