Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University

When I got the FPU class a year ago I listened to all the cd's and thought I had a handle on things. I was wrong. I was not in the right place at the time. Hubby was still out of work and to be honest we were in complete survival mode. I am not saying you cannot do the plan when you are in a bind, but you DO have to be in the right mind. 

Now that Hubby is working, we are retaking FPU to make sure we are optimizing our recovery. I learned a big lesson this past week. Despite providing the budget to hubby, he went ahead and paid a bill that needed to wait. It did not matter that we would have had to do without that "service" for a few days, it HAD to wait. We needed to pay for food, gas and necessities first. With him paying the bill, it threw the budget out the window and now we have to explain to daycare, why they cannot be paid. 

This was a huge eye opener for me. I realized that we had to retake the FPU course. We needed to come up with a better budgeting system and way to pay bills. So I am in the process of creating a monthly bill chart to hang up on our "family wall". There will also be a year long chart that lists every bill for every month. When the bill gets paid on time, we put a star sticker in the box. If we pay it but not on time, we just put a check mark. When it doesn't get paid that month at all, we get a big red frowny face.

I am also setting up a solution for our mail system. Right now, the bills get set on the counter and then after a few days they get put somewhere else and are never found again. We end up going online to pay the bills, or heaven for bid when the service is cancelled we pay over the phone. Yes. This has been our system. I have been trying to do better, but it has been so overwhelming. This is why I am creating a new system where Hubby and I can see right on the wall what the plan is. There is no excuse of, where did you put the budget I gave you. No more asking "Why in the world did you pay it when I told you what we were paying this week." Verbal DOES NOT work. Heck, email does not work. This system will be right there when you walk into the kitchen every day. There will be no excuse.

We have what is called our Family Wall. It has a bulletin board, a dry erase calendar, and two other dry erase boards for notes. I am hanging three clear bins on the wall next to our "family wall". When the mail comes into the house, it is sorted into two categories: garbage and needs to be addressed. Garbage like sales flyers go into the trash below the bins. Everything else goes in the top bin. 

On the weekends we will sit down in our financial committee meeting and go through everything in the top bin. Bills will be put in the second bin, after we log the amount and due date on our bill pay schedule. The bill pay schedule will be on a clip board that will hang on our "family wall", as well. Bills that get paid will be put into a paid file in our filing cabinet. We will keep one years worth of bills to help us come up with an accurate average and better budget for the next year.  

Another problem we have is keeping the kids papers organized. The bottom bin will be used for things to address for the kids. Picture forms, field trip forms, etc. Every day we will go through their take home folders and put the items in that bin, to be addressed. There will be another blog post about this subject.

Every Saturday we will have a financial committee meeting. It is here where bills will get paid. The budget will be created, reviewed and updated. We will discuss our goals and what things we are succeeding at and or struggling with. We will also discuss our FPU assignments and make sure we are on the same page. We are taking the FPU class online, since we do not have access to child care to go to a meeting. We paid for it a year ago and you can keep taking it forever, with that one payment.

That is the gist of what we are doing right now to get organized to get to a level of success. Next week I will do a post with pictures so you can see what our wall looks like. This weekend is all about organizing it and getting "re-started".

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