Friday, September 2, 2016

More Than a Budget--3 Things to Do When in Financial Mess

"A budget doesn't work if there's no money." That's what my friend said to me from a place of honesty, frustration, and vulnerability when I offered a spot at our next Financial Peace University class.  The point was true to a certain extent, but that's not the end of the story.

Sometimes it's not helpful to respond right away when someone is venting.  Sometimes I need to digest and process my thoughts before I can respectfully and helpfully respond.  Sometimes it's just appropriate to shut my big mouth.

It's easy for me to sound like a know it all, so I want you to understand that we have learned many lessons at the school of hard knocks when it comes to our money at the Spellman house.  When we were first really starting to understand and apply all this crazy Dave Ramsey stuff, we decided to sell our rental property.  We sold it because we didn't buy it to be a rental property--translation: we weren't making any money on it.  We bought our current house when the market was low, but we weren't ready to sell the other house when the market was low.  As a result, we rented it out for a couple years while the market recovered in our area.  Fast forward to two weeks ago when we finally closed on that sale.

As we waited 3 months for the closing to happen, our money was tight...not as tight as it has been in years past, but tighter than is comfortable for sure. Here are some hopefully helpful tips to keep in mind as you work to create a plan to get out of your tight money spot.

1. Remember, you and your spouse are on the SAME team.  You got into this spot together. You can get out of it together, and your relationship will be stronger for it.

2. Your house payment should only be up to 25% of your take home pay. Period. That's why we moved. It is really easy to become house poor.

3. Food. Shelter. Lights. Clothing.  Reasonable clothing. That means winter coats and shoes on your feet. (Wal-Mart works fine. You can get the fancier stuff once you're out of debt.) After the basics, credit cards can wait. Start your debt  snowball AFTER you have an emergency fund of $1,000.

 colors: UL cherry red & bright white

I know other things happen to us that are truly beyond our control.  That is life.  But there are plenty of things in our control, too. We can always choose our attitude. We can choose when to ask for help or when to give up.  I strongly recommend taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. I don't get any compensation for recommending it to you. I really believe in the program, and the principles it's based on.

What will you choose to do today that will make tomorrow different?

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

I always appreciate your follows, shares, and subscribes. You can see more of my wall talking fun  Instagram. I'm @JensWallsTalk. 

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