Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dave Ramsey & the family budget

As most know, the job of a homemaker is to manage the household as their primary occupation. Since I don't work outside of the home, apparently "homemaker" is my "title", tho I rather like the title CEO of Household better. In any event, being the homemaker of the family, I've also taken on the role as head of the financial department, hmm Chief Financial Officer sounds kind of nice! Anyway, back in February I stumbled upon The Dave Ramsey show (http://www.DaveRamsey.com) on a local radio station. I majored in business in college, so financial things have always intrigued me. I was rather excited about finding his show since he seemed very down-to-earth and was giving advice in a language that anyone can understand. You can hear that he genuinely wants to help people get out of debt, plus he has a strong Christian background which I like too. I found through his website, that he's only broadcast locally on the weekend, so if I wanted to hear him more often I had to listen from his website or download his free 1 hour daily podcast. I also decided I liked his advice so much that I would buy his latest book The Total Money Makeover.

I read the book in only a few days (and that is saying a lot since I'm a very slow reader). I really liked the book and thought his plan to becoming debt free was spot-on. I urged my hubby to get excited like me, but being the "spender" of the family, it was a little harder for him. After a while tho, he decided it was a good idea and being debt free would be a wonderful thing for our family.

Last week we were looking over our budget (my way of getting my hubby excited again since his excitement about our budget comes in waves) and he decided to help kick it in high gear, that he would start picking up extra overtime. While sharing with a few co-workers why he was working more overtime, one brilliantly suggested that it would be smarter to not pay extra on our mortgage and instead invest the money since we'd earn more in interest plus we'd keep the tax deduction of having a mortgage. My hubby was just went along with what he was saying, but decided to check with the CFO (me!) to see if there was really logic to it. I told him it sounded dumb and that I knew Dave Ramsey wouldn't advise that. He asked why, but I didn't know the answer. Well I decided to call Dave Ramsey himself and inquire. Well I dialed the call-in number and the line started ringing! I thought to myself that I must have dialed the wrong number, but I'll wait and see if anyone answers. Besides, who ever calls a popular radio show and gets through on the first ring??? Sure enough someone answers on the other end of the line with "Thank you for calling the Dave Ramsey show, what is your question for Dave?" Talk about cat getting my tongue, I couldn't even hardly spit out my questions. The call screener was so nice and told me that was a fabulous question and he'd put me on hold so I could talk to Dave on the air. It turned out I waited about 40 minutes, but it was so worth the wait to talk to someone I admire as much as I do Dave. Listening to his daily show keeps me going on our budget. I want to change our family's financial tree. Being in debt is such a norm in our society in current times, but I don't want to be the norm. I want to be completely debt free!!! Anyway, Dave was very helpful with his information and I learned why my hubby's co-worker's idea wasn' t the best once. If you're interested in hearing the answer, you can listen to the show by going to the Dave Ramsey website and listening to the September 18th show. I'm on about 1 hour 20 minutes into the show. You can also read the answer in his book The Total Money Makeover - it's on pages 187-190. So I guess that is my "brush" with fame. Such a great way to keep me motivated to get rid of our debt. Also, the show is now broadcast on a different local radio station 5 days a week for the full three hours, that just started a few weeks ago and I'm so happy about it!

In other news, I've been working on a few sewing projects. I made a dust ruffle for my new bed (we switched from a waterbed to a standard bed a few weeks ago). I had a heck of a time finding bedding I liked, but ended up finding a duvet cover at Smart Bargains (http://www.SmartBargains.com) and ordering three so I could cut them up and make a coordinating dust ruffle, curtains, and throw pillows. It worked out great and only set me back about $120 for all three sets - gotta love a bargain. I also made myself a new apron since the one I have I got from hubby for our first Christmas (nearly 11 years ago!) ~ probably high time I get a new one! I made it from a pattern that was my late Grandma's. I'm not sure where she got it, but it's traced onto a large piece of paper and has the directions written on it in her handwriting. I will always cherish the pattern and feel so blessed I have it. It's a simple one too since it only has two shoulder seams to sew and the edges are finished using a bias tape or braid trim. There are also two patch pockets, which in my opinion is essential in any apron.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The "Susie Homemaker" Story

I feel kind of weird, I don't know how to "start" a blog. I really didn't think I'd ever want one, but after reading so many of my favorite blogs, I thought it would be fun to start one. And even if no one ever reads this (I'm not even sure if I'll have many interesting things to say), I thought it would still be nice to have a "diary" of sorts so I can look back on my life. Maybe my kids will even be interested in reading it someday (I can only hope).

My name is Melissa. I just celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary and I have four children (a girl - she just turned 9, and three boys 6, 4, & 2). I lead a rather boring life, but I like it that way ~ dull and boring is fine with me.

I have traditional family values (families sitting down together for dinner each night, treating other people as you'd like to be treated, working for what you want ~ you know stuff like that) and feel like I do things a lot like my mom & grandma did when they were raising a family.

So what does "Susie Homemaker" do for fun? Glad you asked! My favorite past time is sewing. I love to sew and I sew a lot for my children and myself (and even sometimes for DH and projects to spruce up the house too). I also enjoy baking (please read baking and NOT cooking - tho I do cook so I can feed my precious family). In my former life (that would be life before having four children), I enjoyed scrapbooking. And while I still scrapbook occasionally, I am more of a slap-it-in-the-album kind of gal and don't do fun and exciting pages. Plus, I feel that wild pages can detract from the focal point - the pictures. So once or twice a year, I get on a scrapbooking kick and work on our family album. My children do, however, all have a baby scrapbook that showcases their first year month by month so I'm not a completely horrible mother. Hmm, other than that, I just do the normal homemaker sorts of things - take care of the kids, laundry, dishes, house cleaning, meals, grocery shop, etc.

So that is a little about me, stay tuned for the exciting life and times of Susie Homemaker!