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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The envelope system

David L. Ramsey III (born September 3, 1960) is an American financial author, radio hosttelevision personality, and motivational speaker.
Ramsey's company, The Lampo Group, Inc., is headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, and oversees three divisions geared toward financial counseling.
Ramsey is also the creator of Financial Peace University, a biblically-based 13-week video training series for adults, and a companion series targeted at teenagers that has been offered in schools across the nation. Some topics covered in the series are cash flow planning, investing, saving, credit, retirement, and giving.[10]

Sweet Man and I were introduced to Dave Ramsey two years ago by a homeschooling buddy. She let us borrow a book he had written,after I shared that I felt like I wasn't a very good money manager, and it totally changed our perspective. Ramsey teaches you to be responsible with your money, and to plan for emergencies. Who would have thought to do that? Well, probably a lot of people, but we weren't among them. ;-)

I have gone back and forth between loving his strategies, and down right wanting to throw the book out the window when I see something I want to buy. ;-) But, looking back over the last two years I can see what we have accomplished by listening to his advice. We have paid off our credit cards, and no longer own any!!! Yes, this is huge!! I don't ever want one of those little plastic cards again, especially when I realized we were still paying on stuff that had been broken or gotten rid of.
I only have a steady income four months out of the year. Last year my income was focused on the credit cards. Since those had been eliminated I was left with trying to figure out what I wanted to put my earning towards. Ramsey has this thing called the envelope system, and I have totally fallen in love with it! You take little envelopes, write on it what you are saving for, and stick some cash in it. :-)
 Homeschooling can be done frugally, so I have been told, but more often than not all these "great opportunities" arise that cost money. There are also a ton of things I want/need that I don't want to buy on a credit a new stove. Since I know my job is short lived, I wrote down any expenses that I knew would be coming up throughout the rest of the year, and made envelopes for them. There are several trips/outing coming up, school books for next year, registration fees for clubs, and some not so fun things like house insurance and taxes.
This past week has been rough for work. Super long nights have left us tired, and on top of that we have all been sick.  Whenever we question if all this hard work is worth it, I just pull out those envelopes and see how we have been able to prepare for the upcoming year. It is surprisingly very motivating.
I wonder if I am the only person that is just now trying this? It is so freeing to feel prepared, and I am very thankful for the Lord for giving us this opportunity. Now, I feel like taking a nap. ;-)

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