Living without eating out
When it comes to taking control of your money and living on a
budget, what's the biggest thing a family can live without?
There are always the shiny things people can do without.
Sometimes people sell a fancy car or boat and get rid of a
$600-a-month payment right off the bat. But on a regular,
day-to-day basis, I think maybe the biggest and best thing you can
amputate from your life is eating out.
I love a good restaurant, and I've got nothing against the
industry. The problem, though, is that people are struggling to pay
their bills or set aside something for retirement because they're
eating out all the time. Most folks simply don't realize how much
money they throw away by heading to the drive-through for lunch or
going out to dinner "once in a while."
I want people to enjoy life, and a great part of that can be
going out and having a meal with your family and friends. Just
don't do it when you're broke. If you're having financial issues,
the only time you should see the inside of a restaurant is if
you're working there!
Payoff debt vs. down payment
We're expecting our second child next spring, and even though we
have an extra bedroom, our place is pretty small for a growing
family. We also have $40,000 in student loan debt hanging over our
heads, but we can save up almost $50,000 by the time the baby's
here. Should we use this money to buy a bigger home or pay off
If it were me, I'd make sure to knock out the student loan before buying a house. Trust me,
if you buy a home with a ton of debt hanging over your heads,
Murphy will move into your spare bedroom and make your lives
miserable. If it can happen, it willhappen. And that's especially
true when it comes to buying a house when you don't have much cash
You're telling me you can save nearly $50,000 by next year. That
means you guys are making pretty good money. So there's no reason
you can't turn around and do the same thing next year, right? I
mean, this is only a one- or two-year program we're talking about.
In another year's time, you could save up for a huge down payment
with some extra savings on the side. If you waited and saved for
two years, there's a possibility you could pay cash for a bigger
place outright. Imagine how cool it would be to have your own home
with no mortgage payments!
Just clean up the extra bedroom and fix it up as a nice nursery.
Some new carpet or hardwood is always nice. Throw in a fresh coat
of paint, and you're in business. Then, a year or two after the new
baby arrives, you'll be ready to move from a financial and a family
perspective. A baby can live just fine in a small bedroom. There's
nothing in the world wrong with that!
Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and
business. He's authored four New York Times best-selling books:
"Financial Peace," "More Than Enough,"" The Total Money Makeover"
and "EntreLeadership." The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 5
million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow
Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.
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