Dave Ramsey UK-Baby Step 2

Hi and welcome back to my series on the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps.

You can find the other posts in the series here:

Part 1 (Baby Step 0)

Part 2 (Baby Step 1)

I’ll reiterate that you NEED to have written a budget before you start the Baby Steps, and you NEED to follow the Baby Steps in order. If you need help with how to write a budget, I have a post on that too, here.

Today we are moving onto Baby Step (BS) 2. This is probably the most exciting of the Baby Steps, paying off all of your debt except your mortgage.

So, you start BS2 by writing down all of your debts in order from smallest to largest. For some people, me included, this is the hardest part of the whole journey, seeing how much you actually owe. I found it very eye-opening, and made me want to run in the opposite direction.

But once we get through that part, and face it, you have the motivation to start paying it off. If you’d like to read about how to keep motivated during your Debt Free Journey, I have a post about that HERE.

To pay off the debt, you’ll be using The Debt Snowball Method. This is where you pay off your debts by balance, 1 by 1, starting with the smallest debt and finishing with the largest debt. You do not take interest rates into account unless you have 2 debts with the same balance, in which case you pay the higher interest rate one first.

Once you have your list of debts, you look at your budget and pay minimums on all of your debts except the smallest one. Attack the first balance on your list by paying as much as you can towards it every month while still making minimum payments on your other debts. When you’ve paid that first debt off, use the money that you were paying on your first debt, and put it towards your next debt and start attacking that one. You continue that pattern until you have paid off all of your debt and are Debt Free! That is BS2 finished!

But after writing your budget, what happens if you don’t have any money left over to put towards debt? Well, the issue is either that your income is too low, or your expenditure is too high. Or it may be both! You need to go through your budget and make adjustments and cut anything you can from it. If you have already done that, you need to make more changes.
In this case you either need to try working more hours (if you work outside the home already) or if you are a stay at home Mum, then you’ll need to find work outside the home that fits around your husbands working pattern. 
If you are a Single Mum like I am, you’ll need to work outside the home if you don’t already, or work more hours. I understand this isn’t always possible, but these are just guidelines.
 If you need childcare and are worried about the cost, please look at https://www.entitledto.co.uk/ to work out how much better off you will be in work. Despite many misconceptions, I have NEVER been worse off working than when I was on benefits. 

 

I’ll be back at the end of the week to talk about Baby Step 3

Claire.

 

Baby Step 1

Hi, and welcome to the 2nd installment of my Dave Ramsey Baby Steps series for the UK.

You can find the first in the series (Baby Step 0) HERE, and today I’ll be explaining Baby Step 1.

Before we start Baby Step 1, I personally think it’s very important to have written a budget. If you need help on how to do that, I’ve written a post about that HERE.

 

What is Baby Step 1?

Baby Step 1 is the starting point to our financial plan. It is to save £1000 CASH in the bank. Or if your household income is less than £20k a year, that amount is reduced to £500.

This is our Baby EF (Emergency Fund). Now, don’t panic. Later on in the Baby Steps, we will come back to this ‘Baby EF’ and add more money to it, but right now, we just need to focus on saving that £1000/£500.

The aim is to save this money as quickly as possible, so that we can move onto the next step. So, we can sell any unwanted or unnecessary items that we have in our home (clothes, furniture, shoes, music equipment, ANYTHING goes) or cut out anything we can from the budget (this is why I feel it’s crucial to have written a budget before you start this step). Be lethal. As Dave Ramsey himself says, “sell so much stuff that the kids think they’re next!”.

Why have an Emergency Fund?

According to The Money Charity, around 9.45m (35%) of UK households have no savings whatsoever. That is a scary thought, that 35% of households in the UK don’t have any savings for emergencies.

As you can probably tell from its name, the EF is ONLY for emergencies. Things that we cannot see coming and unexpected life events. It is not for things like Christmas, Birthdays, Days out etc.

The fact is, that unless we have an emergency fund to cover emergencies, we WILL end up getting into more debt than we currently have. Life happens, and we need to be prepared for it.

Imagine that you lost your job, or that your car was in an accident, or you had an urgent plumbing problem in your house. Without that EF, how are you going to pay for the expenses that will occur? Well, if we don’t have the cash to pay for it, we’ll end up using credit cards, loans or other forms of debt. When we have an EF, we have that small safety net.

Many people find Baby Steps frustrating and pointless. Once they have decided that they want to pay off debt, they want to get straight into that Baby Step. But for the reasons I outlined above, Baby Step 1 is absolutely crucial.

I hope that has explained what an emergency fund is, and why you need one. I’ll be back later in the week with a post about Baby Step 2.

Claire.

 

 

Dave Ramsey- UK Baby Step 0

 

I’ve mentioned quite a few times that I loosely follow the Dave Ramsey 7 Baby Steps. I say ‘loosely’ because living in the UK means I do things slightly differently.

I’ve had quite a few requests to explain what the 7 baby Steps are, so I’ve decided to do a series of posts over the next few weeks, explaining each Baby Step, and how I ‘translate ‘them for the UK market.
This is the 1st post, which is all about Baby Step 0.

What is Baby Step 0?

Baby Step 0 is essentially, getting current on all of our bills. We don’t need to think about any of the other Baby Steps until we are current on our bills and are out of our overdraft.

So, in this step we need to think about our 4 walls.

