Right. Work. What I get paid to do. However, I am just not feeling it today. I am so excited about getting this blog started that all I want to do is play on here! :) I am not only posting, but finding extremely good blogs to follow!
Someone, please stop this insanity that has overtaken me! After our visit to Nashville this weekend, something strange happened to me. Now I am not only facebooking, O-M-Gosh, I have registered for an account on twitter, and now I am blogging again! I must be losing my mind.
It has to be from this experience in Nashville. I just got so pumped up, I cannot help myself! If you are not my friend on facebook, you have no idea what I am talking about. If you are my friend on facebook, you probably have some idea, so you are going to hear the whole story...trust me, it is worth sharing!
About a year and a half ago, my husband mentioned the name "Dave Ramsey" to me. At the time, it didn't really mean anything. Little did I know, Dave Ramsey is the epitomy of the term "financial genius." So, Todd started doing his homework, and I downloaded Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover (TMMO)to my Kindle. Our journey began the last week of October, 2009.
Todd and I both knew we made good money, but as many of us can say, we could not show you where our money was going. We were making it, but had nothing left over to show for it. And it is not that we couldn't manage our money, we just didn't.
With every page of the TMMO, I found myself saying to myself, "oh gosh Robin, you know that," "you can do that," "duh." So, Todd and I sat back down together and decided as a family that we were going forward to become debt free! Yeah right, you may be thinking, but Dave's motto is "Live like no one else, so you can Live like no one else."
The TMMO includes 7 baby steps.
(In my words):
1. Emergency fund of $1,000
2. Debt snowball
3. 3-6 month living expenses emergency fund
4. Invest 15% of your income for retirement
5. College savings for your children
6. Pay off your home
7. Building wealth
Seems a little overwhelming, right? Well, we are currently at baby step 2, and yes, at times, it has been overwhelming...but so worth it!
It took us a month to reach baby step one. Then came the budget. Ugh! The very thought of that gave me nightmares! But then we wrote everything down on paper, wow! We really do make good money (not bragging, it was a wake up call). Our next step was to write down our debt from smallest owed to largest -- NOT BY INTEREST RATE! That was extremely depressing. Even though we didn't have a lot of debt, we had A LOT of DEBT!
Our budget has to be what I call a zero balance budget. That means that after you right down everything you pay out a month in bills, you leave in the bank, then what you need for living expenses (i.e. gas, groceries, babysitter, etc.), comes out in cash. Your checking account is solely used for bills, not to carry over money, because during this process, you do not carry over money. Scary, huh?
Any extra money that you have during the month is paid on that smallest bill. After that is paid off, you take all of that money and apply it to your second smallest bill. It begins a snowball effect which gets larger and larger every time you pay something off. See, pretty much common sense. AND IT WORKS! To date, we have paid $42,000 of debt. Yes, you read that correctly. In 14 1/2 months, we have paid that much money toward our debt snowball. Like I said, even though I may have thought we were not in debt, yeah, I was wrong! We still have about 14 months to go, but we are getting there. And trust me, it gets easier after the adjustment period of about 3 - 4 months.
So that is the background. Now about how Nashville gave me such an epiphany to become more socially connected. Todd asked me several months ago if I would be interested in seeing Dave Ramsey in person. Oh, you don't have to ask me twice, where do I sign up?
This past weekend, we had the privilege of sitting second row at a five hour live Dave Ramsey show! Yes, I said f-i-v-e hour...and I would have stayed another five hours! This man is so energetic and charismatic! Whew! I wanted to jump up and shout. Wait a second, I did jump up and shout, several times!
Even though we have been living this program for over a year, the show brought it to a whole new level for me. Dave does not take credit for any of his ideas! He said - several times - that he got all of his ideas from God and grandma, and that he is just a good teacher. Wow! That was simply amazing to me. He quoted scripture, talked about the importance and power of prayer, told everyone if they hadn't talked to God in a while, they needed to because God missed them. Isn't that the truth? There were 10,000 people at this conference, so 10,000 people heard his message!
Dave Ramsey tweets, as I have now discovered that many people or groups tweet. About the only thing I will ever "tweet" is this blog, but it is nice to open it up and be inspired several times a day. It also was one of the pressing factors for me to start blogging again. If I can touch someone's life in any positive way, even if it is just one person, I want to do that!
I could write forever about him and this program, but I won't. I just wanted to share a little portion of the wonderful program that everyone could do, if they need or want to. You can learn more about all of his programs by visiting http://www.daveramsey.com/.
And now you have more information than you ever wanted to know, but when I mention TMMO or Dave Ramsey in my posts, you will know what I am talking about! :)