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Old 06-08-2010, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Anyone follow Dave Ramsey's plan to get out of debt and build wealth??

I'm sure everyone's heard about it, and alot of people have read about it, but I've always been completely against it. Mostly because I know he's right and I wasn't really ready for the self-examination his plan was going to require of me.

But I'm at a point in my life where I think I better start paying better attention to my financial future. I mostly live within my means, but barely. I have nothing in savings right now; nothing to fall back on in the event of an emergency; and no start to a retirement. I'm a grown-up now, and I guess it's time to start acting like one...

So, Dave Ramsey has a list of 7 baby steps... And you go through them one at a time (obviously, because that's why they're called baby steps) and they're made so that you can experience small successes along the way, to help keep you motivated and on the right track.

You can't do it all at once, or you will become overwhelmed and give up. That's always been my biggest challenge - I want instant gratification - I want to start the savings account, start the retirement account, and pay off all the debt RIGHT NOW. And then I get frustrated because it can't happen like that, and I just give it all up. So to have a plan like this will be really beneficial to me.

Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps:
(and you can read detailed explanations of each step at http://www.daveramsey.com/new/baby-steps/ )

1. Set up a $1,000.00 emergency fund
2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball (pay off in order of smallest to largest)
3. Set aside 3-6 months of expenses in savings
4. Invest 15% of income in Roth IRA's and pre-tax retirement
5. College funding for children
6. Pay off your house early
7. Build wealth and give

So I was thinking, if anyone wants to join me and do the same thing, maybe it would be fun to start a social group so we can keep each other motivated! If I did that, would anyone like to join me??
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Once I have a job YES.....right now I am not making ends meet........ definitely not. So it is kind of useless when I don't have even 1 penny to put in savings! But, when I get my job [after the bar]-- I am all in.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

I know one person who has tried it, but she can't get past step 2.

I have done various steps at various times

I do put 10% of my net pay into retirement right now, but that has been sporadic through the years as well.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

I've given myself a deadline to start Step 1 on June 24th, for 2 reasons.

1. Because I have 2 large expenses this week and next week - this week I need to get my car licensed by Friday or I have to pay a large ticket I got last week for it being (at the date of the ticket) 2 days past due. And then next week I have a car payment to make.

2. Because the 24th is my birthday

I'm going to open the savings account with $100 and then put in at least $25 a week thereafter - more if it's a week I don't have many bills. There will be at least one week out of the month I can put in as much as $100 - hopefully. Unless DD keeps losing inhalers...
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

See, I look at that list and get to the end and think.."Oh, man I can never do this"

But I guess the first step is putting any money away..even if it is $5 a week.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Quote:
Originally Posted by pann71 View Post
See, I look at that list and get to the end and think.."Oh, man I can never do this"

But I guess the first step is putting any money away..even if it is $5 a week.
That's exactly how I am. That's why I've never started a retirement account - because I get so overwhelmed every time I get another bill from the doctor's office or have to go to the pharmacy for another prescription refill... and I tell myself I can't start saving until I pay this. And then I put off paying it because I don't have the full amount. And I put off making payments because I figure if I can't pay the whole thing anyway, I might as well put the money toward something I CAN pay off... and then I want to start a college fund for the kids.

It's a vicious cycle... that's why the steps are perfect for me. I can focus on one step at a time, and my timeline isn't going to be the same as anyone else's and that's ok. $5 a week is better than $0 a week!
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

It would be easy if life didn't get in the way.

A girl at work was all about it for a while. Then she bought a house. Then she had pregnancy complications and a long hospitalization. She can't seem to get past step 2 before she has to start step 2 all over again! She keeps plugging at it though and it is a wonderful goal to have!
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Old 06-08-2010, 07:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

I will join you, AM....but in order for it to work it would have to be pretty private. More so than the weightloss one. I've been reading up on him for awhile...I think we could both use the motivation!!!

