Saturday, July 07, 2007

Financial Peace--An Update on the Ramsey course

My wife and I are about five weeks into Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace. Some initial thoughts:

[1] Go in thinking "short-term pain for long-term gain". One of the things you have to do in the early weeks is converting from paying credit cards a month after you buy to generally paying at time of purchase. Effectively, you are paying three months of bills in two months (or, if REALLY disciplined, two months in the first month). We were not carrying a credit card balance and it has been hard; I can only imagine how hard it must be if you are paying off an old balance before converting to "pay-as-you-go."

[2]We have no children, it must be REALLY hard to tell kids that they can't have some toy or fancy clothing item just because you are going off credit cards. To balance that, Dave has some interesting ideas about teaching money management--his requirement that his kids give to church a portion of their earnings from chores is a good way to prepare youth for the future shock of taxes.

[3] My wife remarked that she finds it more painful to buy groceries with cash than with a credit card. This reminds me how shrewd/devious the federal government was to institute tax withholding during World War II--if workers had to save up each year to pay taxes my guess is that George W. Bush would be considered a "taxaholic" rather than a tax cutter.

[4] For those unfamiliar with Dave, he is a quite devout Christian. Fine with me, but could be a hangup for some who could use his help.

[5] Probably the most useful feature so far has been the "keys to negotiating." I have never considered myself a good negoiator; I hope to make his insights helpful on major future purchases such as autos and appliances.

[6] We have a good many soldiers from Fort Campbell in the program. I am thrilled to see these fine men and women who have fought valiantly to give a chance for freedom to Iraqis and Afghans themselves get the option to be freed from the stranglehold of consumer debt.


Blogger DEBTective said...

You're on your way, bub. I'm proud of you for kicking your debt to the curb. Keep going!

10:19 AM  

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