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Money

Remember That Financial Freedom Course We’re Creating? Welp, It’s Almost Done and Here’s What They’re Sayin…

April 3, 2017

Guys.

Holy Freaking Smokes.

Remember when we recruited beta testers for the financial freedom course we were creating?

We knew it was going to be a stretch to keep working on the course since we were about to bring home our second baby girl in a matter of days….but by golly we just decided that life wasn’t slowing down and it was time to turn our dream of helping others into a reality.

I highlight that we thought it was a stretch because that was the understatement of the century. We had no clue that we were about to live in Arkansas for over a month when our newborn baby girl had an unexpected stay in the NICU after birth.

On top of that, we underestimated the hardness of the newborn phase and sleep deprivation. (This wasn’t our first rodeo so why wouldn’t we have remembered the hardness? Our brains must have seriously blocked it out! LOL)

And then even on top of that, we’re still living with my amazing parents (moving NEXT MONTH into our own home finally) and transitioning into being a family of four with a toddler and a newborn in someone else’s home while 80% of our belongings remain in storage has proved a wee bit challenging.

When we got home from Arkansas in January, there were a few conversations where we wondered if it was prudent to follow through on the beta at this phase in life. Ultimately we decided to go for it and I couldn’t be more grateful we did.

We reminded ourselves again of that reality that there’s never a good time to __________ (Insert any big or challenging opportunity!) We realized that when we completed our course in the smack dab middle of a wild, hairy, insane, sleepless, and un-settled phase of life that we’d be able to do anything later on.

Onward we marched…scraping, clawing, pulling all nighters, and working hard creating a quality course dedicated to transformation and lasting financial freedom.

We gathered our beta testers and on February 22, 2017 we launched our first of eight weekly modules.

We’re on schedule to wrap up our beta test in a few weeks and we couldn’t be more excited. Of course our students have provided solid feedback for adding value, clarifying our message, and making sure our technology works seamlessly. We expected that.

What we also expected but didn’t have social proof for was specific and concrete feedback on the results we were getting our students. And boy do we have a boatload now.

We’re getting our students results as they’re moving towards lasting financial freedom. They are seeing drastic improvements in their ability to budget, save, pay off debt, and give. While many are new to focusing on handling their money well and have experienced some overwhelm (#normal) they have confidence and peace knowing we’ve given them a path to follow that will get them exactly where they want to go. 

That’s all we ever wanted to do and now we know we’ve done it and can keep doing it for others.

Just check out what they’re saying…straight from the horse’s mouth:

I used to always be scared, worried, or avoid the topic of money but now it actually gets me excited!

The course is instantly applicable.

It’s the down and dirty about everything you need to know about finances.

This would’ve been good to know about before adulting.

We’d dodged dealing with money in our marriage and this course has been the platform that forced us to have conversations and to talk about finances.

It’s like a bootcamp to learn how to get your money to work for your goals instead of letting your money just happen.

For anyone who doesn’t know where to start with finances – this is the class for them.

I LOVE your stories and y’all crack me up!

It’s helped me to plan of the future instead of just living paycheck to paycheck.

I would 100% recommend this course.

YEEHAW!

Hearing these comments gave us so much encouragement and validation that we’re right where God wants us and that he’s taking our little “yes” (and whoooooooole lotta elbow grease) and using it to bring financial freedom and peace into the lives of others.

While we’re wrapping up our beta this month, we wanted to update y’all on how it’s going and point you to our website where you can sign up to get specific emails about the course as it gets launched to the public.

It will take us some time to tweak the course based on feedback we’ve received in the beta but I don’t want anyone to miss out on it when we launch later in 2017.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and cheerleading!

Money

Looking for Beta Testers for Our Brand New Money Course… Who Wants In?

November 28, 2016

******UPDATE AS OF JAN 2017**********

We have received way more applicants than we will even be able to take in the beta class so we are closing applications for now. Thank you all for your enthusiasm for the class and stay tuned for a debut in 2017! 🙂

Those of you who’ve been around these parts for a while know that we’re into financial freedom and managing our financial resources for the glory of God. We’re also wanna-be entrepreneurs with approximately one million ideas that could land us on Shark Tank.

We’ve decided to merge those two loves together into a brand new class on relating with and handling money in 2017.

To be super duper transparent, the class is completely 100% in our brains at the current moment. We need a handful of individuals and couples willing to help us get what’s in our heads out onto computers and into your homes.

