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How Did We Get Into This Mess?

December 11th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

As of a year or so ago, I had no idea how much debt we had, how much our bills were, or how much money we had in the bank.  And we hadn’t reconciled the checkbook in years (literally.)  I had two 401Ks that amounted to about a years salary and nothing in savings.  I knew we were having problems, but ignored them, letting my wife pay the bills (I worked, she didn’t; I figured that was fair,) causing her all kinds of stress.

It came to a head when I backed into a car, and, upon calling the insurance company, found out they hadn’t received payment and we were canceled.  We were in trouble and I couldn’t ignore it anymore.

Our church was signing people up for a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course and, while I was a little skeptical about it, I convinced my wife that we should try it out and it changed our lives.  Nothing in the course is rocket science, almost all of it is common sense, but the presentation is nicely done and it convinces you to try it and stick with it.

So, now we have a budget, we reconcile our checkbook (almost maniacally, my wife would say — I start jonesing if the statement hasn’t shown up by the 12th or so,) a $1000 emergency fund, and one small credit card payed off, leaving two others.

Coming up, I will tell you about how we hit each of these steps, and the things that didn’t work.

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