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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.

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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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 http://www.newspring.cc to visit http://www.perrynoble.com, http://www.avclub.us, 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.

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 http://www.josephsangl.com/?p=425.

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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, http://www.josephsangl.com/iwasbroke/

Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines.

June 18th, 2008 at 06:12 am

Observed on a sign …

"God please help me through this totally self-imposed deadline."

I have many times implemented a self-imposed deadline and allowed it to create stress in my life.

Deadlines are good. But when the deadline prevents me from ensuring that I do what is URGENT AND IMPORTANT first, then it is terrible.

Are you working on things that are URGENT AND IMPORTANT today or are you allowing all of the self-imposed deadlines to rule your schedule?

Perhaps the http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-downloadMon... or http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-downloadMon... from the TOOLS page will help you take control of your schedule again!

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

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New Savings Spectacular! Emergency Funds

June 17th, 2008 at 07:17 pm

After numerous requests, there is now a Savings Spectacular for Emergency Funds!

If you are saving for a $1,000 Emergency Fund or a $2,500 Emergency Fund, we have the forms for you!

http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-downloadMon...

http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-downloadMon...

Color in the squares as you purchase financial freedom for your family!

If you have a request for a Savings or Debt Pay-Off Spectacular, share in the comments, and I will get one prepared for you.

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

New Series Starting Tommorrow (and other news)

June 12th, 2008 at 06:31 am

A new series will be appearing tomorrow. It is called "YOU Answer The Question." It should be a blast, and I hope that you will participate!

Other news
* The comments for the Debt Freedom Marches this month were great! Thanks for being so supportive of these three couples who are sharing with the world their own successes and struggles as they march toward financial freedom.
* I ordered more copies of I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. last Thursday. I cannot believe what has happened with this book. To all who have purchased a copy, I am so grateful! It is my goal to have taught 100,000 people by October 2011. I count each copy sold as a person taught. It is my passion to help others accomplish far more than they ever thought possible with their personal finances. This book is just one avenue that allows me to do this!
* The I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. Home Group Study is progressing well! I am so PUMPED about this study because it allows folks to go through the book and APPLY this stuff with the people that they are doing life with. That is where real life change can happen! We are still on target for a release of this material by the end of July.
* This crusade to help others with their personal finances is jumping to an entirely new level. I am really looking forward to the next couple of months!

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular - June 2008

June 9th, 2008 at 06:47 am

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 739 IS 743
Squares Remaining: WAS 1687 IS 1683
% of House Owned By The Sangl's: WAS 30.5% IS 30.6%
% of House Owned By Wells Fargo: WAS 69.5% IS 69.4%

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


Jenn has retired to be a stay-at-home mom again. This will certainly impact the Sangl Home Pay-Off Spectacular, but it was important for the Sangl Family to make this decision. I am so proud of my bride for making the tough decision to be a stay-at-home mother again. It is hard to say goodbye to a great job and a great income, but this was the right decision for the Sangl Family right now.

We do know this: Because we have a written spending plan, we will not have to worry about incurring a pile of debt because of this decision. We will, in fact, be able to continue to attack the mortgage. All because we have a written plan that we follow! I LOVE THIS STUFF!

How are you doing on YOUR house payoff spectacular? Don't have one? Get yours here => http://www.josephsangl.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-downloadMon....

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

You can read about how Jenn and I stopped being broke, and won with our money in my new book, I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. It is available via http://www.josephsangl.com/IWBNIN%20Book.htm, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1605301906?tag=wwwjosephsang-20&cam..., or http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_bgi/103-0843693-8655025?ur....

Lessons from the AC failure

June 5th, 2008 at 01:35 pm

With both cooling units failing in my house over the past week, I have learned a lot about heat pumps.

I thought I would share a few things that I have been told. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong!

* Loud electrical buzzing sounds coming from the exterior unit are not normal and should be looked into right away.
* If you have to put both hands right against the vents to see if air is blowing out, and you still have to guess whether or not it is blowing out air - it's not!
* If you use your electronic thermostat to adjust the temperature more than two degrees, you will be activating the emergency heat strips in the wintertime. This is horribly inefficient and be prepared to fork out a ton of cash to cover that cost.
* Heat pumps work most efficiently when they are set at a temperature and left there.
* The cool air blowing out of the vents should be at least twenty degrees less than the outside air temperature.
* It is great to have friends and family who work on HVAC for a living!
* It is probably best to have a thirty-something year old HVAC unit inspected at least once each year.

Any other lessons I need to learn about the AC?

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

So That’s Why …

June 4th, 2008 at 07:33 am

I have a thirty-something year old house. It has thirty-something year old house problems. One of those problems is the fact that it still has its original HVAC units.

Now, the average American would go through life with $4.13 in the bank account and no margin for life to happen. "Life Happens" events like the HVAC unit going out. Luckily, Jenn and I stopped living with blinders on and have saved for such events.

So here is the story.

In February, I received a MONSTER electric bill. My reaction was like, "OH MY GOODNESS! I could color in a ton of squares on the http://www.josephsangl.com/?cat=16 if I did not have this huge electric bill." So I did what anyone would do, I lowered the temperature of the thermostat and said to myself that we would just be a little chilly. Well, we FROZE for the month of March and received another MONSTER electric bill.

I said to myself, "This sucks. I am FREEZING and paying a ton of money on this stupid electric bill."

Luckily in April it warmed up nicely here in SC, and I was able to turn off the HVAC units. I have been able to leave them off until this week. On Monday night, it was over eighty degrees in the house and humid. So I cranked on the AC and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, it was still smoking hot.

Uh oh.

I called my father-in-law who does HVAC for a living, but he lives far away. He told me to do some stuff, but all of it would involve me electrocuting myself so I decided to call my local friendly repairman (who also happens to be in my home group).

A short survey of the situation revealed that the condenser fan was not spinning. Thus the large electrical buzzing sound that has been coming out of the unit since FEBRUARY. Did I mention that it was buzzing since FEBRUARY? Oh, I guess that sound was important to note.

Turns out that I heated my house with the emergency strip heating for two straight months instead of the heat pump. Turns out that consumes enormous amounts of electricity. Turns out it consumed a lot of my budget for two months.

A few hundred dollars later, we are nice and cool again. With thirty-something-year-old units. It might help to know that I have money saved up to replace these units when they totally fail on me.

Do you have margin in your life to absorb "Life Happens" events?

http://iwasbroke.savingadvice.com

You can read about how Jenn and I stopped being broke and won with our money in my new book, I Was Broke. Now I'm Not. It is available via http://www.josephsangl.com/IWBNIN%20Book.htm, http://www.amazon.com/dp/1605301906?tag=wwwjosephsang-20&cam..., or http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_bgi/103-0843693-8655025?ur.... You can read the Introduction http://www.josephsangl.com/IWBNIN%20Book%20-%20Introduction%....