In case he doesn't look familiar to you... say hello to Dave Ramsey. In case you're not familiar with what he does, I can pretty much some it up in two words: DEBT FREE.
I read Dave's Total Money Makeover book a few years back when a friend of mine signed up for Financial Peace University (she is debt free now, by the way). Great book, easy to follow plan, but the commitment just wasn't there. We were overwhelmed with the day to day that was a newborn and a two year old.
Fast forward four years - this time, my husband decides to hop on board the DR train, and true to his nature, it's full speed ahead. We lined up our budget and accounts through Mint so we could keep a close eye on where our money is going (Mint will even send alerts when spending is higher than expected or when you're over budget - impressive) and focus on getting rid of the monkey on our backs that is debt.
Luckily, we're not in as bad of shape financially as some of the folks on Dave's plan, but we're still motivated to get rid of the debt we have, starting with paying off a home improvement loan and my car (what? you mean you don't have to live forever with a car payment?!) and then progressing to paying down our mortgage.
We're not exactly living the DR lifestyle 100% (we still have cable, internet, i-phones... we have to stay sane here, people), but we have cut back on other spending to achieve this goal. That means that all of those great projects I had planned, the furniture I had already bought in my mind (interest free for 18 months!), the drapes I'd drooled over... it's all on the back burner for now. I can't tell you how much I don't like to say that (even knowing we're doing the right thing) cause I had this idea of how I wanted our home to look and by golly, I wanted it to look like that, um, now. *sigh* Looking at everyone's awesome decor ideas and home projects doesn't help either - the little green eyed dragon of envy comes out and I can't help but want to throw a little pity party just for me. I seriously don't know how some of you do it - have seemingly neverending funds for furniture, flooring, shopping all while staying at home, raising your five kids, volunteering, and building orphanages in third world countries.
Okay, a little exaggeration there, but you get me, right?
And then my pity party is over and I realize that once we make it through this, it's going to be so freeing. Dave's mantra is "Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later". I can't wait for the later, cause it's going to be great... and I have to keep reminding myself that when I feel a little *wah boo* coming on.
Another plus? Worked into our budget is a little cashola for my "hobbies", so I will be able to still do some fun projects for the house, or for me, or for the girls. I'll just have to stay within my allotted amount, saving some months for larger planned purchases (meaning I'll need to get more thrifty and creative), and my plans/projects might have to be spread out over a greater length of time as the budget allows.
So stick around on this new little venture with us... I hope to discover new ways to reuse and repurpose items and I hope to inspire you to create and dream without breaking the bank.
Before long, I also hope to come on here and announce that we are members of the Debt Free club!
Care to join me?