Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gazelle Intensity

Last Friday, I saw what Gazelle Intensity looks like when a spouse has it. I did not know what it was at first; I saw Felicia getting mad and frustrated and I tried to step in. Felicia and I were talking about not being able to go to the Taste of Dallas or not being able to buy something that we needed, and she got frustrated. What I was expecting from us was that we would temporarily lose our minds and do what we wanted to do. But before I could react, Felicia pulled out the envelope system and started placing cash in the right envelopes according to the budget. She was getting frustrated because she thought that the math was not working out, but she ended up being right on with the figures.

I saw her saying that this was too hard to do so I took over the envelopes and checked the math. She had it right. I started to say something like "it's going to be tough but we need to keep at it" or something to that effect that could come off as encouraging or lecturing. I stopped myself because I realized that she was still going on with the plan when in the past we would have just said "forget it." This anger and frustration she had was what Dave Ramsey calls the "Gazelle Intensity." This intensity allows you to gear up for saving money and attacking debt. She is fired up and ready to go!

We are now counting every dollar that comes in and leaves our hand. We budget money called "BLOW" which is money that we can use for whatever we want without feeling guilty. This month we budgeted $50.00 for BLOW and Felicia got her half of it on Friday and went to Barnes and Noble to spend it. When she got back home, she told me that even though it was classified as "BLOW" money, she still felt guilty for spending it. She didn't spend the whole thing, only buying a paperback book and a drink from the cafe but she felt bad. I have been listening to Dave Ramsey off and on for a year now, and recognize that Felicia has the Gazelle Intensity. I am going to keep the pace with her and not stand in the way of the Gazelle.

Go Felicia Go!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July on a Budget!

This week, we do not have class due to the 4th of July. All this week will allow us to continue to put into effect some of the things we learned. Our budget is still on track, we have had to make some adjustments but not from under budgeting. There were a couple of categories where we budgeted too much money, so we re-allocated those funds. The thought behind the re-allocation is to not have money floating around, but to spend every dollar. I even got an extra $8 dollars in my paycheck that helped us with some of the 4th of July expenses. The nervousness I was feeling after we did the budget has helped us stay on track. We try to make sure every dollar is well spent and it feels good. The next time we get paid is 07/10/09 and we are pretty sure our money will last that long.

I was really nervous about the grocery envelope, it is getting kind of low, but I just looked in the kitchen and we have enough food to last until payday. However, we still may need to get some bread, milk, eggs, and cereal, but I think there is enough to get all of it with what is left.

We even had a good 4th of July weekend on a budget. On July 3rd, we went to see a free firework show at Addison's Kaboom Town. It has been real hot lately, so went later than normal and ate before we went. Eating before we went saved us some money and we parked in the parking garage Felicia and I used to work at and it was free. For the actual 4th, we budgeted $50 to go to the Grand Prairie Air Hogs game where my aunt reserved the pool in center field and we swam and watched the baseball game from there. The tickets included a buffet from 5:30 to 7:30 and free refills the whole night on sodas. After the Air Hogs won the game, then we got to see a Firework show from the pool area. It was a great weekend and it did not break the bank. Some of the extra money from my paycheck went to Anthony's snow cone that he did not even eat, because as soon as he saw the pool he wanted right in.

We are still working on our Gazelle Intensity but I think after this first week of our real budget we are off to a good start.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Week 4---How much can I SAVE, INVEST, BLOW, and GIVE if I had NO payments?

On June 28th, we had our 4th class of FPU and it was all about DEBT. I think this is the part that drives people to look into Dave, they hear bits and pieces about his program and getting out of debt, but when they hear him talk about never BORROWING money again they are quickly turned off. For Felicia and me, we liked that part. This lesson is about how to get out of debt, taking an honest look at what it cost to finance things you could save up for, and what you could do if you had no debt.

How to get out of debt? Listening to Dave on the radio, I know that when I hear a new caller talks to Dave the first things he will tell them is to get on written cash plan, stop borrowing money, start saving money, and work the debt snowball. I know what you are thinking, "you need to listen to a radio show to know that." Well, sometimes you do. Sometimes you need a stranger to knock some sense into you! If it was that easy to do, we already be doing it. It would not take an economic meltdown for the national savings rate to finally increase. I guess it doesn't matter how got here, but that we are her. Now, we are on a written cash plan, and saving money. We are almost done with Step One and will be moving to Baby Step 2 in August.

Our homework for this week is to put the Debt Snowball together and figure how long it will take for us to be debt free.

When are you considering if you should follow Dave's plan or not, ask yourself this: How much can I SAVE, INVEST, BLOW, and GIVE if I had NO payments?