We have finally reached the very last baby step. And if you personally have or will soon arrive at this step, congratulations! It takes an incredible amount of work and dedication to get here, and you deserve to sit back and enjoy this part of the ride.
Even if you’ve been investing 15% or more, have set aside enough to help your kids get through college debt free (we think they should pitch in; it’s good to have “skin in the game”), you still may not be in a position to give much more financially than you have been throughout the process, and that’s okay. While we think you should certainly give whatever you can, and hope that your ability to give financially continues to increase over time, there are so many other ways you can give that may have an even bigger impact on the lives of others.
Here we are at baby step #5, saving for your children’s college. As you likely know, Mr. Ramsey’s guidance is to work on steps 4, 5, and 6 at the same time. He does keep this step more vague then the others due to the differences in family circumstances, from those who do not have children to those who have a boat load, creating a much bigger challenge in saving for college for the entire brood.
Most of what we’ve read, heard, and watched from Dave himself about this part of the journey implies it’s a non-negotiable step if you have children. This is concerning, as everyone’s situation is different. To be fair, Chris Hogan, one of the “Ramsey Personalities”, has shared on more than one occasion that one size does not fit all and, furthermore, making sure you can afford to retire should take priority. Amen to that! Continue reading “Commentary on Step 5 – Saving for College”
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?”
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.