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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Dave Ramsey Update - 4 YEARS!

Y'all! We've been doing Dave Ramsey for 4 years. FOUR YEARS!

Holy cow, that is a long time. It feels like just yesterday we were little 25 year olds who literally called ourselves "great cash jugglers" - those are actual words from our mouths, kill me. The hilarious thing was, according to the Rams (and the rest of the world), we were TERRIBLE cash jugglers at 25. Also at 24, 23, 22 and 21 - all of the years we had been married at that point bahaha. (Funny now, not funny then.)

But anyhoo! Here is the original post where we had been using his methods for a year and here is the follow up one I did last year, when we were 3 years in.

Okay! So I left that 2016 post with the info that I had taken over the ol' finances in September (a pretty life changing thing for little ol' me). I had written that I was excited for September of 2017 to see how my methods had "performed." Well, I'm here to tell you that living an absurdly strict life, telling your husband that "no, we are not going to buy a pool-appropriate volleyball because we don't have the money for it," pays off. We've made a considerable dent in our baby step #2 endeavor and MOST IMPORTANTLY, have continued to feel DANG PROUD OF OURSELVES. And that's what this whole thing is all about right? Financial self-esteem!

Without Dave, we wouldn't have been able to buy the new house. We wouldn't have been able to take the trip to Hawaii (despite our current baby step #2 status) and we sure wouldn't be able to say yes to Carter and Kota's sports life because we would still be lying around in a wasteland of financial stupidity - SO THANKS FOR THAT, DAVE!

But here's a cool thing that I've come to terms with during the past year: we have a family where our kids are getting older - funneling every available dime to baby step #2 is just not going to happen BY OUR CHOICE. We want to take vacations so that the kids can experience new things (the envelope method comes in clutch here). Carter's hockey obsession costs a pretty penny - but we're not going to say no to it because, hey, it's his childhood and he enjoys it. Dakota doesn't deserve to get the shaft either. If she wants to up her gymnastics game (or return to dance... a mom can only hope!), then that's going to be okay. Grace will come of age one day too (DEAR BABY JESUS IN HEAVEN, PLEASE LET BABY STEP #2 BE OVER BY THE TIME GRACIE WANTS TO DO ANYTHING - THE HUMANITY). But when she does, we're obviously going to be super supportive of it all.

Those revelations are the product of Chad's fun ways mixed with my no-nonsense strictness. It also has to do with priorities. Of course we COULD say no to anything and everything "extra" - we didn't have to go on any vacations over this last year, we could also say no to sports and we could also never EVER go out to eat - but we feel like we've already done that in the very beginning when our kids were young enough to not really be affected by it and, although that is a great way to go and IS effective, it's not how we are CHOOSING to do it now. NOWADAYS, I've made a goal for myself: every week make some form of a payment toward the hideousness of the student loans and BE - HAPPY - WITH - WHATEVER - THAT - AMOUNT - IS.

It can be $10. It can be $1,000 - it doesn't matter, as long as it's SOMETHING.

That being said though, I think "gazelle intensity" is the way to go! It's what got us going in the first place! So if that's what you're doing right now, hats off to you my friend!

But yeah! And just like last post, I'm not going to sit around and be bummed about STILL being in baby step #2 - like I said, we're CHOOSING to not funnel every dime in that direction, but that choice has created a great sense of balance for us and, best of all, a feeling of TEAMWORK between Chad and I. That's something I didn't feel like we had going for us during the first few (yuck that I'm saying years) but YEARS of us living the Dave life. I always wanted STRICTNESS AND NO EXCUSES, he always wanted to just enjoy our lives and had the attitude of "ONE DAY IT WILL ALL RESOLVE ITSELF."

Also, just like last year, if you'd like a little advice from an EXTREME baby step #2 veteran (bahahaha that fact is half pathetic, half awesome), then here are a few things we've done over the last few years to allow for any progress:

- As I mentioned in that first post, we got rid of our brand new car in exchange for a BEATER! I'm still so proud of us for doing that! We've since gotten ourselves new cars, but that was a pretty dramatic commitment to good ol' Dave.

- We started using the envelop method which allows us to save up for cool "extra" things (and non-extra things like Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and car registrations). THIS IS CLUTCH. Having that extra cash around really can help you out. Entertaining for Thanksgiving and you want to buy a few extra place settings but your budget is tapped that week? Borrow from the car registration envelope and pay it back  (IMMEDIATELY) the following week. It's great!

- DIY. People. Chad and I have literally learned to be handy because what we want from retail stores can just be TOO EXPENSIVE. Learn to do things on your own!!!! Sure, your products may not look as awesome as what you could expect from Restoration Hardware, but guess what? It won't cost you $4,000 now will it? If you've got style but feel weird about dishing out thousands before paying off that one credit card, then head to Home Depot and make it yourself. Also, if you get good, you can sell what you make! Extra dough!

- Set realistic budgets for things in your life. Before I took over the finances last year, we always aimed for absurdly low grocery shopping budgets. We were trying to feed a full fledged family on next to nothing. Not surprisingly, this always led to us feeling frustrated and literally HUNGRY! Hahaha. Now we've set a high grocery budget for peace of mind and comfort. It keeps us on track HAPPILY.

Okay I'm trying to think of more things (while also feeling like a douche for assuming I'm someone who can  tell you how to do this since we've clearly been on step #2 forrreeevvveeerrrr).

All in all, this is part of our journey and I've chosen to walk it joyfully (as opposed to 25-27 year old Nicole hahaha - I was so bummed that we had gotten in such a funky position and was SO HARD ON OURSELVES - what a waste of time and energy!). Like I've said before, once this whole baby step #2 is over it will be freakin' awesome! But until then, the fun is in the journey (kind of bahahaha). Wooo!

(And just in case you're wondering, I know that we're still in baby step #2 because things have changed so much during our Dave life - and that's okay! Part of the damn journey! Bahaha!)

1 comment:

  1. Baby step #2 is mentioned A LOT. What the heck is baby step #2? Lol


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