I’m financially stupid.
Wait, maybe ‘stupid’ is the wrong word. Albert Einstein described insanity as ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ so actually I’m financially insane.
For years I’ve been over-spending then robbing Peter to pay Paul while praying for some miracle (Lotto? Rich uncle?) to make a difference in our finances. An easy 1/5th of mine and Jack’s real conversations deal with future ways of spending money, such as making improvements to the house or empty-nest traveling. Unfortunately, we’ve yet to make any real provisions for our dreams.
About a year ago I started listening to the Dave Ramsey Show on AM radio when I could find it. I listened initially because Dave was the only thing on offer on one of our trips up or down the Caprock. I kept coming back because of the no-nonsense, do-able advice on getting ahead financially- something that’s been on my mind more and more as that empty nest gets closer. Later I read two or three (or four) of Dave’s books and I’m convinced his common sense plan of building a budget, setting goals (the 7 baby steps) and basically making our money work for us, not the other way around, is the answer to our future financial health.
So, begins a new category of Average: More or Less. Since I’m so average, I know I can’t be the only person out there thinking of making some financial changes, with a focus on the future. Therefore I’m gonna post about this process: the good, the bad and the ugly.
Our first goal is to sit down together and build a budget. We’ll use information gathered from our Microsoft Money checkbook register, the big stack of unpaid medical bills in a folder on my desk and the free forms found on Dave’s website. Sounds fun doesn’t it?
But seriously, a budget is our game plan. It’s where we tell our money what we want it to do rather than scrambling to shove money at whomever is yelling loudest. Dave says “give every dollar a name” in order to set boundaries. So that’s step number one.
I’ll let you know how it goes!