Don’t open your checkbook – there might be monsters hiding in there! Great Advice from Dave Ramsey Experts

Cover of "The Total Money Makeover: A Pro...

Cover via Amazon

Remember when you were a little kid and you were afraid there were monsters under your bed or in the closet?  That is the way it is for some of us when we think of balancing our checkbook.  If we don’t look, there is no pain, so why bother looking we tell ourselves.  Been there, done that for MANY years. 

If you are just getting starting on your personal finance journey or thinking about it, here are some tips from some of Dave Ramsey fans who are experts at paying off debt. 

Enjoy reading and remember, there are no such things as a checkbook monster…the only things lurking could be unknown charges!

God bless and enjoy reading some great advice below.

Jen

www.fieldofdebt.com

Read The Total Money Makeover
Write down date, item, cost of everything spent for 30 days. Use that to refine the budget worked up during. Then write it down for the next 30 days to refine the budget. Then . . . do this until the routine becomes known and only the non-routine causes an adjustment.
Overall:
Be good with God.
Be good to others.
Take care of their health and,
Stay out of debt.

When you start to become interested in focusing on your finances, don’t start right away. Grab a handy-dandy notebook and write down everything you spend money on for the first month. Every single penny! If you throw money in a jar at the end of the night, document that too.

Then ask yourself how much money are you “eating” literally! Between fast food, trips to the convenient stores, dinners out, etc.; that usually shocks many! Now, start your budget.

Post a note somewhere–bathroom mirror, fridge, whatever:
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Crockpots, not microwaves

Best advice: Stop spending until you figure out how much money needs to go where.

Read Total Money Makeover
-Don’t take on any new debt.
-Stop spending and live on less than you make.
-Don’t feel that you absolutely have to follow the plan 100% in order to be successful. It can be modified.

Start using cash for EVERYTHING. Once we did this for groceries and gas our budget started working like a well oiled debt kickin’ money saving machine.

I found it easier to do the allocation sheet at the same time as the budget so we could give each dollar a name as well as a time frame.
ETA-visit the Total Money Makeover forums often to help keep up the intensity

Be persistent and don’t get discouraged or stop the plan if you fall off the wagon. I fell off for 1-2 months this spring/summer and I got right back on.

+1 with one caveat: Make sure any deviations from the plan are small, and still follows the rule of good common sense.

The budget takes work and you will makes mistakes, especially in the first 3-4 months. Learn from the mistakes, but don’t get discouraged and quit.

You WILL spend more if you use the debit card instead of cash….it’s psychologically more painful to part with cash. Pull the debit card from the wallet.

1. Work your plan everyday.
2. Have a budget meeting with your spouse, even if it is only 5 minutes.
3. Follow the plan; it works.
4. Learn to balance your checkbook.

Make sure you budget blow money or you will fall off the wagon
1.Read Total Money Makeover or financial peace
2. Take the financial peace online course.

Reading the book will familiarize yourself with the baby steps.
Mull the information over. Taking the course online will teach you how to put the steps into action.

1. Take deep breaths when things get stressful. Taking deep breaths literally tells your body to stop the fight/flight response brought on by stress and can clear your mind.

2. Focus on one step at a time. It does no good to worry about BS5 if you still need to finish BS1. Focus on getting that one baby step done then praise yourself for a job well done and focus on the next step. Repeat as necessary.

You must have exceptional self discipline. As for me and my DH, we found the DC to be the secret bleeder, especially with grocery shopping and discount stores.

#1) Cash is your friend.
#2) Don’t give up too easily. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be progress. People tend to cave & take a trip to Starbucks and then figure ‘what the heck, i’ve blown it anyway’ and then proceed to go crazy buying all this stuff on impulse. Perceived ‘needs’ are particularly tempting. When you cave & go to Starbucks, end it there. Just forgive yourself and move on. Something like that does not equal failure!

 

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Samantha on August 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I can totally relate to the not looking at your bank account thing! UGH! I am so excited to take control over my money and my LIFE! Thanks for posting, Jen. It was just the encouragement I needed today 🙂

    Reply

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