Baby Step One: Save $1,000
We are going to walk through the seven baby steps outlined in "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. These are the same steps my wife and I used to pay off $114,000 of consumer debt in just under 26 months. There are many nuances to each person's situation, so these blogs won't answer all of your questions - but they're not supposed to. They will give you the basic framework to start asking more questions, which is why the Financial Flippers community exists - to help you get answers to all of those questions.
Fast. This one happens quickly, flippers.
This is the FIRST thing you do. Everything else takes a pause. EVERYTHING. You’re preparing to change your life, so you need to focus - because we win at what we focus on.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford
This is the easiest step ... because it’s only $1,000. But this is also the hardest step ... because this is the moment you decide to submit to a new way of doing things.
Let’s talk about it...if you already have $1,000, then you’ve already completed this step. (Simply set $1,000 aside, and check…you’re done with Baby Step One.) You’ll take everything not in a retirement account down to that $1,000 and throw it all at your Baby Step 2 (paying off all non-mortgage debt using the debt snowball).
But what if you don’t have $1,000?! “How am I supposed to save $1,000?” What if you can’t even fathom $1,000 in one place, let alone your hands?! That’s okay. We’re changing your entire relationship with money - and this is why this is the hardest step. This life change demands that you make a decision. Are you going to keep doing what you’ve been doing, or are you going to try something new, that works? (And here’s the thing…if you don’t like…then you can always go back to what you were doing before.)
Now, this is only a starter emergency fund. It’s not a fully-funded emergency fund. That’s okay. The purpose of this step is to put a little bit of distance between you and a more common emergency (a flat tire, for example). It’s money we don’t touch. Its sole purpose is to be there in case there’s an emergency. Because having emergency cash turns any emergency into an inconvenience.
But this step should happen FAST! Track down some people who owe you money (legitimately of course), start charging for that “free” service you provide, hunt through the couch cushions, sell some items on Craigslist ... whatever you have to do. FAST.
*It’s also important to note that if you are behind on any bills, you should make sure to get current before you start these steps. Give yourself a solid baseline before jumping into this transformational journey. This is commonly referred to as "Baby Step Zero."
If you want something to change, then you need to change something. Decide.
And I'll be here to cheer you on and answer questions as you go!
Yes...that's me. And I not only wore it well, but I wore it EVERYWHERE!
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Kyle is the founder and certified financial coach behind Financial Flippers. You can learn more about Kyle and what he offers by visiting his website: www.financialflippers.com
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