Getting closer to having more than $10.50 in your bank account!
I don’t know if you have ever been there, you know only having $10.50 in your bank account! I have multiple times!! I use to think how am I going to eat or pay my rent or enjoy a Friday night. A few years ago, my church hosted a Dave Ramsey course. This was the answered prayer guys! I kid you not. I literally was exhausted working 40 hours at one job and working 32 hours serving. I was making money so my taxes told me but I had NO money to show.
HERE is what I learned, tried, loved and didn’t like –
- Be PATIENT : This does not happen over night. I wish it did but then I would be lying to you. Look at your calendar and pick a day where you can go somewhere for 2-3 hours alone or with your spouse. NO KIDS, NO TV, NO CELL PHONE. You need to be able to think + you feel a little stressed and overwhelmed at first. I thought my chest would never stop feeling tight.
- Grab all the material : You will need an old school calendar (NOT YOUR PHONE CALENDAR), some pens, highlighters, envelopes, all your bills, the past 3 months of your bank statement printed out and some food!
- Do not get mad : You will feel like throwing your things to the wall but don’t! It will get better I promise. They say money is the #1 reason couples fight – okay well lets fix this problem!
- Plan for the next 6 months : Tell yourself and your family to be calm for the next 6 months. You will have no idea how this change will affect you and your family but it will make things better in the long run. You may not be able to go out on dates, vacations, have a Starbucks or that outfit. It’s okay!
- Stop comparing : I thought just because someone else has what I wanted, I could afford it too. WRONG – that’s how I got myself into so much debt. I had to have that nice car, I wanted to go that concert, go on that trip, eat that meal that was $$.
- Have someone who will keep you accountable: If you do not have this, you will want to give up. Find someone you trust, who you can be open to about how much you make and will not pressure and say “it’s okay this one time” Guys it’s time to enjoy living and not letting debt and bills run our lives! If you want that $300 purse or watch but cant afford it, walk away. One day you will be able to pay cash for it or you may release you can use that $300 for a fun trip or just have it in saving for rainy day!
So how to plan the right way –
- Sit down and write out all your bills. How much is due each month and when its due. This is rent/mortgage, electricity, water, gas, etc.
- Write out all your debt. Credit cards, car payments, loans, etc. In one column put how much you owe per month, in the second column write out how much total you owe. By the way if you didn’t know, you can call and change the DUE DATE of the bill that works for you! That helped me a whole lot! (this is a little tip I decided to do. I wrote out how much I owed on a debt and said okay I want this paid off within 12 months and divided the debt by 12 months. Example: My car: 9,459.00/12 months = 788.00 per month. So if I wanted to pay my car off in a year I would have to have $788.00 a month. Sometimes I didn’t have that much money to spare sometimes I did. I guess what I am saying is you can spend $200 at target when you could put that towards a bill!)
- Use cash. This is what CHANGED it for me! YES you have to go the atm or bank to withdraw money. Dave Ramsey said to use the envelope system. On each envelope you write out : GAS, FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT, CLOTHING. This makes you think twice about spending your money. So what you do – lets say you bring in $1900 a month (you put 15% of that amount in the gas envelope, 15% in the food envelope, 10% in the entertainment and 5% in the clothing.) Once you use all the money in the envelope that’s it. Lets say you don’t use the entertainment and clothing envelope that month. You can continue to save that money into the next month or use that money on a debt!)
- Savings. Your goal for the next 6 months is to have $2000.00 in your savings account and then continue to place money in your savings. During the course Dave tells you to work a second job if you have to until your debt free, sale what you can, live within your means. The savings account is used for a rainy day. That would be if your car messes up, something breaks, etc. That way you can pay for it in cash and not on a credit card.
- Be cautious. If you know your tight on money and your friends want to go out. Don’t. Ask them to come over and hang out instead of going to the bars. If your planning a wedding. Know your budget and pay cash for it! You can have a nice and beautiful wedding, just do it within your means. If you have children that go to daycare – my sister pays $164 a week (that’s $656 a month/ $7872 a year) – try to do the basics. Don’t eat out for lunch, pack a lunch, plan your supper meals based on how much is in your food envelope and go into the store with a list and your envelope. Also when you look at your bank account summary you will see where you spend your money!
This will take time. Once you get into a routine, you will start to notice somewhat of change. If you have a lot of debt make it your goal to tackle it this year.