My husband and I are furiously trying to get out of debt. We just started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Freedom course and have learned a lot about doing just this. Follow us on our journey as we try to follow the plan and meet our goals.
If you are thinking of taking the course, I highly recommend it. Even though my husband and I are pretty well practiced at saving money, we have already learned so much more than we thought we knew. While some weeks speak to us more than others, each weekly lesson has something that we take from it.
A couple of tips that I learned: taking the course through a church group usually saves you money on the course fee because the rates are slightly different. We didn’t know this at the time we signed up, we just felt blessed that the course was made available at our church. I also recommend a church group because you have a built in support system that can be there for you, answer questions, share ideas and keep you accountable.
The biggest thing that my husband and I face is taking the time to sit down every week to go over the budget. Previously, our strategy was that I handled the grocery budget, he handled most of the car and house repair, and the rest we just left to itself. Committing to having a weekly budget meeting plus doing our course homework has really been a good thing for us. We still struggle with trying to find the time, but the course has given us that motivation and opportunity to prioritize about money.
Last night, we again sat down with the budget. Our goal is to pay off the car by this August 2011. It won’t be easy. If we went by the regular payments, it would take until June 2012, almost a whole extra year of interest. To do so, we’ll have to sacrifice a little more. Some of it will be in things, such as buckling down on kids activities and having more meatless meals, to time, such as working a couple of extra hours in the month or staying up late to make a house repair instead of hiring it out. We are getting mean or mad. Even something such as juice, which I might have bought without thinking, is not in the budget this month.
One discouraging thing is that this past month, we were hit with a lot of unexpected expenses, such as emergency dentistry and a problem with our furnace. Thankfully, though, we don’t have any credit card debt and don’t plan on having any in the future.
We need all of the encouragement that we can get on this journey, so I hope you will be with us along the way.