How are finances related to self-care? Well, if you don’t take care of your finances your financial situation will be a mess. And that mess will make you stressed out, grumpy and irritable. Not having enough cash flow to pay your bills and take care of you and/or your family is one of the most MOST stressful conditions a person can encounter. No one wants to be disappoint their family by having to say “We can’t afford to do that”.
Almost ten years ago, I was fortunate enough to hear about Dave Ramsey and his teachings. His book “The Total Money Makeover” truly made over our finances and took us from wondering what was the right way to plan our finances to actually having a concrete plan. His formula for your finances can be life changing. The best part is that his plan is a very simple one to follow.
A Plan for Your Finances
Dave recommends you work through his plan in baby steps. You work and save until you complete Step 1, then you go to Step 2 – paying off debt. Each step builds on the one before. He teaches you to become accountable and to have discipline which can pay off in other areas of your life as well.
Dave’s Baby Steps:
- Save $1000 for emergencies
- Pay off debt using the debt snowball (which is genius)
- Build a safety net of 3 to 6 months expenses
- Invest in retirement
- Save for your children’s college fund
- Pay off your home early
- Build wealth and give
Budgets and Other Necessities
Dave Ramsey also has a program called “EveryDollar” which is both an app and a computer program. “EveryDollar” is nice for keeping track of your daily spending which is highly recommended. You will learn how to budget through either the book or the software. The ideal budget will give you percentage guidelines on how much you should ideally be spending in each category (Mortgage/Rent – 25 percent for example). If you prefer to go old school and have it all on paper, his website also has Dave Ramsey’s Budget Forms you can print out to get started.
Do not feel bad if you were never taught these principles of finances. Most of us were not taught in school or at home how to budget our money. And that is a shame because we then go out in the world thinking we know what we are doing. We make mistakes that then follow us for most of our lives (debt and loans, living above our means, etc.). But, there is another way. We can start to teach ourselves and then our children how to manage our money instead of our money managing us.
Dave and his daughter Rachel teach families how to get their priorities straight and even have products to teach your children too. We’ve used the Ramsey’s book “Smart Money, Smart Kids” and like what our kids have learned as a result. If your goal is to leave a legacy (aside from debt), he is the guy to help you and your family get there.
Why Having Your Finances Under Control Matters
Getting out of crisis mode with your finances will give you a feeling of peace. Truly the nicest side effects of Dave Ramsey’s books and plans are the peace of mind you can have as a result. Once you have his overall plan in action, you just follow the steps until you are at a point of having wealth and can give generously. Fundamentally that is what self-care is all about, taking care of yourself so you can take care of others effectively.
You can read more about this subject in the Loveselfcare article “Freedom from Financial Worry” This is the third part in the series, “Make Life Easier”. If you would like to read the first two parts, they are “Make Life Easier – Easy Fashion” and “Make Life Easier – Easy Meals“. Who doesn’t want their life to be a little easier?
Disclaimer – I am not a financial professional, which is why I’m recommending someone who can lead you to financial professionals. Maybe this information would be helpful for you or someone you know as well. Thank you!
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