“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” – Dave Ramsey
I used to believe in the fallacy that my golden years would be the start of living the”good” life. Secretly, I wished for a different outcome. What I didn’t know was that there was a relatively simple solution to my problem – a man, a book, and a plan that would change my family forever. The man was Dave Ramsey and his book is The Total Money Makeover: a Proven Plan for Financial Success. I was introduced to his book almost a year ago and it has been the driving force behind my family’s quest for financial freedom.
The Total Money Makeover offers tons of great information, especially if you’re new to the world of money management. While I liked reading the stories of real-life people achieving financial freedom, my favorite takeaways were the Baby Steps (check them out here) and learning how to budget – reallllly budget. Those two gems are helping us pay off debt (including our house) and build savings the fastest – the two highest goals on our list of “stuff to do.”
As of now (and the next couple of years) we’re on Baby Step 2 – pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball. I tell you, this step has been humbling, frustrating, annoying, tedious and liberating – all at the same time. Committing to a cash-only-no-credit-whatsoever lifestyle has been a bit easier than I thought, but life with a budget is not always easy or fun, for that matter. Paying attention to the where, when, and why of each dollar we spend has helped us gain a whole new perspective and appreciation for our money. We can’t justify frivolous spending like before.
Dave Ramsey’s book brings home the idea that becoming financially free is not just about paying off debt and saving money; it’s about defining what’s important to living the life you want. And we’re all about that.