Happy Monday Everyone! This is by far the toughest day to stay upbeat but whatever you happen to be doing this Monday, try and be thankful in some way. That might help your state of mind. This Monday I am thankful for my awesome new job, the fact that I recently got to hang out with my Australian family for the first time in five years, and the companionship of my lovely man 🙂
Moving on … there were a few friends/patients back in Peoria that I let know about the desperate state of my finances. Some of you may understand: when deeply in debt, you know you shouldn’t run around telling people but the pressure is so intense that you can’t help let it slip to the people you trust.
On this particular occasion, I was glad I did. Candice (the friend) told me of a book she and her husband read. It absolutely changed their financial outlook and within a few weeks it did the same for me.
I am not being compensated for this review in any way, but this book has so significantly changed my stress levels that it must be shared.
Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is concise, forceful, and exactly what some of us need. There are tips in there that seem so common sense but combined, they make a serious impact.
Basically, as Dave says, many of us blame our situation on factors outside our control: “I went to a private university for six years and now I’m suffering for it,” “My car broke down when I least expected it and now I just can’t get the credit card bill down,” ” We were going to sell our house but then the recession hit and we can’t get what it’s worth.” Dave points out that every aspect of our financial situation is controllable by … wait for it …. ourselves! We created our mess, we must deal with it and by goodness, there is NO EASY WAY OUT.
Those of us in debt must spend money like we are in an emergency situation. We must control every dollar that comes in and goes out. We must plan and prepare for the unknown so that we are never caught unaware again.
Among shocking me into responsibility, Dave presents a few ideas that I have since put into practice. Budget by getting rid of all credit cards (except one for dire emergencies) and only using cash (except for direct debit in the case of loans and utility bills). No longer am I checking my bank account every three days. Instead I divide up my cash according to my budget and that’s all I can spend. That’s all. It’s called the Envelope System.
TJ Maxx is now a splurge and thrift stores have become my saving grace. Little spendings here and there are a thing of the past. Since I started the Dave Ramsey method, I have been out of work for a total of 4 weeks, had to do some MAJOR repairs to my car, and moved apartments. This combination would have crippled me in the past but thanks to Total Money Makeover, I was prepared and just tightened the reigns a bit.
I look forward to paying off my credit card bills and getting my loans under control. But Dave also gave me plans for my financial future beyond that. I’m excited for the security I will eventually gain. I will never make the same mistakes again.
Get the book (from the library to save money!) and read it. NOW. Even if you only learn one thing, it will be worth it.
Side note for the non-religious: Dave is a religion based financial advisor. There are small anecdotes thrown in there about faith and religion. However, there is too much to lose by not reading, so just ignore those parts.
Who plans on reading this book? Have you heard of it before?