Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Financial Peace University - Week 2

Tonight was the second class for us in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Jason was able to come with this week because my friend, Brittany, had the night off of work, saw my Facebook plea for a sitter and gave me a call! How awesome of her! Here is Amelia with her sitter for the night:

Now, on to what we learned this week! This week we spent a lot of time talking about the different roles that both men and women have in family finances. There was a lot of talk about how men and women approach finances and money differently, but also about how individuals - male or female - have their own strong qualities when it comes to finances.

In our household, I am the planner. I am the one who [usually] thinks about everything we spend money on etc. Jason is an impulse buyer. He likes to spend money freely, which sometimes gets us into trouble. That is not to say that I have never been known to make impulse buys. Believe me, I have done my fair share of that but it is usually triggered by stress. That is not an excuse and it brings me to the next thing that we talked about as a group.

People, male and female, react to stress in ways that affect their finances. For me, when I am upset, I like to go shopping and I usually end up buying Amelia an outfit or a toy. Something that she doesn't need but the act of buying it for her makes me feel better, temporarily. We brainstormed ideas, as a group, on how to beat those impulses. What works best for me is just doing my best not to leave the house when I am upset. If I leave, it is all over. I will find my way to Target and I will buy thing(s) that I/we don't need.

One thing that will definately help me, and Jason, in controlling impluse buys is our homework from last week's class. We had to make a "quickie" budget. Wow. We weren't too sure what we spend on things like gas and food, so we chose an amount and will adjust it from there but let's just say there isn't much room for impulse buying! The "quickie" budget didn't include our credit card debt either, yikes! I am hopeful that as we work at creating a budget for our family that we can fine tune it and put money where it is needed most and cut back on some other things, like eating out, so we can get things on track!

At the end of class, our leader took a credit card and shredded it and told everyone that they could feel free to do the same over the next few months. Guess who got right up and did it? Jason. he was the only one who participated in that this week even! He put two credit cards through the shredder and didn't even hesitate. It felt good to know that those balances will only go down from here on out!

Another thing that we will do at the end of each class is to share milestones/exciting news. Guess who raised their hand first? Jason. While he and I were going over our "quickie" budget this evening we talked about how we hadn't used my Chase card in almost two pay periods - 4 weeks - which is amazing, for us! That card has been our crutch, our way of survival and this is the first time in years, literally, that when we get the next statement it will be lower than the month before because we haven't made any purchases on it!

One great thing, for us, is that we are quickly becoming aware of where and how we are spending our money by doing something as simple as a "quickie" budget. Now that we are aware, we can make some positive changes! I am looking forward to delving deeper and creating a more complex and complete budget because I already know that it will bring great things!

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Matthew 6:19-21

1 comment:

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

Neither my husband nor I are big shoppers; we're both really good at saving... 95% of the time. But we go through periods where we save so much we feel comfortable "splurging" (like once or twice a year). It's our biggest financial weakness, and since we're so similar in that way, we reinforce each other's bad habit!

Confessions From A Working Mom