Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ash Wednesday has me thinking...

So Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. As a Catholic I'm used to "giving up" something as a way to focus on the great sacrifice Christ made for all humanity. I have decided to give up fabric shopping. I have so much and I can't think of why I might need to buy some for the next 40 days. But, that got me thinking about other things. About finances, budgeting and the future. I really want my family to have a strong and secure financial base and that if something were to happen to A. or myself that we would be ok. My goal is that in the next 2 years we will have all our debt (with the exception of the house) paid off and substantial savings. How do I hope to accomplish this? By getting real and getting real serious. I've read so many books on the subject of personal finance. While I don't buy his entire method I do like his simple no nonsense approach. So, I plan to become a gazelle. If you know Dave Ramsey, you know what that means.
Here are some the high points of his method
0-- Get current on bills
1 -- $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
2 -- Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
3 -- Three to six months of expenses in savings
4 -- Invest 15 percent of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
5 -- College funding for children
6 -- Pay off home early
7 -- Build wealth and give

I also love the Tightwad Gazette as a way to embrace a frugal lifestyle. Yes, some of her suggestions are extreme...but the overall message is one I can really believe in and commit to. So...I'll keep you posted on my progress and I hope to spending my 10th wedding anniversary on a fully funded trip to Italy.