I know some of you are thinking, “But wait, aren’t they about to have another baby in like a week?” Yes. Yes we are. But you know what, life has this funny way of never having good timing when it comes to pursuing dreams. That’s where a pilot class will be helpful not only to us but also for those who join us. We’ll have you keeping us accountable to getting our ideas out each week and you will benefit from the nuggets of wisdom we’ve got stored away. We both win and it gets our dreams one step closer to reality.

I know we are completely qualified and confident to do this…because we’ve been doing it for years now. We’ve had countless meetings with individuals and couples in our homes or at various events about their finances and what next steps to take in getting financially fit. From getting out of debt to starting a retirement account to setting up a will, we’ve talked about it all with others.

It’s no secret that we love Dave Ramsey and we admit his influence on our lives has been tremendous. However, we believe we’ve got a unique perspective on this money thing and we believe it will be useful to you and others. That’s why we’re creating a money class you can take in the comfort of your own home and creating an online community of others pursuing the same thing.

This is where you come in.

Do you want financial freedom? Are you sick and tired of debt? Do you need advice on how to save for college and retirement? Do you need encouragement and accountability to create and stick to a budget? Do you want financial hacks that will save you hundreds every year? Are you ready to retire a millionaire and steward those funds wisely? Do you want to give more generously? Are you facing an income issue and need ideas on how to bring home more for yourself and family? Do you need fresh ideas on how to get rid of debt quickly? Do you want to see a radical financial turnaround in only a few short weeks?

We’re going to cover that all and more in our class.  In order to do that, we want to invite a few of you to join our pilot. 

What type of individuals and families are we looking for?

  • Ready to commit 110% to pursuing financial freedom
  • Able to dedicate 2-3 hours per week watching videos, doing homework, and participating in the online community
  • Learners who are open to trying new things
  • Ready to provide open, honest, and helpful feedback each week after our lessons
  • Vulnerability and able to openly discuss their emotions regarding money and spending

Are you ready to get financially fit in the New Year…and for the rest of your life?


Sign up above and we will review your application. We should be getting back to you in the next couple of weeks before the New Year.

Money

How to Attend Financial Peace University for FREE

September 1, 2015
It’s THAT time of year again!
It’s time for a giveaway around the True Good and Beautiful blog!

What are we giving away? (Like you don’t have us figured out here yet…) 😉

1 FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY MEMBERSHIP!!!!

To say that Dave Ramsey has a huge influence on how we choose to live in the understatement of the year.

Using his materials and methods are the sole reasons we are debt-free and living on a budget today. His message has literally changed our lives.

And we can’t help but pass along this opportunity to others.

Nope, this opportunity was not sponsored by Dave Ramsey.

We simply believe so powerfully in the freedom that comes in handling money God’s way that we want to pay it forward to someone else. We want to bless an individual or family who would benefit from going through this class.

In fact, we did this giveaway last year and this is what one winner had to say:

“Since then (attending FPU), I’ve felt much more financial freedom in the knowledge that this is something God and I are doing together, and at the end of the day, He’s calling the shots.”

What is Financial Peace University (FPU)?

“Financial Peace University is a nine-week class on money taught by America’s most trusted financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Dave and his teaching team will walk you through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future, and much more!”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDW3HEgh_w8
You can see a sample of all nine lessons here.

Most classes start in a couple of weeks, hence the giveaway. You can see a list of locations, dates, and times at the FPU website. If you’re in the Denver area, consider joining the class we’re coordinating (starts Thursday, Sept 24, 2015).

Jonathan and I have attended and facilitated Financial Peace University and it’s been a huge blessing in our life and parish. If you could benefit from sprucing up your finances or demolishing old habits and starting over, then sign up to win one of these classes we are giving away.

It literally can change your life and the lives of those around you.

Lastly – I shouldn’t have to say this but…if you know you will not complete all nine classes and take the class seriously, DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST! If you are ready to dive in and apply yourself in class, ENTER ALL YOU CAN! We want to make sure the people with the right attitudes are the ones who win this opportunity.

Best of luck!


Money

5 Ways To Derail Your Budget

January 13, 2015

Some of you are new to the world of budgeting.

Perhaps it was a New Year’s Resolution of yours. We’re about two weeks into January so by now you’ve either nailed it, completely forgotten about it, or crashed and burned hard.

No matter where you are with budgeting, I want to share with you five ways you’ll be thrown off course as you learn how to make it a habit in your life.

1. Pretend You’re a Pro

You will mess up your first few budgets. If you walk into budgeting acting like a pro and expect perfection, you are setting yourself up for failure.

How can you be excellent at something you’ve never done before? You can’t. We’re all human. Do your best and give budgeting all the effort it deserves…but inevitably as you discover you underfunded/overfunded/totally forgot certain items to budget for you need to cut yourself some slack. You can get back on the saddle and get it more right the next round.

