For over 3 years my family and I have been on the right track with my money. Cutting up the credit cards in the summer of 2010 and we have not looked back. It took a little research to find the right information to put us on the right path. One of the first blogs I can across was “Punch Debt in the Face” and one book that kept coming up over and over as I searched for information, Dave Ramsey “A Total Money Makeover.” I read Ramsey’s book over a weekend. With that new found information we have managed to pay off over $75,000 in debt. My wife and I communicate often about our finances, staying on target and making sure we both are on the same page. We have also started to educate our three children about money and debt. We have learned to prioritize needs or wants and that it’s okay to say no to spending money you don’t have. We closing in on being debt free and hope to be in 13 months. At first, we were embarrassed at the mess we have gotten ourselves into, but once we were comfortable with our own debt, budget and continued to collect more information on the topic a strange thing began to happen we wanted to share our new found knowledge.
Sharing the Wealth
I’m surprised at how often people respond with their own tales of debt issues when we share our story. We often share as much information as we can, supplying resources like websites and books, also suggesting to people to look at their own bank or credit unions for additional information. Most offer free debt/credit counseling. We have purchased many copies of Dave Ramsey’s “A Total Money Makeover” and gave them away as gifts. I have seen varies reactions to people receiving the book. Some read them in just a few days and making changes, to others whose books have never been open and are now collecting dust. It’s not bothersome to see the book collecting dust, its totally up to the individual to take action. For those that I have helped I’m glad that I have been able to provide valuable information. It brings a smile to my face to know I helped them make a change in their own finances now they have more information then they didn’t before. All I ask in return in that they pay it forward. When they finish the book they pass it on to someone else and ask that person to do the same.
Expert in the Making?
It’s clear to me now that there are no big secrets to personal finances, no get rich quick schemes; most of it is common sense. That’s not what I thought years ago. I thought I missed a class in college or there was some magic DVD that would tell me how to spend more then I make without repercussion. With a little research, and a little help you can dig your way out of most situations. Taking it a step further I have sat down with some friend and family to review their finances to help give them my expert opinion. I’m half joking, but I feeling like an expert now compared to where I was three years ago. I continue to read books, article, and blogs as we continue paying down our debt. Increasing the knowledge as we go. The repayment of our outstanding debt is just the first step in the process. It feels good to be on the right track and share this powerful information with others.
What resources would you recommend for others just beginning to organize their personal finances? Do you openly share your financial information?