Saturday, February 16, 2008

"Live like no one else...

...so you can live like no one else."

That is a quote from Dave Ramsey's book, The Total Money Makeover. Basically he preaches that if you take control of your finances now, you will be able to live how you want later.

It's such a simple concept. Live within your means. Spend less than you make. Proactively decide each month where your money is going to go, instead of wondering at the end of the month where it all went.

Brian and I are committed to changing our financial habits and taking control of our financial future. 100% committed. We're going hard-core, all cash, dividers in my wallet. This is no joke.

Our money is going to all the areas we NEED (such as food, gas, clothes, insurance, medical, etc) but as lean as possible. We do even have an entertainment fund, because in order to be successful we need to be realistic. Everything else is going to debt.

A lot of our debt is from adoption expenses or adoption-related, such as travel to Ethiopia. I wish I could say that was all, but unfortunately we got used to spending and incurred some credit card debt as well. Plus we still owe on our car.

So our mission is to get completely debt-free, minus our house. And our motivation (besides the obvious freedom we will have) is Disneyland! We sat the kids down, explained our plan to them and told them that as soon as we have reached our goal we will take the family on a Disney vacation. The kids are super excited, and even motivated to help us out. You will even hear one of them remind the other that we need to save money when there is an urge to stop somewhere like McDonalds.

So why am I telling the whole world about this? Because I need accountability. We've been doing this since the beginning of February, and so far it's been fun - a good challenge. But I know there are going to be times that are tough, and temptations that are strong. So I figure the more people who know what I am doing, the harder it will be to cheat. :)

7 comments:

Emily B. said...

Congratulations on taking control of your life. It's a long road and a daily commitment but well worth it! Good luck :)

PS- Dave is great but I also really like Suze Orman. Consider checking out her "Women and Money" book. It's by far my favorite.

Seldom Seen said...

Dear Shana,
I am Alecia Chaffee and have been a lurker on your blog for about a year. Coming here from Owlhaven. I am de-lurking to number one say that I became interested in your blog during your adoptions from Ethiopia. We are interested in adopting too. (Probably from Asia) Number two, to say that my in laws live in Boise, Idaho , so that is another reason I was interested in your blog. Thirdly , to say that my husband Sean and I just finished Dave Ramsey's class and are committed to do the same and become debt free. So, I will help hold you accountable, and ask you to do the same for me.(: You can learn about my family at livingbeyondourselves.com Congrats and God Bless..... Alecia Chaffee

Laura B. said...

So we're totally doing that too...but are waiting until we get settled in Iowa. Both of us are looking at it as a "competition"...can we save more than the other...etc.
Let us know if you have any great suggestions!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! We've been doing the same thing since the beginning of Feb, and I can't believe how many times I've been tempted to spend extra. Last month, I would have just dropped the extra $5 or $10 and not even thought about it. It's amazing how much money just slides thru my fingers without anything to show for it. (This month it's the biggies like $396 at the dentist for all four kids today! Ouch!) I'd love to be an accountability partner.
Last week, Oprah had Suze Orman on her show, and there was an offer to download the "Women and Money" book free off the Oprah website. I now have it on my computer, but haven't printed it or read it yet. [:-)
Rachel

Brianna Heldt said...

wow, so cool! you'll definitely have to keep us all posted on how it goes. and a disney vacation is a great prize for the end!

wendy said...

Good for you! We are also trying to pay off adoption and car debt and are tightening our belts. We got rid of our credit cards about 7 years ago, but we still spend money too carelessly. It is hard to be frugal, but so very worth it.

Thankfulmom said...

Shana,
I am coming out of lurk-dom to say congratulations on your journey to become debt free. My husband has always been very good with managing money and has worked very hard to keep us debt-free. With the exception of our mortgage we have no debt and it is a wonderful, freeing way to live. We often don't have the "things" that we want, but we also never worry about paying our bills. By the way, I have a Noah too and I love the name! He is now nearly 17 and is a complete joy to me.
Lisa

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