Tag Archives: Dave Ramsey

Intentional Return

19 Jan

So, I filed my taxes and realized I would have a pretty sizable return this year. I immediately began to think about ways I could spend that money.

To be honest, I started planning how I’d spend my income tax return in August. I’ve been guilty of this before, and I usually plan something practical and then blow the rest. This year is no different, as I plan to get a tune up and to take my pup to the vet.

I also want to get some new running shoes. I’m not sure if I need to purchase these shoes. I could try to save up for them. I think buying the shoes with money that I saved for would be more satisfying and would also help me to be more sure I was getting the best deal.

After I realized that I would be getting a large return, I decided to change my deductions on my taxes. It’s important for me to have the money throughout the year instead of at the beginning of the next year. After all, I’m trying to get out of debt! If I have the money throughout the year, I feel like I’m more likely to spend it correctly. If I have a large lump sum, I’m more likely to blow it.

I’m trying to change the way I think and feel about spending money. Dave Ramsey says that handling money is 80% behavioral, and my behavior needs a serious work up. Every time I make my bed, I think about my spending. Every time I write a blog, I think about spending. Every time I write in my spending journal, I think about spending. Every time I open my wallet, I think about spending. Every time I listen to a Dave Ramsey podcast, I think about spending. Are you sensing a trend here?

I want to live intentionally. I want to handle my finances intentionally. I want to handle my relationships intentionally. I want every step I take to be filled with God’s intentions, for my life and for others. I hope that my blog is filled with intention. And I hope to continue to provide the good reports about how God is changing the way I think about spending and saving. He’s so good to me and wants to give us the desires of our hearts. My desire right now is to become financially fit.

I will keep you posted on how I spend my return. What do you plan to do with your return?

What do you want to do intentionally? How do you stay financially fit?

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Jealous of Wealth

16 Jan

I listened to a Dave Ramsey podcast from January 10, 2013 about wealth and the perception of wealth. It got me thinking about how I used to feel about wealthy people or people who had a better understanding of how to manage their money than I did or ever felt like I would.

I remember a time when I was so consumed with my failures in my finances that I couldn’t stand to be around people who had financial success. I was so ashamed of my failures and so unsure of my ability to overcome my struggles with money that I seethed with envy around people that knew how to handle their money. I spewed anger towards these people and took everything they said to me as judgment.

My reaction to these people was not only unfair to them but unfair to myself. I failed in many relationships because I was bound in the shame of my failures. Many times these people probably didn’t even think about me and my money. But I felt like they were judging me. And it consumed my thoughts. I was so unhappy with myself, and I didn’t think I would ever be able to overcome my financial struggles.

I have gone to a couple of people whom I treated unfairly and apologized to them. When I realized what had happened, I felt that I needed to repent to these people. I did, and I am glad that I did! Here I sit today, hungry for a change in the way I think about money.

This was a difficult post for me to write. I now admit that my failures with my finances have led to failures in my friendships and relationships. But I shared this part of my heart because I am now more open for change. Now, I have friendships with people who have financial success, and I’ve even invited one friend to challenge me financially. I know now that I need the help! And I’m ready to accept it.

Now, I believe that I can overcome my financial struggles. God is so patient and graceful, and He has never overwhelmed me. I’m ready to go wherever He wants to take me, and I’m convinced He’s ready to take me to Financial Peace!

One Step at a Time

5 Jan

I have to admit that I get a little discouraged sometimes. When I think about how far I am from financial freedom…it just seems like such a daunting task.

I’m reminded of how I got here in the first place.  I like to spend. It’s almost like an addiction.  And addicts have to take it one day at a time.  It’s important to have a plan and to have that plan written down because it helps to make the plan feel more attainable.  But I can’t spend all my time thinking about the end goal.  I have to think about it one day at a time.  If I spend my money here, here, and here, I can’t pay off this loan as quickly as I’d like.  If I can keep my focus on tomorrow and where I will spend my money instead of next year, I feel like it will be more encouraging to me.

Of course, applying the one day at a time mentality can be a problem for me.  I have a really great budget spreadsheet I developed a couple of years ago.  I really love that spreadsheet, and it helps me keep my expenses on track.  However, one issue that I’ve had is what I do when I don’t spend all of one of my line items.  I used to just put that money in my pocket.  Now, I need to take that money and save it.  One day at a time, right???

I heard a Dave Ramsey podcast yesterday where he read a report by an assistant professor at Washington University.  The professor had done a study that said that it’s more beneficial for people in debt to pay off the loan with the higher interest rate.  Of course, this goes against Dave’s snowball method, which I wholeheartedly agree with.  Dave says that financial problems stem largely from behavioral problems and paying off the smallest loans first will help modify behavior that got the person in debt, in this case me, where they are now. This approach makes sense to me.  It’s a case of reinforcement. When a loan is paid off, a feeling of accomplishment occurs.  The debt-riddled person (again – me!) wants to gain that feeling again, so she decides to work on the next loan.  That debt is paid and reinforcement occurs again.  So, let’s tackle the next debt, and etc…, etc…, etc…  I get it!

It may be a long and winding road.  There will be bumps. There will be curves. There will be sudden stops.  There will also be smooth roads.  There will also be straight lines.  And there will be moments of heavy acceleration.  Buckle up with me.  I’ve got my hands in the proper position, and I am focused on the path ahead.

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