On Friday morning I got a new book. The book was called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.
That night, Steve and I went to church and I saw a poster on the give away table. It had written on it:
Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
I picked it up and brought it home to put up in our kitchen. I stuck it on our white board with some sticky tape so that everyone can see it everyday.
Since starting Dave's book, I have sat down and started looking at our budget. I have been running a budget on my computer for 18 months now and thought I had pretty good control over our money. When I read Dave's book though, I realized we waste a lot of money on things that really are not necessary.
Tonight I sat down and worked out our incoming and outgoing. I was astounded when I realized how much money we actually spend each fortnight on things that really are not necessary at all.
Dave's financial freedom plan comes from wanting less and saying no to ourselves rather than buying something before we can afford it.
Steve and I have had some pretty lean times in our marriage and fortunately we have never run up a huge credit card bill. We also have waited till we have money for anything non essential. We haven't ever bought anything on interest free terms or without having the cash to pay for it.
So with Dave's plan we are starting off ahead of most people that start this. Dave's book is aimed at people that have a huge debt with college loans, car loans and credit card debt.
Dave goes through 5 baby steps to become debt free.
1st step is save $1000 for emergencies.
2nd step is pay off any debt (besides your home loan).
3rd step is save 3 - 6 months of living expenses.
4th step is pay of your home loan.
5th step is investing for your future and retirement.
Dave encourages people in his book to live more simply and not try and keep up with the Jones. I was thinking about it this weekend. We have so many wants and even though Steve and I can afford them right now without going into a huge debt, we really are not looking after our future and paying off our debt first.
I worked out a new budget tonight that increases our payments off our home loan and has us spending less on things that are not necessary. With our new budget, we are cutting many years off our home loan repayments. I was astounded how going without a little, will save us a whole heap over time and how much quicker the loan will be gone.
We can also aspire to be more rather than aspire to have more. Every time I walk past the poster each day I am going to remind myself that things are not necessary to be happy.