Financial Peace

Sunday, March 03, 2013

You will soon know this about me and BH, so I'll just let the cat out of the bag. We are HUUUGE Dave Ramsey fans. Sometimes I know we Ramsey-ites get real excited and yack peoples ears off, leaving them with that whole triangle scheme fanatic vibe. But it's so hard to keep our excitement in check sometimes! Here's why:

In my single years, I went through some rough financial times. It was important for me to make it on own and succeed in my career and sometimes those two goals weren't cohesive. I took a lower paying position with a local bridal company as an Assistant Designer that was great for my career. I worked with the product development team to plan and design the bridal, prom, bridesmaid, and special occasion dresses for their retail and wholesale channels. We went to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China to work with the factories on the designs and production of the garments. It was incredible for my career, but havoc on my budget. I already had debt from education loans and couldn't meet my monthly payments and living expenses, so I watched as my credit card debt slowly ticked up and up. I felt like I was sinking.

Then a couple of things happened. I eventually moved to a position with a locally owned women's apparel company. It wasn't as directed to my career goals, but it was a good position with a solid company with a great amount of growth. I have been able to grow into different positions with the wholesale division and really came to love what I did. It was great to have the stability and know that my efforts at work were having a direct effect on the success of the company and my own financial situation.

The second thing that happened was being introduced to Dave. My sister A. (technically my step-sister-in-law) had invited my mom and stepdad to a Dave Ramsey event on financial peace, and they had been so impressed with the ideas he shared that they had bought the Financial Peace CD set. My mom lent them to me, and I decided to take them with me on the road to a sales event I was staffing in Logan, Utah. I listened to the CDs as I drove up and down the canyons, in my hotel room in the evenings, and even in the car as I grabbed a quick bite to eat. I was hooked.

Dave's basic idea is that if you do smart, stable, wise things with your money, your financial situation will become smart and stable. And that is what I needed, stability. Stability and peace. It sounds funny to need peace from your money, but my life was anything less than peaceful when each week there was a new emergency and fire to put out with my budget.

There was one moment I can still clearly remember when Dave, who had incredible financial rough times as well before becoming wise with money and eventually succeeding incredibly, was describing the struggle, the torture, the helplessness you can feel when you are at the bottom struggling with money. That was me. He described a gazelle running from a cheetah, all odds on his losing and becoming cheetah food, but he kept running, running for his life because he wanted to live. That was me. It was intense, and the cheetah finally got away. That was going to be me. I was going to get away. I was going to run with gazelle intensity with every dollar I had until I could finally get away and feel some peace.

And I did! I was intense about all my decisions, about my budget, about paying off my debt. It was a great blessing in my life. And when BH and I started dating it was in incredible blessing that he agreed with me. He had never had any debt in his life, a completely different experience than mine, but had led us to the same place (a recurring theme in our marriage). And when we got married and had two incomes to work our financial plan with, our blessings were increased five fold.

So, financially winning now includes paying cash for our baby bills, paying cash for our furnace that we replaced this week, and newest of all today.... drumroll please.... paying of the very last credit card debt! Yay! We still have some smaller education loans to pay, but during all this I am able to work part time from home (thanks bosslady!), have the stability of an emergency fund of cash in the bank, have bought a beautiful modest home, and have a great foundation in our marriage by having similar values and common goals in money. I just walked into that one with BH, he is fantastico. All these things I have Heavenly Father to thank for, but I know he asks His children to be blessings in each others lives and to learn from and teach each other. Thank you mom, A, Dave and BH for being my blessing friends!

Love, Me

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