Many of you enjoyed the last post on 7 Ways to Go Broke in 2014. Or now you are mad at me for exposing that your habitual behavior will actually lead to your financial destruction over time. Sorry, not sorry. I wanted to follow up with that post by diving into what you can do to begin a path towards financial peace this upcoming year. We want everyone to experience this blessing.
How do you get started though? Below are 7 Paths to Financial Peace:
1. Acknowledge the problem in the mirror.
“I’m Starting With The Man In The Mirror I’m Asking Him To Change His Ways And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place (If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place) Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change…..” Michael Jackson
The first step in changing anything let alone your financial world, is to stop and ackowledge the problem: You. Personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. If you aren’t experiencing financial freedom, you gotta look at you and your behavior first. Therein you will find your problem. Owning that is the first step towards any healthy changes to come.
2. Attend Financial Peace University – FPU
This past Fall Jonathan and I coordinated our very first Financial Peace University class. It was awesome!!!
We had a group of about 35 people who met once a week for 9 weeks. In that time we watched videos, reviewed our budgets, had great discussions, and held one another accountable. This class is completely worth signing up for! Visit this website to find a class beginning near you today. And no, we didn’t get paid to host the class or to endorse it in any way whatsoever.
3. Read The Total Money Makeover
If you haven’t read this book…you need to. Get it here today. Super easy read with lots of inspiring stories to motivate along the way!
4. Begin walking through the 7 Baby Steps
Remember Doctor Leo Marvin from “What about Bob?” Possibly the world’s most hilarious movie. Well, his Baby Steps book has absolutely zero to do with the Baby Steps I am referring to.
Dave Ramsey’s materials will walk you through the 7 Baby Steps on the journey towards Financial Freedom. Walking up these steps is a lot of fun and are incredibly motivating.
5. Embrace the budgeting process.
The very first thing to do after you assess your financial situation and get a grasp on how much money you have and or owe is to set up a monthly budget and begin implementing the budget process. Why do you need a budget? Visit this blog post for a few reasons. Now, do you have to use software like You Need A Budget (YNAB)? No but we have chosen to utilize that tool and have completely fallen in love with it. Pen and paper, envelopes, budgeting apps, etc. are perfectly fine but you need SOMETHING to help you implement your budgets once you create them.
6. Learn how to say “No.”
This is pretty self explanatory. There will undoubtedly be 1,000 opportunities, desires, temptations, reasons, etc. to NOT follow your budget, attend FPU, read the Total Money Makeover, etc. Matthew Kelly once said, “If you can’t say no, your yes means nothing.” Or maybe he said, “You can’t say no unless you have a deeper yes.” One of those…but both are good and true. You will not haphazardly improve any area of your life. Saying “no” to lots of things that come up and “yes” to intentional decisions that will aide you in your goals will be vital to changing your life.
7. Live like no one else.
“Live like no one else so later you can live and give like no one else.” Dave Ramsey
Jonathan and I didn’t sell our Nintendo, eat rice and beans, tell friends no, or sleep on a donated RV mattress for nothing. We lived like no one else so we could live and give like no one else. We’ve already begun to see the effects of this in our life and are pumped to see many more ways down the road.
There you have it folks. PLEASE keep in touch with me if you begin implementing any of these! I would love to be your cheerleader, coach, accountability partner, etc. Whatever you need me to be, I will be it! 🙂
Amanda, thanks for your comment on my blog and great to “meet” you! I have several friends who were focus missionaries and I’ve always been really impressed with their formation. Also my husband and I are huge Dave Ramsey fans! I don’t know if this is the same for you but we’re saving for adoption and the dr principles have been super helpful. We heart the debt snowball 🙂 Blessings and prayers to your family!
Jonathan and Amanda,
I just came across your blog and these posts are super helpful and motivating…However, my husband and I have very different ways of budgeting. He can use mint.com and I have to use the envelope system. Furthermore, we have a LOT of student loan debt. When doing FAFSA exit counseling our projected “debt free date” was 2060…and I almost pooped my pants. Did you guys have a mountain of debt? It seems impossible and I’ve almost resolved myself to just having to make payments until our unborn children are 50… 🙁