Friday, May 28, 2010

On being thrifty, more thoughts

Well, I just finished reading "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey.  The best thing about reading this book is it has changed the way I look at debt.  Before I started reading the book I thought some debt was normal.  I have never liked having loans and lines of credit but I always thought it was like an emergency fund.  Well, here's an idea, how about actually having an emergency fund instead?  How about making some changes in our spending style to live beneath our means. 
So, after talking to Scott, we are rethinking the way we spend money.  Here are some changes we are beginning to make:

1.  We are selling the large gas guzzling truck we use for work to save on fuel and get rid of the large payment.  We have an older truck (much older) we can use for household needs. For client meetings and work Scott can take our paid off Tahoe when necessary.  (Eventually we will need another vehicle appropriate for meeting with clients and hauling the catering trailer but for now we can make do with the vehicles we have in order to save money).  Once we sell this truck we will have no debt besides our mortgages.
2.  We are selling our camping trailer, canoe and also having a yard sale.
3. All the money we make off the sale of the above items will go into a savings account as part of a 3 month emergency fund.  In addition to the savings we also plan to enlarge our storage of emergency food & water.  Once we have this savings in place we hope we will be able to start paying extra on our mortgage in order to pay it off early. 
4.  In order to scale back our monthly expenses we are switching our health insurance to a higher deductible and opening a Health Savings Account.
5.  We are holding off on buying discretionary items and watching our grocery budget closely to keep it low.
The point of all this?  To drastically reduce the amount of debt we have (primarily our home loans) in the next 5 years so that we are able to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. 
I was right when I thought some debt is "normal" but one of the main points in the book is these days "normal" is broke!  We don't want to be broke, we want to be self sufficient, responsible, and generous with what we have.  We're not going to be babies and cry about scaling back!

             (Because it's not as cute as the real thing!)
We are going to get real about saving and investing in the future so our little ones can have a brighter one! 

Feel free to post a comment on my blog to share any other good ideas to reduce debt and make the most of the income you have.  I would love to hear what you all are doing too!


  1. I love your plan. Go back 100 years and it is normal to have zero debt. The Consumer Age is a new thing, fueled by retailers for their own profit.

    Once you are in position to pay off your mortgage early, you will be saving BIG. One extra P&I payment per years shaves about 7 years off a 30-year loan.

    Multiply your payment by 84 = Lots $aved!

    On a mortgage, your #1 enemy is not the interest rate, it is time. Shave off time, and you will save yourself tens of thousands of dollars.

    Carolyn Warren
    Homebuyers Beware: Who's Ripping You Off Now?

  2. Carolyn,
    Thanks so much for your valuable feedback! I love your point that shaving off time is the ultimate way to save BIG! That is our goal!


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wife & mother of 4 beautiful children, 2 girls & 2 boys. small business co-owner; catering and a restaurant/alehouse, writer, gardener, lover of freedom and humility found in christ, small town enthusiast, book reader, admirer of noble truths, beauty and love