Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Personal Finance & Marriage

This has been something I've been really interested in since last June. Last June, I read the book, "The Total Money Makeover", by Dave Ramsey. He also has a AM Talk Radio show on 1150AM in Baton Rouge. 7pm to 9pm, I think. I listen to his podcasts from the internet.

Now, many books like this sound flaky and you'd think he'd want you to buy some marketing package or starter kit for some harebrained money making scheme. But, I was surprised at the content of this book. This is good information from someone other than banks, credit card companies and mortgage companies. Just a few examples of what he teaches:

1. Have a written plan. (Do a budget)
2. Live on less than you make. (duh)
3. If you can't pay cash for it, you can't afford it. (versus the concept, "How much down, how much per month?")
4. Get out of debt.
5. Personal finance is 80% personal behavior and 20% finance.

Simple stuff right? Well, we weren't doing any of these, except saving for retirement. He doesn't ask for anything else after having you read this book. No starter kits, no nothing. The rest is up to us.

Anyway, many studies show that the #1 cause of divorce in America is money related. I can say that since we've got on board with his concepts, there is little money disputes me and Brandi have. We do the budget, agree on where to spend our money and stick to the plan, no problems. We do compromise on some things we disagree on, but it's very rarely a heated discussion. We see the big picture now, we have long term goals that we know when we're old, we'll be glad we've made.

We are involved in the premarital and marriage ministry at our church and we believe getting couples on the same page financially would really help marriages. We are planning to get certified as Financial Counselors by Dave Ramsey in Tennessee and provide free financial counseling through the church.

If you are tired and stressed out about your financial situation, I really suggest reading his book, or anything by Larry Burkett or Crown Financial Ministries. We'd also be more than happy to share our situation and help out in anyway we can.


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