This was originally posted at another blog of mine ( that I have deleted.   I have combined all my blogs into this one for the sake of simplicity in my already busy life.   Jen – 6/13/09.

Money is a primary concern for everyone. The world seems to revolve around it — how to get it, what to do with it when you get it, how to best spend it. It’s the leading cause of divorce in this country and also prevents many women who WANT to stay home with their children from doing so. Many people, especially in Traverse City, have too much house for their income and most Americans are drowning in credit card debt.

How do you fix this? How do you get out from under it all? It’s not easy and it’s not fun to listen to–until you get the bug. The Dave Ramsey bug. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover program has been changing peoples lives. I know that it changed mine. Last Februrary, I “discovered” him. By April, we paid cash for a (already planned) vacation. I got a promotion, found out I was pregnant in June & found out my job was being elminated in September (whoo-whoo!). By the time my daughter was born in February, we were able to pay off all my business debt, our credit card debt, 2 student loans & our 2nd mortgage.

You have to be ready to hear his message–when the student is ready, the teacher will find him. Even though my in-laws listened to and talked about him regularly, it was in one ear and out the other. His program can be summarized in 7 steps:

  1. Have an emergency fund of $1000.
  2. Pay off everything except the house.
  3. Expand your emergency fund to 3-6 months of expenses.
  4. Save 15% of your income for retirement.
  5. Save for your kids college.
  6. Pay off your house early.
  7. Build wealth & give!

Sounds easy doesn’t it? It is; as Dave says, “The same advice your grandmother would give, only we keep our teeth in.” 🙂 You can stream his radio show for free off of his website. Between the book and his radio show, he helps people who feel like they are beyond help to create a plan to free themselves. If you are struggling, stressed & worried, or even if you just want to learn to be a better steward of your money, give him a listen– If you need inspiration, listen on Friday’s, when people call in to scream, I’m debt free! You won’t regret it, I promise.

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