- The Dave Ramsey Podcast
I listen to a podcast once per week – even at the gym, if I think to bring my headphones. It doesn’t matter if it’s Millionaire Hour, or if Dave is answering questions I’ve heard before, I always take time to listen and learn from the horse’s mouth.
- Total Money Makeover
I read it, let it sink in, and then put it into action. I’ve heard from multiple people that they thought it would be a boring book. I mean… it’s personal finance, and to most people, that’s pretty sleep inducing material. Instead of being put into a coma, the book is a quick read: easy to understand, with so many real stories of overcoming financial burden. I loved every second of it and I will read it every year.
- Every Dollar Budget
I adore this app. Once upon a time, I was a strictly Mint girl. Now, I do all of my monthly budgets on EDB. It’s easy to set up, and you can see exact percentages. The most important thing: Every single dollar you make is given a purpose. A budget doesn’t have to be painful. We have a budget for haircuts, eyebrow waxing, Lowes Home Improvement, and going on date nights. Budgets are what you make them to be and IF you can add fun things, do so, but ALWAYS include EVERY dollar you’re going to spend into your budget.
- Debt Chart
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Making your journey visual is key to becoming successful. Giving yourself a reminder each day will keep you motivated. I honestly and truly don’t think I would have made it this far if I didn’t go to a craft store and make a debt chart for myself. It doesn’t have to be fancy; you can even download free printable charts. Just make it real by making it visual.
I started my debt journey 01/04/16 – That’s around the same time that I turned my Instagram into a blog for my journey. Since then I’ve gained around 800 followers, mostly people on the same path as us. Tapping in to that kind of determination and community on a daily basis has been a blessing that I really can’t describe. The people that I follow and interact with have dreams and goals of being debt free, and building wealth — of changing their family trees and giving beyond what they thought possible. They’re entrepreneurs, parents, college students, and professionals. They come from different cities, states, and countries. They’re different races, education levels, and sexualities. They have different careers, jobs, and backgrounds. It truly is a beautiful thing that I have been able to watch others, so different from myself, on this same adventure. I count myself incredibly lucky to have found such a place where I am 100% open and passionate about becoming debt free.
If I am looking for anything new, I always go to Pinterest. They have great frugal tips for meal planning, dates, and home décor. There’s always something handy I take away.
If you are anything like me, your inbox is flooded with subscriptions to your favorite big box stores, local boutiques, and (multiple) pet adoption agencies. Using unroll.me solved that tease in 6 minutes. You can unsubscribe from mailing lists, roll them up (so you get them in 1 email, once a day), or leave them in your mailbox as is. It’s very reassuring that I will never be enticed to spend by an unwarranted email ad.
- Emergency Fund
I cannot stress this resource enough. Completing Baby Step 1 is ESSENTIAL to getting out of debt. My husband and I learned this lesson the hard way in November when a family member passed away in Texas. The plane ticket from NC was $1,000 and we had to come up with the cash FAST. In order to turn completely away from credit cards and stupid financial decisions, you need to have at least $1,000 in an emergency fund. ONLY for EMERGENCIES. NOT for an outfit you really want, new tires, or an overdraft fee. Emergencies like: Buying a last minute plane ticket due to a family death or surprise situation, if your home needs a sudden repair, or if your dog eats a pound of chocolate cake and has to go to the weekend emergency vet clinic. THOSE are emergencies. Don’t go back into debt because you weren’t prepared for life happening.
- Sinking Funds
But, Vee, my car needs tires. Yes… in order for your car to go vroom vroom, you’ll need reliable tires. In order for you to be a bridesmaid, you’ll need a dress and shoes. In order for you to go on a vacation, you’ll need to save. That’s where sinking funds come in. Figure out how much money you’ll need, when you’ll need it, and then start to put money away for it. For example: Christmas. Christmas comes at the same exact time, every single year. Yet people lose their minds and blow hundreds of dollars – most Americans charge it to a credit card. Why? Stupidity. If you want to spend $800 on Christmas, from January to November put away $80 a month. Come Christmas, there’s your $800.
- Budgeting Meetings
You will never get anywhere financially if your partner isn’t on board. First, you’ll want to have a serious discussion of where you see yourselves financially in the future. Then, be honest and open about what would need to happen to get there. For my husband and I, all I had to do was lay out the amount of debt we were in, and he was 100% on board. We have budgeting meetings monthly and we always talk about what we’re going to do when we get out of debt and how we’re going to do it. Dave Ramsey is a name that comes up daily in our household. We both have access to each other’s bank accounts and we always do Every Dollar together. WE are in this TOGETHER and that’s the most important thing. Being partners in this has made our relationship even better and we are able to dream big and then physically see those dreams happen with all of our hard work. Budgeting meetings are essential to our financial health as a household and a couple.
If you’d like to see more of my debt free journey, follow me on Instagram @veefrugalfox