The New Man In My Life

Before y’all freak, I’m just kidding.  Sort of.

This new man’s name is Dave Ramsey.  Cute, isn’t he?

Not only has Dave become a part of my life, but of my family’s.  A few years ago, hubby and I became very convicted about the way we were handling our finances and started making some big changes.  Last fall we discovered Dave Ramsey and in December we started his Financial Peace University program.  (I won a lifetime membership to FPU, but that’s another story).

The first thing you need to know is that hubby is self-employed.  Two years ago we took a huge financial hit when the economy bottomed out.  To say it hurt would be a gross understatement.  We’ve spent the months since climbing out of that hole and making some changes in our view of money. In the meantime, I’ve developed some huge pet peeves. I should warn you that I might step on some toes and my post might get a little, um….critical, even sarcastic.  With that in mind, read on.

Here are my new pet peeves:

#1.  Don’t play the victim!  Seriously.  I know the economic crisis hurt, but if you (if we) had prepared better, it wouldn’t have been nearly as damaging as it was.   We had nearly 10 years of marriage to prepare for a crisis by saving.  We got what was coming to us when we got caught unprepared.  Period.

#2.  For crying out loud, don’t complain about being broke and beg for money (especially from churches) and then let me catch you treating your family to the Friday night buffet at the local fish house.  Do you realize how many groceries you could buy with what it costs to treat a family of 6 to a buffet dinner?  If you just have to eat out, at least get delivery or carry-out so we don’t have that awkward “I thought you said you were broke” moment.

#3.  Please, PLEASE don’t call to tell me that you put my name down as a reference for Medicaid and Food Stamps after the situation stated in #2.  If you don’t know me well enough to know that I’m going to tell the complete and honest truth if asked, then you don’t know me well enough to use as a reference.

I’m smiling as I type this.  I really am.  🙂

Now that that’s off my chest, here are some of the changes that we’ve made.

*We’re not eating out.  Period.  Not that we ate out much before, but that $40 Sunday afternoon lunch can go a long way toward paying off the car (our only remaining debt.  YAY!)!  Disclaimer:  You might see me at Sonic happy hour getting a Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper, but I’m probably using pennies I dug out of our change jar.

*We’re selling everything and making the kids think they’re next.  Serious.  We want to be out of debt bad. We went through the house and made a list of everything we could possibly live without and that we could easily replace with cash later.  I posted on Craigslist and all the money we’re earning from that is going into the car pre-payment fund.

*We got rid of Dish Network.  Boy was this one painful.  We’re not big tv watchers, but I enjoy the time after the kids go to bed when I can veg in front of the Food Network for an hour or so.  I have to be honest with you, if the Cowboys had been having a decent season, I would have taken on a part-time job to keep the Dish up and running.  But, a girl has to make sacrifices.

*We cut back our cell phone plan.  Drastically!  So, if you call before 9 p.m. or after 7 a.m. and I don’t answer, try emailing.

*I put Dave Ramsey quotes and Scriptures all over my house.  My bathroom mirror says “Life’s too short to be normal”….. This is a good one to ponder when I’m staring at my own reflection.  The quote on the inside of my fridge reads “Contentment may be the single most important financial principle”…..  A great reminder when I’m craving Starbucks.  Sidenote: Dave Ramsey, if you’re reading this, I want to be on your marketing team.  You could TOTALLY sell window clings, stickers and magnets like this.  You’re welcome.  Please send my check to, Tiffany Aaron, 4240 Edg………

*I’m revamping my breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Every Saturday I print menus for all 3 meals and make a shopping list.  Never, ever shop without a list!  I’ve learned this the hard way.  Set aside a good hour to dig through cookbooks, make menus and shopping lists, and hunt for coupons.  Get the kids involved.  Mine love to go through cookbooks and point out recipes that they’d like to try.

I recently discovered Once A Month Cooking and think it’s going to save a ton of money.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with OAM cooking, the idea is to prepare a whole month’s worth of dinners in one day and put them all in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.  It saves a lot of money and a ton of time.  I have yet to prepare an entire month’s worth of dinner, but have been trying some of the recipes in my OAMC book.  I’ll keep you posted on how that is going and share recipes as I find awesome ones.

Here is a recipe that I tried on the kiddos yesterday.  It’s not a OAMC recipe, but from…..drum roll please…..Our Best Bites!  Go figure, huh?  The great thing about this recipe (or any homemade pancake recipe) is that you can cook up bunches of them and freeze your leftovers.  They can be reheated in the microwave or toaster and taste just as good as the day they were made.

The only change I made to these was to add about 1 tsp. of cinnamon. ENJOY!

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 C whole wheat flour
3/4 C all-purpose flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C low-fat buttermilk *
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs canola oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Cooking Spray or butter for pan

*As a substitute for 1 C buttermilk, place 1 Tbs lemon juice (or vinegar but I prefer lemon juice) in a 1 C measuring cup and then fill the remainder with milk.  This recipe calls for 1 1/2 C buttermilk, so do the same thing with 1/2 Tbs lemon juice and remaining 1/2 C milk.

