Michael and I, thankfully, had really good role models when it came to finances and saving money. We didn’t really think we needed any help when we got married since we didn’t really believe in credit cards or spending above our means and we didn’t go into out marriage with much debt. Until one day, I came across Dave Ramsey on the radio. While I would sit in my cube, work, and listen to the radio, suddenly my fav financial advisor radio show was replaced by this guy, Dave Ramsey. I was a little miffed at the beginning but the more I listened to him the more I liked him. And immediately he made it known that his principles were based on Biblical beliefs which was a huge positive for me. I would go home and tell Michael all the things “we should be doing” with our finances but we didn’t really put anything into effect until Michael started a new job where he was on the road a lot and started listening to his show. Then he was the one coming home telling me about all the things Dave was saying. Since then I’ve read many of his books, including Entreleadership, which I’m still trying to get through and highly recommend.

When we went to Haiti for a mission trip, I was surprised to hear that they follow some of Dave’s principles and they don’t even know it. As you drive around Haiti, you would see buildings, cement columns, or what looked to be construction sites with rebar coming out of them. The local missionaries told us that Haitians don’t go into debt and/or it’s difficult to get loans so they save their money and only buy property or build on it as they have they money to do so. So they’ll buy the property, and then spend money on the foundation, and then build a few rooms, and basically build onto as they have money. It’s genius! So even homes that look completed with one floor still have rebar still coming out because they may want to build onto it at some point, possibly if other family needs to move in with them.

I always say you have the money for the things you want. Am I right, Ladies? Do we not find a way to buy those shoes? Or in my case, camera equipment. And my husband is the same way when it comes to tools. He finds the money if he wants it bad enough. We just don’t believe in going into debt for stuff. You can’t take it with you and we would rather be able to give the excess money we do have and prepare for our future. When we got married we worked to pay off any debt we had, which was very little credit card debt. And we did initially buy a truck for Michael that we financed which we now know was a mistake. But even before we knew of Dave’s principles, later on we sold that truck for a truck we didn’t need to finance. And knowing that we would need another 4 door vehicle one day, we began to save for when that time came. There are many things we did to save money and everybody’s saving methods are going to be different. But it felt so good to be able to write a check for our my new (well, new to us) SUV a few months ago. And yes, our bank account took a hit but we’re able to build it back up fast because we don’t have any debt to pay on but our house!

So let’s say you want to take a trip. It’s a good idea to open a second checking account and move money over each month, either a set amount or any monthly excess you have, and you’ll know you’re ready to purchase that trip when you’ve reached your goal and you won’t feel guilty about buying it! You don’t touch the money in that account so there’s no confusion as to what it’s to be used for. We are encouraged to spend beyond our means way to much in this country and the feeling of “gotta have it now” is so overwhelming. We really need to slow down and assess what’s going to be the best for your family and focus on long term goals instead of our immediate “needs”. It’s such a crazy way of looking at things from what we’re used to hearing but it makes so much sense!

I highly recommend starting off reading The Total Money Makeover. And if you’re up for going to a class together, I highly recommend finding a Financial Peace class in your area. You’d be surprised how many classes are being held around you. You can go to Dave Ramsey’s website and search for Financial Peace classes to see when they start and where they’re being held. And because everything is more fun to read when it’s pretty…here is Dave’s total overall philosophy when it comes to financial planning. There is tons of information and free resources on his website if you want more help. And I’m happy to answer any questions you have! 

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