Saturday, July 17, 2010

Financial Peace University

This past Tuesday night I attended the first class in the Financial Peace University series by Dave Ramsey. I had heard about this through handsome's uncle and didn't know the name of it. For months I was searching for it and we can never get a hold of his uncle so I just kept looking. I thought it was FPU but was not sure.

Just by luck we were in Dollar General getting something and there was his Aunt's sister. She was talking to us about family and about FPU, here she was going to lead a class in the next few months. Not thinking anything of it I went home and kept thinking about it. The class materials are just a bit on the pricey side, but supposedly ever so worth it. The kit includes the book, workbook, cds, envelopes for assigning your money to a task, and some other helpful items.

I finally decided why not, I kept thinking about signing up, it was now time to do it. I went online to Dave Ramsey and checked out the FPU website. Just for fun I decided to check out if there were any classes in any of the neighboring areas. Much to my surprise there was! AND it was in my town in a local church. I didn't know the lady's name, but figured if it's through a church it should be fairly legit. I signed up to receive more information. Here it turned out it was handsome's Aunt's sister leading it. See when I met her I wasn't really introduced, it was a casual talking meet.

The first class we watched dvd 1 in the series and then sat in a circle to get acquainted and discuss our goals and experiences. It's pretty neat. There were people that wanted to start saving for their kid's college education because the kids were already teens, others wanted to pay off debt, myself I want to get set for when I get married and have kids, one man has had a serious health issue that keeps him on disability instead of traveling the world like he used to, another wants to save up so that he can be a philanthropist.

We do not discuss our actual finances. We discuss how to use the 7 steps and processes to pay off debt, save an emergency fund, save several months of living expenses, and so forth. This week's homework is to make up your budget. There is a sample in the back of the book. You are to assign every last dollar of your income. We are to pay in cash or check for things and not rely on the credit card. So far it has been easy, I figured I'd have trouble. I actually accidentally misplaced mine in a different purse and have decided to use the rest of the money I took out from the last payday. I STILL have money leftover and I think it is because like Dave says, actual physical money makes it more painful to give it away. I have held on tight to the cash I have had. This is a first in a long time. We are also to start saving $1000 for our emergency fund. The idea of this is to have this for the inevitable rainy days that strike: car, health, etc. The TRUE emergencies. If you have this saved up it will at least help towards that unplanned event. You might say well when that is gone you do not have an emergency fund, that's right, you start a new one. The only thing that I am still confused about is you are supposed to pay the minimum on your bills (if you can) and then start your saving right away. I was always under the impression that you should pay off your bills in full, then use what you have left as you see fit. The idea is you want to have the emergency fund so that you do not think well my only option is to charge this emergency, then you are further in debt or will at least have a hard time paying it off and with interest accruing.

I highly recommend finding a group wherever you are. It's Christian based, but you do not have to be a Christian to attend one. Common sense put into action.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dining Out- A favorite pastime/presentime

I adore going out to eat. We were just joking about what to do when we have kids and how things would be cut back. I was told oh no then there won't be kids if we can't go out to eat. Of course this was just a joke! I truly enjoy going out and enjoying food. I think it might be the social aspect more than the food. I know the convenience is a big one for us.

We went to Subway today, hadn't been there in probably a month. We always get one of our 3 favorite things to eat. I'm big on the veggie sub because I just adore veggies and I am trying not to eat meat that I don't know where it has come from or that is not locally grown. (We get a beef raised locally without any antibiotics and steroids by a local farmer.) We've always done this since before I was born.

A goal that I have is making meals at home more instead of going out. This is for $ reasons (just trying to save a little extra) and to see what great concoctions I can come up with. Sometimes the best food is simple food.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

One of my favorite things...

Is going to a nearby town to go out to eat at Brady's and shop at Collections By Marty. Today they had the latest Vera Bradley purse patterns for Fall on display.

They opened early and had specials. Of course my family and I went up there, looked around (I swear I can tell you what the whole store has because we go there so often), and bought a few goodies. One thing was a purse for my mum in the newest pattern of Slate Blooms. It's like a denim blue with some light brown.

