For a long time, I wanted to make more money, “To buy things, I cannot afford, to impress people, I do not like,” like Dave Ramsey says. Now, I want to make more money to pay off my debt and save. I started Dave Ramsey get out of debt plan last month, and my kids started Dave Ramsey’s Junior Financial Peace. I am currently on baby step 1, saving a 1,000 dollar emergency fund. I decided for my situation 2,000 would be better so I am working on that. I have my debt snowball plan, with my current income it can be paid off in seven years, but I am praying about, what I can do to increase my income with the smallest out-of-pocket expense that allows me the freedom to be at home with my kids as much as possible. I am super excited, I plan to have all my non-student loan debt paid off by the end of the year, and then hopefully, have the student loans paid off within the next four years. I am so excited, I just want to tell everyone to jump on board with Dave Ramsey’s financial freedom plan.
Now, if you are not a Dave Ramsey fan, just keep listening, because at first he just annoyed me. Probably, because I know I could do so much better and have nothing to show for all that debt. And, I thought he was kinda mean, but then I started listening to his testimony and it is powerful. He says, he was stupid with six digits on the end of it, but what he said that ultimate turned the light on was: If you owned a corporation called Me Incorporated would you fired you for the way you are handling the company money, and it is not your money but God’s (you are His manager, just like our children are only on loan). The light was are low then I heard the first comment, then flipped on bright after the second comment in both my financial walk and my mom walk (but that is another post).
Now, the hard part sticking to the budget and being patient because like usually I want to hurry up and be on baby step 7, but that will come and what an amazingly beautiful learning experience it is going to be.
1. $1,000 In An Emergency Fund
2. Pay Off All Debt With The Debt Snowball
3. 3 To 6 Months Expenses In Savings
4. Invest 15% Of Income Into Roth IRAs And Pre-Tax Retirement Plans
5. College Funding
6. Pay Off Your Home Early
7. Build Wealth And Give!
Yesterday, was my Munchkins birthday. The previous night, I cuddled my sweet munchkin and thanked God for the what an amazing blessing I have. Then, I thought Lord if anything ever happens to either one of my children please remind my of this very moment and the blessings You have given me already and to be thankful for the time, I had with them. I do not know if, that is a morbid thought or not but I know that tomorrow is not promised to us and many of us including me take it for granted much of the time. But, I have heard my Grammy’s stories of the loss of her first child and seen how it has shaped my grandparent’s lives, and more recently, I have seen and read stories of children battling cancer especially one little girl named Madison. I work with her beautiful mother and got to know a little bit about what a beautiful courageous girl Madison was through her mom and through her blog. My heart breaks for her parents, and every time, I hug my munchkins, I thank God and say a pray for Madison’s mom. Who I can only image would give anything to hold her beautiful Madison again. It reminds me of an interview, I saw of the Chapman’s after they lost their previous Maria, where Mary Beth said and I am trying to paraphrasing here, “as a mother, I want my Maria back, I do not care how many lives her death has touched,” I could not even began to image, and to be perfect honest I do not want to. I do, however, want to help but I am not good with words or encouragement and I wish I could just hug them and not out of sadness or pity but out of strength. I have been blessed and inspired through Madison and her mom and through other families, I have gotten to know through Team Madison. So, I ask you to say a prayer for these families who have lost children and the ones still fighting and remember tomorrow is not promised so savory every moment even the moments that make you want to scream or cry because you think your heart is broken.
Wow….the last few days have been testing both emotionally and physically, but you know what. God has been with me every step of the way. I am learning that I may act like the ice queen but I am far from it. I have emotions and feelings and empathy for people and I am a positive realistic person but I have let my reaction to my fear out way that. I know I have I long way to go, but the last few days have proven that I am letting go of the past and looking forward to a bright future. And, I have definitely not mastered stopping the fear dance. I do knowledge it and halt it many times but only stopped it few times. I do see how I deal with my fear button being pushed and I am working on stopping the anger and gripping because that continues the cycle of anger.
I do have a choice.
I have been thinking about living simply for a while. We have been downsizing for over two years and trying to be more eco-friendly. I have this dream to live in a small house raising my kids. Now, the question becomes do I stop my debt snowball and save everything I can to build my tiny house then continue with the debt snowball or wait ten years to be debt-free then built my tiny house. I know Dave Ramsey says to be debt- free first, but is that step right for me? Am I just tiny house happy? With the tiny house over seventy percent of all my current income with be freed up and that will increase as time goes by to throw at the debt. Hmmm….what to do? What to do?
