The last two sessions have been extremely informative centering on Dave's ideas about the credit industry and big business marketing in general. Ramsey does a great job at laying out the big picture in these two areas. I, like Ramsey, am amazed at the excellence of effective marketing. Yet, I must remember that no marketing can ever be good enough to persuade me to give up financial freedom and - in the end, the marketing my be great, but I always make the final decision to give someone else the money that has been entrusted to me. The big idea for me in Dave's message is: THINK! Pat, think before you throw your money away. Think about what you really want when you're considering a large purchase. Think about what you really want from any financial transaction, and what you expect to really receive. Most foolish money decisions are because there exists more complex problems in the heart about what really matters in life. The item purchased will not deliver on whatever promise is proposed via the excellent marketing.
Status Update on What I've Done Since Entering FPU
- Started saving $1,000 as an immediate emergency fund on Feb 2nd. Ramsey suggests to get this amount as fast as possible. I thought I heard him say in 1-2 months. My family lives hand to mouth pretty much every month. The most I think my wife and I have accumulated in the last few years at any given time has been around $500, and then of course an emergency would hit (or at least what we considered an emergency.)
- Fully implemented a very workable budget. Got the numbers out of my head, shared them with my wife and agreed together to work them over the next few months.
- Pulled an annual credit report.
- Started researching other ways to increase household income.
- Evaluated current debt snowball plan. We'll have all unsecured debt paid off at the end of 2009. I am working on rolling the second mortgage into this plan and the end date will be extended to 2010.
- Sold some stuff on ebay - added another $340 to the emergency fund. The emergency fund is now at $840.
- Have a plan to add more money to emergency over the next paycheck. We'll be at $1,000 on March 1st. WOW! I really didn't think we'd be able to save $1,000 in one month in our situation.