So Z and I have been taking this finance class for the last month and a half. We were so-so about it to begin with. Actually, Z was all for it and I was dragging my feet just a little. I kind of thought my budgeting system was working and would work for us. Boy am I glad I got over that in a hurry! I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while now. But like all other things, time made it impossible to get it done.
Well, after doing an internal air-jumping high-five with Z not once, but twice today, I’m more than motivated to get this puppy cranked out. At least a start. No finance is compact enough for one post. Plus, we’re still learning so why not share what we’re learning and our successes as we go?!
Our finance class was a wedding gift from our pastor. Our church was starting a Dave Ramsey’s course back in February and we were one of the first few to sign up for the introductory to learn what this journey would entail. Sure, everyone has their own opinion on finance and not all plans will work for everyone.
Dave Ramsey’s plan seems to be a fit for us. We like the biblical ties, the basic principles and the baby steps to financial success. While this class is designed for all people at many stages of life, we are fortunate enough to be starting what seems to be the best time ever. Being that we are newly married, living with our parents and trying to fish out our future steps, we have welcomed Ramsey’s core principles and tip-toed into this new way of life.
When I first started saving for the wedding, it was a little challenging. I mean, I went cold turkey – no spending outside necessities, no splurges or treats; pay day appointments and head to the grindstone until my goal was met! We met our savings goal within 9 months and were able to exceed to have our entire wedding and honeymoon paid in full before the wedding even happened.
So, I had some structure and training in letting things go – for a while. However, I had learned to ease back into my old habits of letting money slip and not being so in-your face about it. I neglected things rather than maintained a healthy balance. Fast forward through the holidays, New Year, Valentine’s Day and a birthday on the way – we weren’t in the best shape. However, with a resolution to become a budgeting expertise, our shared desire for homeownership and a wonderful wedding gift here in lies Our Journey with Dave.
Our Journey with Dave: 5 Likeable Aspects
One of our favorite things about the course is we have learned how to tell our money where to go. Taking the time to create a budget and pre-plan saves us time when we’re deciding in the heat of the moment if that dinner out, video game or new piece of clothing is really worth it. Most cases, it hasn’t been.
Another aspect we’ve grown to like is the cash envelope system. I hated the thought of using cash. Cash meant an extra step – going to get the cash. Yes, it’s a bit frustrating and takes time. But learning to plan ahead has helped that. Besides, have you ever noticed how you’ll hold on to cash longer than you would using and abusing your credit card? Using cash forces you to feel your purchase. The envelope system give you boundaries and segments your cash into the appropriate sections (we only do gas and food) and is another way to keep you on track.
Cutting credit cards! Scary thought. But, within a month of starting the class we were able to close and cut up 5 credit cards. You know the monotonous ones that get you that great deal when you sign up for an in-store card for instant savings. Yeah, I admit I was a culprit of instant deals and then letting them sit aside for the next great deal time.
So I am realizing I can go on and on and on with our experience and how our life is changing. Yes, our life is changing already. Remember those air-jumping high-fives I mentioned earlier? Well, they weren’t for nothing. They were for a savings of $300 a month on insurance costs and being able to look my paycheck in the face, put the proper amounts in the right place and breathe a sigh of accomplishment as opposed to relieve. We are not living paycheck to paycheck and it feels so good!
The best of the best in this financial game changer has been the bonding that has occurred between Z and I. We agree on money matters. We aren’t arguing over what the other spent. We are open and honest with each other and our money. It’s something that we are doing together. Sure, it isn’t always going to be a bed of roses and yes, we realize we are beyond blessed to have our current living situation. But come bad times and high waters, we are going to have the principles in place and money to get us through.