O.M.G!! Dave Ramsey Baby Step One…AGAIN!

O.M.G!! Dave Ramsey Baby Step One…AGAIN!So I thought I was DONE with Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Step 1” which is saving $1,000 to start an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey is a financial guru who gives very “common sense” and “sound” advice on finances, debt, and building wealth. He has been on the radio answering finance questions for the past 25 years. He has a general financial plan with 7 “baby steps” to help everyone get out of debt and gain more control of their personal finances.

Baby step 1 is to start a small emergency fund of $1,000. I have already written several posts about my struggle and journey of getting started and finished with this first step. Here is the last one…HELP! Baby Step 1…AGAIN…UGH!!

The last time I wrote about the baby steps, I was on baby step 4, which means I had already built up a full emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses, for me that was $12,000. So imagine my disappointment in myself, when only 1 year later, I am back (yet again) to baby step 1, and working on building up my starter e-fund. RME!

It’s not a shock why I am here, I chose all of it, and to be honest, I wouldn’t change anything that has happened in the past year, but I am ready (New Year’s resolution) to get my finances back on track, and I have to start somewhere…baby steps!

So here I am, back to square one, at 45 years old, starting over, AGAIN!

Only this time I am a different person. I have not once told myself how stupid, irresponsible, immature, lazy, or unfocused I am. I haven’t labored over how much I hate money and finances and budgeting (which I don’t anymore). And I have only shed one (maybe two) tears when I have felt anxious or overwhelmed at where I am because of the choices I have made.

So what has changed? Maybe it’s getting older and wiser, maybe it’s loving myself more, or maybe it’s just that I know I am capable of starting over no matter what, because I have done it so many times before. My guess is that’s it’s all three!

I have a plan. I have it written down. I have shared it with those that support me. And I am excited to focus again on making money and building a future for me and my family!

Is there something in your life that you really want and have tried several times to have/get/do/be and have failed more times that you care to admit? Guess what? It’s OK!! You are OK! You are actually amazing! And resilient and powerful and forgivable and worthy. If it’s something you really want, get back up and go for it.

I challenge you to do one thing today to move toward what that is. You can keep it a secret, or you can share with me, I will support you no matter what!

Today I will follow up with at least 50 past customers in my Pure Romance biz to see if they need anything. Any money I make from any orders that come in, will go straight into my new emergency fund…baby step 1.

And then I will celebrate!!

Here is Dave Ramsey’s program…

Here is our facebook support group…

And here is our community of like-minded kick-ass peeps…


See you soon!

Dave Ramsey Baby Step 6: Pay Off Your House

Dave Ramsey Baby Step 6 - Pay Off Your HouseMan! If only I learned how to handle my finances 30 years ago instead of 10, I would be in a much better place in my life. As it happened, there was no class in school on personal finances, and growing up poor taught me that as soon as you get money, spend it on something you want because you may never have that chance again.

All this non-education growing up helped me go into debt often, buy things I couldn’t afford, and take money out of my savings and retirement to make payments on those things I couldn’t afford.

I’m not saying my life sucked, I mean I went on vacations, I bought new cars, and I ate out all the time since I was (am) too lazy to cook. When I didn’t have enough money to pay a bill, I would either work more, sell something, or take money from one card to pay another.

I actually thought I was being smart and that I was “good with money” because I could come up with it when I needed it. But that actually gets exhausting, and complicated, and confusing. And I knew it had to end.

The transition between having things and doing things with “borrowed” money and having things and doing things with only the money you have is tough. You have to go without long enough to save money to be able to have again, which also is exhausting, complicated, and confusing. But knowing what I wanted the outcome to be (financial freedom), made it easier since there is a true light at the end of the tunnel.

Starting out, I read a lot of finance books and tried all different financial freedom programs. Some were a waste of money and some really worked for us. If you have read any of my finance blog posts, you know I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey. He offers practical advice, easy steps to follow (he calls them the baby steps), and classes that offer the individual help and group support you need to be successful.

He also offers a free podcast, 3 hours each day, anyone can listen to. He answers caller questions about all areas of finance from budgeting to investing.

As most of you know, I love podcasts and I listen to his daily. His advice is very simple and useful. One of the topics he gets questions on all the time is mortgages. When to buy, how much to spend, etc. He has a few rules. Don’t buy a house without a down payment.

Don’t buy a house while you are still in debt. Don’t buy a house with anything other than a 15 year fixed mortgage. Never co-sign on a house with someone you’re not married to. Your 15 year fixed mortgage payment should be less than 25% of your monthly take home pay. Never take out a second (or third or fourth) mortgage on your house.

After breaking several of his rules, we started this year fresh with a 15 year fixed mortgage in our names only! And since we had some equity in our house, we even got to stop paying the mortgage insurance we previously paid each month for not having a down payment. It took us being home owners for 18 years and 3 houses later to finally learn!! Phew!!!

Don’t be afraid to tell your financial planner or your mortgage lender or your retirement advisor exactly what you are wanting. They will find a way to make it happen for you. If not, find another. I am lucky I met our mortgage lender, Mandy, several years ago. She has helped us with our financing and re-financing over the past few years.

