Archives For Dave Ramsey

debt

Motivate Me!

Getting out of debt isn’t easy (surprise). Keeping up your morale is important. Every little bit of encouragement helps.

So here are some little bits of encouragement from fellow My Total Money Makeover (MyTMMO) members. How do they stay fired up while they are working Baby Step 2?

Nick and Heather in Iowa

We stayed motivated by setting goals. We made a thermometer-type chart (you can learn how to make one yourself on the MyTMMO forums) and colored in the squares until we filled our emergency fund.

To motivate our children, we promised once we were debt-free, we would save and take them to Disney World. They had their own thermometer to track the savings for the trip. It was a great way to explain to them why we couldn’t do certain things.

Sherry in Utah

We celebrate by buying some really good, but reasonable, steaks and grill out! It’s a small reward, but it’s something for us to look forward to as good steak is usually not in the budget.

Eugene in Oregon

Each month I get excited on the day that I can pay down or pay off a credit card. In the past year I have paid off five cards. When a card is paid off, I cut it up and put it in a jar that I can see from my computer. The pieces are really piling up!

Shane in Colorado

Every time my wife and I permanently knock out another monthly payment, we celebrate the following month by taking the money we would have paid on another payment for that debt, and use it for a night on the town. Dinners, desserts, movies, games, gifts, you name it. It temporarily pauses our snowball, but it gives us both the relief and excitement we need to do it again!

You know yourself and your family better than anyone, so take some time and figure out how you can keep yourself motivated on the cheap while paying off debt. It’s okay to give yourself those small rewards every so often.

You just need to earn them first.

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Dave Ramsey42013Someone once said, “New ideas are good ideas as long as they don’t require anyone to actually do anything new.” If you’ve noticed on this blog, we’re all about new ideas. If you haven’t noticed that, I’m sorry – I must not be doing my job well.

So, please allow me to introduce you to something new. From time to time, here in webspace, we’ve talked about Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University. Well, here’s a little secret – Dave’s just rolled out a new class called The Legacy Journey. It’s seven weeks of fun and instruction!

We had people ask us, when we taught FPU, “What’s next?” Well The Legacy Journey is the answer to that question. Want to know how to invest wisely? That’s week 2. Want to know how to grow your legacy? That’s all 7 weeks. Need to know how to safeguard your legacy? Join Dave and his daughter, Rachel, in week 5!

So check out Dave’s newest release, The Legacy Journey. You’ll be glad you did – and so will those who come behind you!

By the way, what are you doing to leave a legacy? Share with our other readers, we all would like to know.

I Am Humbled, Again!

March 11, 2013 — 1 Comment

entreleadershipI know I wrote a post with a similar title a few weeks ago, but that doesn’t matter. We’ve hit another milestone in the blogging world thanks to you, our favorite readers.

I mentioned before that in the past year this blog has been read in 39 different countries! And for that I am truly most grateful – and humbled.

But we just passed the 500 followers milestone! And to the big boy blogs that may seem like a drop in the bucket, but there was a day when they also celebrated the 500th follower mark.

So here’s what I propose, we’ll bring back the FREE (or almost free) stuff in honor of you – our loyal, and growing readership. Is that OK?

Here’s the first one – Dave Ramsey’s book, EntreLeadership for the ridiculous price of $1.99!!

I first attended Dave’s week-long seminar by the same name back in 2006. But this book is way less than the cost of those 6 days in Nashville with Dave!  So for you loyal readers, and in honor of my sister’s birthday today, just click the link above and snag a copy of this life-changing book for little money.

You’ll be so glad you did!

And thanks for taking us over the 500 follower mark! Let me know what you’d like us to address in upcoming blogs and we’ll try to accommodate as best we can.

Thanks again! And tell your friends about the blog so they can get some FREE, or nearly free stuff, too!

Your friend(s), John (& Jessica).

CoinsAnother of my favorite posts from people I follow. Enjoy!

Four Financial Mistakes Businesses Make and How to Avoid Them

Ask any business owner, and they’ll tell you. One of the best ways to gain knowledge and skills is by making big, fat, whopping mistakes. Lessons learned are what make us stronger, smarter and resilient.

However, there are some goof-ups that do more than teach a lesson. They can kill a business. Luckily, every one of them can be avoided. As Dave teaches in EntreLeadership Master Series, there are several ways to bulletproof your business and find financial peace at the same time. Here are few of the preventative measures every business owner needs to take.

1. Do the Accounting.
At heart, we’re all brave warriors who work long hours, fight the competition, and make any sacrifice to succeed. That is … until it comes to accounting. Then, most of us would rather have a tooth drilled without Novocain.

Unfortunately, it’s about the biggest business mistake you can make. As the Bible says, “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks and attend to your herds.” (Proverbs 27:23 NKJV)

Dave, too, dislikes accounting. But he loves the control and awareness it gives him. “I don’t care how much you hate diving into the numbers, business owners who don’t stay on top of their accounting fail and close up shop.”

2. Pay Your Taxes
If there is anyone, and we mean anyone, you do not want to mess with, it’s the tax man. He will always get paid, even when you don’t. You should have a monthly tax-savings account, where you can set aside 25% of your profits to pay your quarterly IRS estimates. Treat the money in that account as untouchable. The same holds true for payroll/sales taxes. Don’t borrow from them to operate, because you’ll never catch up. Add severe penalties and interest, and you can count yourself gone.

3. Avoid the Toys
Once your company begins making a decent profit, it’s easy to fall into the trap of needing the latest gadget or electronic gizmo—all in the name of increased productivity, profit or client approval.

