“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” – Dave Ramsey
Our credit card bills came looking for REVENGE.
The 2 Capital One envelopes sat on top of a Banana Republic catalog. They had the quite confidence of a young Vito Corleone.
“No way this is over $1,300” I said out loud. No one was near me.
I opened my statement. Boom! $1,855.
“Shit! What did I buy?” A glance down the 3 page statement showed nothing. It was death by a 1,000 cuts.
THE USUAL SUSPECTS took all our money:
- Barnes & Noble.
- Capogiro (try the Grapefruit Campari).
- An Indian restaurant.
- Balance Studios.
- Whole Foods.
It was a list of everything and nothing.
TIME FOR A CHANGE: Our credit card statements began causing us more aggravation than the things we bought gave us pleasure. My wife and I agreed we needed a better system.
Enter Dave Ramsey.
“LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE”: We did some research.
- We read Dave’s book, “The Total Money Makeover”.
- We took his course, “Financial Peace University”.
- We CUT UP our credit cards.
- We started the CASH ONLY system.
“JOIN OR DIE”: Think you have a STRONG marriage? Want to test your RELATIONSHIP?
Do a monthly budget.
This process has all the fun and warmth of Iranian / Israeli peace negotiations.
We found the budget to be the hardest part of Dave’s system.
Why? The budget forces you to spend your money “on paper, on purpose” before the month begins.
TOUGH DECISIONS: How much should we spend on:
- Jiu Jitsu lessons?
- Gym memberships?
- Birthday gifts?
- Retirement investing?
- College investing?
My wife and I had to agree on all this. Yikes!!
TOUGH QUESTION: Have you ever even had these money conversations with your significant other?
We had not. The first 3 months were BUMPY.
Dave Ramsey says it takes at least 3 months before both people get on the same page.
It took us 6 months.
THE BENEFIT: Dave’s system brought our communication to another level.
- This process makes both people say out loud what is important to them.
- Both people have to agree on where every dollar goes.
It forces the SAVER and the SPENDER to unite.
- You can’t SPEND like a Pottery Barn groupie high on meth.
- You can’t INVEST every dime for a “tomorrow” that will never come.
It’s liberating to goto dinner and not have have the bill follow you home. Trips to the beach no longer come back to kick our ass 3 weeks later.
CASH HURTS: Spending cash HURTS. There is a different feeling giving a stranger a stack of $20 bills at Best Buy compared to swiping.
There is something REAL about handing over cash.
- Could your personal finances be in better shape?
- Ever WONDER where all your cash goes each month?
- Do you have the COURAGE to have these conversations with your partner?
I dare you to try this system and not be in better financial shape in 6 months.
Living paycheck to paycheck is AVERAGE.
Debt is DUMB.
Taking control of your money puts you on the road to REMARKABLE.
– Joe Ciccarone