And the next round.

And the next…until you are a true budgeting pro.

2. Forget About Tracking

If you are one of those people who plans to mentally keep track of your budget as you go through the month, you’re crazy.

You won’t do it.

Especially if you are married and you not only have to keep track of your own spending but that of another spouse’s spending.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

You need a way to track how you are spending money from your budget each month. I don’t care how you do it but you need something other than your fleeting memory. Paper and pen. Budgeting Apps. Dave Ramsey Gazelle Budget website. YNAB – You Need a Budget software.

Something. Anything.

In the beginning we were pen and paper people. We tracked on the back of every envelope how much was spent from it and the various purchases. This worked but man did it get old. We then switched to Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Budget but it was a pain in the rear to have to save receipts from the day and then enter them one by one into the budget every evening. That’s when we got YNAB software and we’ve never looked back. Jonathan and I can spend from the budget and track it throughout the day on our phones. It then auto syncs in the cloud so our budget is up to date at all moments. Love it!

3. Don’t Consult it Before Purchasing

If you show up at the grocery store or and begin to just place items in your cart without first checking your budget, you will bust your budget quicker than the speed of light. Or agree to go to the movies without first checking in with what the Entertainment category has left in it.

The budget is meant to be a guide and not a noose. By checking in with what you’ve set aside in varying categories, you are giving yourself freedom to make wise choices with how you planned to spend money that month. You free yourself to say “yes” or “no” to whatever items or activity has come up based on what amount is left in the budget for that particular category.

By consulting the budget, you won’t end up accidentally overspending your gas money on one too nights out at the movies.

4. Be Ashamed of the “B” Word

In the world of responsible budgeting, a common phrase would be, “Let me check the budget” prior to spending money. This phrase can be really hard to use when in the company of other people and typically invokes great fear or shame.

I remember in the early days of our journey to financial freedom, it was late in the month and friends we were hanging out with asked us to go to a movie that night. We honestly didn’t know what we had left in our “entertainment” category for the month since we’d already done a few fun things in the previous weeks. Jonathan looked at me and said, “Is it in the budget,” and I got completely embarrassed.

I shouldn’t of felt anything negative since budgets are not a matter to be ashamed of. We had other priorities and going to the movies wasn’t top if we didn’t have the funds available for it. Much to our disappointment, we had already depleted our entertainment budget for the month and turned the friends down. Thankfully they were very understanding but even if they hadn’t been we didn’t need to feel anything but confidence.

5. Over-complicate Things

Lastly, one way to get derailed in the budgeting process is to make things so complicated that even you, the budget creator, can’t tell how or where to categorize things.

There is a tendency to create way too many categories in one’s budget. You don’t have to budget for shampoo. Budget for toiletries. You don’t have to budget for an occasional magazine. Budget personal blow money. You don’t have to budget for Netflix. Budget for entertainment.

You get the idea. Finding ways to bring lots of different expenses under common categories will simplify your life. Think general and make categories for those commonly occurring expenses. Those smaller ones that come up only a couple times a year can find a home in one of your general categories. We even have a “miscellaneous” category for things like stamps, Amazon Prime, and the random items that come up every now and again that need a home in our budget.

If you over complicate the budget, you won’t stick to the budget.

Hopefully you can avoid the common ways to derail your budget this year!

I think the number one reason people don’t stick to a budget is lack of accountability and support. Starting next month we will begin providing some form of budget accountability. We’re still figuring our the logistics…will it be a link-up? A photo? A hashtag? Some combination of those? We are working out the details but starting February 1, 2015 we are here to support and encourage all of you trying to stick to a budget this year!

Hope you can join us!

Marriage, Mission, Money

New Here? Allow Us to Introduce Ourselves

January 9, 2015

Today Amanda guest posted on The Dave Ramsey Blog.

We’d be totally fooling you if I didn’t tell you that we are SO FREAKING PUMPED about this!!! We are basically giddy school girls jumping up and down, thrilled at this opportunity. We are happy to share the story about our path to financial peace and honored to have it available to Dave’s readers.

Many of you are probably visiting us here at True Good & Beautiful for the very first time today.

Welcome!

We want to take a minute and share with you who we are and how you can join us more regularly if you like what you see on Dave’s blog.

Here at True Good & Beautiful, we write about couple different topics:

  • Money

We are Dave Ramsey lovers. Whatever he says goes in this house! In this section you can read the longer version of our journey to financial peace as well as how we used Dave’s principles in the home buying process.