Can we live in a tiny house? Yes, I believe we can. I believe it will open a new world and new depths to our family relationships.
I have wanted to box up my television for at least a year, after reading several Amish romance books, and watched a documentary on this family who gave up all modern living. It was very inspiring, but then I think what would to do without television. We gave up cable almost four years ago for three reasons: one, I could not afford it, two, I was flipping through my DVR and all I saw was kids shows, and third, television is losing its morals quickly. But, now, I even want to get rid of the television all together, because even without cable we spend way too much time watching TV. My youngest child was walking around Home Depot saying, “I am a Vulcan, I have no emotions and I am from the plant Vulcan” while trying to make the hand signal. I decided then that we watched too much television and definitely too much Star Trek. Of course, we have watched all Star Trek The Next Generation (twice), Deep Space Nine, Voyager and recently Enterprise. There are so many other things that we could be doing instead of sitting around watching television like riding bikes, board games, dinner at the table, laundry, etc.
We have been without the television about two weeks, and the evenings had been pretty easy with board games and bike riding. This weekend was a little bit harder, we did spend sometime with at a friends, grilling, gardening and cleaning house but I did crave in and we watched a movie on the computer. I still have not plugged the television back in, because I know we will be in the same spot again never turning the television off. I believe my munchkins are having television withdraw also. I took a nap today, and then I woke up my kids were watching Netflix on the computer. I know, I started it then we watched that movie last night, but it just shows that we are addicted to television. I fear what winter is going to be like without being able to get out of the house.
What are your thoughts on television? The shows on television? How does television affect you and your family?
Have you ever wondered if God was there? Over the last several days, I have been praying for answered to various questions, and I got nothing. I mean I know God is there but I feel so lost and empty sometimes. So, is God just sitting back to see if I have learned the lessons to be able to handle these situations? Am I missing the answer? Why does the valley seem so empty? I what to believe God is here with me in this valley but I do not feel Him. I feel sad, scared, frustrated and a lone. Then, I do cry out to God for direction……nothing. I know the Bible says, God is will us through the valleys (Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Ps 23:4) but why cannot a feel Him? How can I follow God then I cannot hear or feeling His presence in my heart? How do I know the steps to take? Is this where my faith comes in? Or, maybe this is my lack of God knowledge? Or, maybe Satan is blocking the message, in hopes I will rumble. I do not know. I do know that our hearts can deceive us, and that no matter what I feel God is here and that even if I make the wrong decisions through this valley He is still here.
Hmmmm……I book on how to kill eleven million, why would I read a book like that. But, after hearing an interview from the author Andy Andrew on EntreLeadership podcast, I was intrigued. Again, was so ecstatic to read this book, I called three different bookstores when Barnes and Noble did not have the book locally. I so wanted to know what the secret is to facing issues with your opponents and actually achieve more than arguing. I have known for years that, I am not going to change your opinion and you are probably not going to change mine, but how do you work together, if there is not a win-win mentality . Andy Andrews did not go into detail of how to work with your opponent but stated repeatedly that the truth is what is important. It also makes me ponder my involved in my local, state, and federal government. To be perfectly honest, I vote, but that is about as far as my involvement goes. I have tuned the world out, because it is depressing and my opinions or ideas are not going to change Washington or stop world hungry. Who wants to hear about the wars, school shoots, gang fights, the trillion-dollar deficit (Obama, you need to listen to Dave Ramsey and get our country on a super tight budget), Obamacare, recession, murders, politics, the party lines, liberal, republican, democrat, conservative…..you get the picture. Andy Andrews answers to the questions in the back of the book, caused me to stop and think more than the actually story. It was because of people like me, that just sat back and ignored the issues, for whatever reason, are guilty of the crime too. I am a bit ashamed to say that I am part of the problem and that I need to stop blaming Obama, stand up, and demand our leaders to lead with integrity and honor. When did we become a nation, divided? A nation are lying leaders? I ponder what old Abe Lincoln is thinking about now. He fought to keep our nation together because he knew we could not stand divided. What is the old saying, divide and conquer? Growing up watching shows like Knight Rider, Matlock, StarTrek (the Next Generation), Murder, She Wrote, Walker, Texas Ranger, I always wanted to be the one who stood up to the bad guys, even if I was in danger. Now, as an adult looking back, I let fear and discord settle in my spirit instead. I believe now is the time to be involved, because to change a town, city, county, state, country, and the world starts with me.
