Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another FPU Update

Wednesday night we had our third week of Financial Peace University. This week's lesson was called Relating with Money: Nerds & Free Spirits Unite! Basically, Dave talked about the differences between not only men & women (that could take hours! haha) but also between "nerds" and "free spirits". What does it all come down to? If you're married, no matter which one of you is the nerd or free spirit, you BOTH are responsible for financial decision-making. The nerd tends to try to take over, control things with spreadsheets and budgets. The free spirit tends to say "whatever you want to do honey" assuming that if they don't actually participate in the decision-making process, they don't have to be held accountable. WRONG!!

One thing Dave recommends is called the Budget Committee Meeting. Without going into too many details, the nerd prepares the budget for the meeting. The free spirit has to show up!! When the nerd passes the budget to the free-spirit, he/she needs to shut up and allow the free spirit to make some changes (they must make some changes). Once both parties agree to the budget, they pinkie swear and STICK TO THE BUDGET!!! If something comes up which requires a change to that budget, they call an emergency meeting.

This whole concept sounds so simple, but in our household, it's a new one. I've decided I'm the nerd (anyone object to that?). I love a good spreadsheet, and I definitely try to take control. My darling hubby is more along the lines of the free spirit, at least when it comes to the finances. I think it was just easier to let me take care of things when he was a chef. Poor guy never had time to sleep, let alone deal with the checking account. But that is all changing. Ed's new job has allowed him to be home more (yay!!!) and going through FPU together has forced us to communicate about our finances. I can already tell a difference in our relationship.

During the class, we also learned some stuff for singles, but since I'm no longer in that category, I'll skip it. Finally, we talked about Kids & Money. There were some really great suggestions for how to teach our children to be responsible with their money. Here are a couple from the video:

  • Be age appropriate

  • Pay commissions, not allowance. This helps them develop the connection between work and money. It takes work to make money! (Certain chores are done just because you're part of the family, but it also helps to have specific tasks associated with a dollar amount. It doesn't have to be a lot.)

  • Teach by example! Show them how you live debt free, how saving works, etc.

  • For kids age 5-12: Use three envelopes. Giving, Saving and Spending. (If they earn $5 a week, put $1 in the giving envelope and $2 each in the others. Kids' attitudes towards money will change dramatically if they are spending their own!)

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." -Proverbs 22:6-7 (NKJV)

This week's lesson was extremely helpful. Ed and I already have a basic budget in place for October. I think this coming Wednesday the lesson involves doing a more detailed budget. The nerd in me is so excited! Haha. But seriously, I cannot believe how much my attitude toward money has changed over the past few weeks. I realize that I was being lazy about how I handled our finances. Yes, I made sure our bills were paid, but I never told our money where to go...I just sort of floated along, hoping everything worked out. NO MORE!!! We're developing a specific plan to get out from under all of our debt...slowly (it didn't happen overnight), but God willing, it'll get done.

Remember, you can always go to Dave Ramsey's website for more info and free budgeting forms. He also has a show on at 8pm every night on the Fox Business channel. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!! And leave comments if you have any additional suggestions on cutting down the budget.

1 comment:

JayBee said...

Ironically, I emailed this article to Dave a couple of weeks ago.

It just reinforces what you're learning at FPU and the importance of communicating how you're spending money. I thought you might be interested in reading it too.