I just finished reading the book entitled "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. I was impressed. I have decided that I would like to try to follow the instructions given in Ramsey's book for the total money makeover. To me, it makes complete sense. Basically Ramsey is talking about paying off all your debts and living life debt free. If I have no debts then I will be able to save the $600 a month I am paying off in debts. And $600 a month will add up quick.
Ramsey's plan has 7 steps which he calls Baby Steps. The steps are as follows:
Step 1: Save $1,000 for emergency fund.
Step 2: Eliminate debt using a debt snowball.
Step 3: Finish the emergency fund with 3-6 months worth expenses.
Step 4: Maximize retirement investing with 15% of salary.
Step 5: Save for your children's college education.
Step 6: Pay off your home mortgage.
Step 7: Build wealth like crazy for fun, investing, and giving.
These are the steps I hope to follow to work towards my very own Total Money Makeover. I already have step 1 complete. I have more then $1,000 in my emergency fund. I have decided to take the excess money and pay down my credit cards. I will keep my brokerage account as extra emergency money. Therefore step 1 is complete with actually about $2,000 for emergencies. Another difference I am doing is that I am going to still contribute to my 401k. I have decided to take the money I am contributing to my IRA and put that towards paying down my debt and then saving for a wedding for the next year at least. So I am on Step 2. I am trying to eliminate all of my debt. Currently I have what I feel like is a pretty substantial amount of debt. I currently have about 19,000 in debt and I am going to do all that I can to pay this debt down as fast as possible. I should have my 2 credit cards paid off within 4 months and then continue to pay down the other debts and hopefully be debt free in 22 months. I will keep track each month of how much debt I still have and what month it is from now, this being month 1. Keep posted for my progress from month to month and wish me luck!
This means that my goals for the year have now changed. My current goals are now to pay down all of my debt as fast as possible. I will continue contributing 5% of my salary to my 401k and use all of my other available money to pay down debt. I hope to be down close to 15,000 by the new year.