Monday, September 17, 2007

The Most Important Principle: Contentment

The Most Important Principle
by Dave Ramsey

We have become very well known for teaching people how to get out of debt, save money, get on a budget, and even teaching them about insurance and investments. We are very thankful for the response we’ve had to these concepts, but there is another financial concept which is the hinge pin on which the door of successful personal finance swings.

I have only begun to realize the full significance of this concept during the last year or so. When you understand this concept, all the other concepts work. Until you implement it, none of them will work. When you stick this concept deep in your soul, it becomes easy to save money, even have money to invest.

Getting out of debt happens fast once you learn how to apply this concept in your life. Budgeting is made easier and your marriage or relationships regarding money are freed up and made smooth. This concept is the most important financial concept: contentment. That’s right, contentment.

Contentment brings peace. Not apathy. Not the deadhead fog of Prozac or Valium. Only contentment brings peace. We live in the most marketed-to society in the history of the world and the very essence of marketing is to disturb your peace. We say things to ourselves like, “I’ll be happy when I get that boat” or "I’ll be happy when I get that china cabinet” or “I’ll be happy when I get that house.”

Or, or, or, or!!! NOT TRUE. Happiness is sold to us as an event or a thing and our finances have suffered. Fun can be bought with money, but happiness cannot. We live among a bunch of people who are deeply in debt and have no money saved because their emotions were tricked.

Just like the drug addict, people have been conned into believing that happiness will come with the next purchase. So, Daddy works hundreds of overtime hours and Mommy works forty-plus hours (or more) a week, all in the name of STUFF.

You probably think I am writing about someone else, but I’m not. I am writing about you. I know because I suffer from the same disease, but I am recovering and so are many of you. The human spirit was not created to attain peace, contentment, or fulfillment by gathering more stuff.

You can get out of debt, save money and get on a budget; but until your intellect forces your emotions and your spirit to accept that STUFF does not equal CONTENTMENT, your finances will always feel stressed.

At our office we counsel every week with folks who are making $25,000 a year as well as folks making $250,000 per year. These people share a common problem, they all suffer from some level of “stuffitis,” the worship of stuff. Change your focus and change your life for the better.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bills, Budgets, and More

This week Phoebe and I started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University with a small group at church . We are excited about it, but also nervous to see what all we learn about ourselves. More pressure is on us since we are the ones that worked to get the class offered and I am leading the group.

We are blessed to have what we have, but I believe that we would be even more blessed if we managed what we have better.

I read Dave's book in December. He has a tough plan if followed. We hope to do better than what we currently are.

On average, out of all couples that attend his class save $2700 and pay $5300 in debts during the 13 week class period.

I'll keep posting our progress...