If you haven't heard of Dave Ramsey or the idea of debt-free living, then you are missing out. Jacinda and I started reading Dave's book "Total Money Makeover" a month or so ago and it has reinforced a lot of our own beliefs and is a good motivating factor in getting out of debt and living life a different way.
I'm not sure how the event will go exactly, but it's worth a couple hours of your life to check it out. Dave is holding a "Town Hall for Hope" that will be streamed throughout the country, mostly at churches. The closest church to us was New Covenant. It's on this Thursday night.
We actually can't make it, which I'm bummed about, but you can check this website to see where the event will be hosted near you.
I just saw an add for a new range rover sport. Beautiful car but here's the ad: "lease one today for only $799* a month"
Oh yes, and there is an asterisk on the price too. That can't be good. Let me just tell you right now.
You're either a billionnaire or an idiot if you do this deal. And if you're a billionnaire, pay cash!
part #2 in the Men's Health magazine was to preview 2009. I know it's cliche, but it's true:
"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail"
The article talked about how the people who are hurting the most right now were those who "didn't have adequate liquidity last year". That is us to a "T". We bought our house a couple years ago and took the advice of a lot of people and stretched to get into it because like most people said, in a couple years you'll be making more money and you'll be able to handle it.
No one saw 2008 coming and being 100% commission, we felt it...
But, the article reinforces my beliefs that in times of downturn, you should try to scrimp and save and not liquidate valuable assets if you don't have to. That's why instead of selling our house and locking in the loss, although the experience is very humbling, we are renting it out and "community living".
I believe money is a huge part of each and every one of our lives. honestly, I'm struggling with how much I should share on my blog. It's a very private thing, but I know that a lot of people could learn from our experience. we'll see...
I was recently reading Men's Health magazine and they had these "upgrades" for 2009. The one that caught my eye was #3.
Upgrade Your Wealth - the recovery plan
The subtitle was important and good for everyone. It read,
"We know-2008 was bad. But it was bad for just about everyone. Pull ahead this year with these simple steps."
#1 Review last year.
You need a budget. I had a client that I sat down with last year and her account was a mess when I got it. Invested in all kinds of random things, miscellaneous money coming out in differing amounts. I told her that she needed a plan. She said "fine, as long as you don't use the B word" I quickly ran through all of the possibilites in my head and before I thought of one she said, "Budget". I went through the list of things that I wanted to address and she looked at me and asked me, "if I were your mother, what would you tell me". I replied,
"mom, you need a budget"
She is no longer my client today...
Little things really add up. The article said that "appetizers and drinks account for 35% of a restaurant bill" and suggested doing wine and cheese at home before going out. I'd say the most important thing you can do is actually lay out all your receipts or go through your account online and see where everything is going. If you've never done this before, it'll blow your mind. Try it for a month. Track every penny and see where your money is really going.