Posting a little late today … home sick in bed, watching Foyle’s War. I guess things could be worse. 😉
I’ve felt for a long time that I’ve lost my ability to sit down and read a book. I guess Google has made me stupid in that sense. I used to love to read — I read for hours at a time growing up, and I loved it. So, as one of my many commitments for the new year, I decided to attempt to read one non-fiction book per month. I was a few days late finishing January’s, and I’m more than a few days late posting about it, but here is my first book.
I’ve heard of Dave Ramsey’s concept for years, and have always agreed with his principles, but I hadn’t yet read any of his books. I very much enjoyed reading The Total Money Makeover. I love simple lists and organization, so his 7 Baby Step plan very much clicks with me. It isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, or some dodgy scheme to erase debts. It’s a way of life, a way to take control of your money and make it work for you. He doesn’t pull any punches, but he also makes clear the reasons why we should do this with our money. It isn’t to get stupid wealthy so that you can acquire more stuff. It is about being good stewards of what we’ve been blessed with, and to be in the position to be able to give like we never have before. His catchphrase that he repeats over and over throughout the book is “Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else.”
The Seven Baby Steps:
#1: $1000 emergency fund. It is ridiculous to use all your assets to pay off debt to the point that you can’t pay for a new tire or an emergency room trip. It’s not a matter of if those things will happen — it’s when.
#2: Pay off all debts using the Debt Snowball. List all debts, except the house, in order starting with the smallest. Continue making minimum payments on all of them, but attack the smallest one. When it is paid off, move all of that amount up and add it to the minimum payment on the next debt. Continue until it’s all paid off! (This is where we are — student loans are killer!)
#3: 3 to 6 months expenses – finish emergency fund. I’m excited to get to this step. I love the idea of the security of knowing that even if something happened to our income, we would have at least 3 months to regroup.
#4: Invest 15% of household income. Dave goes into all the investment types and reasons why he chooses what he does. Myth: You can’t afford to prepare for retirement. Truth: You can’t afford to NOT prepare for retirement.
#5: College funding for children. What if you can change your family tree? What if you fund your children’s college, and teach them to do the same? Student loans become a thing of the past, and instead you pay it forward.
#6: Pay off home early. We don’t have one of these yet, but I’m excited for the day that we do. Imagine walking onto your paid-for porch and walking barefoot in your paid-for grass. That’s freedom right there.
#7: Build wealth and give. Live and Give like no one else!
I really enjoyed this book and all the personal testimonies it includes. Ready to take charge of our money and live like no one else!