Several years ago, my wife and I realized that we needed some kind of financial plan in order to get our finances straight. We were thinking about eating dinner out instead of about paying off debt, and we were paying the price.
I had heard about Dave Ramsey not long before that moment, so I decided to read his book, The Total Money Makeover. I’m convinced that taking the plunge into Dave’s 7 Baby Steps not only helped us with our finances but also changed the way we live in unexpected yet meaningful ways. Here’s how:
The Obvious Changes
Over the past few years, we’ve been able to:
- Build and stick with a budget.
- Pay off all our non-mortgage debt.
- Build a fully funded emergency fund (6 months worth of expenses).
Everyone expects to see these changes – and most do – when following Dave’s plan. But the plan changes much more than just your finances.
The Unexpected Changes
Dave’s plan encouraged me to increase the amount of money I was bringing in. As Dave says, “Your income is your most powerful wealth-building too.” Realizing this, wanting to guarantee we had enough money to implement Dave’s plan, I switched jobs and greatly increased my income. I started The Christian Dollar, a blog that has helped people with their personal finances and contributed to my income.
Another huge change was our commitment to stay debt free. We’ve even been able to pay for my wife’s college education with cash. That’s right, no student loans! We’re continuing to pile up money to make sure that she can go to college debt free. Best yet, we’ve found that we can use our PerkStreet Debit MasterCard® to pay for her education and get 2% cash back!
Perhaps the most unexpected benefit of being on a financial plan is the level of communication it’s instilled in my wife and me. We are constantly talking about where we want to be in 10 years. That way, the future won’t be a surprise and we both know where we are going together. I challenge you to get on a financial plan with your spouse. You might find that it brings your relationship more peace and trust.
Are you currently following a financial plan? What changes have you noticed — both expected and unexpected — after implementing the plan? Let us know in the comments section below.
John Frainee is a Customer Columnist here at PerkStreet, and the webmaster and a writer for the ever-growing blog, The Christian Dollar. John enjoys exploring how faith and finance interact, spending time with his wife and family, and meeting readers from all over the web. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible and Christian Counseling and loves encouraging others in their financial pursuits. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.