Monday, April 7, 2014

7 Days of Dave: Day 1

We are a Dave Ramsey family. We are currently on Step 6 of Dave's "7 Baby Steps." A friend and reader has asked me to share more about our Dave Journey so I will take the next 7 days to talk about what we have done and how we did it.

Here is a brief history of how we came to Dave and came into our marriage:

My dad gave me a Dave book during college. I kind of glanced through it but was not really in a financial peace state of mind, I just wanted to buy textbooks each semester with cash and not a credit card.

I graduated college in 2008, right as the bottom fell out of the market. Suddenly everyone was looking for a job. After about 2 months of searching, I was offered and accepted a position at Macy's selling Ladies Shoes. It was a humbling experience as I had worked three years at UofL to earn a degree and still ended up at the mall where my friends had worked in high school. But, Mark still had a year left at VU and we were to be married that next May just weeks after his graduation. We did not really have the time or the money for me to be picky. I also lived at home that year. I love my parents and after being away three full years for school and summers at camp it was nice to sleep in my old room. It also was the best financial decision as between work and seeing Mark I was rarely if ever home and an apartment would have been a waste of money. I was able to divide my paycheck via the online payment system. I put 85% of every paycheck directly into savings and kept just 15% as spending money. This was possible because I was living at home with minimal bills and because we were paid weekly. I started at Macy's in September of 2008 and worked full-time until the company underwent major cuts in early 2009. I was laid off in February 2009. I spent the next few months job hunting, babysitting, and subbing.

The weekend before our wedding, Mark's aunt found a temp job for him at her pharmacy. Mark quickly took it and we planned our move to Greenwood. We were married May 23, 2009. About a month later, Mark was hired on full time at our county jail and a month after that I was hired on for about 20 hours a week. I spent the next nine months also subbing and babysitting in addition to working at the jail. I was finally given 37.5 hours in March 2010 but it was not considered full-time so no insurance or paid time off. March 2011 I finally went full-time until September of 2011 when I left to stay home with Annabeth. We have been really blessed that although Mark has worked a lot of jobs and shifts for the Sheriff's Office that he has been continually employed full-time with them. Mark has also worked part-time security at a local hospital since September 2011.

August 2009 - Newlyweds at The Creation Museum 

Dave Ramsey's Baby Step 1: $1,000 to Start an Emergency Fund

We often say that we feel like we got to cheat on this one. Because I was working at Macy's and living at home I was able to save a great deal of money before we were married. We realize that couples who are in school and marry right after may not have that same luxury.

I think for me, the key was dividing my paycheck so that it automatically went into savings and checking. We still do that. Mark's paychecks are divided automatically between his checking, our savings, and Annabeth's savings. We never even miss the money we put into each savings because we don't have to take it out of his checking account.

We have found it SO important to maintain at least a $1,000 Emergency Fund. We have had to use our savings for house and medical emergencies in the past and we are always glad to have that money there.

See you tomorrow for Day 2!


Anna Busenburg said...

Thanks for posting this! It is a huge encouragement to hear how other couples are working to save money and live within their means.

Amy and Mark said...

Thank you for being a faithful friend and reader Anna! It is indeed wonderful to have friends who live modestly. I am always encouraged by the fun that you and Chas make at home with friends and family!