Sunday, September 27, 2009

Financial Peace University.

Thanks to Dave Ramsey, tons of people are reclaiming their lives and getting out of debt!

Charles and I started the Financial Peace University (FPU) back in April 2008 {Before we moved to MO}. Only like six weeks into it, we learned that we would be spending the next three months apart while he was in Oklahoma City, OK for training and I remained in GA and then in MO establishing a new home for him to come to.

We have finally, over a year later, dug back into it... This time, we just read thru it ourselves instead of attending the once weekly seminars and began putting into practice the worksheets. After many hours {yes, HOURS!} of figuring, re-figuring, and figuring again how our expenses and salaries work together yet against each other. I'm excited for this.

We have a new goal and although student loans will forever be there, we hope that other areas will be debt free and we will learn to make better financial decisions! :-)

As Dave Ramsey says, "Live like no one else now so that we can live like no one else later!"

Today was the first time grocery shopping while using the 'Cash Flow' plan. We have allotted ourselves $100 a week for groceries and toiletries. I have carefully planned out a week's menue (We're back on the South Beach Diet in hopes of weight loss and conception will occur!) so planning for three meals a day plus two snacks a day with an optional 'dessert' for his sweet tooth took just about forever to do! I did it though! Maybe I'll share the weekly menu on another post...

So, after having our menu and then scouring for some coupons to co-inside with the menu, we headed to Walgreens first. We were pretty excited when we walked out spending $9.27 on 15 items but we saved $7.18 by using coupons and sales! For our first time doing this, we were pretty excited and ready to hit up Schnucks for the rest of the items!

Then we headed to Schnucks... Me with the calculator, grocery list, and pen to write out the cost of everything next to the item so we could keep a running total to ensure we did not go over our $92.00 left for this week! Charles pushed the cart and calculated the cost of all the items. It took us a long while in there...

Unfortunately, we only had one coupon {it sucks that coupons do not exist -that I know of anyways- for fresh produce which is all we buy when on the South Beach Diet...} but still I think we did pretty good with the amount of fresh stuff we got! We purchased 37 items for a grand total of $85.15!

Now, I just need to stick to the menu that is planned and this week shall go rather smoothly...


Melissa said...

Maybe I need to try this Dave Ramsey thing. We're almost out of credit card debt, and just like you said, the student loans will always be there. I try to budget the majority of the time, but it is so easy to deviate from it! I would love to be debt free!

Ray and Chrissy said...

We have no credit card debt. We haven't for years. The only debt we have are student loans, mortgage and car- all "necessary" debt. We were lucky in that we married with no revolving debt and we've stayed that way for the last 4 years.

I would say 1/2 our student loans will be gone by the end of next year. I have a very specific plan to pay them off in the next 10 years. However, since I will be returning to school next fall there is a chance we'll have to push that back a bit.

You can get rid of the student loans-they don't "always have to be there"- in fact you can put into practice paying them the same way you deal with your credit cards. Pay the small ones first (paying over the amount and applying that overage to the principal)-then once one is paid off using that same amount towards the next smallest and so on and so on. That's what we're doing.

If you want more details on how to pay your student loans off- let me know. That is if Dave Ramsey doesn't already have a plan for you to do that.

squirrelgirl said...

I paid off my student loans in 5 years. The only debt I currently have is a draw on my home equity line, which I loaned to a friend in need. That will get paid back in full when the real estate market improves and he can sell some property that he owns. I've always been a stickler about paying my credit cards off every month, and when I bought my Saturn, I got zero interest financing.

I like to shop around for bargains; I rarely pay more than $3 for an item of clothing for Katherine - usually a lot less. I've visited the Publix/coupon guru site you wrote about in a recent post. I put some of her ideas into practice with the BOGO sale, and got nearly 2 weeks worth of groceries (milk, eggs, produce, meat) plus some "extra" (cereal, pasta, canned goods, juice) for under $100 :-) You can do it, too - just stick with the program! said...

We did the Dave Ramsey plan for about a year and a half and paid off about $40K (credit cards & my student loans). We took a break this summer b/c of the IUI meds & our vacations, but we're also starting up again too!! I love Dave Ramsey :) But yeah, i would definitely try to pay off student loans too...My dh made a spreadsheet will all of our debt and minimum monthly payments and once we realized that total we knew we needed to crack down and start paying things off.

what opened my eyes too was writing down everything we bought for a month. that might help you get an idea of how much you spend on necessary vs unnecessary things. :)

The Swann's said...

It is encouraging to read that student loans can be paid off prematurely... Ah, without them we would be doing wonderfully! Stupid school! haha!

Melissa, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey's program! Very specific and his big deal is that you need to tell your money where to be spent. Allocate every penny to go somewhere, and make it happen. We're trying the whole "cash envelope" system so we know exactly how much we're spending and such. It just sickens me that we are blowing away several hundred dollars a month unnecessarily! That could go towards savings!!! :-)

Thanks Meredith for rubbing in how wonderful Publix is, yet again. :-) Everytime I read that frugal blog she happens to mention Publix and I miss it!!!! I have a love obsession with Publix... How encouraging though that your house too is paid off {almost anyways}! We are ready to be homeowners again to get the tax benefits...

Chrissy, what you say about paying off the smallest one first is pretty much the same principal that Dave Ramsey says to apply to all debt. Please share more as I'm sure I'm not the only one that would benefit! :-)

Melissa, so neat that you two did the Ramsey program and paid off so much! I understand with the whole IF treatments... It all adds up, quickly!

Everymorning when the alarm goes off, the very end of the Dave Ramsey Program is what wakes me up. It is so encouraging to hear callers SCREAM that they are now DEBT FREE due to his plan! And then the callers that are in prediciments (sp?) and he gives his advice... It helps us think thru situations differently based on his answers. :-) So encouraging!

mom said...

Before Dave Ramsey was Larry Burkett, same ideas, different person teaching them. It was a good idea when Larry taught it and it's still a good/practical way of living. Glad to see someone is reviving Larry's old stuff for you new youngsters. :)