Jones and I are totally committed to Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It sounds good on paper but making it work in real life is a challenge. Let me tell you how things have been going for us and I will share what I’ve learned from a few others that are taking this journey with us.
Whether you’re just beginning to talk about money, brown bagging it or using coupons, each step is a milestone in your Total Money Makeover. Darcy Jones
We created a budget, put our “stuff” into the Debt Snowball, and started working the plan. I budgeted $400 a month for groceries and planned to shop weekly. I soon found myself with a dilemma – do paper products and cleaning supplies come out of the grocery budget or are they miscellaneous? Is my Oil of Olay moisturizer a personal item or can it come out of the grocery fund? I wasn’t sure but since I usually bought groceries, cleaning products, and personal items in one trip, I decided to purchase them from the grocery budget this week and work out the details later. I went to the bank, took out $100, and put it in an envelope. I could only spend what I had with me.
I also planned to find money by using coupons. This was very interesting. After examining several sites and not finding coupons for many items I planned to buy, I wasn’t sure this was a good use of my time. I’d spent two hours looking and I wasn’t real happy with the results. I did find coupons for a few things, store coupons for some things I usually purchased, and $2 off on my Oil of Olay product. I could load the $2 off coupon onto my Kroger Plus card and use it during checkout. I grabbed my hand bag, made sure I had the grocery list, and went Krogering.
When the clerk rang me up, she said, “You’ve saved $34!”
Not bad for a newbie! Oh — I should also report that I spent $114. The Oil of Olay and toilet bowl cleaner pushed me over my $100 limit. I may have to rethink this piece of our budget. I also have to admit that I pulled out my debit card. However, I did go back into the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover budgeting tool and expensed the $114. I’ll save the money in the envelope for next week.
Blackjack missed the conference call but he was onboard with the program. He’d been getting my text messages and had started some investigation on his own. He went to YouTube and watched two of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover videos. He said, “I’m really excited. It just makes sense. I’m gonna buy the book and talk to my wife.”
NewlyWed Sunshine said she and her new husband are making progress on their Total Money Makeover. She’s listening to Dave Ramsey’s cds on Financial Peace – she’s up to cd number eight. Her husband is reading the Total Money Makeover book and he’s on cd number 3. They’ ve opened a joint account, created a budget, and set some goals.
Leah said that after the family conference call, she and her husband were really motivated. They bought the book and now they’re talking about how they use money. She’s feeling very optimistic.
GreenThymes said that one of her family’s challenges was eating out. They figured that she was spending about $200 a month on lunches. She agreed to take her lunch so they could use that $200 somewhere else.
Notice that each family is in a different place. Those that started sooner may be further along than those that started later. What’s important is they’ve started, they’re making progress, they’re setting goals.
Our family Total Money Makeover is not a sprint — it’s a marathon. Each family has to set its own pace and will reach the finish line in its own time. We’ll celebrate the milestones together. This week, we’re celebrating Blackjack, Leah, GreenThymes and their families. Maybe next week, we’ll send a shout out to you and yours. We’re in it for the long haul. It’s a journey and every dime counts.