These are:

1. Food-above all else, before we do anything else, we need to feed ourselves and our families.

2. Shelter (rent or mortgage)- We also need somewhere to live.

3. Utilities- we need to have lights, heating and electricity.

4. Transport- if we need to get to work then we need to think about this as it is crucial to making a living.

Then, we get current with things like credit cards, loans and other debt, before we actually start the Baby Steps. So, we are covering our 4 walls, and paying the minimums on all of our debts.
The aim is for us to get (and stay) current all the way through paying off the Baby Steps.

Stay tuned for the next post, all about Baby Step 1.

Claire.

My November Goals 2018- Monthly Linky

 

One thing that I really love about a new month is setting monthly goals. I feel this helps me to keep focused and on track, and motivates me during the month.

In fact, I also set yearly goals, and I’ll share those with you on New Years Eve. But for now, let’s concentrate on my November Goals.

 

 

  1. Start Matched Betting Seriously.

My Friend Charlotte over at Charlotte Musha has really inspired me to start thinking about Matched Betting seriously. I’ve heard many people describe how they’ve made hundreds of pounds from Matched Betting. Best of all, it’s totally tax-free! In this post, Charlotte describes how she made £230 in 5 hours! That sounds like a good money-maker! This ties in very nicely to Goal number 2.

 

  1. Try and earn £350 from Side Hustles.

This is a scary one, and quite a big goal. I do have some dog walking clients starting this month, so hopefully they will bring in the majority if that money. As well as Matched Betting, I’m going to start doing Surveys too.

 

  1. Start my Volunteer Job.

I really want to concentrate on getting some experience under my belt, for my dream job. I’ve applied for quite a few volunteer jobs recently, but there is specific one that I would really like to start this month. I must have my DBS check, plus wait for my references to come back, but my ‘taster day’ went really well. So, fingers crossed!

This is the most important goal for me this month, as I desperately need the experience. Plus, they will pay for my training if I stay with them for a minimum of 5 years. So, I get the experience and funding that I need to get my dream job in the long-term.

 

  1. Stay within my food budget.

This is something I struggle with EVERY month. I hate keeping an eye on how much I spend on food. I’m a real foodie, and have expensive taste, so my food budget easily goes out of the window by the 2nd week of every month!

 

  1. The No More Excuses November Challenge.

Every month in my Facebook Group we have a different challenge. This month I am running a ‘back to basics’ challenge, where we will be the most frugal we can, in all areas of our lives. No unnecessary spending, meal planning and sticking to it, using up the food we already have in our houses, pay as much off debt as possible, or save as much money as possible.

If you’d like to join, here is the Link. We do ask that everybody answers BOTH of the questions when requesting to join. It is a group that is based on the Dave Ramsey 7 Baby Steps, so please do some research on this if you want to join.

 

  1. Post all the Christmas Presents.

I need to post my families Christmas presents this year, as we won’t be able to meet up beforehand. I want to get this done by the 15th November. Last year I was late posting them, and they didn’t get delivered until New Year. That didn’t go down very well!

 

  1. Finally, my last goal is to put £300 to debt this month.

On the last day of November, I want to have enough money in the bank that I can put £300 to debt this month. If I do well with my side hustles, this shouldn’t be a problem. I have written my November budget, and have worked out that as long as I stick to my food budget, and earn money from side hustles, I should easily make this goal.

Those are my November Goals! I’ll be back at the end of the month to report on how I did, and whether I achieved these goals, or why I didn’t!

Do you have Monthly Goals? What are yours?

Until next time,

Claire.

 

I thought it would be fun to open up these Monthly Goals posts as a linky for bloggers and Instagrammers from all niches to be able to share their plans for the month and update as they go along so we can all be cheerleaders for one another.

 


Preparing for Christmas In October

 

I know it’s only Autumn and Christmas is about 9 weeks away, but I always like to prepare for it ahead of time. While some people look at my early prep and roll their eyes, there are others who think that by starting in October, I’m leaving it too late.

There are several reasons why I plan ahead of time for Christmas, and why I think you should too.

 

  1. First, and most importantly, you need to make sure that you have enough money for Christmas. If you have Sinking Funds (see HERE for more info on Sinking Funds) then you are more than likely safe in the knowledge that you have exactly the right amount of money for your family to celebrate Christmas. If you don’t, then by the time October rolls around, you only have 2 paydays to pay for it.

Making Christmas a Debt-Free time of year is so important, you don’t want to be paying for Christmas 2018 in December 2019! If you don’t have Sinking Funds (and even if you do!) then its not too late to write a Christmas budget, but you’ll need to keep it realistic. Maybe scale back slightly, or only buy for the children in the family, for example.

 

 

  1. It means that you have time to find bargains. You don’t have to run around a week before Christmas, paying full price for everything because you don’t have time to look for bargains, coupons, vouchers or good quality second-hand items. You’ll also have time to make any handmade gifts and change them if a mistake is made. This really does help with the budgeting aspect of Christmas, and making sure that YOU are in control of Christmas, instead of the other way around.

  1. You have time to enjoy the festive season instead of being rushed and stressed. You can relax the week before Christmas Day, because you have bought and wrapped presents, cooked food ahead of time and planned everything that needs to be done. You can enjoy spending time with your friends and family, go to festive activities, spend quality time at home, because you know everything is taken care of.

So, those are all the reasons that I think EVERYONE should prepare for Christmas as early as possible. In 2019 I’ll be preparing as early as January!

When do you prepare for Christmas?

Till next time,

Claire.