My husband and I have a beginner emergency fund set aside, and we’re working on paying off $30,000 in credit card debt and two cars in Baby Step 2. He would also like us to start putting money aside for a couple of trips and a few other things we have always wanted. This makes me nervous, because we have made so much progress over the last year in getting control of our finances, paying off debt and living on a budget. I understand wanting something to look forward to, but I would hate to see us slow down when we are doing so well. How do you feel about this?
Okay, so you have two car payments hanging over your heads, plus a bunch of credit card debt, and your husband wants to throw saving for toys and vacations into the mix? I’m sure he’s a good guy, and he has obviously been on-board with your financial overhaul so far, but I wouldn’t recommend doing this.
The reason people are successful following my plan is because I teach common sense methods, wrapped up in unbridled, scorched-earth intensity. There’s a process here. There’s an idea combined with passion. And when you plug into it full force, you’re going to move in a positive direction so quickly it’ll make your head spin.
You know how I say personal finance is 80% behavior and only 20% head knowledge? It’s true. Behaviors have to change. The more dramatically they change, the better the results and the faster you progress. But if you don’t plug into it, you’ll fall back into the same old things.
It’s okay to save up for a trip or buy some fun stuff in the general philosophy of life. But getting out of debt, and having control of your finances should come first. Remember when you were a kid and you had to finish your dinner or clean up your room before going out to play? That’s what I teach. Work first, play later.
Trust me. It’ll pay off in the long run!
Dave Ramsey is a seven-time #1 national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 16 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business, and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for Ramsey Solutions.