I’ve started Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We are about to go into Week 3 of the 9 week course. So far we have learned about Baby Step #1, Emergency Fund of $1,000 and Relating with Money. We took this quiz to find out if you were a nerd or a free spirit. My results were 80% nerd and 20% free spirit. I was not surprised by my results at all, you cannot get a degree in accounting without a certain level of nerdiness.
Now why am I taking FPU if I have a degree in accounting? Well you see, just because you know how to do things does not mean your behaviors reflect what you know. Therefore, I am taking the course to change my behaviors and thoughts of money. That’s the stuff not taught in school. It’s real world stuff, you don’t learn real world stuff from a textbook.
So Baby Step #1, a $1,000 Emergency Fund. This is a starter Emergency Fund, eventually we will have 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in the Emergency Fund, that’s Baby Step #3. I have my Emergency Fund already, it’s a little over, which I’m perfectly comfortable with and plan to keep it this way. Now this fund is for EMERGENCIES. A new TV or sofa that you just cannot live without is not an emergency. An emergency is when the car breaks down or you have to get a new fridge for the house because yours quit working. Those are emergencies. That is the only thing this money can be used for. This will be hard for me and one of the biggest factors in my success with FPU, changing how I view my Emergency Fund.
Baby Step #2 is the Debt Snowball. We are not there yet, but this is going to be a huge hurdle for me. I have 4 debts, 2 of which are credit cards. I want to annihilate this debt as quick as possible. I’m excited for the tools that FPU will give me to be successful at my goals of living debt-free.
I will write a weekly post about how I’m doing on the Baby Steps and how the class is going overall. The class is being given at the church I attend (Faith Chapel Billings). I’m really enjoying the class so far and I’m already seeing little changes in my thinking. I have noticed that I’m really starting to think through the need or want when I’m shopping and really starting to evaluate my spending. I see this being really helpful for me in the long run.
Quick story- I was wandering around Target the other day, killing some time before the gym opened and I was looking around at all the stuff and I realized how many things I thought I needed were actually wants. No one really NEEDS a piece of art for the wall, a decorative something for the shelf, etc. Those are all wants, but we live in such a consumer society that these simple things are disguised as needs. We need those to impress those people we don’t even like. As I’m walking around, and did not buy anything, I really began to think. What if I postponed my gratification for these things for after I paid off some debt? What if I put the money I would have spent on things that I don’t need towards the debts that I currently have? How much of a difference would that make in my debt situation? Let me tell you A LOT! So, that’s how I’m going to live now. I’m going to delay gratification until I can pay cash for everything. One day I won’t have to worry because I won’t have over 1/3 of my income going to debt and bills.
I have recruited my best friend to be my accountability partner. We have poured over my budget already and I think we are at a good spot. She is a huge Dave Ramsey fan and has been doing the Baby Steps on her own. I’m so proud of her. We’ve also made a deal that any purchases over $50 I must consult with her on if they are out of the realm of the normal budget. This is going to help me a lot!
In Week 3, we get to work on a Cash Flow Budget. This is where we budget every last penny. I’m really excited for this. That way I know where it is all going. I’m so excited. I think I will be able to knock out some serious debt quickly on this track.
Interested in learning more about FPU, go to http://www.daveramsey.com/store/financial-peace-university/financial-peace-university-membership-all-new/prod614.html?ectid=gaw.fpu-general2&gclid=COrE-brC-MQCFZGDaQodPLwA3w.