Financial Fitness Friday – Getting Started

Table of Contents

Welcome to Financial Fitness Friday

If you’re following our Facebook Page you already know that we went on a hunt for Dave Ramsey last week. Actually, we went to Nashville, Tennessee to attend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Counselor Training class at Financial Peace Plaza. WOW… What a great experience that was. The training was world-class, the accommodations were world-class, and the staff was world-class!!! If you have ever read EntreLeadership or listened to the EntreLeadership Podcast you have heard Dave Ramsey talk about hiring the right people. Hiring people who have a passion for what they do and are allowed to make the necessary decisions to get their job done in the best possible way. From my personal experience it is all true!!! Everyone that we met from the Lampo Group was incredible. Our instructors for the week were Chris Hogan, Russ Carroll, and Lisa Barber. All three of these awesome individuals live near, and work full-time, at Financial Peace Plaza but all three moved into the hotel with us for the duration of the training to offer unstructured access to their expertise and experience… sometimes late into the night. We learned a lot about the mathematics and the mechanics of finances and budgeting but the greatest impact of the financial counselor training for me was the emphasis that was placed on understanding the people who you are helping. Understanding where they are coming from… understanding what they have been taught about money and its intended purpose… understanding their values and how money plays into their value system… and understanding what their goals are so that the resources that they have can be used to help them meet their goals.

Boiled down into three phrases what we learned was:

  • Understand the Situation,
  • Provide Information, &
  • Inject Hope.

Hey did you get that last one? Inject Hope!

We’ve all done stupid things with money and some of us have done some really, really, really stupid things with money! That doesn’t mean we need to keep doing stupid things with money or that the stupid things that we did need to haunt us for the rest of our lives. There is hope for our financial future if we are willing to adjust our behavior.

Personal Finance is 80 Percent Behavior and only 20 Percent Head Knowledge!

If things are going to change then YOU will have to change… it’s all about behavior adjustments. You can’t hang out at the mall if you have a spending problem – that would be like an alcoholic hanging out at a bar.

What are some new behaviors that will help? Financial Peace University teaches the Seven Baby Steps because leaping financial hurdles doesn’t come easily or immediately. Just like a baby learning to walk, you have to learn to balance on two feet before you can walk. When you start walking you have to take baby steps before you grow into your normal stride. So what are the baby steps?

  1. $1,000 in an Emergency Fund
  2. Pay off all debt (except the house) utilizing the “Debt Snowball”
  3. Three to six months of expenses in savings for emergencies
  4. Fully fund 15 percent into pre-tax retirement plans and ROTH IRA’s, if eligible
  5. College Funding
  6. Pay off your home early
  7. Build Wealth and Give! (Mutual funds and Real Estate)

Those are the seven baby steps. They’re simple but not easy, and if consistently applied they work!

Be sure to check back for more Financial Fitness Friday as we explore the Seven Baby Steps and other financial topics that affect us all. For now, let me leave you with this bit of financial wisdom from a classic Saturday Night Live skit. “Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford.”

[youtube=http://youtu.be/VqIXEMrtHs0]

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