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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Random Weekend Thoughts

Our weekend got a kick start on Thursday night as Cate and I headed down to Sawyer Point for the Light the Night Walk. This walk is The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's family-friendly walk-event and all hands from the society had to be on deck. So since Eric was working, Cate and I thought we'd check out some of the pre-walk party.
We left just before the walk started since it was pretty much Cate's bath and bedtime.

On Friday and Saturday, Cate and I had a mini-mommy/daughter weekend. Eric had some Team in Training runners doing their training run at the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, so Eric was at the marathon expo on Friday night, stayed over night, and then at the finish line on Saturday. Cate and I hung around the house for the most part and she was on her best behavior (as usual)

One thing we did do on Saturday though, was attend the second session of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (FPU) at Crossroads. Eric and I started attending this group last weekend, and not wanting to miss a lesson, I went solo this past weekend. The whole goal of FPU is to help people learn to get out of debt, manage their money, and build wealth. While the amount of credit card debt, car debt, etc. we have pales in comparison with many Americans, Eric and I are taking the course so we don't make the same financial mistakes we made in the past (namely in college and our first few months of marriage).

FPU teaches you how to get an emergency fund going, pay off debt (Ramsey advocates working hard to not only pay off credit cards and cars, but to pay student loans and mortgages off early as well), pay cash for everything (including your cars), and to invest and retire smart. It all seems simple enough, but in our consumer world, we are driven by the desire to have "stuff" no matter what the cost. We're going on our third year of not using credit cards and it's wondefully freeing. Yes, it's hard to say "no" to some things, trips, dinners, etc. when we don't have the money in our budget that month. But it's wonderful not to have the temptation to spend more than we have and to know what we buy is paid for right then and there at the cash register. It will definitely be a while before we are totally debt-free (including our mortgage)-- we're talking a couple of decades here. In the meantime though, we're learning a lot about how to handle our money (and the surplus that will come in each month as we pay off debts), invest it wisely, and how to teach Cate about money.

Another thing we love about what Ramsey teaches is the catch phrase(s) behind the course. He explains that if you "live like no one else, you'll be able to live like no one else." In other words, tighten things up for a short time to pay off debts and pay cash, but once debts are paid and your money is freed up, you truly will be living like no one else as you pay cash for the things you both need and want. However, Ramsey also says if you "live like no one else, you'll be able to give like no one else." People who are financially free and aren't stressing out about their finances, their retirement, etc., are better able to give to those in need (be it a church, a charity, a family member, a friend, a stranger, etc.).

But enough rambling...I'm sure that as the next 11 weeks of the course progress, you'll here us mentioning him often. We're more than happy to share with you whatever we learn.

I'll leave you with this picture for the evening. Can you believe Halloween is only a month away? This is Cate's cute pumpkin hat. I'm not even really sure where it came from. We have a few wonderful friends who have daughters older than Cate and whose families are complete that pass down a few of their best hand-me-downs to Cate (seriously, most of the stuff looks brand new). In fact, this hat was in one such bag from a friend...with the tag still on it!

~Melody :-)

1 comment:

Emily said...

The poor thing has no idea what you've made her wear ;-)