This past Friday was our first FPU class. I think I told you that my friend Jessica and I are doing this class together so she is my accountability partner. Joe will just be updated as the weeks go along. He doesn’t spend much money at all, gas and beer each week are about the extent of it for him so I didn’t press him to go to the class. I handle all of the money in our marriage. I pay almost everything online except for a few minor things. I get on my account and check my balance every day. I use an app called Checkbook that I use to keep my balance as I use my debit card 95% of the time for all transactions. I’m a saver by nature, but I’m impulsive, that is what I need to work on most & that is one of my goals for the class.
The first class is obviously an introduction to Dave & also a focus on Baby Step 1, $1000 in your emergency fund. We already had this step in place & then some. For the homework this week we were supposed to fill out our budget for the month & a small snap shot of our current debt. We also have to log in online & read a chapter from the book (that I haven’t done yet). The kit comes with everything that is needed for the class including DVDs of all of the sessions, the work book, Dave’s book, the envelope system organizer & envelopes, even a pencil & sharpener. You can actually do the classes online, but I think going to the class is an easier way to hold yourself accountable.
For us, we have 4 debts that I want to work on, the biggest being my car, then the credit card, then 1 personal loan for our kitchen cabinets, and a 0% interest loan for our furniture & appliances. Almost all of our debt is related to building our house. With Dave’s plan, you don’t worry about what has the highest interest (my credit card! 23% yikes!) you work on paying your minimum on each debt until the smallest one is paid off, then you continue to use the minimum from the paid off debt on your other debts, it’s called the debt snowball.
Taking the class and having the group discussions, I realized that we are very blessed and we aren’t that bad of a situation. I definitely need to work on my impulses and my mindless spending. I like to shop & I really do, like many people, feel a sense of euphoria when I shop. I can see how people can get addicted to shopping and literally drain their savings & max out several credit cards & put themselves in financial ruin. I am nowhere near that bad, but I still would like to be less impulsive.
I did talk a little bit about our medical bills stemming from IVF. We are so unbelievably lucky to have the coverage that we have (no plan maximum on IVF & IUI), but there are still bills that come since it’s not 100% covered. Our DEIVF cycle is a big reason why I wanted to start taking this class & get our finances in better order. With having to pay for this cycle out of pocket I really want to get rid of the extra payments that we have, mainly my credit card & the personal loan. My car & the 0% interest loan I am not as worried about. I know a loan is a loan and the quicker they’re paid off the better so I am going to work diligently at getting both of those paid off early too, but I don’t feel as much anxiety as I do with the other two. The credit card & personal loan also happen to have the highest interested, the credit card is a whopping 23% and the personal loan is 8%. It sickens me how much interested Chase has made off of me since we built our house.
I’ll keep updating as the weeks go on. This is a 9 week course and I’m really determined to make every one of them. I’ll recap each class to hold myself accountable & also if any of you are considering it, this will give you a breakdown of information week by week.