I feel like 2017 is going to be such a great year for my family. We are finally going to move out of state, and pay off our (mostly) credit card debt. Virtual high five for major life changes! We have wanted to move for over a year now, and it feels real instead of like a dream now.
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Danny and I agree that we have to pay off all of our debt before we start saving for our move. We are just starting to make a dent in our payments. Now, I wouldn’t say we are drowning in debt, but we do have bills that keep us from moving forward with our goals. I’m grateful we decided to get smart about money early on in our marriage than having to deal with bigger payments later on.
Our goal is to move by the start of summer/end of my semester this year. It’s going to be tough breaking our bad spending habits, but we are both motivated to kick ass this year! Paying off our debt and getting control of our spending habits will bring so many blessings to our life. Like so many other couples, we have argued about money when we could have been working together in the past.
The Total Money Makeover
With this new book that we’ve been reading, both of us have started working together as a team to hit each and every goal we have. Since reading The Total Money Makeover together, my husband and I have created a budget with each other that we use to keep track of our expenses. We are merging our finances together, and sharing expenses with each other. It’s been such a blessing because talking about money with each other has been such a stressor in the past.
We have argued a lot about the choice to have joint or separate checking accounts. How much to put towards our credit card payments, how much to spend on this or that, and at no point was it ever a pleasant conversation! Both of us have made financial choices that have been less than smart, and we’re both going to need each other to make up for those mistakes!
Joint or Separate Checking Accounts
Dave Ramsey makes it a point to tell us that married couples have to work together as a team, and that includes sharing our money. Now, I’m not here to tell you to open up a joint checking account with your spouse. Unlike Dave, I think that is up to each couple to decide what’s best for themselves. What may work for us may not work for you!
I think it’s still possible to work toward your shared financial goals if you have separate bank accounts! There’s no reason to pressure your spouse into doing something they don’t want to do. In fact, it might make money matters worse between you two. Both partners have to be on board to make merging finances together work. What I can tell you is how much of a blessing it is, to finally feel like my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to saving and spending.
Baby Step #1
If any of you are familiar with Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, we are still on Step #1-Building a Starter Emergency Fund of $1,000. We haven’t even started our debt snowball yet, but that’s okay. Our goal is to get out of debt for good, not fast and hurried. Let’s face it. We can be positive all we want, but unexpected things always come up. Having the cash to pay for a car repair or an ER visit is much better than having to put it on a credit card.
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We expect to have our emergency fund at $1,000 within the next month. I just want to mention that this is all possible because my husband is off working hard to make this dream come true for us! He is the one who started listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcasts first and bought us The Total Money Makeover book for Christmas. I have seen a complete transformation in him, and it makes me feel so grateful that he wants to work on our Total Money Maker just as much as I do!
I definitely recommend reading this book with your spouse. My husband is on the road a lot, but we jump at each opportunity to read it together even if it’s over FaceTime. I recommend purchasing The Total Money Makeover on Amazon using my link below because it’s only 15 dollars for a hardcover copy. I was recently in a Barnes & Noble where it was going for 40 bucks! I passed on the chance to buy it, and Danny surprised me with my copy for Christmas. Isn’t he sweet? 🙂
I think purchasing Ramsey’s book was such a small investment for a life’s worth of information. I always thought having a credit card was a part of life, but Ramsey makes me think if I should even have one at all! I think this book is perfect for married couples of any age, but if you’re just recently married (like us!) get started right away. It’s so important to get comfortable talking about money with your spouse. Being on the same page will not only improve your bank account but your relationship as well. When you can trust each other with money life gets so much easier, trust me!
So, what do you think? 2017 is the year we change our lives and gain control of our spending habits. Will you join us?