How I lost control to gain control
I have been working since 2008. At this time, I would have been 18 years old with very few expenses and a large income. So like any young man I splurged and bought whatever I wanted to and spent money as if I had a lifetime supply. I was completely out of control. I had at least 5 credit cards and two pay day loans. After about day 5 past my pay day my bank account was broke and empty. I was good with this because I had credit cards and would just pay the bills when they came due. Life was great and I was able to handle everything and then I got FIRED.
The year is now 2012 and after 4 years of blowing money reality started to hit me. I had a car note, credit card, student loan payments, phone bills, insurance payment (the list goes on) all with no job. I was unemployed for 3 months. During those 3 months I grew to hate the sound of my phone ringing. I started to develop a real fear because I knew the person on the other line was demanding money from me. Money that I had no way of getting. I was broken and confused as to how I got here.
Fast forward several years and it is now 2017 and I still did not learn my lesson. I do feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders as I walk out of Chapter 13 bankruptcy court. At least I started the steps to get this debt out of my life. It took me all those years but at 27 years old I became an adult. I decided I no longer wanted to be in this situation anymore. In the past I had no real reason to make a change. There was nobody really counting on me but back in 2015 I met this beautiful young lady and I decided that when we get married I want to have no debt. I want to start our life together in the black not in the red.
This has brought me to a few months ago when I started listening to podcast called “The Dave Ramsey Show”. Pretty simple concept he wants you to get out of debt so you can build wealth. I ran across his information before and always disregarded him as a guy who was just being judgmental and did not understand real world scenarios. I then learned he was a millionaire at 26 but filed bankruptcy at 28. He was in the exact same shoes that I am in now. Years later he has bounced back and is now debt free and a multimillionaire again. He also made a statement that I start to follow. “If you want to win then you should study people who are winning and do what they do”. This is what I plan on doing. I have my mind set on being a multimillionaire in the future.
Since my plan of ten years has not been working I am deciding to follow his plan. He was in my shoes and pulled himself out. So a principle that he follows is a list of steps that he calls the baby steps. These are the seven steps that can help you win with money. This is one piece of what this page is about helping you win with your money and your life.
The baby steps that he has listed are as followed:
1. Save $1,000 to start an emergency fund.
2. Pay off all debt using the debt snowball.
a. The debt snowball is when you list your debts smallest to largest and pay off the smallest debt first and make your way up.
3. Save 3 to 6 months of expenses for a fully funded emergency fund
a. After this step some people will start to save for a down payment on their house
4. Invest 15% of your household income into ROTH IRA’s and pre-tax retirement
5. Start a College fund for your children
6. Pay off your home early
7. Build Wealth and give
Steps 4,5, and 6 can all be done at the same time
I am writing this to display my principals and how I believe you can build wealth. I am a full believer in these steps that Dave Ramsey has set out and this is the philosophy that I follow. In order to be 100% transparent I will tell you all what steps I am on as I walk through them. Currently I am on step 1 as I’m still building my $1,000. The fact that I have been working for 10 years and never had $1,000 in my account without it being payday is sad. You have to make a choice on how you want to live. I no longer want to live paycheck to paycheck. I want to be able to give to people in need. I want to completely redirect and change my family tree.
If you follow me on this journey I will help you become a better person in your life and with your money. My goals are allowing everyone to be at peace and have very little stress. So walk with me on his journey as we move together.