"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

If I'm Only Helping One Person Then I'm Making a Difference

>> Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I got a great email the other day that I wanted to share. (Yes, I asked if it was ok first. Sheesh. I'm not gonna throw someone under the bus without finding out if I can push them first...)

Hi Jody~
I'm a reader of yours, and was thinking about you the other day. I
know you are going through debt management (we'll just call it that for lack of
another word). Did you guys go with a company to do something with your credit
cards? If so (or even if not) who did you go with? I am in Iowa also. We've got
loads of credit card debt, and I'm convinced that we need to take a step towards
control. I really related to one post of yours where you said that you just need
to sit down together with your spouse and go through everything- it may cause
stress, may cause nausea, etc. That's how I feel- it's almost like I'm scared to
even sit down with my husband because he has no clue how bad it has gotten, and
I don't want him to be mad at me.

Can you help a girl out?

(Name Withheld unless she comments and gives herself away)

You all know me well enough to know that I wrote a nice long reply:

We are doing Financial Peace University. It's a Dave Ramsey program
offered mainly through churches. You don't have to belong to a church to attend the class. On the home page there is a place to input your zip code to find a class near you.

I highly recommend the class because it's a great motivator to be around so many other people who are after your same goal. It really got Doug on board; he was very hesitant to follow Dave's plan (he saw so many things "wrong" with it) until he saw it in action through the classes.

Most companies that will "do something" with your credit cards will destroy your credit and charge you a lot to do it. (Not a big deal since you should be paying cash for everything from now on out, anyway, but you don't need them.)

The "big" sit down was to go over our entire budget (it's the third lesson) and it was hard. But we got it done and our lives are so much smoother. Following Dave's plan isn't always easy nor is it fun (we didn't go on vacation with the rest of our family, we missed KC Irish Fest and the MN Renaissance Fest) but we should have no debt but our house by this time next year. And then just think of what we can do with all that cash!

If you can't get a class you can take FPU online and buy Dave's
Total Money Make Over (it's the book that started it for me) to read before.
It's a great overview of the plan that FPU gets much more involved in.

Please let me know if I can help in any way,offer any advice or
encouragement, or just cheer you on. Once your snowball gets rolling it's a
great feeling to watch the debt disappear under it.


Her next question is typical of so many families:

Thanks for the advice, Jody. I will look into it. So how did you talk Doug into
even going to the class? Are you guys like we are- I pay the bills, take care of
all money matters, and he has no clue. I can't picture a way to even bring this
up to (name withheld to protect the indebted), that's how bad it is. We just
bought a new house, and got me a new car since my old one was falling apart.
Both payments are higher than our previous house/car...so I've vaguely brought
it up to (name withheld to protect the indebted) that we really need to sit down
and work up a budget now. He just says "yeah"...and it never goes any further.
We are both so used to spending willy-nilly, although I am obviously more aware
of it than he is!!

Because that is totally how Doug & I were I had an answer...

Doug made the money and I paid everything. His big problem was his debit card.
He really didn’t realize how much he used it. I bought the Total Money Makeover
book and read it. I made a lot of comments to Doug about it and finally he read
it but didn’t “agree” with a lot of it. When our church offered
Financial Peace University I told him we were signing up. He’s been on board ever since. But it did take me about 6 months to get him there!

I suggest getting the book and beginning the
8 Baby Steps. Do what you can, make your own changes and hopefully he’ll notice and follow. But the class is invaluable.

I know that quite a few of you who stop by follow Dave's plan. Does anyone else have any advice for my friend? Please leave it in the comments- I know she'll be checking in!


Tamara B 4:29 PM  

do check out his web page, its very helpful. Also, you can podcast 1 hour free of his 3 hour talk show. He's on lots of radio stations and even on tv now. All the info you need to find him is on the site Jody linked.

many people that do FPU are in the same shoes mentioned above. But, I just wanted to mention that you don't have to be majorly in debt and spending more than what you make to benefit from the book and/or class. My husband and I had very little debt (I think it was $5k between our car and septic tank loans). We used the class to help us get on the same page as far at the budget goes. But more than that, we were educated on about 13 different valuable topics relating to your money. FPU is a financially wise investment.

Yes, it will cause heart ache if you're in the situation of the above reader. But, he can't help you fix it if he doesn't know something is broken.

If you need another encouraging person who has been there, done that, you can link to me and leave me a comment.

Anonymous 1:11 PM  

The Dave Ramsey Plan has totally changed our lives. I suggest getting the Total Money Makeover ... read it and jump right in. Don't wait. There will always be an excuse to "not start right now".

It's hard giving up some of the things you'll have to give up ... but the feeling of watching debt disappear and things that you're paying for become YOURS is priceless.

If you have the Fox Business Network, I'd watch his program every evening. That's what got us addicted. :)


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