If owning a new home or refinancing your current home or rental is in your 2017 resolutions, reach out to Mandy! She has made an otherwise stressful transaction easy and pleasant.


Join like-minded peeps working toward financial freedom…


See you there!

Dave Ramsey Baby Step 3…DONEZO!!!

Dave Ramsey Baby Step 3…DONEZO!!!HOLY EMERGENCY FUND! I never thought we would get past Baby Step 3. I am talking about Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps to Financial Success. We have been following Dave Ramsey’s plan loosely for about 8 years now but pretty seriously for about 3. Baby Step 3 is to have a fully funded emergency fund.

Fully funded means 3-6 months of expenses set aside in case of an emergency. My original goal was to have it fully funded by September 1st , but we actually didn’t get there until December 1st . Three months doesn’t seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but it felt like forever for me since we had a ton of setbacks along the way.

LUCKILY the setbacks were nothing serious (like medical bills) but just “life” happening as it does. Car troubles, home repairs, etc.

The hardest part for me is that my husband and I are not always on the same page with money. He doesn’t believe in “saving for the future” where I want to save to alleviate stress and anxiety that I associate with lack of money.

One of our biggest setbacks in the 15 months it took us to build our emergency fund was a trip my husband took to Ireland for a month. He planned far enough in advance to save enough money for the trip, but ended up spending twice as much as budgeted. His reasoning is that he was only going to be there once so he wanted to do whatever he wanted while he was there.

I have a different mentality in that if I get to do something awesome, I have to give up some of the luxuries in order to get to have the experience in the first place. For example, if I am paying for a race far from home, I typically bring all my own food and sleep in my car to offset the cost of the race and gas to travel.

Another issue that came with the same trip was that he got a big bonus from work that he was going to use to paint the house. When he decided he wanted to use it for his trip instead, that was fine. It was his bonus he could spend it as he chooses.

I just mentioned that since he was using it for his trip, we couldn’t get the house painted until next year when we saved for it. He agreed. Until he came back from his trip and said we had to get the house painted. Again, I would have waited and saved, but he said it was important to the longevity of the house and if we waited we would have to replace rotting wood, etc.

At times it was frustrating since we have different philosophies about money, but in the end we accomplished our goal…a fully funded emergency fund!! On to Baby Step 4 which is to put 15% of our income into an IRA.

This has also been a cause of friction between us, but in the end, he trusts Dave Ramsey so he is moving on to saving for our future. By this time next year my goal is to have our IRAs maxed out each month and be paying double on our mortgage each month (which is Baby Step 5).

I can’t wait to feel relaxed and secure in our financial situation. This is a far cry from the way I felt even 5 years ago and am grateful for all I have learned from Dave Ramsey along the way.

Check out his book here…


Join others working toward financial freedom here…


Here’s to a prosperous 2017!!

See you soon!

The Pretty Girl Book Club: April 2015

Pretty Girl Bookclub April 2015“Live like on one else so later you can live, and give, like no one else” –Dave Ramsey

Our April 2015 Book Club book was “The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness” by Dave Ramsey

Category: Money/Finance

I chose this book because I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan. I attended his live program “Financial Peace University” years ago and have been listening to his podcast regularly for the past 2 years.

Dave has been giving financial advice on his radio show for over 25 years. His advice is very simple and old school. Basically spend less that you make and if you want something, save for it. Genius!

The synopsis of the book on Amazon.com sums it up as…

If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.

Build up your money muscles with America’s favorite finance coach.

Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s with The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition.

By now, you’ve heard all the nutty get-rich-quick schemes, the fiscal diet fads that leave you with a lot of kooky ideas but not a penny in your pocket. Hey, if you’re tired of the lies and sick of the false promises, take a look at this―it’s the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it’s based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies. With The Total Money Makeover:

Classic Edition, you’ll be able to:

  • Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt―meaning cars, houses, everything
  • Recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths (these will kill you)
  • Secure a big, fat nest egg for emergencies and retirement!

The book is 240 pages long and was an easy read.

The book was pretty much what I had imagined since I have been a Ramsey follower for years. He outlines the simple steps to financial success and gives plenty of examples and testimonials to seal the deal. He also includes all the forms for budgeting and calculating that he teaches in the book.

I would HIGHLY recommend this to anyone who struggles with finances…especially if you (I) keep making the same stupid financial mistakes over and over! Listen to someone who has been both broke and wealthy! He knows what he is talking about.

Here are a few words from others who have read this book…

“It’s a good blueprint to money management. What I liked about it was that it was broken down in 7 steps. You’re encouraged to save first, which is different from most money management books out there. From there you continue to build on your new money habits. Using cash and tracking your spending is the essence of the book.

– Elmire

“Simple. Everything he says makes sense.”

– Robyn

I listen to the Dave Ramsey podcast daily. It’s called “Take Control of Your Money”. And I am preparing to lead an FPU later this year. So I may read the book again for that, but get my daily dose of inspiration, motivation, and butt-kicking in the podcast!

Order “The Total Money Makeover” here…


About The Pretty Girl Book Club…


Our upcoming books…


Here is the link to join the Book Club…


See you there!!