Thursday, July 24, 2008

Credit? No thanks!!

This is DAVE RAMSEY....

Our journey to "DEBT FREE" started with the Financial Peace University class we started in the beginning of April 2008. It is a group offered through our Church and we realized that we needed to be a part of it. I guess I should say "I" knew we needed this. So, we began this journey. We had just paid off the last of Ben's Student Loans in December and it was just after Ben had to buy a new car (which I still think is a mistake - but he wanted it and he NEVER asks for anything.....). Anyway - back to the blog at hand....

I heard about Dave Ramsey on ScrapShare and joined the user group. People had their debt out for everyone to see in their signatures and people were actually changing their lives, re-prioritizing and doing some WEIRD stuff to get out of debt! Taking on extra jobs, delivering papers, cutting expenses in other areas...it was WEIRD!!! What is the force behind these people changing so much in their lives, going to yet ANOTHER part time job do this when they have families at home that need them? What is this phenomenon all about? DAVE RAMSEY'S TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER (TMMO) and FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY(FPU)! That is what...people are actually cutting up their credit cards and paying CASH for stuff!!! I was amazed! I thought it was pretty amazing that they did not have the mentality that a lot of people have: the "We will ALWAYS be in debt until the day we die" mentality.....I am sure you have heard people say it and/or have said it yourself! But THIS GUY - Dave Ramsey - is all about paying cash for everything and his teaching is SIMPLE. I was so excited when our church decided that they would hold 4 small groups of FPU. I told Ben that we HAD to do it.
So we joined.

Dave Ramsey is a dynamic speaker. Motivational and TRUE. The thing with his teaching is that it is easily understood. He makes it easy! His teaching tells us to "Live like no one else so later, we can LIVE like no one else". His principles are just like what grandma's say "save for a rainy day" (get a baby emergency fund of $1000), get rid of your debt using the debt snowball - don't use credit cards (you are a slave to credit). Work on getting an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of expenses in the bank. Work on your retirement and then start putting money away for your children's college and then ENJOY LIFE.....or as he says it LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!
It is the budget that kills me every month! You put together a zero-based budget every month....sticking to the budget is my weakness....but I have been pretty good (except July when we went to Canada). But it is a Work in Progress and it gets easier every month....Now, it is just a matter of getting "GAZELLE INTENSE" on our debt snowball and we will be on our way!!
So, now that we are done the study, we now have to put things into practice! Well, we have been working on that from the beginning, but we still haven't got it "down" yet. Here is our goal:

We want to be DEBT FREE in 2 years or less....by debt free, I mean - just a mortgage payment......

I want to be able to call the Dave Ramsey Show on the radio and scream:
"WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!"
These are the credit cards that our ENTIRE small group cut up....now that the group is over, I have this jar sitting on my desk as a reminder of the debt that we have and this jar gives me the motivation I need to stay "on the program" to be debt free.....One of the girls from the FPU class and I are considering signing up to be group leaders to keep the momentum going. I am really looking forward to it! Maybe it will help us get DEBT FREE faster by leading the next group!

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