This post includes affiliate links. This just means that if you are click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission. This is no extra cost to you.
I don’t know your story and I am not going to try to figure it out either. I am glad you stopped by. You are either the proactive type trying to max out all of the financial possibilities out there or you have no clue about finances but you do know that what you are doing isn’t working. If you are the former, I hope you get something out of this, but if you are the latter, come close, I have something to say. Come on, a little closer. Its going to be ok. There is hope. This is fixable. Read on to find out a little bit about my journey and some tools that have helped me along the way. I am still trekking along and hope to just stay on the right path.
So, I am here to share some of my financial journey. I want to start out by saying that I absolutely LOVE money. I think the more you have the better off your life will be. Money can be such a wonderful thing. I think people should try to make as much money as possible. Yes, I just said that. Money is GOOD people. First let’s stop being afraid of it. It can be so fun, and positive.
Wait, wait, wait, don’t run off thinking I am a horrible, selfish person. Let me explain. There are sayings like “Mo money, mo problems” but those problems are in your control. It has take a while for me to come to this place in life. First of all, money was a source of contention early on in my marriage. My husband and I have really had to work through a lot of things to get to where we are now with money. I had to change my view of money and the way I saw it to start making my money work for me instead of the other way around.
Money was hard
In the early days of our marriage, we didn’t make a lot of money. We had everything we needed, made it work, but it wasn’t always easy. Luke and I had lots of fights and differed on some ideas at the beginning of our financial journey. One day, during one of our budget meetings, Luke made a comment about money that finally made something click. He looked at me and said “it’s just numbers that go up and down”. That simple statement changed my perspective and attitude toward money and our budget.
From that point on, I no longer saw money as something to fight with, or always feeling like we didn’t have enough. It became something we had power over. We became the ones who could manipulate it for our benefit. Luke and I began to choose where our money goes, instead of wondering where it went. That’s a quote from my favorite financial guru, Dave Ramsey.
Keep it up
So, I took that phrase Luke presented “money is a number that goes up and down” and decided, ok, how can we keep this going up? What steps can we take to get organized and move our finances to a place where we can be comfortable. We wanted to be more organized and generous with our finances.
I called my sister first and talked to her a little bit about finances. She was a little further along than me and I knew she was doing something right. She told me that she and her husband went through Financial Peace Univeristy with Dave Ramsey and learned a ton. When I looked over the material I was sold. It was all so simple and made perfect sense. So we decided to implement the strategies we were learning. We start having monthly budget meetings and really started talking about our goals and dreams. So continues our financial journey. Its been a bit of a bumpy ride.
We started setting financial goals for savings that seemed crazy at the time. Dave Ramsey works from a baby step model. This is where the simplicity comes in. There is a checklist of things to work at one at a time. I do love lists, so this was right up my alley.
Enter the Baby Steps
Baby Step #1
The first baby step Dave recommends if to save up $1000 for emergencies and put it away in the bank. We got this one done in a few months. Again, my husband was working and I was home full time with 3 babies.
Baby Step #2
The second baby step is to pay off debt using the debt snowball. This is a fantastic way to pay of debt quickly. You start with your smallest debt, pay the minimum payment until that’s gone. Then roll that payment into the next smallest therefore increasing that payment, then continue until all debts are paid. We have actually had to revisit this method a couple of times in our marriage for medical debt from time to time.
Baby Step #3
The third baby step is to save up 3-6 months of expenses. This step took us a while on our little tiny budget. In a few years we were able to cross this baby step off the list. We got creative and had yard sales, I got a temporary part time job, I sold cheesecakes to help with Christmas money. Once we focused, the money seemed to come when we needed it. Simply paying attention made all the difference in our finances.
Baby Step #4
The fourth baby step is investing 15% of your income into retirement. Dave Ramsey recommends starting with an employee matching 401k and then putting the rest into a Roth IRA. We are still working up to this one. We are about half way there and adding to it gradually.
Baby Step #5
Baby step #5 is saving up for kid’s college fund. He recommends a 529 or an ESA (Educational Savings Accont).
Baby Step #6
The 6th baby step is paying off your house early. This is a dream of mine and something we are working towards already. I am hoping to pay our house off early.
Baby Step #7
Baby step #7 is to grow wealth and be generous. This baby step seems to be the most fun of all. In this step you get to give your money away freely. This is why I started out saying that I love money. I love to power it has to be helpful and serve others. We get in trouble with money when we hoard our money, become selfish and refuse to share. I am very excited to get to this step and will update this post as we check off more baby steps.
Where to start
So, you may be thinking, well that’s great for you, but my situation is so different. I wish someone could help me start. Like I mentioned earlier, Dave Ramsey was our key to our success with finances so far. He has some fabulous resources to start with. If you haven’t heard of him, look him up. He helped us with our finances and makes it easy enough to help anyone.
He has a great podcast where people call in and ask questions. I learned so much listening to other people’s stories and the advice he had to offer. Some of it I could implement at home. Sometimes they have people call in to share their own “get out of debt” stories. These are so inspiring and I get teary listening to the emotion in their voices.
What about you
I would love to hear about your story when it comes to finances. I’d love to hear where you are, where your headed and the mistakes you’ve made along the way. Sharing stories is where its at. Thanks for hanging out with me.