---------- Post added at 06:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:36 PM ----------

.....and I find I am plenty motivated to get out of debt and build savings....but things always get in the way. It might be nice to have someone to strategize with and help find solutions.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

the best thing to do would be to find a good financial guy (or gal)...ask around to people you know...many of us would be better off with one who's young, fairly new, and aggressive...

they can set you up with the right investments/accounts for your needs...take the money right out of your check (so you don't have to worry about remembering to save)

before BM, i put about $250/month away into IRA's and Mutual Funds...during BM, I cashed out much of it...after BM, I paid down the debt and just began saving again a few months ago...I put about $100/month away between mutual funds, IRA's and a college fund for Bubba...I intend to increase this in the near future, but for now it's something...
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

I have been using his meathod for a while. I was debt free unti I needed to get rid of the Yuck vehcile I had and get one more reliable. If I can hold the bubget I am on now I will have it all paid off by Dec this year, and have several $1000 in savings. I was up to $3000 in savings until #3 and #2 had E.R and O.R. bills but I paid all them off and got a discount for doing it . It takes money to save money.

My 1st rule is if we don't have the cash we live without it. (I did make an exception for the new truck)

---------- Post added at 06:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:28 PM ----------

Oh, my truck payments are only #35 a month til Dec then the rest is due.
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Old 06-08-2010, 08:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

i'm with you on the cash part Dad...I let BM run up about $40k in credit card debt...never again...

i owe a little more on my truck (yeah, the one she got impounded and wanted me to sign over to her)...but I made a habit of paying more than the amount due, it helped lower the overall cost...
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:06 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Hmmm, $40 K must be a magic number. My ex wanted me to get her a $40k loan for used equipment for her last home business that was already on the down hill slide. I wonder now if she planned on just taking the money and running....
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

why do cops always ask questions they already know the answer too?
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

I agree even $5 a week is something, and money in the bank is a nice feeling, like food in the pantry, a freezer full of food or, to a Canadian, a woodshed full of seasoned firewood.
You can live without that $5 easily enough,......then it becomes $10. And so on. It's not always the amounts, it's the discipline req'd to start. I had money coming into a marriage and nothing when she left. Slowly I've been paying down the debts, and tucking bits away. It's amazing that on only one income the money goes further!
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad1st4boys View Post
Hmmm, $40 K must be a magic number. My ex wanted me to get her a $40k loan for used equipment for her last home business that was already on the down hill slide. I wonder now if she planned on just taking the money and running....

Yeah, well, I fell for it Refinanced my house under the pretense of doing some improvements to increase the value and when he found out he couldn't get his hands on the $$ without my signature (after putting way too many $1000's in his business that he was drugging the money he owed subcontractors on unbeknownst to me) he left saying I wasn't supportive of him. Well that was the first "reason". Then it was because I wouldn't go out and drink all not but chose to stay home with the kids which was boring. Then it was because I didn't love his daughters. Then it was because I only loved the kids and not him. Then it was....I could go on for hours
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:06 AM   #16
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Dad I would not be surprised if that is what she intended to do. Friends have told me my ex wanted me to be swamped under by finances, so I think part of her "plan" was pre-meditated. It's as if they can't be happy so no one else should either. And what better way to make someone miserable than to see them consumed by debts.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:08 AM   #17
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Idig, I got the same lines form my ex too .

