Sunday, February 25, 2018

Let's Get Started: DR's Baby Steps

Happy Sunday evening, Friends. This is the moment I've been waiting for.  I have been wanting to share with you something that may just change your life forever.  Let me just ask you: Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Are you ready to take control of your finances?  If you are ready to make changes to your spending and saving habits that will not only impact you for the rest of your life, but will also have a lasting impact on your children, I want to invite you to join the millions around the world who are following Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps to financial freedom.  

I am sooooooo excited to share the plan with you that is making a HUGE impact on so many and which has made such a huge impact on my mindset and our finances.  Each week for the next month or so I will be taking an in-depth look at each of seven baby steps and breaking them down to the best of my knowledge for those living in the UK.  

Why the UK?  Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps is written for a US audience, and so far, isn't written for those living in the UK.  "But Lauren, I'm sure there are some big differences between the UK and the US in terms of taxes, savings and retirement."  There are some differences, but there are also similarities, especially when thinking of mindset.  No matter which country you live in, you must have a money-saving mindset. You must want to make a change.  You have to be committed.  But most importantly, this plan works... no matter which country you're in... as long as you do the work.

As I've said many times before, I am not a qualified professional.  I am simply a friend who wants to help you, no matter who you are and no matter where you are in your financial adventure.  I want to give you hope that you can get out of debt (if you have any), build wealth and reach your goals.  I truly, truly believe that by combining Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps, advice and guidance from Martin Lewis (and others) and penny-sized mindset changes that I share with you, you will be able to accomplish big things with your money.  

It's tough love time.  If you have been spending money like there's no tomorrow, it's time to stop doing that.  If you don't have a fully-funded emergency fund saved, it's time to save for one. If you haven't been saving for retirement and believe the money will simply be there when you retire or that you can rely on the government to support you - ha! - it's time to get your head out of the sand.  It is up to you - no one else - to get your finances in order.

I am here to share with you what I know to the best of my ability.  I invite you to message me with any questions you have or guidance you need, and I will do my best to guide you in the right direction.  If you don't feel you want to make a change, that's fine by me.  If you don't think this is worth your time and energy, that's fine, too.  But if you have that desire deep down that now is the right time and now you are ready to make a change or even just make sure you're going in the right direction, please keep reading.

Let's get started: Dave Ramsey has created these 7 Baby Steps as a guide to financial freedom.  What does financial freedom mean?  To most it means to live your best life without debt and finance-related stress and worry.  You can find Dave's Baby Steps on by clicking here, and as follows: 

Baby Step 1: Save £1,000 for a beginner emergency fund

Baby Step 2: Pay off all debt, except your mortgage, using the debt snowball

Baby Step 3: Build a fully-funded emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of expenses

Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of household income into retirement

Baby Step 5: Start saving for your children's university

Baby Step 6: Pay off your home early

Baby Step 7: Build wealth and give generously

Oh yeah, and there's Baby Step 0: Commit

I will be breaking these baby steps down into smaller penny-sized sub-steps every Monday over the next 8 weeks, again, combining information from various UK-based sources.

Below is an animated, yet informative, overview of the Baby Steps on YouTube. 

There is also a great UK-based Facebook page called "Dave Ramsey UK Based Support Group" that I am a member of and encourage you to be a part of, too, to gain support from other followers of the DR plan.  

If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from these steps and the guidance I give, please invite them to subscribe to this blog and/or follow Finding the Pennies on Facebook.

Perhaps you're wondering where my husband and I are on this plan.  We're on Baby Steps 4, 5 and 6, which are done simultaneously; however, to be honest, we do owe family friends some money which will be paid back in full by May. We have a fully-funded emergency fund in our current account.  Although we do contribute a good chunk of money towards our pensions and extra retirement savings every month, we haven't actually checked whether this is 15% of our household income - we definitely need to do this!  We do save towards our girls' university fees - more on this in the next few weeks.  We would absolutely LOVE to pay off our mortgage early, which seems so far off at this point, but that is our goal.  We already give generously as part of our Christian beliefs every month - again, more on this another time.

As you can see, we also have some work to do on our finances... I often say that there's always room for improvement!  I truly hope you join me on this plan.  If I can support you in any way at any time, please let me know.

I hope you join me tomorrow evening to discuss Baby Step 0!

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