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Monday, July 16, 2007

The Total Money Makeover (Chapter 6)

Having finished with the "attitudes" section of The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsey now turns our attention to his famous "baby steps." For the next several chapters, Ramsey will teach us how to follow these not-so-simple (by his admission) steps to wealth.

Chapter 6 is entitled Save $1,000 Fast: Walk Before You Run. It is actually the subtitle to this chapter that underlies the entire theory behind the Total Money Makeover. So many try to retire wealthy while they are still deeply in debt. We have to walk first, so we can, eventually, begin to build wealth more quickly--and safely.

The reason Ramsey wants us to save $1000 is to begin a small emergency fund. Many people begin their "run" to wealth--and begin making progress--but, then, as Ramsey would put it, "life happens."

Before even starting the savings process, though, Ramsey preaches that we must (must, must) live on a budget. While we may not like it, it is absolutely necessary. We need to know where every penny is going to go for the month, so we can put every possibly dollar toward building up this $1000.

Some of you may have $1000 laying around in a CD (or a savings account). If you do, then you simply need to put that money in an account (such as a money-market account, savings account, or online savings account) where you can get to it--BUT ONLY IN AN EMERGENCY. (Page 104 has a humerous paragraph discusses what is and is not an emergency.)

If you don't have $1000, you need to get that amount of money as fast as you can. Sell something. Get another job. Do whatever it takes to put a barrier up between you and "life."

For most, this step won't take that long. For others, it may take a month or more. But, do whatever it takes to get that barrier up! Then.....

....well, wait for baby step 2.