Saturday, January 23, 2010

Total Money Makeover (ie book # 2 in 2010)

I went on my weekly library trip and picked up Total Money Makeover. I chat on a forum that had recommended this book awhile back, and I've been meaning to read it ever since. Unfortunately, the book was checked out the last time I went, but luckily the person turned it back in (sometimes library patrons keep books FOREVER).

Anyway, I sat down on my couch at one yesterday and proceeded to read the entire book. Everything he says is so common sense, but I guess I never looked at money the way he does. The hubs and I talked about it, and we're going to be more aggressive with paying down our debt (we were already pretty aggressive, but it looked like it would take us ten years to pay it off!). Unlike a lot of the couples in the book, we only have debt in the form of my student loans. Mr. J and I decided early on that credit cards were not for us. Unfortunately, I racked up a good amount of SL debt to the tune of $47,500 (actually a little more if you count my Perkins loan, but once I teach for two consecutive years this will be forgiven). Paying off that debt will feel amazing. We'll have my whole salary to do with what we want (ie save, invest, blow, give). I tried to convince Wookie that we should deplete our savings to pay down the loan (Ramsey suggests keeping on $1000 in an efund while paying down debt), but he was not on board. He wasn't willing to give up his safety net. So it might take us a little longer to pay down the debt than most folk (probably three and a half years), but that is so much better than the 10 years we were planning on.

And here is a secret: We really want to start trying for a baby in three-four years, so paying off this debt would be a great thing to do before then. We could buy baby furniture and so forth without the guilt.

I guess the take home message I got from this book is that any kind of debt is bad. You do not have to take on debt to have things in life. Instead of getting everything now, now, now you can delay the gratification a few months or years and buy things without strapping yourself financially. I suggest this book if you have some debt that has been riding on your shoulder.

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