Thursday, November 7, 2013

Using the Government Shutdown to Benefit You

Dave Ramsey suggested using the government shut down as a wake up call to anyone out there who doesn't have their financial house in order.  Even though the shut down didn't last very long, it can be a motivator to get your debts paid, have a financial reserve and live within your means.  If you do these things, you won't be affected as hard as those who live paycheck to paycheck and have no money to pay for anything because they don't have any reserves.

Take some time this week and figure out what you need to do to be as self reliant as you can.  If you are married, come up with a plan with your spouse.  Once you have established a plan, work on it a little at a time until you are where you want to be.

Some questions to ask yourself:

Are we living within our means?
What debts do I have?
How long could I live on the money I have saved?
Do I have enough food to last 3-6 months in case of a change in employment?
Do I have an emergency fund?
Can I really afford to live in the house I am in?
Do I really need a new car/furniture/appliance or can the one I have last longer so I can save the money I would have spent and pay cash for the next one?

With Christmas approaching, maybe it is time to think seriously about paying for Christmas with cash and only buy what you can afford.  We have done that for years and it is so nice not to have any after-Christmas bills.  A Christmas that is paid for brings much more peace and enjoyment.  Think about using the money you were going to spend on "stuff" to pay off a bill.  Think about stocking up your cupboards, instead of buying more clutter, so you will have a reserve in case you need it.

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