Over the next seven weeks we are going to be delving into Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and how we tweaked them to work for us. I realize this may ruffle a few feathers as there are many strict adherents to his financial peace protocol, and with good reason. Mr. Ramsey has designed a plan that works for many people, and it was a great starting point for us as we were completely clueless when it came to financial matters.
That said, there are many of us who do not fit into the “average American” bell curve; in fact, our circumstances place us on the fringe of the curve. For our one-income family of six, with multiple chronic illnesses, $1,000 for a starter emergency fund is a complete joke. It is certainly better than nothing, but $1,000 barely covers anything, even if you do have health insurance. Continue reading “Is Baby Step 1 Too Small?”
In a previous post, I ranted about how all the money ran through our hands with nothing to really show for it. Our lives finally began to change when we ran across Dave Ramsey, read his book, took a financial peace class, listened to his radio show, and started working the modified baby steps.
What helped us most from all that we learned was the zero-based budget. It is so simple. You take what you bring home each month, assign a job to every cent and stick to your budget. It is amazing how, when you take the time tell your money what to do, it doesn’t just disappear. Gaining control over your money gives you confidence and control; when you want to win with money, control is a very important piece of the puzzle.
On the same day that we ventured out to a bakery outlet we also made a stop at a discount market. Although it’s called a discount market, I think a better description for this place would be “salvage grocery store”. The store sells food that is past its “best by” date, or that has cosmetically damaged packaging. While many of you may be put off by the idea of buying food “seconds”, Mr. Frugal Source and I have been purchasing food in this manner for years from several different stores and we have never had any safety issues with any of the food we’ve purchased. We are careful what we buy, making sure the package is completely sealed, cans are not too dented and items are not too far out-of-date for our taste.
Everybody likes to save money, especially those of us into pinching pennies. If you’re like us, you’re always looking for new and interesting ways to stretch your dollars. We recently found a “new-to-us” way to save some grocery money when we learned of a couple of bakery outlets in our nearby city. This time around, we decided to stop at the Aunt Millie’s thrift store as it was the closest to another planned stop.
If I was to take a couple of hours and add up all of the money that we have made since we were married all those years ago, I would look at the total and throw up. Yep, I would literally puke and wonder where in the world did all of that money go?
We have always lived in a decent houses in safe-ish neighborhoods, had clean and mostly decent clothing, and have driven reliable vehicles. But when you look at the debt we have been in and how long it is taking us to get completely out of debt, I realize we do not have lots of great memories to show for our money woes.
Before we start sharing the details of our story, it seems appropriate that we should first introduce ourselves, and give you a little background into who we are and why we started The Frugal Source.
We are a family of six; we’re a mom and dad with 4 teenagers, several rescue pets, and some backyard chickens thrown into the mix just for fun. We live in the Midwest of the United States and are a one income family. There are many reasons for this, and we will explore each in its turn as we share our journey.