Graduating Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University

This after­noon, my girl­friend and I fin­ished our last class with Dave Ram­sey. Like many oth­ers, he’s become a house­hold name to us. “Dave says this…” or “Dave said that…”. For those that aren’t aware, Dave Ram­sey is the nation’s most pop­u­lar finan­cial guru. He lists 7 baby steps as follows:

  1. Build a $1000 emer­gency fund
  2. Get out of debt as quickly as pos­si­ble, pay­ing extra on your small­est debt and work­ing up from there.
  3. Build a fully funded emer­gency fund of 3–6 months expenses.
  4. Start invest­ing 15% of your income in an IRA with high yield­ing mutual funds.
  5. Start a col­lege fund for the kids.
  6. Pay off the home early.
  7. Build wealth and give.

Cur­rently, I’m on step 3 for less than two more months. Then, I start step 4, jump over step 5 (since I don’t have kids), and start sav­ing for a down pay­ment on a house since I cur­rently rent. It’s excit­ing times and feels so lib­er­at­ing to not have the finan­cial bur­dens that so many oth­ers carry.

Dave’s phi­los­o­phy fits so well with Live Sim­ply Free because he harps on liv­ing within your means–living sim­ply. His mantra is, “Live like no one else, so one day you can live like no one else.” Fantastic!

We must resist the lies of our soci­ety to buy things to be happy and that it’s ok to have debt. Sim­plic­ity brings true joy and free­dom. Maybe you’re already bogged way down in finan­cial woes. It’s ok, there’s always hope and it’s never too late to start mak­ing changes. All it takes is deter­mi­na­tion and discipline.

You might look weird just sit­ting with friends at the restau­rant but not order­ing any­thing. Your fam­ily might think you’re crazy for sell­ing every­thing and liv­ing so mea­gerly but that’s ok. After all, isn’t it the crazy peo­ple in this world that always end up doing great things?

It’s been said that when you see the major­ity head­ing in one direc­tion, it’s best to go the oppo­site way. I’m com­mit­ted to that par­tic­u­larly in my finances and I hope you will be too.

bachelors traversing the status quo

What first comes to mind when you think of a bach­e­lor pad? Per­haps some­thing along the lines of the pic­ture below?

messy bachelor pad

 

 

 

 

 

How­ever, if you stop by my apart­ment (which is shared with a room­mate), you’re sure to find a dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence. With touches from wall art, to orga­ni­za­tion sys­tems, to an always clean kitchen and fridge, our bach­e­lor pad doesn’t fit the sta­tus quo. In fact, more than likely if you come around the din­ner hour you’ll find one of us cook­ing a meal. When I say meal, I don’t mean ramen. We don’t even have a microwave.

We’re two totally dif­fer­ent guys with extremely oppo­site per­son­al­i­ties, careers, and hob­bies. I’m in the med­ical field and my room­mate is in the film indus­try. About the only sim­i­lar­ity is that we’re both Chris­tians and we both run small busi­ness out of our apartment.

So what’s the secret to keep a clean house? It’s an incen­tive pro­gram. It basi­cally works like this. We have iden­ti­fied 4 areas in the apart­ment that we have to keep clean. If my room­mate makes a mess and leaves the apart­ment or leaves it overnight, and I clean it up for him, then I place a hash mark on our white­board. For every hash mark, I get to take $5 off my half of the rent, and vice versa for my room­mate. It’s a pretty good incen­tive that is keep­ing our place spot­less and ready for guests at any­time. So, if you’ve got a room­mate, it’s worth giv­ing it a try. You may end up sav­ing some money this month.

Since we’re talk­ing about room­mates and apart­ments, here’s a project that my room­mate and I are going to start work­ing on this week to give us a lit­tle more space and orga­ni­za­tion. See pic­ture below.

fridge pantry