Hubby and I started taking Financial Peace By Dave Ramsey at a local church. We love the course so much, now that we have started implementing the knowledge, we will be sharing Financial Peace Takeaways Weekly with you.
Financial Peace Takeaways
First and foremost, if you have a chance to take the course when it comes available, I highly recommend it! Nothing better than having access to the lessons and tips straight from Dave Ramsey and his team.
What I will be sharing are some of my takeaways, some of the adjustments I’ve made and bonus worksheets, if you’re like me and you are not crazy about sinking your bank account to an app or want to be able to customize things.
Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step 1
This step is actually two steps, in my opinion, because he tells you to save 1,000 for your starter emergency fund & working on a zero-based budget to take control of your money.
For us starting with a zero-base or a budget itself was the first step, since we didn’t really know where the money was going, we just knew no matter how much we made, there was always too much month left x cash in the bank.
That in the past lead to tapping into credit cards to bridge the gap in the past.
I’ve started working on taking control of my finances last year, but I never really dove deeply, neither included hubby in the process.
One of the most important tips I can give you is that you should get your spouse/significant other involved and if you’re single, get an accountability partner.
It means at the end, all income needs to be allocated somewhere. If you have more expenses, than income, puts you into perspective to make necessary adjustments to fix that.
For example, I went hunting “gazelle intense” like Dave says, for items to cut and make our budget zero based.
Here are some categories we made cuts first:
- TV/Streaming Subscriptions – we looked at the ones we watch every night, Netflix and Prime Video; we kept those and cable tv but eliminated the “add ons”, Starz, Paramount, Spotify was combined all in one account. If you have gaming, audio books, check into that, it adds up!
- Food – We order out every Friday, but we decided to cut restaurant trips, unless it’s a special time with friends. We also reduced our planned grocery bill but so far, I haven’t been able to stay as low as I wanted.
He recommends that you use the cash envelope system, but it freaks me out to go to the grocery and not know if I have money to pay for what is in the cart. I prefer to cut the excess and do my best to shop at more affordable stores, which we have done.
Meal planning is a big one, if you know what you’re going to eat, you will avoid throwing things away, because they went bad. I also took inventory of our pantry which was full of items and incorporated some of the canned goods and items to our planned meals to save.
- Entertainment- I know what you’re thinking, this is so restrictive! Sad to live like that! I started my journey thinking like that too, but then, I woke up that I was cleaning our financial blueprint to live a better life later on.
So cutting on entertainment and other outings and look for free events is definitely an option. Facebook is full of local events, all you have to do is look.
- Gas – Well, you know the price of gas is no joke, so why not plan the drives, car pool, walk if possible, leave your car in your garage as much as possible and rethink long trips.
- Clothing, Shoes, wants x needs – trust me, as a Trendy Latina, buying clothes, shoes, accessories has been a part of my life, since I can’t even remember. When I started looking for items to cut, I remembered that I have three closets with clothes and 40+ pairs of shoes, so this was an easy category to cut.
I went to my closet, pulled sweaters in the back and made them accessible, so it’s like having brand new clothes. I also forced myself to put on stuff I never wear, but those pieces were left in my closet for a reason, so I needed to justify them there.
I started putting the items I wanted to buy on Amazon on a wish list instead of just buying them. Guess what, I have not bought most of the items placed on the wish list for later.
We also set a budget for Christmas and started looking for more meaningful ways to spend the holiday, instead of focusing on the gifts so much.
- My teen works and had two subscriptions on my PayPal, I told him that I was not going to cancel his subscriptions but he had a month to add his card if he wanted to keep them and explained to him why we were doing that.
We were able to achieve a zero budget for October, even though the food bill is a bit higher than predicted.
Save 1,000 For Your Starter Emergency Fund
That part was a bit harder since we had wiped our savings to pay cash for the air conditioning we had installed at our home.
So the cuts and some additional payments we had this month, were the way to start building the final piece to Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step 1.
We will be sharing more wins as we go through the lessons and work on the baby steps, but today I want to share a custom pdf I’ve designed to track my progress beyond the app they suggest, because we will lose free access of the app in 12 months, so why not keep track where I can go back and check it all out?
I feel good knowing we’re on track to Financial Freedom but we have a long way to go!
Not ready to start? Save for later!
Can’t wait to hear what you think on taking the first steps toward financial peace!
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This is super cool and when you find a method that works for you… that is an amazing thing. Thank you for sharing!
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I need to educate myself more regarding financial matters, this is a must now…Budgeting, expense allocation, etc….I definitely need to know more.
I like the budgeting tip. If you allocate everything, you know where everything is going, and it makes it easier to save.
Awesome Tips! Thank you for sharing them!