Gazelle Hooves & Hide (per my husband)

Last summer my husband and I went through Financial Peace University. We were so inspired, we wrote down some goals for ourselves! We set four years as our timeline to reach our listed goals. It hasn’t been a year yet, and we’re ahead! I know things will happen we don’t expect, that may set us back. But that’s what the emergency fund is for, right?

Anyway, I thought I’d share some pictures with you of a couple of my “Dave” clothes.

The toes all scuffed up...

The toes all scuffed up…

Four holes in the soles

Four holes in the soles

I don’t even really remember when I got these boots. I know it was before getting married, and we have been married for almost seven years. I wore these almost every single day at work. Fortunately we had enough money left over from Christmas bonuses this past year, I was able to buy a replacement pair!

Holes in the knees

Holes in the knees…

Not bought this way...

Not bought this way

These pants remind me how God has such perfect timing! I have had these pants for thirteen years. They did not get those holes until January 2013! after I received another pair for Christmas, and we had enough money for me to buy a couple more pairs of jeans. Crazy!

It can be a struggle to be “gazelle intense“, but when you have absolutely amazing goals for your future, and you and your spouse are on the same page, it can be pretty exciting too!

What crazy things have you come across in being “gazelle intense”? What made you go for it? Got any advice for us?

Goal Setting, Self-Discipline & Dreams

I mentioned in an earlier post that I rediscovered my joy of writing fiction. I am more than ready to jump right in!

There are two things I have heard over and over, when it comes to seriously attempting something:  Make your goals very specific, and write them down. So here I go…

I am attempting to finish and publish a novel. And there are four things I have implemented, or plan to:

  • I contacted my former writing accountability partner. We plan to hold each other accountable for our use of time, and any specific goals. I am so excited! Getting feedback from another writer can be a ton of fun.
  • I purchased Michael Hyatt‘s Get Published. This is information I have always wanted to get my hands on! I have mentioned before that we are doing Dave Ramsey‘s baby steps, so this material was purchased with money made from selling our mower.
  • Once I am done training for my marathon, I will use that time to write. Marathon training has definitely upped my self-discipline ability!
  • I plan to participate in NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month promotes quantity–50,000 words to be exact–over quality. But it will enable me to get the gist of my story out. I can go back to tweak and research later.

This is going to take a lot of self-discipline! But I figure, when’s a better time to start? Just this evening I told someone there are too many people who never pursue what they’re really passionate about…not enough time, not enough money, too many other things to do, or they spend too much time in front of the TV. If I have the chance to accomplish my dream, I’m going to go for it!

Of course, I haven’t given myself a specific deadline to have the first draft done… Maybe it should be January 1, 2013, considering I will be participating in NaNoWriMo. What do you think?

How have you used self-discipline to pursue your dreams, or to reach a goal?

Guest Post on Chris LoCurto’s Blog

Hey, everyone! I’ve had the honor of guest posting on Chris LoCurto’s blog.

You can check it out here: Lead By Living It

Chris is a VP, and one of the speakers at Dave Ramsey’s organization. On his blog, you’ll learn his personal insights on leadership, managing people, and financial stewardship.

He posts five times a week, Monday through Friday. To make sure you get every post, be sure to subscribe.

His top posts of all time are:

Chris’s Bio:

As one of Dave Ramsey’s key leaders over the past 11 years, Chris served as the Vice President of Live Events. He oversaw The Total Money Makeover LIVE!, a concert-like show on personal finances, helped it grow in attendance from 1,600 to 11,000 per event. His team of event coordinators, marketers, and sales staff more than tripled during that time.

Live event production is one of the most logistically demanding and tedious administrative endeavors for a business leader. Chris is an industry leader in the events and training world.

Together, Chris and Dave developed and built EntreLeadership from their shared experiences. Through their close relationship and Dave’s personal council, Chris has not only become an expert in teaching the EntreLeadership principles, but has lived and implemented them daily.

Chris is an accomplished speaker and has traveled extensively throughout the United States sharing his leadership principles and keys to business development. In addition to this, he has been a mainstay at every EntreLeadership conference, providing business counseling to anyone wishing to tap into his vast skills. EntreLeadership attendees walk away with a sense of control and confidence after meeting with Chris.

