Hello, there! Life has been busy lately- filled with work, appointments and classes. Specifically, we're taking Financial Peace University, a financial class that my church is hosting. We've heard AMAZING things about the class from family members, friends and strangers about how Dave Ramsey is helping so many people transform their spending. Today, I wanted to share my thoughts so far and our progress made.
In the class, Dave Ramsey uses wit, humor and straight-shootin' to wake people up to their 7 financial situations. He has steps for finding financial freedom:
Baby Step 1 // Save $1,000 in an emergency fund
Baby Step 2 // Pay off all debt (except your mortage)
Baby Step 3 // Save 3-6 months of expenses in savings
Baby Step 4 // Invest 15% of all income into Roth IRA's and Pre-Tax Retirement Plans
Baby Step 5 // College Funding
Baby Step 6 // Pay Off Your Home Early
Baby Step 7 // Build wealth and give!
I love how practical the steps are and I love the the ultimate goal in managing your finances is to give, help other people and make the world a better place with your money.
Now it's no secret that Brandon and I have crazy debt. We both attended 2 four-year universities each-- with one of those schools being out-of-state- so #StudentLoans. We also had 4 credit cards total when we got married. I am so proud to say we only have 2 of those bad boys left. We also depleted most of our savings when Brandon lost his job last year.
Taking this class has been so exciting because we are finally a two-income family, which makes doing a budget so much more fun when you actually have money to budget.
Oh yeah....we have a budget! We've always tried to have a loose plan for where our money is going but Dave Ramsey insists that every penny has its place, so we've really cracked down and started using a zero-based budget. It's been really hard at times, but we're doing it! We're starting to use cash more, which is his HUGE suggestion to saving money. I have to agree that using cash instead of swiping a card makes me think twice, or three times, before breaking that 100 dollar bill.
Now onto the best news of all....we have crossed Baby Step 1 off the list! We wanted to have an emergency fund that doesn't get touched with $1,000 in it that is JUST for emergencies. We are so bad with pulling money out of savings so this is a no-touch fund. We were able to save $1,000 relatively easy and now we get to move onto the step I am the most nervous about and scared of-- DEBT.
We have a pretty strict plan about how we are planning to pay off all this debt. Right now, it feels like a mountain in front of us, but we're making really mature, wise decisions to pay it down. It means saying no to Starbucks, new cars and fancy vacations for the time being because we know that traveling and buying a new car debt-free is going to feel SO MUCH BETTER than just adding to our debt.
I'm planning to check in every so often and share our progress, even after the class is done. We're learning so much and absolutely LOVING this course!