Faith, Family, Finances, Funnies, and Flarps


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Oh Dave, Shmave!

Dave Ramsey, I tell ya… this love/hate relationship has gone on LONG enough.

Every time someone says Dave Ramsey in my house, they KNOW to expect me to say “Dave Shmave.” He has some REALLY good points and I apply ALL that I can to my financial life. But sometimes he and I just part ways.


I DO want to “live like no one else so that one day I can live like no one else”. So many of Dave’s principles have been incorporated into my family’s financial world. But others- well, Dave Shmave.

  1. He is all about some cash. And I am too! “CASH IS KING” as he says. I cash out money every Friday and divide it up into my envelopes. I have my envelopes in hand when I go to the grocery store, the gas station, or {gulp} the mall. BUT– we see a LOT of advantages in credit. (OH THE HORROR!) Hear me out… I pay whatever bill I can with the credit card. Every Friday when it’s time to sit down and pay bills I will use our American Airlines card to pay any bill that will take credit. And THEN I go straight to the credit card app and pay that amount on the card. No harm no foul! I pay it RIGHT away but in return I got miles. Now I don’t know about your credit card miles but OURS is too legit to quit! Last year we went to NYC on miles at ZERO cost to us. And we have purchased airline tickets for next summers vacation at ZERO cost to us…using strictly our points! So for us, using that card on things we have to pay anyway has a HUGE benefit!

If you have a card that would allow you to go on a free vacation somewhere– use it! I know what Dave says. I listen to the Podcasts, I read the books, and I am constantly reading his articles online…BUT for us we are essentially STILL paying cash for everything because we aren’t carrying a balance…but we ARE reaping the benefits of credit card miles.

2. Dave says sell your car. But CAR-UH {that’s me} says no. I should, but i’m not going to. I have done that before. I sold my car, paid it off, and took the money I made beyond what I owed and purchased an older car. It didn’t even have cruise control! Now there was nothing wrong with that car. It worked, it got me from point A to point B. Maybe i’m a brat (I mean just MAYYYBE), but I don’t want to do that. I will clip coupons, I will do my own pedicures, I will cancel cable and make my own detergent… but I am standing firm in keeping my vehicle. We all have that one thing we just won’t do for whatever reason…and for me, it’s the car. I don’t have to drive a fancy car but I want a newer, reliable, fully covered by warranty/insurance, vehicle to drive. Now I will work like a dang gazelle to pay it off long before the loan is due, but i’m keeping it!

3. I won’t sell things that I may use later. Dave tells you to sell so much stuff “that the kids are afraid they are next!” I have sold several things on eBay recently. And after the first of the year I have some MK purses that I intend to go through and sell. But if I have a shirt that I only wear 1-2 times per year, I am not going to sell it to get $1.00. I just refuse to do it. It’s worth more to me to keep it. That being said, stay tuned for some things I do to help de-clutter and keep my life organized. Selling my daughter’s Wii for $10 dollars is just not worth it. I’d rather keep it.. or give it away!

4. Dave tells me to use any savings I have (except $1,000) to pay on debt. That sounds great and if that is how you do things-then you GO! My husband and I struggled with this one. We knew we had enough in savings to really get that debt snowball going, but it meant more to US to keep our savings higher than Dave’s recommendation. That meant starting a bit slower on the debt snowball, but it also meant our peace of mind was at a comfortable level for us.

5. Dave paints this picture of saying NO to anything fun. Now granted he does suggest having money for going out to eat, fun stuff, etc., but then he also reminds you to keep it to a minimum. I can understand that! If you are trying desperately to get out of debt and save money then I can see the logic he brings to the table. HOWEVER- I have learned that if I don’t have a trip coming up or something to look forward to then i’m going to go on a shopping spree and undo MONTHS of hard work! I don’t want to say NO to meeting friends for dinner or going to watch a musical. So we BUDGET for those things!  I mentioned those airline points earlier…same applies to hotel points! Those add up! And this weekend we spent the night out of town in a hotel at no cost to us. (Thank you Hilton Honors!!) That night away meant more to our sanity and our marriage than I can even explain. We NEED those things. So while I may not say NO to everything, I may have to make different suggestions. If our “FUN” envelope is down to $12 bucks and we get invited out to eat I might instead suggest everyone come to our house for a game night. We smoke some good meat and play board games that we already own! It’s a win-win! We had fun, spent time with friends, and spent little to no money. Saying NO over and over will cause you to lose your motivation and in turn will be counter productive to your financial health.

6. That brings me to this… view this process of budgeting, getting out of debt, saving money as Financial “health.” We all know that healthy means balance. Moderate exercise, days of rest and relaxation, meditation, vigorous exercise…. a balance of all of those! Financial health is the same thing. It means keeping good track of your spending while enjoying a treat from Starbucks. It could be buying some new jeans while forgoing a movie night. It is BALANCE! Keep that in mind throughout this process because let me tell you– as a professional stopper/starter of Dave’s plan I can tell you that keeping balance is what will keep you motivated! And isn’t that what its all about?

Sometimes you have to say yes… sometimes you have to say “nope that won’t work for me.” But at the end of the day what matters is that you stay focused and motivated while working on your financial health!

What is the one thing that YOU won’t do? Or the one that has/hasn’t worked for you in the past? I’d love to hear! Comment or email

Thanks for reading!

For Now,

Cara Roxanne

Books that changed my life


Well, clearly I am too cheap (and can’t buy anything anyway currently…read more about that HERE) to purchase these, but I did check them out at my local library. “Interrupted” comes first and then read “7”.

We live in a society (and culture) that puts an emphasis on things. And don’t get me wrong! Things are good. I love things. Things are my favorite. {It’s kinda true}
But I am wanting to be different in the way I live. For the past few years, my husband and I have practiced more of a minimalistic lifestyle. Not to the point of recycling toilet paper, but we ARE trying to not buy “STUFF” as much. It’s been nice. We have had more of a focus on each other, on activities and trips and less on buying things just for the sake of buying things. “Interrupted” totally follows that mindset and uses scripture to back it up. Such a good book.

“7” is a bit more extreme. Of course Jen Hatmaker makes it hilarious and fun to read, but the whole eating 7 foods for one month thing didn’t appeal to me. But one chapter in particular spoke to me. It was the chapter on getting rid of 7 things per day for a month. That’s a lot of things to give away. OR so it seemed…

I enjoy getting rid of stuff. As much as I like to buy stuff it’s almost more fun to get rid of it. I love it when I get rid of stuff. So I figured what the heck? In 20 minutes I had a box for our local Habitat for Humanity store that had 39 things in it. So basically i’m like half-way through with week one!

Maybe you could give it a try? Like I have always said, so many blogs and books on financial peace and living within your means are so extreme, but it’s what YOU take away from it that matters. Take it away and make it your own. I took the “giving away 7 things” challenge upon myself for the heck of it. And let’s face it- I just did our taxes and our donations to charities (even donations of tangible things) helped tremendously this past year! Whether you are doing it to gain a new focus or perspective in your life OR doing it to get a tax right off, i’d suggest giving it a try. (Send me your success stories at

On top of not being able to buy anything (except for these things) until July 1st, I am also getting rid of things and it feels GREAT! I am truly loving it.

For now,


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