In the process of saving money and paying off debt, I thought it was important to talk about our process that we’re following to achieve success. First off, let me just say how much I love Dave Ramsey. I have followed him and learned from him since I started college in 2009. He is such a Godly man and teacher, and the no non-sense kind of guy. I don’t tolerate nonsense very much myself…unless I am the one making nonsense (it happens fairly often, just ask my husband). I often listen to Dave Ramsey’s radio show, my ultimate dream is to one day to the debt free scream like a lot of people have done on air. Honestly, I’ll do it just in my front yard if I have to.
Because I love Dave Ramsey so much, we are following his baby steps to success to pay off our debt and live a life like nobody else. But paying off debt is jumping ahead, let’s talk about square one, shall we?
Step 1: Build an Emergency Fund
Building an emergency fund. So in all honesty, why is it so dang hard to deal with a last minute bill that you were not expecting? Well because in most cases, you don’t have the money to spare if you’re living almost paycheck to paycheck. You’re struggling enough as it is to pay your normal monthly bills and now your AC goes out or your car breaks down and that’s going to be a huge chunk of change to fix it. This is where the emergency fund comes in. It is money that you save (outside of any other savings) to cover emergencies. That way, it won’t affect your debt payment or your monthly bills. Saving any way you can is key
. That’s step one.
Step 2: Pay Off debt with a Debt Snowball
I’m thinking we’ll get to do this step by July at the latest. Basically you make a list of all you debts, like I am doing in our monthly debt total
. You then look at the smallest balance and attack it by paying it off as soon as you can. Once that is paid off you go after the second smallest, add whatever money you paid on the first debt and pay on the second debt until it is paid. You continue to do this until all your debt is paid. I will go into our debt snowball plan in detail once we get to that step.
Step 3: Have 3-6 months’ expenses in savings
We still have a while before we get to this step but I feel like it’s pretty self explanatory. This step is to ensure that bills can be paid in case for any reason you have no income for a few months. This would give you the cushion to look for a new job with the more money saved. You of course have the freedom to save more months’ expenses if you wanted. We are still a long way away from this, so we haven’t figured out a plan yet.
The final four steps of Dave Ramsey’s are above, but like the title says we’re taking this one baby step at a time so while I will give them to you I will wait until we’ve accomplished 1 through 3 to describe the rest of the steps. If you haven’t checked out Dave Ramsey before, you should totally read one of his books!
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