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As many of you know, this blog began when my husband and I began Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Before we took FPU, we thought we were totally money savvy, but our debt proved otherwise.

In March 2011, only 18 months after starting our debt reduction, we became debt free. We dumped over $40,000 in consumer debt. It was exhilarating! For the next few months we tried to figure out if we move onto Baby Step #3 {build a 3-6 mos emergency fund} or if we do a Baby Step #2b {not in DR’s plan anywhere}. Our 2b was to eliminate our HELOC before building the BIG emergency fund.

A lot has happened over the last few months that has changed our route a bit.

My husband got a new position in his company and got a small raise to go with it. We decided that it would be in our best interest for him to start investing that raise into his 401k since his company does match a certain percentage. We won’t miss the money since we have been living on his previous salary with no problems.

Why change the baby steps?

Ironically, we ended up moving to baby step #3 when we received our tax refund and a bonus. I had put it all into savings until we made a decision on where it was going to go.  It’s not 3-6 months worth of income, but it would hold us over for at least 6 weeks if anything happened {like an unexpected appendectomy!}

My husband and I realized that our oldest child will be going to college in a mere 5 years and before we start saving for that {Baby Step #5}, we need to get our retirement plans going.

We also, unfortunately, are ring side observers to a family member who has no retirement, no life/long-term insurance, and no savings. The stress that it is causing the children is not something I never want any of my children to experience. If we take care of our future now, my children won’t have to.

saving and spending


Preparing for the future.

As much as I would love to live in the present and spend money on vacations and other fun activities, it would be a disservice to my kids to do that. Life is pretty stressful and when my kids become adults, I don’t need to put a strain on them {or their relationships with each other} because I didn’t plan for my retirement. I don’t know what their future holds or what struggles they will face financially or otherwise. Why would I want to burden them when I can make a plan while I’m young and have it in place when I’m older?

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /