Um…hi. Hey. Hello there.
I didn’t wake you, did I?
One never knows these days, being as how everyone is so technologically connected to cyberspace all the time.
I mean, there is the distinct possibility that you were already snoozing away when your phone started dinging or beeping or singing some embarassingly inappropriate song to let you know that you had an e-mail.
If that was the case…sorry. And you might want to silence that baby, because tomorrow is a new day, and I plan to post earlier. Like before lunch.
But anyway, I had planned on blogging much, much earlier today…but due to a series of unfortunate events (i.e. dog grooming, house cleaning/scrubbing, grocery shopping, dental check-up) I didn’t quite get to it. Being a summer housewife is a lot of work, let me tell ya.
There was also a crazy, rambling, drunken conversation with one of our neighbors that further delayed my opportunity to sit down and write. (*Clarification: He lays claim to the drunken part. I own up to the killer-headache-how-are-we-going-to-get-this-conversation-to-end-so-I-can-go-home-and-perform-brain-surgery-on-myself part.)
Somewhere in between all that business and madness (respectively, of course) our rockin’ niece A came by for dinner and a little playtime before church. She’s been going with us lately, and she loves it…mostly because of the slide and “goldfish whales” they give her…but ya know, 3 year olds have pretty specific priorities.
Chris and I were pumped to start a new discipleship class that will last us through the rest of the summer…Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University.” We aren’t new followers to Dave…I’ve read a couple of his books, Chris listens to his radio show, and using his principles we’ve paid off right at $30,000 in debt since we got married 2 years ago.
I mean holy moly. Sometimes I don’t realize how far we’ve come, but when you put a number to it like that it gives me encouragement to forge ahead. (And for those who are curious, that 30k includes 2 cars, 2 credit cards, and 1 student loan plus some.)
It’s really one of those glass half-empty, glass half-full things. On one hand, we’ve been able to pay off everything except Chris’ student loans. On the other, his loans are hefty. Not quite three digits hefty, but not far from it either. So we’ve got a long, long way to go to becoming debt free.
But that’s where God and Dave Ramsey come in. 😉 We know that God’s plan for us includes debt-free living (not a hard one there, he’s pretty clear about his thoughts on that one in the good book) and we want to honor him with the money he’s entrusted to us. So far Dave’s strategies have made sense to us and helped us move in the direction of better money management. We are so far from perfect it’s not even funny, but hey, we’re willing to learn and willing to work at it…and that’s what really matters, right?
The “Dave Ramsey strategies” we have used so far include…setting up a $1000 emergency fund (which came in very handy when we had the unexpected car situation with my gear mechanism), snowballing our debt by paying off the smallest debts first and then rolling that money onto the next one and so on, budgeting principles, and moving towards a cash-only system. I’ve talked about it before, and ya’ll know that last one is hard. Just no other way around it. H-A-R-D-hard. But, it has also been pretty effective…and definitely makes me think about where every dollar goes.
Everything we’ve done so far has been pretty trial and error, though we’ve had some help from family and friends along the way. I’m really looking forward to going through Dave’s principles in a more formal way, and I’m praying that God will speak to us in new ways and show us where we can really tweak what we’ve got going so that we can better manage our money. I already know that one of the issues we are going to have to deal with is me being okay with being held more accountable to Chris…but that’s another post, for another day! 😉
But the main reason that I felt like I just had to blog about all this tonight was because I am soooo excited about all the goodies we got at class tonight! Check out our official “Financial Peace University” participant kit…
Yay! Love shiny new things! (Oh yikes. That’s partly what got us into this mess…)
Both his book and a workbook…ya’ll know how much I love a good “self-help” book! 😉
Not sure what is on these cd’s…but that’s on my to-do list for tomorrow. And yes, you do see that correctly. One of them is to share with a friend…wish it was you? 😉
This little jewel was particularly exciting for me…it’s the official envelope system! Pretty fancy, considering we’ve been using plain ol’ white envelopes.
I wasn’t expecting to receive all the video sessions on DVDs, much less in a nice leather case…score!
Bahaha…this is a pretty funny way to deal with credit cards, yeah?! 🙂
I’ll leave you with a few key thoughts that stuck out to me in our first session…gotta keep it all at the forefront of my mind!
*Saving money is about contentment. (Not an easy thing for this girl. Or for my husby. We’ve got a lot of wants!)
*Saving money is an exercise of character. Discipline is the key ingrediant. (The spiritual disciplines really hitting me right now are saving money and finding a way to praise God through anything / everything.)
Hebrews 12:11 – “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Catch that word? Peace. Ah…I look forward to that day. Lord willing, we’ll get there sooner rather than later. 🙂
KEEP CALM & WORK TOWARDS FINANCIAL PEACE