Thursday, November 8, 2007

I finally got the book....that I hope will change my life

I did get my Dave Ramsey book yesterday. Toby is a little skeptical, but he is leaving it up to me to read and do the research....but he promises that he will stick with it. I really think that he has some great ideas and I hope that it works like it says...I can see that it will. But me with this...It really didn't give you a guideline to your actually monthly expenses. Did I not read it or are you just supposed to use your judgement and work with the littlest amount that you can per budget item. So if you see advertised in the paper ...... a garage sale... you will know what I am doing. Trying to get my emergency fund finished and start working on my debt..haha... Pray for me...because I am the spender in the family and have always been....But I think I can do this....The one thing I am really concerned about is my giving. We have a set amount we give to the church but I always find myself buying simple gifts, and lots of little things for friends and family. How do I keep this up....but within a sensible budget. This is one of the things that I really enjoy doing. I love doing little things. I guess I could just volunteer time and stuff, too.


allie nelson said...

The only thing he gives on expenses is a recommened percentage...(i.e. 25-35% of your income should go to housing)...these are merely his suggestions...

He also says it will take several months to get your budget how you want it and you will continuously change it as your needs change.

My biggest challenges are eating out and gifts. I have had to cut back tremendously to work on our Emergency Fund and then paying off our debt!

I'm the spender in our family also...but I'm the one that handles all of the money too so this has been so helpful. I've found if I don't stick to cash I just blow money left and right!!!

Good luck!!

cdjenkins said...

I am not the spender in the family, but have been the one to push our budget into happening. Previously, I took care of all the finances, but thankfully, Richard took the finances over from me...I hated it so much! We use Dave's ideas, philosophies and concepts and blend them with ours.

I know it sounds simplistic, but Richard took ALL of our expenses and wrote them down on a piece of paper (well, in his very neat, tidy and in my opinion completely over-the-top, engineer's way). He then took our monthly income and started setting up a budget. He set up automatic withdrawals for most of our bills and the only things we use our checking account for are local bills or any bill that cannot be paid electronically. We consolidated our credit cards to one with 0% interest and have already (in 2 months' time) paid off the balance in full on the only other one we had.

The KEY to our budget success has been using cash ONLY! We pull out the amount we are going to use for that month for groceries and we each have a personal amount budgeted in. Our debit cards were killing us...I haven't used mine in over two months! Ha! It's really great because I can see exactly how much I have in my purse. I have even started saving my personal money for a Thanksgiving shopping trip.

The gifts, including tithing, are budgeted monthly.

The only thing we didn't keep ourselves really tied down with was our gas budget. With gas prices fluctuating as much as they are, and me being so far from home, we weren't willing to sacrifice visiting friends and family because we didn't have gas money...but that was our choice and we sacrifice elsewhere.

Our biggest spending used to occur on eating out, traveling, and gift buying. Eating out now comes out of our monthly personal money.

I have really started searching for ideas for gifts that I can make and I have come up with some just by looking through magazines and catalogs. I think most people appreciate handmade, anyway!

I hope this helps and know we are all right there with you! We could start a "Budgeting Babes" group...ha!

You're doing all the good, Steph!

Stephanie said...

thank you guys for all your input. I am really excited and scared again. but it is when you write it down you see where all the money is going. SUPPOSEDLY....we have enough money to pay for our ski trip and Christmas and still live this month...that is huge. we normally would not be able to. Plus, just like today I went to look at Ballyhoo's and I love it. But normally I would have walked out of there with not just one thing but many things....I didn't walk out with one. But I plan to go back...but it still made me think. I just hope that WE can stick with it. Also, if you haven't listened to the CD's I really suggest it. They are funny and another great way to get it in your brain. I first read the book and then listened to the CD's while the kids and I played and colored yesterday....
thank you again for the input and suggestions...


cdjenkins said...

That's actually how we read the book...on're right, they were very entertaining. We listened to them on long road trips and it made for a great trip.