I recently introduced my new Be the Best You in 2014 series and I have to tell you how much fun I am having with it. I am so inspired and really motivated to make positive changes this year. Each Sunday, there will be a new post in the series. These posts are meant to challenge me (and you) to be the best we can be in 2014.
The second topic in my series is on money. 2014 will be the year I get out of debt! I have listened to Dave Ramsey’s podcast for a while now and love it, but so far I have really only been paying lip service – listening but not actually doing. If you’ve never heard about Dave Ramsey before, you can read more about his story here, but I’ve really enjoyed listening to his thoughts about money. He has a series of famous Baby Steps that are part of his plan:
I am on Baby Step 2, which is to get out of debt and I have decided that 2014 is the year to make it happen. As Dave says, I plan to do “plastic surgery” and cut the credit cards out of my life. I’ve crunched the numbers and figured out that I can make it happen this year, but I will have to work hard to do it.
Dave talks about working your debt snowball, which is paying off your debts smallest to largest. This method helps you to gain momentum in paying off your debt and keeps you motivated with small wins.
Dave and his daughter, Rachel Cruze were just on Katie Couric’s show, which you can see a clip of here:
I took a long hard look at the times where I’ve used my credit cards and realized that it usually is a failure to plan in advance. This year we have three big weddings coming up and a number of other events. We already know about them so we can financially plan in advance and be prepared instead of making things happen at the last minute. I took some time and compiled a list of all of the big events we have in 2014 which includes trips, birthdays, Christmas, weddings, showers. I think the key to getting out of debt and sticking to a budget is to cashflow our big events in advance and not waiting until the last minute.
So, in order to get started with this goal, here are a few of the steps that I am going to take:
1. Get rid of the credit cards – as of publishing this blog post I am no longer using plastic (aside from my debit card).
2. Get Dave’s The Total Money Makeover Book. I’ve listened to the podcasts, but this is the next step.
3. Start using Dave’s Envelope System. This means paying cash for groceries and entertainment, gas, etc. This is key to start realizing how much I am spending on certain things. I found this cute Envelope Wallet on Etsy to get me started:
4. Continue to make my budget, but actually stick to it (the envelope system will help with that)!
I get paid on the 15th, so this is the perfect time to kick off my new plan and actually start living the plan instead of just listening to it.
If you still aren’t sure about it, I encourage you to listen to Dave’s podcasts here. I love hearing the debt free screams on the show and think that they are great motivation!
I will plan to update everyone as I pay off each debt on this post and would love to have you guys post in the comments if you are paying off debt too!
Click here for more posts in this series here.