I like to think we live a pretty simple life. We try not to get caught in the whole race to keep up with the "Jones's" of the world, we pay our bills on time, and we seriously put a lot of thought and research into purchasing any big items. But when it comes to budgeting, investing, and retirement stuff, we'll be the first to admit we are very unknowledgeable and naive. So, we decided to set a goal for 2009 to get our "financial house" in order. Plain and simple, we are going to learn as much as we can and try to be smart about money issues.
No sooner had we decided this, and a friend of mine introduced me to Dave Ramsey. If you've never heard of this guy before, he's a financial expert that's honest (sometimes brutally) and has remarkable ideas to help anyone in any financial situation. Whenever I hear of a good thing or a "golden" find, I just have to pass it along. I love when people share what works for them. So, his website is http://www.daveramsey.com/. Check it out if you get a minute, you won't be disappointed. He explains things in such simple and easy to understand lingo that even the most ignorant and financially challenged people (like us!) can understand. He also has a television show and a radio talk show. I've been listening to the radio show this past two weeks and have gathered so many nuggets of financial wisdom.
With the economy in such turmoil, people freaking out, and businesses folding, I'm not curling up into a ball or dreading what tomorrow might bring. Instead I'm taking ownership and gaining more knowledge. I now understand certain principles, how I can change little things in our daily lives to add up, and that investing is still critical for so many reasons. It really does reduce your stress and provide you with a sense of hope and freedom.