Tuesday, August 15, 2006

August 15

Without good advice everything goes wrong-- it takes careful planning for things to go right. Proverbs 15:22 (cev)
I try to be a planner but my plans often go awry (to adapt a line from Robert Burns). My wife and I are graduates of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. I often speak about Dave and if you aren't familiar with him, he is a financial counselor and radio host whose claim to fame is encouraging people to rid themselves of debt in order to build wealth and his program has worked for tens of thousands people if not more. (He is firmly grounded in Proverbs by the way.) He teaches people to do what he calls the baby steps in his book "The Total Money Makeover". I have three of his books and I must say this man has found his purpose in life.

In adapting his program, I have undergone life changing paradigm shifts and have developed this search for what makes successful people (wealthy or not) successful. I have found that hard work, vision and positive attitude are keys to success, so I try to model myself with these characteristics. Some days are better than others.

Without straying too far off subject, one of the basic tools to achieving financial peace is a cash flow plan and like our verse suggests, good advice when making a plan helps foster success. Lately my plan has gone awry and I know why. In an effort to speed up our debt elimination plan, I laid out a tight budget without consulting my wife. Now the amount I specified to go toward debt elimination is not as large as hoped. I did not foresee some expenses because I didn't ask. Without good advice everything goes wrong.
"The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley.” -Robert Burns (To a Mouse)
As a note: My wife and I have eliminated over $45K of debt in almost 3 years. We are so close to the finish line (except the house), and I am just aching to get there. Some people think we're crazy, but how much money would you have to spend, save or give if you didn't have credit card, car or house payments? I urge you to check out Dave.


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