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Saturday, January 24, 2015

saving $ - Dave Ramsey Plan - Kassy Flagg

Thank you to Kassy Flagg for sharing her great experience following the Dave Ramsey financial peace plan! She sounds so dedicated to making sure her family has a successful life together, including not being in debt. Great ideas!

    • 1. When did you start the Dave Ramsey budget program?
      We took the Dave Ramsey financial university class in October 2013 and ended it in December 2013.
      2. Why did you decide it was time to start a real budget and goal-setting financial plan with your family?
      We have always had a budget in place, but friends at church told us how amazing this was. We were pregnant with our first baby and wanted to find a way for me to stay home. We took the class hoping it would help us control our money more to make that possible. And it did!!

      3. Why did you decide to go with the Dave Ramsey plan - what did you love about it?
      Friends recommended it. Our church was offering it. We loved the faith based plan of it. 

      "Live like no one else now, so you can live like no one else in the future". In other words, buckle down now so you have more to spend and give in the future.
    • 4. What did you owe at the time you started the plan?
      At the time we had a very small credit card bill, a car payment, and our mortgage. We really were not in a lot of debt but more wanted to know how to manage a budget better. 

    • 5. What were your first 3 steps to starting the budget plan?
      Save $1,000 cash, work on a weekly budget, pay off debt.
      6. What were some of the most challenging parts about this plan of saving money and paying off debt?
      We actually had the cash already (my husband is a good saver!!) but we didn't want to empty our savings to pay off debt. Dave told us otherwise. That it's better to have a small emergency fund and pay off all your debt than a big savings. So we took a deep breath and paid things off...
      7. What were other people's thoughts and opinions about what you were doing during your saving money process? Did you get weird stares or confusion from family and friends not understanding why you were saying no to things?
      Our friends and family thought it was great. They asked us a ton of questions and we have now helped a lot of them see how awful credit card companies can be and how easy it is to get into trouble. They were mostly understanding and still are when we have to pass on things.

    • 8. What were some things you decided to cut out in order to save money for your family?
      Eating out was a big one. We were both working when we took the class so there was a lot of take out and dinners out when we didn't feel like cooking. This was really hard because I was pregnant. So I already didn't want to cook!!!
      9. What came easy for you with this program?

      The weekly and monthly budgets and envelope systems. I'm type "a" and love to have everything organized. I actually find it really fun to make a budget.
      10. How long did it take you to become debt free? Or are you still working on it, and how long do you predict you'll be working on that?
      We paid off our car and credit cards pretty quick, because as I said we actually owed just a little and had the cash. We were just being dumb and didn't want to spend it. We are back on the debt snowball right now because the car we had paid off was rear ended and totaled. We had to get a new car and had to take out a small loan. It's just about paid off. The best thing about Dave Ramsey is how easy he is to follow. So if you have go back a few steps, it's easy and ok!!
      11. What does being debt free and financially stable mean for you personally? What does it mean for your kids and family?

      Debt free for us means only our mortgage. We just won't have that paid off anytime soon, and Dave Ramsey actually agrees that you don't have to call that debt. It means no credit cards, and no car payments. It means being able to pay our monthly utility bills, and have a little room for fun and giving.
      12. What is your advice to other moms who want to start saving money, paying off more debt? Where should they start? 
      My best advice is to take his class!! It's so helpful and you really see where your money goes with the envelope system. once we sat down and really looked at it we saw how much money we were wasting. It was amazing.
      13. Now that you're well on your way to not having debt and saving money, what are some things you intend to keep doing to save money, cut corners, not get back into debt?
      We have turned off our cable. We were not big tv watchers anyway and we were just wasting the money on cable. We have an Apple TV and use just netflix and hulu. I don't even miss cable! We eat out once a week. We have a strict grocery budget and a budget for just about everything else!! We also only use cash. The people at the bank probably think I'm a drug dealer! I'm always taking out and putting in cash. I write checks to pay all my bills so that I am in complete control. We save for what we want. My husband wants a bigger tv for the living room. We have been saving forever. It's going to feel so nice when we buy it and just pay for it!!
      14. How did you prevent your family from being in debt this past holiday season with gift giving? What are your tips for that?
      Plan ahead. I started setting aside money in a Christmas envelope and use that. Each week I buy something for someone so that I'm not rushing around. I try to really think about what this person would like. If it means I can only afford to get them one nice gift, then one is all they get. I'm not wasting my money on little "filler" gifts. I'm giving what I know they will love because I'm saving hard to give it.
      15. Anything else you want to add?
    A budget plan like this is just awesome. I used to feel really guilty when I shopped or spent a lot of money. The guilt is gone. Now I enjoy shopping and saving because I see where it gets me. It takes a long time to save for big items, but it feels so good when you get them guilt and debt free. I really hope to pass this onto my son so that he sees how easy it is to let money the be boss. You have to be the boss over your money.

    One more thing to add... I do have an old navy credit card and a target redcard debit card for the discounts. So I have a clothes budget envelope and a target envelope (because target should just have its own!!) I go to the store, spend just what I have in cash in my envelope and then go to the bank and deposit the cash. That covers the redcard amount when it comes out of my account and I go online and pay off the old navy bill. I'm not sure Dave Ramsey says this is a good thing because then it's easy to go over budget. I am super careful and stick to my plan, but some of those store discounts you can't pass up!!

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