  • Mission

We are also in love with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and His Church. We are missionaries with FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students. In this section you can read about our missionary adventures in addition to how we are trying to live as Christian disciples in the modern world.

  • Marriage

What can we say, we love the vocation of Holy Matrimony and are thankful for the gift it is from above. In this section you can read about our love story and the ways in which we intentionally work on growing our relationship as the months and years go by.

  • More

There are a few other topics we write about here at True Good & Beautiful – Infertility, Adoption, Parenting, and Intentional Living.

Despite writing about a variety of subjects, everything we post stems back to truth, goodness, and beauty. We believe that anything that relates to these core transcendentals is worth writing about, since they link our earthly reality with heavenly realty. Our tagline – thrive in what matters most is our ultimate purpose here.

Lastly, we love our readers and want to stay engaged and connected with you! Sign up for our posts to arrive directly in your inbox on the top right of this page. Or connect with us on social media below:

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Thanks again for taking the time to check us out and we hope to see you around!

Money

6 Ways To Keep The Holidays From Ruining Your Financial Life

December 5, 2014

Most of us have gotten swept up into Holiday fever and blitzed our budgets in the process. All it takes is one well-played “Jingle Bell Rock” at the mall…and the next thing you know we are shopping zombies with an off-budget Pumpkin Spice Latte in one hand and six bags of off-budget purchases in the other.

Scary. Stuff.

What are we to do? How do we survive the Holiday season with an intact budget?

Today I want to share with you 6 ways to keep this year’s Holiday season from ruining your finances.

Budget!

First things first…you need a budget before you head into the deep end. Think of it as your life saver. The budget will give you freedom to set expenses aside for Holiday spending (gifts, travel, parties, and clothing) but also a hard stop so you know when you are done spending in those categories.

Sticking to the budget is the hardest part but it will prevent you from going over the deep end this year and derailing your other financial goals.

Planning!

“If you fail to plan you plan to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

A great way to stretch your holiday budget is to sit down with it and plan out how you will likely spend it. In addition to your monthly budget, Dave Ramsey even has an even more detailed Christmas Budgeting App specifically for tracking gift purchases per person you are shopping for this holiday season.

Sitting down with your realistic budget and making a plan for what you can afford and an idea of what you will get all the various people in your life is a great way to prevent a budget blow-out.

Know Thyself!

How tempted are you when you go out shopping? How will you make sure you are on budget?

If Black Friday will cause you to overspend and throw all caution to the wind…don’t go shopping that day. Perhaps you hit some deals up on Cyber Monday instead.

Or maybe you are the person who forgets your budget at home a lot. Perhaps you create multiple copies and have them in your purse…car…at work…just make sure you can’t forget it.

Basically know what your weaknesses are going to be and try to plan around them.

Become a Deal Shark!

It’s easy to bust through your budget for holiday spending whether it’ large or small. Becoming a deal shark will help you stretch your budget farther, making each dollar work hard for you!

Obvious days for snagging a deal are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or each weekend leading up to Christmas. There will be sales and more sales you can shop during that time.

However, don’t forget Craigslist, eBay, or Thrift Stores for gently used items. The holidays are a time when some people are selling things just to get some extra cash in their pocket so you can snag a real deal. Or they are cleaning out the closets and donating great items to local thrift stores.

Make sure you capitalize on these deep discount opportunities before paying retail prices!

Get on Pintrest!

If your budget is really tight this year, maybe Christmas is going to be a craft. That doesn’t mean “cheap” or “bad” but it does mean you can make several gifts for a much lower cost than buying at the store.

Get on Pintrest and search for “DIY Christmas Ideas” or something along those lines and you will discover hundreds of blogs and articles. This is a great way to give highly personal gifts while staying within budget.

Stop fearing others!

For some, this might be the biggest hurdle to your holiday spending. It’s easy to fear what this or that person will think about your gifts, decorations, or holiday activities. It’s especially difficult if other people in our lives refuse to budget themselves, respect our budgets, or be grateful for whatever gifts we can afford this year.

When you are getting out of debt, there can absolutely be pressure to feel like you need to spend “x” amount on family because they spend “x” amount on you. Other people could resent you for something as silly as not spending as much on them as they spent on you. Oh well. That’s sometimes the reality and as long as you are doing what’s best for you and the budgeting goals you’ve got this year, you are doing an outstanding job.

No more keeping up with the Jones…not at the holidays and not ever! And hey, maybe later when you are in Baby Step 7 you can have a year where you’re incredibly generous with your family and friends for all the years you had to tightly reign things in! 🙂