Hello everyone! Welcome to week 4 of the Manage Your Money Challenge! Sorry about the delay for today’s post, but I have been having some serious internet issues and I think even some computer issues as well. EVERYTHING takes FOREVER! My internet will cut off on me in the middle of doing something and I have to wait sometimes for 10 minutes for it to reconnect.
Last week was a great challenge and everyone who participated had great responses. Since I didn’t comment myself I thought I would let you know that I first said yes on an impulse purchase, and then I said no. My mom was going to sell me a really nice bed for $400 that included headboard, foot board, mattress, box spring, and 2 night stands. Great price right? That’s why I jumped on it, but then we found out that it was going to cost us an additional $200 to pick it up. My mom lives 90 miles from me. Even though $600 is still a great price for what we would have got, we were not willing to spend an extra $200 at this time. We were even able to afford the extra expense, without using our emergency fund or messing up our budget dramatically, but we still decided not to.
This Weeks Prize Winners!
- Financial Peace University DVD Lesson: Dumping Debt – Donna
- Financial Peace Revisited (Dave Ramsey) book – Kathleen C.
- Dave Ramsey’s Town Hall For Hope Live Event DVD – Julie
- No More Dreaded Mondays (Dan Miller) book – Forest
- BONUS PRIZE – Free copy of Project M-31: Simplify Your Life in 31 Days – Laura
PLEASE NOTICE: I moved the list of sponsors and prizes to a special page here on EOD. Please be sure to check out who made this first Manage Your Money challenge so very special!
Be sure to thank the sponsors!
Manage Your Money Challenge #4
If you have been a reader of Enemy of Debt for any time at all then you must know how I feel about debt. I hate it. I believe it steals so much from us and keeps us from ever reaching our true potential. Society says that you can’t live without debt, but most of society is flat broke. Dave Ramsey says “if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, then you will keep getting what you’ve been getting.” If debt causes so much stress and friction in our lives, why don’t we try something different?
People complain about not being able to do so many things, without ever recognizing the true culprit—their debt payments. We have payments for everything, and our budgets become inundated with so many payments that it is no wonder we can’t afford to save, give, and run out of money before the month ever ends. I know that feeling well because that feeling used to be a large part of my life, but not anymore. That feeling is becoming a blur and man does it feel GREAT!
The debt cycle has become a lifestyle that people have just accepted as just the way things are. You have to have a car payment. You have to use credit cards. You have to use debt as a leveraging tool in order to prosper. That is such a lie and an incorrect way of looking at things. You need debt about as much as you need to be laid off, hospitalized, or at retirement without a dollar to your name. You need to map out your future so you have one worth living.
That’s where the budget comes in. By telling your money where to go, you can plan for that future with much greater ease. If you eliminate the debt payments from your budget, eventually your income becomes a tool for you to use to build wealth. Building wealth is not bad, because it enables you to save, spend, and give without constraint. You have a better chance at helping your neighbor than the Government does, and you can do it more efficiently. You can not only change your family tree, but you can help change the family tree of others by using your wealth to do so much good in your community.
I always wonder what would have happened had credit never been entered into the equation. What if everyone was debt free? What if the majority had the mindset to use their riches to benefit as many people and families as they could? The Government would be out of a job that’s for sure. Change doesn’t come from Washington, it comes from your budget, and your own decisions!
Today’s challenge is going to focus on getting you to think about how debt affects your life. I love getting people to do what I call The Dream Budget. This is an exercise that will show you how much money you are wasting away on debt payments each and every month. This will show you how much of your hard earned money is making someone else rich and wealthy. Someone else had a plan, and in America that plan is working very well. Americans are enthusiastically consumed with debt. In Financial Peace University Dave Ramsey uses an example that illustrates this very well. Just look at the difference between your house and a bank building. Your house represents how your current plan is NOT working for you, while the skyscraper seen from a distance (the banks), represents how well their plan is working for them. Stop the madness and build your own skyscraper!
The Dream Budget (worth 1 entry)
- Go read The Dream Budget.
- Do your own dream budget.
- Answer these questions:
- Without debt, how much would you have extra each month? (remember this includes no mortgage payments too.)
- Now take that amount and multiply it by 12 months. How much is it?
- How would that impact your family and your future?
BONUS CHALLENGE (worth 5 entries)
- I have created my own 12 step program. The idea obviously came from the principles taught in Alcoholics Anonymous, but with my debt free spin. Are you addicted to becoming or staying debt free? It’s worth 5 extra entries if you decide you want to get rid of your debt, and follow the directions on the post. Follow my 12 steps to keep yourself motivated and on track. Save the picture of the 12 steps, print it, and put it on your fridge, or in your office. Put in front of you a constant reminder of how debt is keeping you from living your dream. Then go and make your dream happen, so it’s not a dream any longer!
OTHER MANAGE YOUR MONEY POSTS
- Manage Your Money Sign Up
- Manage Your Money Pre-Challenge Post: On Paper On Purpose
- I Love You…Like A Blogger!
- WEEK ONE CHALLENGE: Manage Your Money – Wants Versus Needs
- WEEK TWO CHALLENGE: Teamwork, Accountability, and Kids
- WEEK THREE CHALLENGE: Death By 1000 Cuts
- WEEK FOUR CHALLENGE: GET OUT OF DEBT!
- BONUS CHALLENGE: Think Ahead and Stay Determined
- FINAL POST: TBA April 1st