My New Gazelle Intensity and Fondness for Dave Ramsey

Good Ol' Dave
Good Ol’ Dave

This is one of those random subjects I never intended to write about but I’ve had so many readers ask about our budget that I thought I should. Why not, eh? I’ve already written about sex, religion, and politics… I guess money is the next controversial topic to address. So here’s the deal. Caleb and I are on a super intense budgeting system that is endorsed by Dave Ramsey. Caleb discovered Dave Ramsey’s radio show while driving for work one day and has been hooked on it for months now (years, actually). When Caleb first told me about Dave Ramsey and the things he promotes (like using cash envelopes for budgeting) I was like… HECK NO. But then, I don’t know, I guess I started to see Caleb’s point which is this: We need to know where our money is going because it’s not going in savings as it should. I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t think I got really motivated until I became pregnant. Suddenly, I decided to grow-up. I can’t bring a baby into this world and not be financially responsible (ok, well technically I could, but you know where I’m coming from).

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” 
― Dave Ramsey

Enter: Cash Envelope System. Yes, every other week (on pay days), one of us goes to the bank and retrieves our cash for the next two weeks. The categories that we have opted to have cash for are:

  • Groceries
  • Clothing
  • Toiletries
  • Household Items
  • Restaurants
  • Entertainment
  • His $$
  • Her $$
  • Luca’s $$
  • Pet Supplies
  • Co-Pays
  • Hair/Cosmetics

While at first getting the cash was annoying, I actually enjoy it now. What’s better, I am not really afraid to spend money anymore because I know exactly how much we have. That’s what we did for about 2 years. Now, I’ve been buying more things online because running errands is difficult with Luca. So we signed-up for Dave’s Gazelle Budget that is available on his website. This allows me to use both cash and debit. It works sort of like Quicken if you’re familiar. I can download my transactions from our bank onto the site and categorize them so I know how much I’ve spent. This may mean that I take out less cash than normal. I also have an envelope that’s for depositing money back into the bank if I don’t use the cash but use my debit card instead. It makes the cash system more accurate. I haven’t lost you have I? This stuff can get confusing… You really just have to find what works for you and go with it.

“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.” 
― Dave Ramsey

Another great tool was this printable Savings Thermometer I found on Pinterest. Now, we can track how much we are saving towards our goal to buy a home. It really helps me to stay motivated. It’s really tough to live minimally and to have discipline with money… Especially when it seems that everyone else just buys what they want. I have learned the importance of saying “No” and to prioritize. I figure this whole thing will make me a better mom to Luca because I’m learning how to be a good example for him. It’s really hard not having credit cards but ultimately we know it’s for the best. We have ZERO debt hanging over our heads and that’s something to fight for. Dave says we need to have a “gazelle-like intensity” towards our savings goals. Having that intensity helps us to see results faster which just keeps us more motivated.

“You must walk to the beat of a different drummer. The same beat that the wealthy hear. If the beat sounds normal, evacuate the dance floor immediately! The goal is to not be normal, because as my radio listeners know, normal is broke.” 
― Dave RamseyThe Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness  

So, there it is. I’ve written about money. Maybe this has inspired some of you to ditch your credit cards too. It’s actually quite freeing. The purpose behind all of it is to have less now so that you can have a more secure future. And with that, I’ll leave you with a final Dave Ramsey quote…

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” 
― Dave Ramsey

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6 thoughts on “My New Gazelle Intensity and Fondness for Dave Ramsey

  1. Great post! I’ve used an excel spreadsheet for my budgeting purposes for years, but I love this cash envelope idea. I do buy a lot online, though, so that will make it a little more difficult. Very interesting none the less!

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  2. Hooray for you! We are on Baby Step 7 and Dave’s philosophy still affects the decisions we make every day. We are committed to not ever borrowing again, which does mean part of living like no one else continues to be saving like no one else.

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