Beyond Zero: Financial Well-Being
My wife and I a couple of years ago started following Dave Ramsey’s principles on finance and it has really changed our life. My wife Jenny and I’s journey started in February of 2017 when we were living paycheck to paycheck. We had three vehicle loans at the time, several credit card loans, and a 401K loan. Over the next 24 months, we paid off all of our debt and owe nobody a penny except our mortgage on our house, which we will hopefully pay off within the next seven years.
Dave Ramsey teaches seven baby steps to become wealthy and my wife and I are completing baby step 3 next month. Baby step one is saving a small emergency fund, which we’ve never had, of course, we lived paycheck to paycheck. We’ve never had that emergency fund in place, so step one; save a small emergency fund. Step two is just attack debt. We pay off debt like there is nothing else. Any extra money you have goes towards debt and that baby step. To do that I took on a second job. My wife sold stuff on eBay. We sold everything we could find to start paying off that debt. Baby step three then is a fully-funded emergency fund of three to six months of expenses, which we are about 70% complete with right now and we will be continuing that path. After that comes saving for retirement, saving for the kid’s college funds, and paying off your house early. Baby step seven is just give. Give and save money for retirement like you’ve never done before.
Stress is much lower in our lives when we’re not living paycheck to paycheck. Our marriage is better. We’re on the same page all the time. We don’t spend money without asking each other. If it’s not in the budget it waits. If we can’t pay cash for it, it waits. We have bi-weekly budget meetings where we discuss where every dollar is going to go in the next two weeks before we get that next paycheck.
Thanks everybody, have a great day.