I’d like to interrupt this week’s refresh of Step 3 of Makeunder My Finances for another very helpful post. Since John and I are savers by nature, the only debt we have to our name is our mortgage. We pay off our credit cards every month, were extremely fortunate to have our parents pay for college (in addition to scholarships), and we paid for our new car in cash. It took a lot of hard work and discipline on ours and our parents’ parts, so I don’t take it for granted. This discipline is extremely freeing because we don’t have to be as strict with our budget. We know how much money is coming in, have automatic transfers set for savings and retirement, and have some extra wiggle room once the monthly bills are paid.
However, I know not everyone is in this place. Since I’ve never been in debt, I don’t feel like I have the authority to talk about it on Fiscally Chic. If you want to learn more about getting out of debt, I can recommend several blogs to you. I can also recommend the new book out by Eric Williams of Words of Williams.
It’s Your Money: What will you do with it? is out today, but Eric sent me a copy a few weeks ago to read and review. It’s a quick read and I probably could have knocked it out in one sitting if given the opportunity. The book is split into two parts. Part I is the backstory of how Eric and Kelsey accumulated almost $40K in debt and the lessons they learned along the way. If nothing else, this part of the book inspired me to never to get into debt. Conquering debt is more than just beating the numbers, there’s also an emotional aspect. And reading Eric and Kelsey’s story and desire to be out of debt before starting their family really hit home.
“We were making the sacrifice at that point in our lives (pre-kids) so we didn’t have to in the future. It was a hard lesson, but one certainly worth the effort. [I]t built character. It certainly wasn’t easy, but nothing worth the effort ever is. At one point Kelsey was really sad that I had to miss our twin nieces’ birthday party because I had to work during Memorial Day weekend. I remember telling Kelsey (in one of those grab-her-close kind of moments you see in movies) that I was missing out on the party now so I don’t have to miss out on our own kids’ birthdays in the future.”
Eric dedicated this book to their daughter Rooney, who inspired them to get their financial act together and start creating a legacy for our family. Now that Monica is here, we want to do everything possible to make sure she’s taken care of and that we can be at her soccer games, piano recitals, or whatever other activities she decides to pursue.
Part II of the book offers practical action steps to help you get a handle on your own finances and start developing a plan to help you achieve your goals. If you’re working on getting out of debt (student loans, credit card overspending, or whatnot); this part of the book is definitely for you. Eric walks you through creating your first budget (or spending plan), paying off debt, and offers tips on keeping your budget going.
Eric and Kelsey were able to conquer their debt in 23 months. And this wasn’t due to inheriting a small fortune or winning the lottery. They did it on average salaries with lots of hard work, sacrifices, and discipline when it came to managing their money. That’s not to say they didn’t have a little fun along the way. Eric encourages building some fun into your budget each month, be it going out to dinner, catching a movie, or purchasing a celebratory item once a large financial goal is reached.
It’s Your Money can be purchased directly from Eric and Kelsey’s blog, Words of Williams. There are some extra perks if you buy today (8/29/13), so you’ll definitely want to check out their book release post. It’s Your Money is available on Amazon as an eBook and in paperback.