I’ll never claim to be a financial guru of any sort, not before the day where I’ve gotten my MBA and become an accountant. However, I think it’s important for every day average people to share their personal financial journeys, for 1. to keep them (aka me) accountable, and 2. because talking finances in our society has become such a taboo thing to do. Maybe that’s why so many of us are in major debt. We feel like that must be the norm because GOSH the credit card marketers sure aren’t keeping their mouths shut!
Of course, the first step in sloughing off debt is to realize that you actually WANT to be rid of it. That it’s not a good thing. It’s weighing down your life, always sticking in the back of your mind that you owe someone else money. Thankfully, this particular step wasn’t much of an issue for me – I have a healthy phobia of credits cards developed at a young age from watching other people make those mistakes before I had the chance. If you’re fine with having a ton of credit debt, maybe check out this article by Dave Ramsey to examine another perspective.
Yes, I said Dave Ramsey. I usually pass on “self-help gurus,” but I feel differently about Dave Ramsey. His system has WORKED for us. Watching his seminar as a couple gave my person and me a united vision we were both motivated towards. We’ve worked together on this vision, and we feel SO GOOD about our finances!
I’m sure you’ve heard about Dave Ramsey’s seven baby steps. You can read up on them more here. We’re getting ready to check the first two off our list (1000 in savings + all debt paid off). The third step is saving a fully-funded emergency fund (3-6 months of living expenses). A helpful system for us has been to plan a reward at the end of each step. These first two have gotten hit together, and our reward is to plan a road trip to see my husband’s family down south. We’re hoping for something even bigger for our fully funded emergency fund – a trip to Hawaii or maybe even Spain (disclaimer: we have family in both of those places).
People often gripe about Dave Ramsey’s severity when it comes to credit cards. But regardless of how you feel about that, you can still appreciate the integrity of his system as a whole. (Credit cards are only ONE part of it!) As for us, I think that we will continue to keep our cards for large purchases and simply pay them off every month. I see no reason to pay someone else interest just so I can build credit.
But if it’s hard for you to resist using your credit card irresponsibly, you might seriously consider taking Dave Ramsey’s advice. He has a lot of articles on credit cards and building credit, so take a look at his website.
No promotion here. Just good ol’ honesty about the difference having a united vision has had on our finances. There’s no secret to it: it’s self-control, vision, and most importantly having a budget.
Have you found a financial system that works for you? How do you feel about credit cards?