The most successful businesses don’t buy nicer things and toys without surplus funds. They never go into debt for them. “No deal was every made or lost based on the couch in the reception area,” Dave says. “That is ego.”

4. Make Cash King
Anyone who has listened to Dave for more than two seconds on the radio knows he is the number-one enemy of debt. But that’s just for home, right? Actually, no. Dave believes that businesses can operate successfully without borrowing as well. His company, plus many others both big and small, runs every day without borrowing. Debt magnifies your mistakes, kills your cash, and puts your business’ very survival at risk. It should be avoided at all costs.

These steps are just a few of the many principles needed to successfully run a business. Make time to keep your financial house in order, and you will always reap the rewards.

TargetThe following is a post from last year by Dave Ramsey on his EntreLeadership blog about goal setting. Enjoy.

Are Your Goals Realistic?

Take the Test
Ask any successful person, and they’ll agree. In order to succeed, you must have goals. They are what turns your dreams and visions into reality.

Seems simple, right? You just write down what you want, and you’re on your way to prosperity. Well, not exactly. In order for goals to work, they have to be realistic. Stating that you want to have more sales than Apple in 2013 won’t make it happen.

So how do you know if your goals for next year are attainable and not just some pie-in-the-sky dream? Take this test to find out. If you answer no to any of the following statements, it’s time to re-evaluate.

Are your goals in writing?
It’s awesome to dream, and you should never stop thinking about what can be. But to actually achieve milestones, you have to get your goals down on paper. It will help you stay on track and reach them.

Are your goals specific and measurable?
For goals to work, you need to zero in on exactly what you want to accomplish. For example, saying that you want to make a profit won’t cut it. Instead, how about, “I would like to make $500,000 in revenue this year”? It’s specific and includes an exact (measurable) dollar amount. Once you have your targets, create a plan with deadlines. Then break it all the way down to daily activities. While preparing your strategy, it will soon become clear whether or not your goals are obtainable.

Are your goals shared?
Once you’ve written down your goals, it’s time to get your team on board. Share your goals with your staff—called “casting your vision”—early and often, and watch them get fired up too. With everyone passionate about obtaining your dream, what may have seemed unrealistic this year could be totally obtainable in 2013.

Are your goals your own?
One of the easiest ways to fail while trying to reach your goals is if they are not your own. If your Aunt Edna wants you to be the most successful podiatrist in the tri-state area, it won’t happen unless that’s your dream too–even if you live in a place with some really bad feet. Why? Because as we all know, business is not for the weak of heart. It’s tough. And you won’t have the courage to fight through if you aren’t working toward your own goals.

As Dave and thousands of business owners across the country have proven, turning your dreams into reality can come true. And it all begins by setting realistic goals. So before the new year, take time to write down your goals. You’ll be amazed with the outcome.

A Favorite Post

November 16, 2012 — Leave a comment

From Dave Ramsey’s offices:

Five signs of a Trustworthy Investment Advisor

Choosing an investing advisor is a big deal. After all, this is the person who will show you how to build wealth for your future. Take some time to make the right choice. After all, you don’t want to figure out you’ve got the wrong person for the job after years of getting nowhere.

Recommendations and Requirements

Personal recommendations are a powerful tool for finding a great investment advisor. Ask people you trust for their suggestions. Then, dig a little further. Ask questions.

Do they have honesty and integrity? If your friends go to the trouble to recommend their advisor, it’s a good sign he has dealt with them honestly and professionally. But don’t be shy about asking for more references to help you make your decision.

Do they have the heart of a teacher? You must be able to trust your advisor to advise you—not sell you. An investment advisor who doesn’t take the time to teach you how to make your own investing decisions is simply the wrong advisor for you.

Do they have high standards of service? Is the advisor so busy that you will simply become another file in the drawer? Is he a one-man show who has trouble juggling his clients along with the tasks of running a business? You’ll want a balance that ensures you will receive the service you expect.

Do they have history in the business? We’re not talking about performance; we’re talking about experience. You want to work with someone who’s endured the stock market’s ups and downs and still has a passion for helping people with their investments.

With an important election coming up next month, I thought I’d share some insights on fiscal responsibility with you all. In order for our families, businesses, churches and other institutions to truly work well, they need to be funded well and run well.  One of the keys to running a business well is to NOT spend more than you make. It’s the same for your family, even if you are a family of one! Our governments, local, state and federal, could all benefit from this important lesson. Yet they continue to want to spend dollars they do not have to fund programs and salaries that have learned to depend on a large share of their income coming from some governmental office.

Read on to debunk the myth of budgeting.

Myth: I don’t have time to work on a budget.
Truth: You don’t have time not to make a budget!

The dreaded “B” word. Budget. The only other word that starts with “B” that might generate a worse reaction in most people is the word bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, the word budget has gotten a bum rap – it is basically just a PLAN. When you budget, you’re spending on paper, on purpose, before the month begins. But many people view a budget as a straight jacket that keeps them constrained. Freedom and budget just don’t seem to go together.

However, when you see that a budget is just spending your money with intention, you’ll actually experience more freedom than before. Many people say they’ve found even more money when they created a realistic budget and stuck with it.

Here are some pointers:

  • Give it three to four months to start working. It won’t be perfect the first time you do it.
  • Spend every dime on paper before the month begins.
  • Over-fund your groceries category. Most people underfund that category.
  • Husbands (if applicable) need to loosen up and quit using the budget as a whipping tool on their wives.
  • If married, spouses need to do the budget together. The preacher said “… and you are ONE.”

When you are spending your money on purpose, you will be on your way to a Total Money Makeover. You will be on the road to changing your family tree forever!