Friday $avings: Financial Questions

Hello everyone! So here's the deal. Last month we did a "Financial Freedom" dinner at our church as an outreach/ministry. We had quite a few people show up and the end result was that we're doing a four week follow-up finance course during the month of May. Although our finances are in good shape (and getting better all the time - praise the Lord!), I wanted to shoot these questions out to the blogging world and see what kind of responses I got...

I should also mention that Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover is the base book for the course, so if you tell me that we need to use his book - DONE! :-) Also, if you're reading this and you have never watched The Dave Ramsey Show, it's available for free on Hulu and is super funny - he certainly tells it like it is! LOVE IT!

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

OK, so here are the four questions:
  1. What is the single best piece of financial advice you can give OR you were ever given?
  2. If you could go back in time (a la Back to the Future), what advice would your older (and wiser) self give to your younger (and less financially savvy) self?
  3. What are your top three financial concerns and what steps (if any) are you taking to deal with them?
  4. Can you give me practical, everyday examples of how you save money? What steps have you taken to make your financial dreams come closer to reality?
Any and all responses would be appreciated! There is a small group of us who are trying to give some sort of organization and order to this totally new-to-us teaching thing and I'll take all the help I can get! :-) Thanks ahead of time! I'm linking this up to the Frugal Friday post over at Life as MOM.

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  1. I would tell my younger self to avoid credit cards like the plague. Or, at least, make sure to read the statements from top to bottom. Sneaky finance charges snowballed and got me into terrible debt. I'm out of it now (we got a homeowner's loan) and I'm so much older and wiser it won't happen again. For the record, I couldn't have done this without my husband.
    My day-to-day advice would be this: use coupons and buy things at rock-bottom prices, not when you need them. Build a stockpile of food and personal items. And it's better to buy one item of quality than a cheap thing you'll have to replace 10 times.

  2. 1. Make and use a budget! (So thankful that my in-laws taught this one to my husband)
    2. Make eating out a "special" occasion, and not just because "I don't feel like cooking..." We wasted a lot of money on this one.
    3. Just switched from 1.5 incomes to 1 so that I can be a SAHM. I'm learning better financial management, like with clipping coupons, stockpiling, shopping sales, etc.
    4. Canning/freezing to preserve fruits and vegetables all year long has helped our budget tremendously! I'm also making more and more of our cleaning products; doing more shopping at consignment stores and yard sales rather than department stores; coupons are your friend, use them; most of all, live within your means, not above them!

  3. 1. It is okay to say no!

    2. learn about and practice budgeting and financial responsibility earlier than I did...I was dating and nearly married to Ross before I really understood how to budget and what it meant to be financially responsible. My parent's were not the best financial role models.

    2. credit cards, 4 kids, and being able to afford to live better than pay check to pay check when we move back to the states...we are paying off all debt and hoping to save up for a decent down payment on a home. The rest is in God's hands.

    3. We do not eat out except maybe once a month. We definitely save money and eat healthier that way. I budget our weekly grocery amount and actually save some weeks because I make it a game to see how creative I can be with our menu and see how much bargain shopping I can do...whatever is left, I "squirrel" away for a rainy day, maybe take the kids to a movie or do some fun shopping.


A reminder: there are more than 400,000 words in the English language, please use them wisely.


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