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.  In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk well.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until moistened and combined.

Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet to medium heat.  Coat pan with non-stick spray or a little butter and then pour on pancake batter.  Use about 1/4 C batter for large pancakes (5-6″) and 2 T for kid-sized ones (2 /2-3″).   Wait until bubbles form and edges are set and then flip.

Makes 12 large or 24 small pancakes.


7 thoughts on “The New Man In My Life

  1. Love todays post….I can relate to so much of it. Last year we had a new couple move here and joined our church and they teach a Crown Financial group twice a year and it is amazing! It is bible based and I have learned so much…and learning to be content is a big part of it for me.

  2. Tiff, Congratulations. We met Dave Ramsey 3-4 years ago, talk radio, then VBC has his class every semester. Although, he got many of his ideas from us!! Not really, but that is how we have lived for years. We had a house burn down when Shea was not yet 2 so that has been 20 ears ago. The Holy Spirit moved in our lives and we decided to get out of debt. We got around 50,000 dollars out of debt, paying off the new mobile home we bought, the land we had bought, paying off credit cards, cars, what ever we owed, and did it all in 5 1/2 years. Plus we started tithing. That was hard for me, seeing how much we owed and thinking, this amount would pay this bill. We (or I had to anyway) step out on faith and realize I had to trust God. It was amazing what HE did!!!

    Like ya’ll we made choices, hard choices. We didn’t go out to eat. I didn’t go shopping, not even at yard sales or consignment shops unless it was an absolute must. New underwear, I consider a must! But our entertainment was at home, or going to friends houses. We camped out in our yard every Friday night. This was such a treat for Shea.

    Of course, EVERYTHING I made went toward paying our house off. When we paid one credit card off, we didn’t think we had extra money, we put it with what we were paying on another CC and made larger payments on it. At one point the last cc we had Iwas sending 600 per month. It took 6 months to pay it off.

    We have since paid off our place again. Back in 2002 we ‘thought’ we needed to build a new shop and have some stuff done to the house. I was going to increase my business and we ‘needed’ it. Well, God has a way of changing plans……Hal got sick, my work went caput and things changed. Were we wrong about what we thought God wanted us to do?
    Sometimes we get to thinking yes, this is what God wants, but had we waited a little longer things would have revealed don’t take that step.
    Anyway, again we put into practice what we knew already and what Dave says and the 40,000 we owed we have had paid off for a year-that was about 7 years this time, I wasn’t making as much. It is so good again to be debt free.

    One thing we did, but you have to be very very very determined before you take that step…….we used credit cards that we got that had 0% interest, we would make transfers, after carefully considering how much the fee would be in comparison with the debt we owed. I kept track of when it was transfered when the zero percent was overwith and when we got another cc with zero percent we would transfer to that one….but be very careful if you do………you must be diligent in deciding. I didn’t want to pay anymore interest than necessary.

    Dave is good, but God is better. He will bless your efforts. Be careful to give him what is his FIRST. You cannot out give God. You will find that you do not miss it if it comes out first….you will live on what is left.

    Self Reliant Mom has a website with lots of info on it. Better budgeting also.

    Ya’ll can do this, and it frees your mind from worries, it teaches your kids money management and it shows that we don’t have to have all the ‘stuff’ to make us happy.

    I am in the mode of getting rid of stuff, or ebay, or yard sale. I’m tired of cleaning and dusting it. There are more fun thigns to do.

    I will be praying for your endeavors!!! Love, C

  3. I want to add one thing, we had paid off the first time in 1996 and went until 2002 before adding any debt back. It was marvelous! We saved money, we did more fun things, but even at that figured out a way to not splurge. When we made our trip out west in 2002 we bought a 1976 RV and we painted it and fixed it up, we stayed in wal mart parking lots a lot and only every few nights did we spend in a real camp park. One would not even let us stay cause our RV was so old!!!! Anyway there are lots of fun things to do and ways to save and still enjoy family and friend time. This subject is near and dear to my heart. Once you get started and reach a goal you wonder ‘why didn’t I realize this long ago and save a ton of money?” anyway, at least we finally learn!!! hopefully! C

  4. Great blog post Tiff! We went through a Total Money Makeover 18 months ago and it has been the best thing for our family. That said, I can totally relate to some of your pet peeves. I know that the sacrifices we’re making now will pay off in the future. Keep up the awesome work!

  5. I couldn’t have said it better. This blog is awesome!!! I’m so proud of you and you guys are going to be so flippin happy. I wish everyone had this prospective. And if you step on toes, they are the toes that NEED to be stepped on or the rear that needs to be kicked in gear. Awesome awesome awesome. I wholeheartedly agree big sister. You are the best

  6. Pingback: Go ahead….make my day. « Secret Life of a Betty Crocker Wannabe

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