Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Talking Some Cents

Tuesdays are now affectionally known in my world as "crazy Tuesdays" which of course always follow the long "daddy-less Mondays" to round out what is a very hectic beginning of every single week. (In other words, our family has over-scheduled itself and we're about to go insane over here.) Five more weeks and Eric's night class is over. We can do this....

Yesterday was the craziest Tuesday of them all. I am emotionally spent after an intense morning of prayer, followed by a bit of worry, followed by a bit of "what the heck are you worried about, isn't that why you are praying in the first place?" followed by even more prayer. I didn't want to say much yesterday, because I wasn't sure what I was allowed to say...if that makes sense...but our friend Tyler was in court all morning for the charges against him from the accident he was in last year. I won't get into all the deets, but it was a nail-biter let me tell you. 

Praise God that he jury decided that our Uncle Ty Ty was NOT Guilty. Wahoo!! The truth shall set you FREE, people. Don't ever forget it. :) 

We squeezed in a little victory dinner at a snazzy local may have heard of's called Pizza Hut. :) And then we caravanned over to our Financial Peace class for the rest of the evening. Yes, even after a full day in court Tyler decided he didn't want to miss an FPU lesson. Speaking of....

Lesson Four: Dumping Debt

Last night's lesson was super important, because it's probably what Dave Ramsey is most well known for - getting rid of debt. It's the reason why most people decide to take FPU in the first place, and holy moly, it's so full of information I cannot even begin to nail down all of the knowledge in just a few short paragraphs. (I think I say this every time.) This is also the longest of all of the lessons, clocking in at one hour and forty minutes of non-stop myth-debunking and encouragement and strategies to get rid of debt once and for all.

Dave begins the lesson explaining that this one is so hard to teach, because first he has to un-teach what the modern world has indoctrinated it's people to believe: that you cannot possibly live without debt, that it's actually a GOOD thing, and that you can use it to your advantage. He reminds his audience that living with debt is a very new concept, and that just a few generations ago it was looked at as "sinful" and "folly" to purchase things without being able to afford them. In fact, such notable names as Henry Ford and J.C Penny REFUSED to allow financing for their products, and their respective businesses were so ingrained with this thinking that you couldn't charge at Penny's or finance a Ford until long after their founders were dead and gone. The same could be said for other businesses, Sears, for example, which today makes more money from its credit card interest than it does from selling products. Sheesh! 

Now I'm not here to convince anyone that they should cut up their credit cards...Dave will tell you to if you take his classes, but I don't have the time to explain just why and how you lose every time you charge something...even if you pay the full amount on your balance at the end of the month. I can't take the time to explain just why when you use cash, it HURTS to see that money go, and so right off the top you save 12-18% when you use cash by just avoiding too much impulse spending. 

While it seems that this lesson is a big downer, the truth is Dave spends just as much time explaining why you want that debt gone, and how much more FUN life is when you get to keep your own money - imagine that! 80% of millionaires today are FIRST GENERATION millionaires. And what that means is that they started with nothing, and they built their way up in life. And what advice do those people give? What is the one thing nearly all of them have in common? They don't, and never did, use debt as a way of life. No credit cards, no car payments, no 90 days same as cash. Period. Dave jokes that you can keep taking advice from "your broke brother in law" about how to win with money, or you listen to those who have already won. It's up to you. :)

This is the lesson that fires people up. It makes some people angry. Dave says that's part of his job. :) Because until you get a fire in your belly, until you become INTENSE about really wanting to make a change, it probably isn't going to happen. In my personal experience, he is dead on.


I'm so behind on this challenge! 

While I don't take stock in horoscopes myself, my quick answer to this one would be VIRGO, because that's my sign. Haha. 

But this does lead into a little story that I just heard last week from a fellow mom who took an astronomy class once. I'm sure as an astronomy professor you can't get out of teaching a college course on the stars without at least addressing the "astrological signs" found among the constellations. It's probably one of the few things students know anything about before they take the class, after all.

So one day the professor came into class and went around to each student asking them for their birthdays. As they would tell her the date, she would shuffle through her papers and then hand each of them a sheet before moving on. Written on each piece of paper was a horoscope of sorts, describing what that person's personality profile should be based on which sign they were born under.

After letting her students read for a few minutes, the professor asked her students to raise their hands if their personality profile matched their true personality. Nearly every single student rose their hands. And then she told them to switch papers with the person sitting next to them. The students began to laugh as they realized that everyone's papers said the same exact thing. Oh, the power of suggestion!

In one little exercise the professor was able to explain to her students that astronomy and astrology are two very different things; that astrology is a pseudoscience and is meant only for fun. I'm sure she saved herself a lot of time and questions for the rest of the semester! :)


Ashley Mitchell said...

Thanks for the lesson. :) Love these.

Heather said...

Credit cards are the devil. I had 2 as soon as I moved out on my own, and had each of them maxed out in no time. I was never really taught what harm credit cards can do. I learned my lesson really fast and haven't had one since, but I am STILL paying the consequences of those 2 credit cards 12 years later. The Devil I tell ya, THE DEVIL!


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