Chris was awarded the Dale Carnegie Award for Highest Achievement in 2002 and also serves on the board of On The Go, a missions organization.

A native of Lake Tahoe, California, Chris has been married to his wife Debbie for 10 years. His personal passion is continuous improvement—personally and professionally—in any endeavor. He is an avid racecar driver and skier. Chris and Debbie now make their home in the rolling hills of Nashville, Tennessee.


You know, I’ve always thought Dave Ramsey had good things to say, and his company promoted good ideas and values…. But I never really dove into his stuff.

Until now!

Last Sunday was our first FPU class. For those of you who don’t know, FPU stands for Financial Peace University. I don’t know about you, but financial peace sure sounds good to me!

The website makes it easy to find a local class. They’re usually hosted by churches. The classes last for thirteen weeks, a couple hours each. For the first hour, you watch Dave’s presentation of the lesson on dvd. For the second, you meet in a small accountability group.

This last Sunday’s lesson covered the Seven Baby Steps (click here to see a list of all the FPU classes)


  • Step 1:  $1,000 in an emergency fund ($500 if your income is under $20,000 per year)
  • Step 2:  Pay off all debt except the house utilizing the debt snowball
  • Step 3:  Three to six months expenses in savings
  • Step 4:  Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement plans
  • Step 5:  College funding
  • Step 6:  Pay off your home early
  • Step 7:  Build wealth and give!

My husband and I are both so excited to be heading down this path!

Some people have commented that we don’t need a class like that–we handle our money so well. Some people tell us we need to take it. We decided since we’re in a transitional stage of life, trying to figure out how to financially handle living in a new area, it was a good time to get some education.

Have you heard of FPU before? Why did you or did you not take it? If you did, how has it impacted your life?

Related Posts:

Money, Money, Money! by meMaigan

2012 Financial Goals April Update by Chickens, Cows & Children

God and Finances by On Planting Seeds…

The Joining of Your Money by Modern Wonder Woman

My Bucket List by LiteraryEllyMay’s Blog

Credit Card Addiction by Financially Literate

Here we go…. by Our Freedom Story

Financial Obstacles

Our Stash

  • Adjusting to being a one-income family. Fortunately, over the years we learned how to live on just my husband’s income. We originally got the idea from Crown Financial  and I believe Dave Ramsey espouses the same idea—I’m just now diving into his material. My income was going toward debt. Now I’m the breadwinner. And my income is less than two-thirds my husband’s. With my husband exploring the world of a freelance artist, that income will be almost zilch. He will be supplementing our budget by substitute teaching… Okay, so maybe being a ‘one-income’ family isn’t technically true but he won’t be getting a regular paycheck—no ‘nine to five’ job.
  • My job. When I took my job almost a year ago, I knew it was not financially stable, my starting pay was below what I could get at a similar position elsewhere, and there were limited benefits. The company books were a mess, putting the business in a precarious position. Entries were recorded inaccurately, redundantly, or were incomplete. My boss had very little guidance on the financial health and direction of the business. One of the reasons I was hired was to put finances in order. It was/is a challenge, a risk. It requires hard work. It requires creativity. It requires not buckling under stress. And I love it! I realize though, no matter how much I love my job, it is an obstacle.
  • Home owning. We were fortunate with the house we had been living in. It was one of the nicest rentals in the area, and one of the lower costing ones. Our landlady sold the house—not to us. We searched for another rental, but none were affordable for us. Either the rent was too much or the utilities would be extremely high. We even considered moving into an apartment above my workplace and remodeling it as a form of rent; went so far as to have an electrician and a heating/cooling guy come out to give us quotes. Nothing seemed to stick. We gave into looking at owning a home. I say ‘gave into’ because we were leery of taking on the financial responsibility, when we didn’t know if our wallet could handle it. We looked at two houses. The first was—quite plainly—discouraging. The second….turned out to be a foreclosure! Which put it in our price range, and was still livable. The process of getting a loan and buying the house went as smoothly as possible. We were told our credit scores were golden! Though, as every homeowner knows, financial responsibilities don’t end once the sale is final.
  • Budgeting. The obstacles above are clear factors why we need to change our budgeting strategy. Definitely breaking new ground here.

Obviously, if God wants my husband to pursue his dream, if God wants me at the job I have, if God gave us this house, he will provide the means for us to survive. And not just survive…..thrive!