BD, we just like to get conformation that we are so smart. (if "they" say it direct it is a confession )
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

well, back to topic here...last night I spoke to my financial guy, who's also a friend of mine, and asked if he was willing to do a Q&A here...he'd spend an hour or so answering specific questions and giving general advice geared toward us and our finances as single parents...

additionally, he is able to work with any of you who are in the states to help you reach your goals...

so, if there is interest, let me know and we'll set up a session...

obviously, no cost for this...should you work with him beyond the Q&A, I can say that he is young, aggressive and wants to make sure that whatever he puts me in does well and out performs the market...

so, let me know...
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:40 AM   #19
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

PM me his info BD. All of the financial advice I ever get from the folks and USAA and Fidelity are geared towards two parent families, etc. NOone knows quite what to do with a single parent.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:55 AM   #20
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Count me in AM. I have been stuck on # 2 F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Trying to get rid of debt only for something to happen and funds go elsewhere.....The cycle continues.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:36 AM   #21
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Quote:
Originally Posted by nadee_09 View Post
Count me in AM. I have been stuck on # 2 F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Trying to get rid of debt only for something to happen and funds go elsewhere.....The cycle continues.
This is all too common for many of us, I'm sure.

I think the trick is first living within your means. Downsizing if necessary. If you are continuously being pulled under, maybe you've taken on more than you can swing. I know it's always easier said than done, but looking at every dollar you have going out every month, and deciding what you can do without or what you can adjust might be a good start. I know Dave Ramsey has more detailed guidelines in his book as far as how much of your income you should allot to different items, how much to set aside, and how much to hide in an envelope for occasional entertainment or babysitters. At some point, I'll probably purchase the book.

But to start with, if you're constantly being pulled under, my initial thought would be to make a list of every single monthly bill you have - house/rent payment, car payment, cell phone, insurance, etc. Also an accurate calculation of what you spend per month on food, household items, and gas - I'd literally write down the exact amount for 3 months and then average it out. And then go through each item one by one and see what might be able to be adjusted. Maybe a refinance on a house or car for a lower interest rate; maybe even downsizing the house or car for awhile. Analyze your phone bill and determine whether you are on the most cost effective plan, and contact your insurance agent to also determine whether you are on the most cost effective plan. Perhaps shop around to see if you can get on a better plan elsewhere.

Do you have any extras you can do without?? I pay a good chunk of change each month on a gym membership and a personal trainer. If I needed to, I could do without that. The trainer anyway. No, I could do without the gym too, if I absolutely needed to. I would just have to be disciplined about working out at home.

I also probably eat out more than necessary, which I am making a conscious effort to curb, as well. Another thing I spend alot of money on is groceries. If I needed to switch into "survival" mode for a short time, I could easily save money on groceries by shopping at the regular grocery store instead of the all natural/organic one.

It comes down to being honest with yourself and really being open to making necessary changes. You have to have the mindset that "I can do this because I have to" as opposed to "I can't do this because I don't want to".

BD, I think a Q&A session with a financial adviser is an awesome idea, and he's really quite generous for offering to do that. How would it be handled? Via email? On the boards? In a chat? (I'm sure he isn't wanting all of us to email him directly though!)
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:53 AM   #22
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

Well....I sent him an email. He is really nice, responsive and WANTS to help people. I like him already. I was very honest and MAN, when you write it all down it seems overwhelming. I'll let you know what he says....I'm gonna let him know what my investments are and where they are and see if they are in a good place. Mind you, these are all left over from my 'B.E.' time. Before I had my E. :-)

---------- Post added at 10:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:52 AM ----------

However, he isn't in the debt consulting business, etc., which is something I also need.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:48 PM   #23
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Default Re: Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

I did a budget analysis last year myself and paired down my bills by a large %. I think it is time to do the same. My phn internet is at $200 a month, 4 phns and unlimited net. No cable or Sat TV. Car insurance went up because of #2 getting his Farm Permit, but dropped due to the main vehicle ( my Dodge pk is cheaper to insure). Food and other bills, I just have to cut cost where I can. The trick is Like my mother said:
If you out go exceeds your income then your up keep becomes your down fall. I need to get back to the basics. and KISS it (Keep it Simple, Stupid)

---------- Post added at 02:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:47 PM ----------

UGH!!! My washer just died. About $200 for repair, but I found a used one at a repair shop for $125. Going to put a big dent in the last of my savings, but that's why I have it.
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