Thursday, October 6, 2011

No Worries - I'm Poor

Before I got all bent out of shape over the new and improved salary, I should have sat down with my pen, paper, calculator and checking program.

Yeah, I'm definitely poor.

Dave Ramsey says when you make a monthly budget, you feel like you got a raise. I've never experienced that feeling. When I make a monthly budget, I feel utterly miserable at just how little money there seems to be.

TT: I'm not complaining. God has blessed me above and beyond what I deserve. I've never had to choose which bill to pay. I've never paid interest on a credit card. I've never paid a late fee or a bank fee, except for that one time I used an ATM that wasn't from my bank and discovered it came with a service charge. I had no school debt, thanks to my parents and a couple scholarships. I do know how to manage money in little increments and avoid the most common and costly mistakes people make that keep them poor. It's the "wealth-building" I haven't yet mastered. I've got "debt free except for the house."

This miserable feeling may be why I resist the monthly budget so very hard, even when Dave explains how vital it is. I don't like to see on paper how little I can afford without putting aside money every month. It's pretty much a few take-out meals. That's a hard truth to accept, so my sympathies for those who don't want to accept it.

I pulled out Total Money Makeover last night for a little light reading before bed. Sandwiched between the chapters on getting out of debt and investing, I did find the five times he repeated "save your money." They were all in a row and spelled and punctuated differently for emphasis.
I think he's telling me to save money.

OK.

I guess since the next chapters are about types of investments, he means I should invest/save money.

OK. 

Here's the rub, and maybe it's the rub for other "poor" folk like me.

I worry about my money being "liquid" enough.

Since I'm the only income and I have the furballs depending on me for food and such, I worry (yeah, I'm gonna use the word even if it's a sin) that I won't have the resources I need at the moment I need them.

This may be that "security gland" Dave talks about. Mine secretes when I consider I might not be able to take care of my family.

How much liquid is enough? A number seems to be emerging the more I work with Dave's plan, but I can't be sure until I reach it.

What I don't want to be, and what is absolutely not something Dave teaches, is a money-hoarder like Silas Marner. Money is active, so the best places for it in general are places where it can move, hopefully in good ways. To Dave, that means charities (the giving away) and mutual funds (the saving).

Wish me luck on my continuing journey to make wise decisions with the blessings of my new job. I'm praying daily that God will show me how to use His money to glorify Him.

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