Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Financial Peace University~*~Week TWO review

Mom2MomEd Blog: Financial Peace University~*~Week Two in Review
Last week, I wrote about starting Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University (FPU). Week one was a great confidence boost and fired me up to get debt free and financially stable once and for all! It was a great overview of why so many of us wind up in debt and often stay there.
Week two, was just as good!

In week two, Dave talks at length about the impact of money problems on relationships and why money fights so often lead to divorce. Most of week two was focused on couples and how to talk about money, the family budget, and so on. I had heard from a YouTuber that I follow that FPU is heavily focused on couples working their way out of debt together, so I was afraid that week two of Financial Peace University would hold little of value for me.

I was wrong!

Although I am not married or in a relationship at the moment, I still enjoyed the lessons on relating to your partner and to your money. I gleaned a few ideas on how to talk to my son about money as well. In week two, there was also a segment specifically about being single while on the journey to financial freedom.

I truly appreciated the approach to being single and in a financial mess as presented by Dave. He points out that single people trying to dig out of debt and to become financially free have some special challenges not faced by couples.

Namely, single people are trying to do this ALONE.

We need support just like people in relationships, but we are missing that counterpart and accountability partner. Our homework was, in part, to find accountability partners. Funnily, I had my annual lady exam and my gynecologist saw my Dave Ramsey book. Turns out she and her husband are doing FPU as well! It was a great way to break the ice as I'd never met this doctor before, and now we have a common bond.

But, I digress...

My dear friends, I hope that YOU, along with McKenzie, will step up and help me to stay accountable and on track! Posting about my FPU experience certainly will help, so please keep coming back and reading about my progress through FPU and towards my goals of financial freedom!

Week one's lesson was all about "super saving" and building up a starter emergency fund of $1,000. Well, I don't have a spare $1,000 lying about, but I did count out all the change in my coin bank last night and will set that aside as the base of my emergency fund. That's just shy of $20. I also applied for four part-time and on-call jobs to supplement my income. I have an interview with one of them on Monday. Any of the four would likely result in an extra $1,000 net monthly income which would--BOOM--give me that starter emergency fund!

As soon as you have your mini-emergency fund saved, you get to move on to baby step two in the Dave Ramsey plan: paying off all non-mortgage debt. I did send a little debt payment last week as I owe a friend some money. This friend saved my butt during a vacation that went wrong and I owed her a little over $600. I have gotten that down to $300! I'm super stoked to be more than halfway towards paying her back!

(Can you tell I spent my teen years growing up in California? I'm STOKED, y'all!)

At the end of each reading assignment associated with FPU are several reflection questions. This week, the one that stood out for me was "In what ways could stress and fatigue impact your financial plan? Give specific examples."

That reflection question is so timely for me! As a single mom, I feel stressed ALL. THE. TIME. Even when things are going well, part of me is stressed and worried. I think all moms (and dads) feel that way at times, but Dave mentions that single parents often feel a different type of stress since pretty much everything is on our shoulders with no one to help share in it all. 

I've been pretty stressed out lately due to my uncle's cancer diagnosis (see point 4 in THIS post...I also mention Dave Ramsey in the same post), but lately, I am even more stressed out due to a health problem of my own that has lingered for a few months now and suddenly has become worse after a very brief respite.

Plus, I'm under a lot of pressure from certain family members to "light a fire" under my son and to get him motivated (more on realistic expectations and marching to your own drum in another post). Add in recent stress at work (I can't really post about that situation though as I love my job and don't want to give anyone the wrong idea about anything), and the stress is just piling up!

And, on top of it all, it's *just me* trying to dig myself out of my huge amount of debt and to climb my way up Mt. Financial Freedom! I don't have a spouse or boyfriend to lean on. Most of my friends and relatives view debt as normal and most see it as a positive as it gives you a credit score (Dave has a lot to say about this!).

When I'm stressed out and tired, I don't spend time planning out my spending. I find myself grabbing expensive pre-made meals at the store or hitting a fast food drive thru. I spend cash at Starbucks instead of finding ways to earn a gift card to pay for my coffee. I cave in and buy junk food for my son.

I get lazy.

I have very few people around me other than a good friend in Phoenix, McKenzie, the friend that gifted FPU to me, and now my doctor, that are on board with the Dave Ramsey plan.

The lack of broad support is stressful...

It is hard to tell others who don't get what I'm doing or why I'm doing it that I can't go out to lunch, I can't drive across town just to say hello, I can't just go shopping, I can't stop for Starbucks without a gift card. 

I can't, in good faith, do things that keep me from my goals of debt freedom and financial stability.

I want to be debt free and financially stable so I can live my life like no one else--to learn more about that, be sure to check out my book review of Love Your Life, Not Theirs by Dave Ramsey's daughter, Rachel Cruze.

Are you following a Dave Ramsey inspired path towards financial freedom? How has it been for you? Be sure to share in a comment!
Curious about Financial Peace University, but not ready to take the class? You can still read the associated book, Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money. Just click HERE or click on the picture to buy it on Amazon.
And, be sure to check out these additional great articles and blog posts:

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