Saturday, August 18, 2007

We've Moved!

Hi! Just wanted to send a little note out... Working for Financial Freedom has moved from Blogger to Wordpress. We can now be found at Thank-you!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Can't Attend Financial Peace University- Now What?

Well, it turns out that attending Financial Peace University this fall won't work out. The classes are going to be on Monday nights. Between soccer practice that night and my husband's crazy work schedule we'd end up missing too many classes.

This morning I've been researching my options.

Personally, I think we are on the right track even though we haven't attended FPU. We've read Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover, created a budget, actually lived by the budget and paid off $18,000+ in 4 1/2 months.

As we go through the steps though we want to make sure we are doing the best job we can. This will become even more important as we start investing money. Research, reading and educating ourselves is what is going to help us achieve our goals.

We don't want to ONLY study Dave Ramsey's book, there are many trustworthy and well-educated financial experts out there that will be able to help us to to our goal. I don't think it's an absolute necessary to attend this class to get out of debt, but I think it's an excellent tool and I'd still like to attend.

So what are our options?

A.Attend FPU in another location at a better time

B.Attend FPU online

C.Skip FPU altogether and use the money on dinner and a movie

D. Skip FPU and put the money towards debt

Option C would be fun, but I think I'm leaning towards Option B. Taking Financial Peace University online would give us the flexibility to "attend" class anytime we want.

Have you taken FPU online?

For those that have gotten out of debt or are currently getting out of debt what books and resources did you use to learn how to do it?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Free Tools to Keep Track of Your Money

One of the first things someone might ask themselves then they take a look at their empty wallet and maxed out credit card is "Where did all my money go?" Having a budget and actually USING it is one of the biggest ways to get rid of debt and keep it from ever growing again.

Keeping track of your budget will tell you how much you spend and where you spend it. This can enable you to plan ways to cut back so that you are able to throw more money at your debt.

Now, in order to actually use a budget, you need to write it down. Somewhere. Anywhere. As long as you can reference it when you need to. Of course, the more organized you are, the better you will be able to track your money and your spending. If your budget is penciled on post-it notes strewn throughout the house; there is a good chance that you might forget to deduct a payment or forget about an upcoming expense. Important Tip: keep it in one place.

Some ways to keep track of your budget:

Pencil, Paper and a Calculator

Create a spreadsheet using Microsoft Excel

Microsoft's pre-made Budget Excel Spreadsheets - this is what I use. I'm able to modify the spreadsheets to fit my needs without having to create a new one from scratch.

Spreadsheets from JimnKim These spreadsheets are created by Dave Ramsey followers. There are over twenty different spreadsheets to download including a Snowball Calculator than can help you figure out when you will be able to pay off your debt.


Do you use something else not listed here? Are you like me and have tried a few different things?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Baby Stepping....the Dave Ramsey Way

Here are the Baby Steps that Dave Ramsey suggests you follow to get out of debt. If you don't know much about Dave Ramsey and haven't read his book, The Total Money Makeover, hopefully this gives you an idea of what his advice is.

We are currently on #2. But hope to have that done by April 1st, 2008 (right about the time we move)

1. $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
3. Three to six months of expenses in savings
4. Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
5. College funding for children
6. Pay off home early
7. Build wealth and give!
Invest in mutual funds and real estate.

What step are you on? Since starting Dave Ramsey's program how long did it take you to get to this step?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

No longer a pencil and paper user!

It's been awhile since I posted. But we are still chugging along with our new budget. Paid off a little more debt too.

I've noticed it's really easy to get lazy (it has been HOT lately and who wants to cook) and blow the grocery budget by going out to eat too often.

The biggest change was this week I went from a pencil and paper budget to doing it on the computer!!

Yeah-I know. Welcome to the 21st century!

I discovered that Microsoft's website has some nifty little premade templates to use in Excel. I was able to download quite a few budget templates. With only a few changes to personalize them, they are going to work great for us.

I'm usually the one to work on the budget, so now I can just email my hubby the spreadsheet for him to look at.

How is everyone else doing?

Are you a pencil and paper budgeter? Or are you high speed with your fancy spreadsheets and computer programs?

What do you use to keep track of your budget and checkbook?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kind of ironic...

At church yesterday before the sermon started they showed a little video.

Guess what they were advertising?

Yep. FPU - aka. Financial Peace University which is a series of financial classes taught by Dave Ramsey. The church is going to host the classes this fall.

As much as I was dragging my feet to get out the door to church yesterday, we needed to be there to see that.

I can't wait to sign up for classes!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What's Your Pudding Score?

This is a fun little test that I found on another blog

Check your Pudding Score

According to the website:

What does my Pudding Score™ mean?

Your Pudding Score™ is a measure of how your current retirement fund assets compare to the amount the Benchmark Account says someone your age and pay should have accumulated by now.

A score above 100 says you are ahead of the index at this point in time and a score below 100 says you lag behind the index’s pace.

So what is our Pudding Score?

yikes. Only 32.

We need to get this debt paid off asap so we can sock away more in our retirement funds.