How would you like to think about money and be at peace? Anything that talks about finances, savings plans or even just self-help in general usually makes me run in the other direction. But this book is not a boring one of those…it is REALLY good.
If there is one big area of my life I have always needed more self control it has been money. I have always just spent money until it’s gone. My mindset was, if it’s there, I can spend it. Who even needs to keep track of the bank account? I remember two years ago I got talked into opening a credit card (which I never wanted to do because I know myself well). Within three months I had already racked up $1300 on pretty much nothing…clothes and food? You guys have experienced that thought, right? “Where did it all go?? Who spent all this money on my card?!”
I was turning out to be one of those ladies at the mall who has to hide the shopping bags in the trunk so that her husband doesn’t see. Haha. The excuse that all this stuff was “on super sale” was quickly running out. So once I finally told my husband about my crazy spending habits and my giant credit card bill. (Side note: this was really hard to do! But really, if you want to not fight about money with your spouse, you have to be totally honest! You will be so free if you get rid of secrets.) I got put on “spending probation” and he has been slowly teaching me how to keep track of money ever since. He is very wise when it comes to money but he’s not perfect either. He can err on the side of not spending or giving enough. Like most couples, money used to be a big thing we’d fight about because we were opposites…and money is just stressful.
But here is where the book came in. We started reading it about 6 months ago and already are pretty blown away by how it has improved our lives. A lot of the principles go against what we’re used to hearing. Our culture is full of maxed-out credit cards, foreclosed houses, and “I gotta have it nows.” We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but we feel like we never have enough (see The Trouble With Paris). It doesn’t matter how much money we make, we always think we will just be happier if we have a little bit more.
Dave Ramsey is a really smart guy and he explains things well so it make sense. He made a lot of mistakes and was bankrupt by his early 20s but he turned his life around and is now a millionaire. Warning: This is NOT one of those “get rich quick” books. You’ve read the story of the tortoise and the hare. This is a book teaching you how to be the tortoise. You’ll come out with the win, but it’s going to take some time and hard work.
In the 6 months that we have been reading the book here are some of the changes we have seen…
-We never fight about money now. Ever. I seriously can’t remember the last time.
-We paid off our school loans and sold our house. So went from $90,000 in debt to ZERO debt (moving in to a parsonage helped as well – we can’t take full credit for that)
-We saved up an emergency fund that will cover us for 3-6 months if needed. No more freaking out if the car breaks down or if we get hit with big medical bills – these things have happened already and we didn’t have to get stressed.
-We are now able to give without feeling like we won’t be able to pay our bills if we do. <—my favorite part
-We are now able to think about investing in the future…the kind of saving that feels like it pays off…like buying a house or car without making payments, mutual funds, retirement, someday building a youth center, etc.
- We each have spending money each month…a little for dates, a little for trips, a little for clothes and fast food. <–my second favorite part:)
Check out the book here. It is only$10 and is so so so worth it.
Already read it? What changes have you seen?