Auntie Em had a flat tire last week, and didn’t see it until after driving to TeeKay‘s down the block, and ruining it. Her sweet husband changed it while we took her car and went swimming! It turned out to be a good thing (Romans 8:28 again!) because when Mr X took it to the tire shop, they found wire showing through on another tire, and we realized it was time to replace them all. The good news was that we had the money saved, so I didn’t have to worry about driving on bald tires, or decide what I could do without while I paid for tires, or put them on a credit card and pay exorbitant interest!
You will recall that one of Auntie Em’s rules is BE FRUGAL. I believe this is a Biblical principle, as well as one that just makes sense. There are so many things we can fritter our money away on, and advertisers work tirelessly to convince us of our need for their products. When Mr X and I got married, at 21 and 19, he was making a whopping $5/hour (but with unlimited overtime!) and I had 12 piano students at $25/month. We had no financial plan. We had never talked about our goals. But you know that old saying that “God protects children and fools”? I guess we were both of those, and it worked out well, mostly because of his parents’ example of frugality and good stewardship. (Just a note, though- in the year and a half before we bought our first house we saved $7,000!)
We have taught 2 sessions of Dave’s Financial Peace University at our church, and we are believers! It has made a significant difference in the lives of several of our church families. In a nutshell, he has 7 “Baby Steps”:
1. $1000 emergency fund
2. Debt snowball (pay off all debt except home mortgage)
3. 3-6 months’ living expense emergency fund
5. college fund for your kids
6. Pay off your house early.
7. Give like crazy!
He has a great website, with lots of free resources. If you are stressed out about your finances, you don’t have to be! Dave will tell you, he doesn’t have any new ideas. These are all things your grandmother told you! But with a plan to get your money under YOUR control, instead of the other way around, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.