I listen to Dave Ramsey’s radio show on my way home from work every day.
We’ve read Total Money Makeover.
I’ve even been through Financial Peace University.
We must be ready to call in next Friday and scream, “WE’RE DEBT FREE!”
Not even close. We’re Dave Ramsey hypocrites. Gazelle intense? Try puppy intense…easily distracted and focused on whatever is moving across our path. We have had good intentions, and could talk a really good game. We know all of the baby steps, we’ve printed off all of Dave’s forms and filled them out numerous times. If someone were to ask us what baby step we were on, we probably would say two, but truthfully, we have been stuck somewhere between baby steps one and two, content to let our debt hang around.
We have come a long way financially since we have been married. When we first got married, I was in school and Matt was delivering produce for a small family produce company. We lived in married student housing, and prayed to make it from paycheck to paycheck. We had no plan, and our account saw many overdraft charges because of it. Matt eventually started working for First Tennessee as a teller, which gave us a little more to work with. When I graduated from UT, we moved to Nashville, and I got my first teaching position. Matt always planned to go back to school, but we decided we wanted a year of both of us working full-time so that we could actually feel like we had some money. We also said we would pay off some debt and save. Even with our windfall of a first year teacher’s salary, we didn’t start paying of debt. We bought stuff! Matt did go back to school and graduated, but we did that with student loans. Somewhere in there, we read Total Money Makeover and I went through Financial Peace University. Even with those great resources, all we decided to do was to start budgeting and build up the $1000 emergency fund. These were both great things to do because it put an end to the overdraft fees and it took the panic out of a lot of situations, but we didn’t go any further.
Since then we have just been coasting financially. We would save up here and there for big purchases, but had never done any real sacrifice to our lifestyle to really attack the debt. Until now! Matt looked back at our records, and last year we averaged about $400.00 a month eating out. We actually think that number is a little low because we had a baby last February, and many meals were brought to us. You also don’t get out much with a newborn. From March 1, 2011 to March 1, 2012 we know that we will be cutting at least $4800 from our budget in restaurants alone.
Now, when I listen to Dave’s callers get suddenly silent at the suggestion of giving up restaurants, I will no longer say to the radio, “Yeah right.” I’ll be saying, “We’re doing it! You can do it too!”