I was inspired by listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio show to improve my platform as an employee and team member. I know that I can be an extremist from zero to sixty and sixty to zero in three seconds. The reviews and endorsements on the book “Who Moved My Cheese,” are raving, and being credited with saving jobs, careers, marriages, and so on. I was so enthused to read it, that I purchased it from Barnes and Noble at the higher in store price instead of the cheaper online price. As I began reading, my balloon sprang a leak and with every word read, my bewilderment grew. How could this book be credited with saving jobs, careers, relationship, etc etc? Now, since, I hate quitting, I read on. Towards, the end of the story, was were it clicked, “Who Moved My Cheese?” Duh, if I would just ask myself “Who Moved my Cheese?, Which direction do I go to find it?, Where their warning sign?” All in all, this is a liberating book, that allows a bit of humor, when evaluating a situation before jumping head first into the deep end. I highly recommend this book to everyone, and I look forward to purchasing “Who Moved My Cheese for Kids”
I got to apply the who moved my cheese question this weekend. Saturday morning, I had plans to stop by Target return few things, stop by the garden center for help with my citrus trees, and then pick up a book from Mardels and then a that Lifeway. As, I was driving down the road, I heard a pop then my transmission did a weird thing, followed by the check engine light. Hmmmm….I prayed that we would make it to Target and then to Autozone. The test revealed a transmission issue that only Dodge could fix. I am sure, you see where this is going. “Who moved my Cheese, was the question on my mind and praying that my semi funded emergency fund would cover the cost. And, praise God it did, and I was not freaking out that I am back at the beginning of baby step 1. Praise God, that I had my emergency fund.
Have you read, “Who Moved My Cheese” or “Who Moved My Cheese for Kids”? I would love to hear your stories.
I have always wanted to be a massage therapist since, I was a teen but I did not believe it would be lifelong career. I like giving massages, but after a few hours my thumbs would start to hurt so I did not believe that I would be able to make a career out of it. Then my sister told me that they teach you to use more than your thumbs, and since then the thought of becoming a massage therapist has been sitting on the back burner. But, I have recently decided to check it out because that could bring in a good income part-time to help my debt snowball, and someday turn my dream into my business. So I checked out a few schools, and submitted my application, and I have to say I am totally nervous because a lot of ducks are going to have to line up for this to happen. The biggest is finding an affordable (translation: dirty cheap, reliable, and trustworthy) babysitter for my kids while I am in evening classes that will fit my budget, debt snowball, and allow me to cash flow my school. But, I believe that if God is going to open this door then He is going to line all the ducks up in a perfect row. Praying for wisdom and guidance as I walk through decision, but knowing God has my back is priceless.
I believe my weekend was pretty productive. I got my garden build , my farmhouse table are most done (drill ran out of my juice), worm compost setup, watched a season of Murder, She Wrote in and read two books. I did not give out on my bike ride today, but I did get an amazing peaceful relaxing night ride last night. It was better than jumping in the swimming pool on those 120 degree days, with the cool breeze against my skin.
The best part to the day, teaching my kids about the worms. At first, they were not going to touch them but then as I showed them digging into the garden they thought they were pretty cool. They spent the rest of the day checked on the worms, it was funny. I just hope that the birds do not eat my worms.
This evening, I got to do something I have dreamed of doing since I was a kid. I got to ride bikes with my family, and it was awesome. As a kid growing up in my little town, there was this family that rode around town on their bikes and I always want to do that. I tried a few years ago, to go riding out at the lake, but I soon discovered it is not a family friendly place. My youngest screamed the whole time in the child’s seat, the oldest stopped every few inches to whine, no one slowed down and few people said hateful things. I discovered that amateurs should not go to the lake for anything: biking, running, walking, etc. But, I am happy to say that we have a wonderful place to ride now, and starting tomorrow, I will be riding a few miles before work, now to find a safe way to ride to work.