"Honeeeeeeey", have you seen this month's Visa bill? It's through the roof! I can't believe you charged that new set of golf clubs!", she said through gritted teeth and a fake smile.
"I got an amazing deal on them. It was worth it. I couldn't turn it down. And you charged the sofa so you don't have any room to talk!", he said smugly.
"But we needed a new sofa. You didn't need a new set of clubs!", she said.
"Oh stop it! Let's just go out to dinner and relax.", he said.
And so it goes. We've all been there. Well most of us have at some point. It's one of those things we learn by experience. When your "money-out" is more than your "money-in", the real learning starts. If that's part of your family tree, you can be the ones to change it... for your kids and for yourself.
I stumbled upon Dave Ramsey's drive-time radio show on my way home from work a few years ago and I grew to love him and his philosophy. His Financial Peace University is quite popular and readily available in most communities and online.
Dave Ramsey has a plan that will work. Through a series of baby steps he gives you direction and hope. It won't work overnight but it will work. You will become debt free and financially secure.
The first step is to save $1000 for emergencies. Put it in a savings account. Next...
Get all your credit cards out on the table and arrange them from smallest to largest. Don't consider anything but how much you owe. Not the interest rate, just how much you owe. Each month pay the minimum required on all cards. In addition, throw every penny you can possibly scrape up at the card with the lowest balance. Do that every month.
Once it's paid off, and you celebrate with a rice and beans candlelight dinner at home, continue doing the same thing. One big difference. Take whatever you've been paying on the card you paid off, and ADD THAT AMOUNT to the next lowest balance until that card is paid off. Do you feel the momentum building as you get rid of first one card, then another? He calls this 'debt snowballing', paying the minimum on all cards and attacking the lowest balance with all your might. Continue as long as it takes until all credit cards are paid off.
If you are married, obviously, this won't work until you and your spouse are in agreement to strive together to be debt free. The left hand must know what the right is doing.
If you like setting and reaching short term goals, this is right up your alley. If not, you can still learn. Just think how freeing it will be when you actually get to keep your paycheck instead of sending it all to those who hold you in financial bondage.
More Dave "how-tos" to come. Stay tuned. Bring your friends. Tweet me. This could help someone you know.