3. I am thankful for Dave Ramsey. My husband and I have drunk the envelope system kool-aid and it has done wonders for our marriage. We took Financial Peace before we got married (and a second time right after we got married… the benefits of being married to someone who helped with that class at our church) and we have used Dave’s system to create a budget, which we treat as something written in permanent ink.
The first 2-3 months were hard – we’d create a budget, and it was always off. Not enough money here, too much money there. But after three months, it worked beautifully! No more spending hours reconciling things, no more adding up a bunch of $5.75 Chick-fil-a receipts from my debit card, no more feeling guilt for making a purchase. With our all-cash spending system, we each have total freedom to do whatever we want with our own envelopes. If I want to blow all of my “Bethe” money on pedicures instead of buying lunch or going out with girlfriends, it’s my decision. If Mr. Right wants to spend all of his money on “gear” (whatever “gear” is… all I know it involves outdoor or sporting equipment that I never really understand what it does) then he doesn’t have to ask my permission. We also have envelopes for dates, groceries, clothes, haircuts, car repairs, and gifts. We pay our bills online but pre-budget those as well.
By following our envelope system (and thus knowing in advance how we want to spend our money for the month) it has allowed us to pay off almost all of our debt, most of the time while paying two mortgages. Our hope is that by the end of December my car will be totally paid off (three years early) and we’ll be completely debt-free except for our house.
If you’re struggling with your budget, I want to encourage you to give Dave a try. Math puts me to sleep, and looking at a budget is about as much fun as going to the dentist, but now that we’ve figured ours out, it requires just a few minutes of discussion once a month, and it has eliminated a lot of opportunities for fighting.
We don’t ever want to be slaves to a big mortgage or fancy cars. We want to live simply, beneath our means, so that we’re free to enjoy ourselves and to bless others. It’s a lot easier to do that when you know where your money is going.
So thanks Dave!