It seems I have a love hate relationship with Dave Ramsey. Honestly, if I had really followed his advice ten years ago I would probably be debt free and on my way to building wealth. Well, here I am, still in debt and wanting out of it. So I have been listening to Dave Ramsey on You Tube and planning and brainstorming to get out of debt.
We’ve definitely adjusted our lifestyle over the years. Back when we were dual income with no kids, then dual income with one kid- the income stream seemed to be flowing. But here is where we started making our mistakes. A credit card that promised points- we will pay it off every month. Well, that’s all great until you’ve charged too much and can’t pay off the entirety and then the slippery slope- a balance that grows. Then there was discontentment with where we lived- that had a cascade effect that resulted into a series of poor real estate choices – coupled with decreased knowledge of when to buy and sell and a boom and bust market.
After my second daughter was born I realized how great my desire was to be a stay at home mom, but the hole I had dug myself was too great for just one income. The real turning point in how I spent my money was when I witnessed a family of 6 living in a tiny two bedroom trailer while I was renting a $300 water slide for my eldest daughter’s birthday party (not to mention the hundreds of dollars spent on decorations, food and gifts). In that moment I felt like I was totally squandering what I should be managing. And the debt mounted. I had this desire to stay home with my kids, I was homeschooling, at that point, and I couldn’t. And I felt like I had been lied to- is this the American dream? I thought I needed all this stuff- to make my kids happy, to give them the stuff I didn’t have as a kid, to be successful. It was a lie. A big fat lie.
The truth? Money won’t make you happy. Stuff won’t make you happy. Kids don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. Kids need love and your time to be happy. Geez, I wish I had that revelation before I had kids, even before I got married. Really, though, life is the best teacher. I wouldn’t have listened to anyone who would’ve told me- I can remember ones who tried. I was young and couldn’t be told, I guess (young and stupid, hardheaded, obstinate).
So, since my aha moment, I have been striving to be a better steward of my resources. I’m still making mistakes, but my mind set on so many things have changed over the years. I’ve changed how I think about ‘stuff ‘. I’m no longer a collector of stuff. I’m not as emotionally wrapped up in stuff as I once was.
I recently began reading the book, Teach Yourself Thrifty Living by Barty Phillips. I enjoyed the way he described the purpose of thrifty living- it’s
“not to give yourself a reduced lifestyle but by regularly and consistently saving unnecessary expenditure as a matter of course, to achieve particular goals”.
I’d say that pretty much sums up what living a thrifty lifestyle can do for you. Dave Ramsey always says “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else”. I know few people who live completely debt free, right? But I’d like to.
Over the years my goal has been to borrow less, spend less, but the tenacity to really stick to Dave’s plan (and be ‘gazelle intense’) has been sorely lacking. In one of his you tube videos he talks about doing his plan Dave-ish and goes on a rant as to how the Dave-ish plan does not work. Another favorite saying- “Why would you take advice from broke people, that’s stupid!” Yep, Dave Ramsey doesn’t beat around the bush or soften the truth and if I’d followed the plan 10 years ago- who knows, maybe I’d be debt -free now?
I’ve read numerous books over the years on reducing spending, living frugally, and being thrifty. I love reading books like these because they motivate me on my journey and help me stay the course. I’ve floundered a bit, but I’m back on track and the best part of it is that my husband is on board, too. So…. here we go.