I've enrolled in a 13 week class on Wednesday nights from 8-10 p.m. (I tuck Evelyn in bed, say good bye to Porter and Bill and head out the door).
I'm attending the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University.
I've gone twice so far.
Since I have started going, I feel empowered. Hopeful. I think about money in a completely different light.
The people that I am taking the class with are awesome. I love our discussions. I learn so much from them and walk away each class so renewed and ready to face our family's finances. We all come from different backgrounds. But the theme is resounding with each of us - and that is, no matter how much money one makes, we are all looking for ways to become at peace with our finances, using a budget, reducing our debts, being generous with our money, and building wealth.
Dave Ramsey's motto is "If you will live like no one else, Later you can live like no one else.
I love that tithing to one's church is a huge part of Dave's philosophy and one of his steps. I also love how important it is to him that we teach our children these concepts and that we make the words "debt, 401K, mutual funds, savings, compound interest, etc.," a part of our family's daily vocabulary and conversation.
We've made some really good strides. But because we are on such a tight budget to begin with, we've had to make some cut backs in other areas of our life in order to be able to follow the steps in Dave's Financial Peace course. Here are some that we have been doing:
-Our family has only eaten out once in the last couple of months (We have usually eaten out about once a paycheck). We havn't missed it.
-I am making larger portions of the foods my family likes so that we can try and eat these meals a couple of times during the week. Plus, I'm still making my own bread.
-I've seriously cut back on buying fruit snacks, granola bars, crackers and other expensive snacks. (I've always had a love/hate relationship with them anyway - loved that they were convenient, but hated how unhealthy they are) My kids are, well.....coping. In our Sunday morning family council where we discuss family matters, Porter has helped us come up with some healthier, more economical snacking ideas which has helped.
-I've set my washing machine to cold and I'm using homemade powdered laundry soap and having great results!
-And yes. I've done the unfathomable. I have seriously cut down my trips to Costco. (Since it has come to town, my grocery budget has really gone up and I havn't necessarily seen HUGE savings) I am very loyal to WinCo (a large discount grocery chain in my area) and I know their prices by heart, so I feel, at least for the time, that I will be saving money by loading up at Winco and having an occasional trip to Walmart or Costco.
-Nothing is going on the credit card. Nothing. It's not an option.
-We have down-scaled Christmas. A lot. But we look forward to being together and sharing in our many wonderful traditions. Plus, we can't wait to give away the homemade gifts that we have made together this year. They rock.
We are working hard at heading towards financial peace as a family. It feels really good. And I have Dave Ramsey to thank for reminding me of the things I already know, but he puts them into such a fun and innovative light, that it seriously has given me a completely new perspective on handling each and every dollar that comes in.