I made an appointment with my husband.
It’s in my iPhone, official style. 7 p.m. Wednesday.
There’s really no other way to do this.
Mark and I have been trying to figure out how to get our financial life in order for the last few months. We’ve made some adjustments and changes to the way we spend, but we need to get it in writing.
Hence, the appointment with Mark and Dave Ramsey.
In our living room, Mark just sarcastically clapped to a Dave Ramsey video.
OK, we like the guy. He makes sense. One thing that speaks to me is his disgust with our debt culture. In fact, we’d like to be a couple of the nerds who some day scream “We’re debt free!” on the radio. We need
a better plan a plan to get there.
I figured out our weaknesses – namely, the total lack of a plan. Also, making teeny tiny purchases that add up a lot over the long haul. My workplace provided the financial guru’s online course to us for free. The timing was perfect. So, a few weeks back, I started to watch the videos about savings and debt and planning for retirement. Mark is catching up.
I’m suspicious of anyone who styles themselves as a guru of anything. However, Ramsey’s course costs nothing to me, so, it’ll do for now.
Ramsey stresses “baby steps” to financial freedom. The first is a $1,000 emergency fund. That one was painless. We just made a few adjustments in the way we spent our cash on non-necessities. Boom. A grand in the bank.
After the 1K is tucked away, he advises you do the debt snowball. You pay off one debt. Once its gone, you put what you were paying on that first debt and add it to what you were paying on the second debt, and so on.
Next is an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months income in savings.
At our meeting, Mark and I need to hash some things out.
Like, do we do the debt snowball and the fully-funded emergency fund at once? I think so. Having just a little in a savings account in the bank makes me nervous. We have a child with a chronic disease, people. A grand is not going to cut it.
In the mean time, Mark and I started carrying cash for spending money. I gave us each $100 for the month in November. Yeah, that was gone in like two weeks for me. Then I committed several Starbucks violations.
So, I wasn’t perfect, but it did change the way I think about spending.
For instance, I got it in my head one day that I wanted new lipstick.
Normally, I would have just run out and gotten some damn lipstick.
But because watching my dwindling hundy just slip through my fingers really *hurt,* I thought about lipstick for a few days. And then I located all of the lipsticks I own. I have, like, 10. Dumb. I didn’t buy lipstick.
OK, another time, Mark wanted to go to a sports bar with his friend to watch the Bears.
I was like, yeah, OK, but go to the store and buy me a bottle of wine first with your spending money for the month.
I was 85-90 percent joking. And yet, this worked. Like a charm.
I was somewhat shocked he was willing to negotiate. The scenario would only be fair if I also put the kids to bed that night, he said.
Little did he know, I don’t mind putting our buddies to bed! Also, I like watching BBC dramas sans husband plus wine.
He was happy because he went to meet a friend to watch a football game.
Wait…we were both happy. We both got what we wanted….what the….?
Ah, marital bliss.
With some clever maneuvering, it can be achieved.
I attempt to write about money each Monday for a series called Monday morning money madness. Check back in! Has the Ramsey way worked for you? Do you have any issues with the program? Let me know!