Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Our Total {Money} Makeover

Ever heard of Dave Ramsey? If you've lived long enough I'm sure you have. He is the author of "Financial Peace", creator of "Financial Peace University" and "The Total Money Makeover". He is stationed out of Brentwood, TN. He has many years of business and life experiences. One of his favorite quotes I love is "Don't take advice from broke people". So true.

In his latest book "The Total Money Makeover" he gives a step by step plan to become debt free. DEBT FREE! (That's me screaming) Those two words excite me. I want to be debt free again.

We had been debt free except for school loans about 4 yrs ago. After moving to Mobile, AL from Chattanooga, TN we accumulated a lot of debt. Our income had changed several times drastically for the worse. We used credit cards to make every day purchases. We maxed them out! We found ourselves not even able to make the minimum monthly payments. Well, you know what that means. More fees, more fees and more fees which drove up our balances and forced the department store credit cards to close our accounts due to non-payment.

It's amazing how much can happen in 4 yrs. We've gone to being just about debt free, with a savings account and a very good high credit score to being in debt over $20,000, no savings and a very bad credit score.

You talk about troubled times?! I can't even begin to explain the stress we've had on us. As a stay-at-home, home school mom, I've questioned many many times as to whether or not I should go back to work. We tried to figure out how I could work and continue to school our children. We would pray and hear from God that I was to continue schooling at home. But our financial situation seemed to get worse. As more physical and financial challenges would appear, we would question again whether we should put our kids in school and I go to work. I had tried several "work at home" businesses and all failed. As a matter of fact, several opportunties put us in much more debt. I found myself so stressed with our finances and homeschooling that I could not take on one more thing. So much so that I became physically sick with bleeding ulcers.

My faith was shaken, our marriage was strained, I was short with my kids, and we shut just about everyone out. (That's a coping mechanism of mine) On top of our financial situation, I was dealing with previous hurts from a previous pastor. (You can read a little more about this in my "Blogging for Confidence #1" post). Lynn was making more money than he ever had before. So where was the money going? I had to know!

After spending some time in prayer, I remembered Dave Ramsey. We had not taken any of his classes before. Lynn had read "Financial Peace Revisited". So, I did an online search and found his There is so much info there. I immediately went to "The Total Money Makeover" section. He has several tools available. Like, the Debt Snowball and Budget helps. We've always lived by a budget. This was not new to us. But the Debt Snowball was something I was very interested in. I added all our debts and was so overwhelmed with how much we had. I really had no idea. It helped to have one place to put everything. I was excited to see that we will credit card free by January 2014. And we should be totally debt free by May 2017. (I think we will debt free sooner than that)

I ordered "The Total Money Makeover" book and envelope organizing system. I was ecstatic to hear about his envelope system because that was the system I had used 4 yrs before to get us out of debt the first time. So cool, huh!?

We sat down last night to revamp our budget "Dave" style. Dave says it will take about 90 days to get all the budget bugs worked out. Most of all, reading his book "The Total Money Makeover" will change our mindset about money. He has a totally different way of thinking that is not the world's way of thinking. You've got to read it.

I am confident that using Dave's method, we will be free to do so many things that we've always dreamed of dong. Plus, I just think that it will probably boost my self confidence as well. Please check back often as I continue to blog about our becoming debt free experience.

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"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." -John Calvin