We had enough money, we had an emergency fund, we had debt, we had four kids and a house payment, we went on vacations and out to eat a lot. We were married just over a hear and trying to save money and do our best but it didn’t add up. Every month the emergency fund was shrinking. Could we even call it an emergency fund? I’ll just call it “diminishing funds” for now. The spare money was slowly disappearing. It was concerning.
One day I was looking at one of our payments, a school loan. We seemed to be happily paying $300 per month and I felt content just paying it and in my mind paying it forever. Then I logged in and looked at what what going on. Over $150 of that payment was interest. . . more than half. Aggrivating!!
Enough! We needed help. We needed to change. We needed a plan. No more living paycheck to paycheck. I had run businesses in the past and knew how to run a budget and maintain finances. The real accomplishment is joining two in marriage and finances. We had to communicate, come to an agreement, and follow through together. We started talking about what goes out must be less than what comes in. We discussed a budget. It was scary. What if we did it wrong? What if we disagreed? What if the car broke? The furnace? The roof?
I heard about Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University so I searched the web. The course cost $100. It seemed like too much. We had the money but we were scared. So I continued the investigation and found Dave’s book
Total Money Makeover
at my local library, the audio version. I began listening on my way to work. He’s not the nicest guy on radio or in his books but he delivers the truth in love. He has vary strong opinions and freely expresses them. Maybe that’s why I like him.
We began to follow his plan. We had more than enough in our “diminishing funds” to make it past Dave’s Baby Step One:
$1,000 starter emergency fund in the bank
Next week, I’ll discuss the budget and venturing into Baby Step Two.
“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
–John C. Maxwell