Trent and I used to play a game that we grew to hate. It is a stressful, terrible game that many people find themselves in the midst of. We named it The Twelve Dollars Till Tuesday game.
The way this game goes is that you hit a pay day, are very excited because there is money in the bank, then proceed to pay bills but otherwise spend it willy nilly with no real plan and suddenly find that you have about eight days left until the next pay day and only about $12 in the bank. Your game may be called Twelve Dollars Till Friday, or whatever day of the week you get paid.
Does this game sound familiar to anyone? 'Scuse my language, but this game sucks.
About two years ago, we decided we had had enough of it and we took control. Through a combination of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and me deciding to use my nerd skills for good use, we have really gotten on top of our finances. It has benefited us greatly and I want to share with y'all some of the tips, tricks and strategies we have learned and used. This will not be a rehashing of Financial Peace. I will indeed pull from a few of his concepts, but mainly this will be a genuine, personal offering of our experiences, successes and failures. So, consider this the beginning of an unofficial series about MONEY.
Here is a sneak peek at what I am planning to write about in the near future:
Every Dollar Has A Name - It is important to have a plan for every dollar of your income before you even get paid. I'll discuss how to create a big picture plan for your money, determine what your priorities are and then name every dollar according to that plan so that when the dollars come in, you already know where they need to go.
Bank Account Business - How many bank accounts should you have? What kind? We have four. I'll tell you what they are, what we named them and how we use them. We have landed on a good system that works really well.
Why A Monthly Budget May Be A Terrible Idea - So many money tips out there say to keep a monthly budget, but that is actually a terrible idea for most people. I'll tell you why and show you what I recommend instead.
Budget Basics - I know there are folks out there that don't even know where to begin when it comes to making and keeping a budget. Never fear, I hope to give you some good nuts and bolts for building your budget, and even offer a free non-monthly budget template in Excel/Google Docs that you can customize and make your very own (pending me figuring out how to post such a link within a blog post).
Operation Debt Smackdown - Trent and I paid off an insane amount of debt in 2012. Any guesses for how much? It is a huge WIN for our financial life and we want you to have the same awesome feeling of accomplishment and the same weight lifted. The secret is about 30% planning and 70% attitude. This post will talk about the attitude part of it.
How To Create A Debt Payoff Plan - We'll go through the nitty gritty part of the 30% planning mentioned above and I'll walk you through how to create a loan amortization schedule, which is a fancy accounting name for a debt payoff plan. I'm hoping to also offer a free template in Excel/Google Docs for this schedule, in addition to the budget template mentioned above (also pending me figuring out how to do so).
Why I Don't Agree With Dave Ramsey's Main Slogan - Don't get me wrong, Dave Ramsey is a great guy and has helped a lot of people, including yours truly, but overall I don't agree with his main slogan and premise. I'll tell you what that slogan is, why I don't love it and what I think the focus should be instead.
Y'all ready for this? Don't worry, it won't be all money talk around here. I'll throw in some normal posts too. But get ready for lots of words and not many pictures (besides screen shots of spreadsheets and formulas). Get ready for some brain bending concepts and some detailed explanations. Get ready to ask me any and all questions that pop into your head as you read these upcoming posts. Get ready to whip up on your finances and show them who's boss!
Let the games begin...