Wow, I am a terrible blogger! I said this a couple posts back, I just kind of subconsciously took a step back from this space. I think once our DEIVF cycle starts at the end of this month I’ll feel more compelled to write again, but for the time being, I just don’t have much to say. I did want to give you guys an update on Dave because the class is now over (as of last week) and I’m trying very hard to continue practicing his principles.
Unfortunately we ended up skipping week 7. It was a beautiful evening weather-wise, we had friends in town, and the lesson was about funding your kids’ college savings & how to plan for retirement. Although I do believe the class is very beneficial, we just decided playing hooky was best for us in the moment. Dave does say that while you’re paying off debt you should NOT be contributing to your 401k or any other retirements. I haven’t been able to practice this yet. I did decrease from 14% to 10% and we are still contributing $100 a month into Joe’s Roth IRA and $100 a month into a mutual fund. Did you know it costs about $458 a month to fully fund ($5500 max per year) a Roth IRA? I can’t wait til we can get ourselves to that point. As far as my 401K I may decrease down to 6% which is what our company matches, but I’m not sure I can give in to no retirement contributions at this time.
Week 8 is Real Estate & Mortgages. Dave is an expert on these because he is an actual real estate agent & owns/has owned many properties in his lifetime. Dave’s recommendation when purchasing a mortgage is you should only take out a 15 year loan, or, if you can, you should pay cash. It does seem like a pretty farfetched idea, I know what our house costs and I know that it would take a lifetime for us to save that much in cash. Our loan right now is a 30 year because it comes with the lowest payment, but the highest interest rate. With this long of a mortgage and a 4.75% interest rate, we will be paying our bank $70,000 just in interest!! We definitely have plans to change to a 20 if not a 15 year loan once all of our debts are paid off because that number is seriously horrifying. He also says that there is absolutely nothing wrong with RENTING until you’re absolutely ready to purchase a home.
Week 9 is about giving. Dave’s lessons are heavily based on the bible and the bible says that tithing should be 10% of your income. For us this just isn’t something that we do. I don’t practice any religion (although Joe does and occasionally goes to church) so for me and my beliefs this isn’t something that I do. I do, however, believe in giving and I give to two charities through work every month. Dave’s famous saying about getting out of debt is “you live like no one else so that you can live & give like no one else”. What he means by that is you go to the extremes, you practice “gazelle intensity” to get out of debt, people think you’re weird & crazy while your work these steps, but you do it so that you can live a life of financial peace & happiness & be able to give to your church, charity, community, etc. which is really something to strive for.
After 9 weeks (or technically 8) of Dave Ramsey I truly feel motivated and determined, but I know I have a lot of work and progress to make. I am not 100% following all of Dave’s principals (like no plastic, no retirement savings, etc.) partially because it scares me and partially because our current situation trying to grow our family. Dave does say that if you become pregnant you should only be paying your bills and not snowballing your debt but saving your money up for the child. In our unique situation with IVF and having to pay out of pocket for our DEIVF cycle, I’ve had to kind of tweak Dave’s plan in order to make it work.
I’d say my biggest takeaway from Dave is learning to be content with what we already have. Dave says “Saving money starts with contentment” and that means that you don’t need the newest car, the newest clothes, the biggest & best material items, and that is something our society has really brainwashed us into. The vehicle I drive is perfectly fine, it gets me where I need to go, it’s safe, it’s reliable, and in reality, it’s all I need, but I sometimes find myself already planning for my next car. This is something I really need to work on.
In the 9 weeks since the class started I paid off around $2,000 of our debt. I wish it was more, but I know it takes time and that every little bit should be considered progress! I would highly recommend this class to anyone. Whether you have debt or not, Dave is very knowledgeable and can give you advice on how to make yourself a millionaire one day if you have the drive and the determination to do so. I’ve been listening to Dave’s podcasts and following him on his Instagram and Facebook for more daily inspiration. Good luck to anyone who is going through this process!