I received the following email the other day. Here is the email below and my reply. What other stories / advice can you offer this reader. I asked her to check back here for more info from this great community!
I am currently taking the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class that is being offered by FREE by my employer. At first I was excited but now it seems I have just fallen off. Since I have been taking the class I gotten a tax refund and money from a car accident. I didn’t do the things I was suppose to, not even start the $1000 emergency fund. However, I did pay off a few bills.
I feel that I just wasted the money. Let me add that I didn’t go out and splurge on things like new cars and flatscreen TVs. I didn’t by anything come to think of it, but we did eat out more than we usually do but surely all of the money didn’t go to eating out. I was also going to ask what do you think of this.
My husband hurt his back and has been out of work for a year. My job alone can’t pay our normal household bills not to mention excess bills. I just got a part time job and if I take my entire check from my full time job it can pay all the bills and the part time we can use or gas, food, etc. What do you think?
First I’d like to thank Sandra for reaching out and allowing me to publish her question and my response. There are other readers who may have a similar situation and hopefully the responses from the community will be a benefit to others!
I see 3 issues and I’ll attempt to address each of them:
1. Financial Peace University ~ Don’t beat yourself up for not completing this. I am a HUGE advocate of FPU and while it is a proven way to financial stability it is not the only way. Dave Ramsey says that when it comes to finances it is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge. Ask yourself “why” you didn’t complete this task and address that.
2. It’s good that you paid off a few bills. However you probably feel you’ve wasted it because you can’t account for a good chunk of it. You’d be surprised how fast money flies when you are eating out. Whatever your plan of attack, YOU NEED AN EMERGENCY FUND. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. If $1,000 is out of reach right now, set a goal of $500. Practice saving!
3. I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s back injury. It can be a drastic change to go from 2 incomes to 1. I think your part-time job solution is a decent short term solution, but you need to think long term. You need to immediately increase your cash flow. A part-time job will do that, but how long do you think you can sustain 60 hr work weeks? Are there expenses you can cut / decrease? Cable? Cell phone plans? Insurance premiums?
Hope this helps!
Readers, it’s your turn! What advice can you offer Sandra? Leave your responses in the comments!