Baby Step #2 – the “Debt Snowball”

As we continue our journey to “Financial Freedom” we will introduce Baby Step #2 – the Debt Snowball, as taught in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class.

Just like with anything else in our lives, career, marriage, parenting, education, we must develop a plan if we want any chances of success.

The bible says in Luke 14:28-30, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.” KJV

A plan is extremely important when handling God’s resources which He has entrusted to us. When we live God’s way we can trust the He will guide us to live His will.

In Baby Step #1 we saved $1000.00 for an Emergency. This money is for true blue emergencies only, make sure you are locked in with that mindset, or the plan will not work.

Now we can move on to Baby Step #2.

This step is designed to get you out of debt as quickly as possible. Just imagine how much you can give, save, spend and invest if you didn’t have any payments.

To set up this Step you will want to list your debts, all of them, minus your mortgage, (we will get to that in a different Step), smallest amount owed to the largest, regardless of the interest rate.

Then you will pay the smallest debt off as quickly as possible. Once that one is paid off, you can then concentrate on the next debt, rolling all of the payments you were making in the previous debt into the next target.

Keep rolling your previous debt payments into the current debt target until all your debt is gone and you are ready to move to Baby Step #3.

This method causes all of the math folks a fit, however, this method is used to achieve quick victories, therefore ensuring that you stay on track. For example if you have a debt of $3,000.00 that has a 29% APR and a debt of $1500 with an 6% APR, you will pay off the smaller balance to get that quick victory. You are more likely to stick to the plan if you allow yourself to knock off some financial weight quickly, versus taking 5,6 or 7 years to knock out a larger debt.

This will only work if you want and do everything it takes to get out of debt. Work hard, make a plan and stick to it and you will win. If you decide to take your time and stay in debt for a long time, this will not work and you will have to find a different plan.

Go to the following link: www.daveramsey.com to get a free copy of the Seven Baby Steps.

Also, we suggest going to www.iwbnin.com to download a free “ZERO” based budget form developed by Joseph Sangl. This is a great tool to plan your spending, before the month begins, instead of wondering where your money went at the end of the month.

That is all for now. Let’s get those Baby Steps Rockin’ and Rollin’ and allow God to do great things in our financial lives.

Baby Step #1: Begin Emergency Fund

When Carole and I first met and were comfortable enough with one another to talk about money, we discovered that we both didn’t want to live with debt.

Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”

After we were married we decided to tackle this debt deal head on. Of course I was shocked when I discovered that this wonderful woman had zero debt. I on the other hand was buried under $25,000.00 in Debt. That is exactly what it felt like, the whole world on top of me.

This is where we will begin. Carole and I had to come up with a plan. New York Times best selling author, radio host, speaker and financial guru Dave Ramsey teaches people to take control and with Gazelle intense focus tackle and eliminate your debt, build wealth and give like no one else.

The first thing you must do is decide that you want to be completely debt free. Being debt free means that you have everything paid off except your mortgage or everything paid off including your mortgage. Imagine how much you can give, save,invest and spend if you didn’t have any debt. You could literally change your family tree.

If you are married, both husband and wife must agree to take this journey together. Not agreeing will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible to reach your financial goals. Singles must find an accountability partner, someone they trust, like a parent, uncle or pastor.

Second, you must decide not to go into debt while you are getting out of debt. You can’t get out of a hole if you continue to dig out the bottom.

Dave Ramsey developed the “Seven Baby Steps” to financial freedom. We would like to introduce them to you, one step at a time.

Baby Step #1 – Save $1000.00 as a “Emergency Fund”. As quickly as you can, save one thousand dollars that can be used if an emergency were to arise. You must be firm when determining if you have a legitimate emergency. This Step will keep you from automatically swiping your credit card every time something pops up.

This is a critical step and once you take it you will be ready to get rid of all debt, minus your mortgage as quickly as possible.

Destroy the Debt from Your Life and Enjoy Less Stress!!

We will introduce Baby Step #2 – the Debt Snowball in the next blog.

“The Borrower truly is, Servant to the lender.”

Are you ready to be set free?

Seek God’s wisdom and trust His guidance and you will be set free.

 

Visit Dave Ramsey’s web site to learn more about the Baby Steps and his program for Military Families.

Financial Freedom: The Colon Family Journey

Carole and I have been married for over 10 years. We are a blended military family with fourteen children. Out of our fourteen children, six children still reside with us at Ft Campbell, Kentucky. Upon committing to each another in marriage, Carole and I also committed to living a debt free life together.
Our debt free journey begins in June 2000, where our blended family had a debt balance well over $25,000. In the midst of a move from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, we stayed true to becoming debt free, creating and executing a debt free plan.

Carole home-schooled four of our children during the day while working at Wal-Mart during the evening. This opportunity allowed Carole to contribute to the families’ financial goals.

Although I had developed a six year debt free plan, Carole had a different idea.  She established a debt free plan that would be accomplished within 24 months. The family worked extremely hard keeping track of expenses and making many sacrifices when necessary.

Our family was able to meet our goals of becoming debt free, in 22 months, two months earlier than expected. We paid off over $25,000 of debt.

Since that time, our family has been determined to remain debt free and have followed Dave Ramsey’s, Total Money Makeover Plan.  To this day we remain debt free, saving and paying for everything with cash, to include saving for a 100% down payment for a home. We are currently at 83% of reaching our housing goal. (Current target amount is $150,000.)

Carole and I have facilitated Financial Peace University classes at Fort Campbell, Bethel Community Church and the surrounding community. The results have been outstanding. As of today over 225 Soldiers, Civilians, and their families have graduated, reporting a $1.7 million change in position. This represents money saved and debts paid during the 13 week Financial Readiness Training.

Our heart is to see others become free from the bondage that debt represents and to encourage contentment along with wealth building. We are dedicated to spreading a message of hope to all and are reaching that goal one family at a time.