If we don't buy my mum a new purse she carries the old one till we are tired of seeing it. Those types of things don't matter to her. She has her priorities right and material things aren't important to her. That doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to have new things, we make sure that she does.

I also bought myself my very first Gooseberry Patch Cookbook! I am thrilled. It is Farmers Market Favorites. I thought that was fitting because I adore going to our local farmers market and getting fresh/local produce and products. I have recently really gotten into baking and cooking. I love homemade meals. Nothing better for the soul.

We ran over to the shop that is run by some distant cousins from the Ritenour family where my family bought a gazebo. They carry Amish made wooden pieces for outdoors, lawn decorations, etc. We were looking for a gnome/fairy door to put on the stump in the yard and ask about a gazebo cover.

By then it was about lunch time so we went to Bradys. We all usually get the same meal just because its so great. This time we opted for the soup and salad bar. The mushroom soup was divine, I loaded up on salad makings and enjoyed one of their warm homemade rolls. We always take an extra one to feed the ducks outside. You'd swear those ducks were starving, but you know darn well that they are not!

It is our little vacation time away from home, but close enough to run back home fast.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One mile towards health

Something that I absolutely love to do is walk! It's my favorite form of exercise. I used to do it forever when I was younger. I'm not that old now, just got out of the habit of doing it and now rely on transportation.

My Auntie is visiting and we went shopping to hunt down the Sketchers Shapeup shoes. I know you've seen them before. The ones that pretty much look silly like you're on high platform sneakers. She was going to get them for my uncle because he has knee, leg, back problems, but where we went they didn't carry the mens. She bought herself a pair and has been raving about them. Funny thing is I've known about these style shoes for years.

The Shapeups are based on the MBT style shoe. I bought my several years ago and love wearing them. It is truly like you're walking on clouds and in the sand. They feel amazing. If you're on your feet for long periods of time or have back/leg/knee issues you have to try these out. I highly recommend them. I bought my MBTs on "sale" they were still pricey $$. Worth every penny. I kept telling my family that I bought them several years back and that the concept is not "new". I am pleased that they have made a more affordable version and that others have found the comfort and relief of this style of a shoe.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sometimes you step in it. Or someone else does.

I spent my afternoon scrubbing the carpets in the hall, dining room, living room, and kitchen yesterday. My sweet little fur boy Louis gets mad when people are gone and he gets upset and decides to protest by pooping in the wrong places! I had some family members searching for a phone number for me when I called them. Apparently he had gone on a oriental throw rug and someone stepped in it. Like I said sometimes you step in it or someone else does. I gave up when they couldn't find the number and came home to find it. I saw the trail around the house and went ohhhh my I know what I'll do Monday. Thank goodness we have our own rug scrubber! Whew! I must say it gave me an excuse to clean all of the carpets not just the spots. I feel like the house is sparkling :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ruthies-Hometown Diner

A place where handsome and I have become absolute REGULARS at is Ruthie's Diner. It's not much to look at when you pull up to it, but it's my secret treasure inside. The waitresses are absolutely dolls. They know what you drink and go out of their way to make sure that you get what you need. Where else do they give you a FREE to go of coffee or their amazing sweet tea? FOR FREE if you had already ordered some during your meal!

It's the best place to go when you are on lunch break. Handsome works at a private farm and takes care of the land and the horses. He goes in there almost every day and gets his meal. Sometimes he gets a Steak-um, Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, or Breakfast. I just had something there for the first time, Chicken and Biscuits. OMGosh was it great! Never had such yummy chicken and biscuits. When we go in at lunch you're guaranteed to see the other regulars and you sure get to know them by name and face.

Today we went there and it was like a Sunday (their Sundays are PACKED, waiting room only usually). However busy they are they make it run like a well-oiled machine. Today we had one of the bus girls waiting on us. We waited longer than usual and our drinks were depleted, but I asked a new bus girl if she could help us out. She was so sweet and pleasant for it being so darn busy. That is what I'm talking about! I absolutely love the service that we get there. Home-cooked food with Caring Service. The prices are pretty low and you get a ton of food. I love meeting up with friends there for even something as simple as some fries. You can frequent it and not break the bank. Just another treasure in my town. :)