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The Reason I Support Dave Ramsey…

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There were quite a few comments about the craziness of Dave Ramsey on the last few posts. I would agree… except I can’t. Following Dave Ramsey made a huge impact in my life.

Following the baby steps got us out of debt and saved us a profound amount of stress. Let me explain…

Baby 4, little man E, was an easy pregnancy. I was over 35 so I had the usual extra check-ups. Every week, they did an ultrasound to make sure everything was OK. Surprise! Exactly like my last three pregnancies, it was.

We still had debt but learned to follow the Dave Ramsey advice, even though I thought it was stupid. He said we needed to pause the baby steps and build a pile of cash while I was pregnant. We built that pile of cash, building enough to pay off all our debt. It drove me crazy not to pay everything off.

Dave said to build a pile of cash so we built a pile.

Every check-up, I rolled my eyes at that stupid advice. I paid interest for months even though I had the cash to pay off the rest of the debt.

Delivery day went exactly as planned. Baby E was on time. I was relaxed. This was number 4. I’d been through this before and was excited to meet him. Thirty minutes into labor, the baby heart monitor went from a pleasant beep beep to silence. It’s not like the movies. There isn’t a solid beep when your child’s heart flatlines. There is silence.

A horrible silence.

My room was flooded with hospital staff. They tried everything to restart his tiny heart. Repositioning. Shots that made my whole body shake.

But his heart wouldn’t start.

I was on all fours. Crying. They shoved a form in front of me. Emergency C-section. I didn’t read a word. I scratched my signature.

They pulled the cords from the wall, ran me to the operating room. My husband couldn’t come. The nurse sat near my head, running her hands through my hair. “It’s going to be alright love” she whispered in my ear.

I heard the doctor say “Baby’s out” and then nothing. I asked the nurse if the baby was OK. She looked at the baby and remained silent. I asked the anesthesiologist. He wouldn’t look me in the eye.

There was no sweet baby cry.

Baby E was rushed to the NICU. He was blue. The cord was wrapped around his neck and the delivery had cut off his ability to breathe. Six hours later. I finally met him. He was a beautiful shade of pink. He had a long road ahead with lots of warnings to be careful about expectations but he was breathing on his own. He would be OK.

We struggled through those first few days. I was in a lot of pain. I wanted more time with Baby E. I was stressing about paying bills until I remembered that beautiful pile of cash we built. I got to ignore the money worry and focus on my recovery and my son.

Is some of the Dave Ramsey advice stupid? Of course! Do I have any regrets about following it?

Absolutely not.

Preparation is Key

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If the last couple of weeks have taught me anything, it’s that preparation is key.

  1. Having the frozen meals on hand has been a life saver as I have been busy with my mom and grandmother.
  2. Having a shared schedule kept us all aware of who was where and needed to be where and when.
  3. Notifying people (ie clients) of life events going on, gave me a little breathing space as far as response times.

All in all, we made it through the last couple of weeks without any emotional meltdowns, financial crashes or disasters (other than me forgetting to pay the utility bill.)

We are not done yet. My grandmother’s recovery has been much slower then expected and with my mother back in Texas now, I have picked up where she left off. I am spending most days with my grandmother to make sure she takes her medicine, eats a well balanced meal and changes clothes.

It is definitely a labor of love, and makes me all that much more grateful for a job that I can literally do from anywhere and anytime. But we are back to preparing and adjusting what we need to in order to make this work for me and the kids and my grandmother.

I foresee more frozen meals on the horizon! (But I know it’s just temporary, and I’m okay with that.)

Princess Senior Year Tuition

On the financial front, I received notice of Princess’ tuition for next year…well, at least the maximum I will have to pay. They will award merit scholarships at the end of the school year so we may get another $1000 off. But as of now, the tuition for Princess’ senior year will be $4,000.

It’s nice to have this number for planning purposes, and I’m hopeful her grades will earn a merit scholarship as well. For now, I’m going to stick to the $6,000 budget for her senior year…tuition and senior year expenses.  That will give $2,000-3,000 toward extra expenses.