Friday, April 9, 2010

Since it's Debt Free Friday ...

Next month I will be doing a workshop at a women's retreat on how we became debt free. I am super excited as I am passionate (to a fault) about getting out of, and remaining out of, debt. I have had a few friends ask me to sit down with them and iron out their spending plans, figure out how to pay all their bills and to start becoming debt free. I have loved that. There is something so fun in the challenge of trying to make someone else's finances work for them! This will be my first opportunity to speak to a group of people and I'm unsure how to approach it.

My question for you is ...

If you were going to go to a 40 minute workshop on becoming debt free, what sort of information would you want to hear? Would you want someone to show you how to make a budget?
Would you want to hear why you even should get out of debt?
Would you want to hear how other people got out of debt?
Would you want to hear about how to deal with credit companies? Or how to save money? Or how to remain out of debt?

Is there any information you wouldn't want to hear?

(Oh, and Debt Free Fridays are a Dave Ramsey thing. Listen to his radio program today to hear callers call in with their debt free stories. It will inspire you!)


  1. We are HUGE Dave Ramsey fans...have been debt free for awhile now. What a difference it makes. I think that what helped us the most was WHY debt was bad. Everyone has what? Yeah, we needed to hear all the whys.
    Once I was staying home and we were living on a cop salary (just raking it in as you well know) and a home daycare...we needed to get out of debt quick!
    So great you are doing this!

  2. I think one of the most effective illustrations would be that have them guess (outta say 3 choices) how much interest you would pay making say $20 above the minimum payment on a $3,000 credit card at a standard interest rate. But rather than label it X-thousand, etc, label it (for example) 1)a new car - paid in cash 2)pay to bring entire family to a reunion at that great resort or 3)pay a full 2 years of college for their child. Or whatever, but where they can see that it's not just "numbers" but that the savings are a tangible SOMETHING. I think it really helps get a grip on how much is really thrown away by being in debt.

    And for LEO families, what if their spouse is involved in a situation that leaves them unable to work. Not all departments have "medical retirement". How much debt do they have TODAY that would be too much for a spouse to shoulder if the officer wasn't working? I know most people like to pretend like it doesn't happen, but it does. Case in point:

    Anyway, just my two cents.

  3. Thanks for the ideas!
    I've always been able to stay home with the kids and even though OH makes a very decent wage we never knew how to live with in our means. It feels so good to finally have that in order.
    Meadowlark: thanks for the link to the post. Recently a Seattle officer was brutally beaten and although he was left alive, is no longer able to work. The City has no policies in place to help in those situations. Until that happened, both OH and I had been under the assumption that if he were unable to work he would still be covered by insurance and disability. Guess not. It's scary and I'm thankful we have some sort of safety net now.

  4. Along the lines of Meadowlark, I was thinking you could start off with demonstrating how much something REALLY costs when you factor in the debt. For example, I was just reading someone's breakdown of their mortgage and over 30 years they were paying the SAME amount of interest AND principle. That's like paying twice as much for your house!

    You could play a mini "price is right" segment to start off. Pick some common things we use our Credit Cards on (bag of groceries for one week for family of 4; new shirt for first date night after baby is born, etc) and have them guess the purchase price on the day of the purchase, one year later (when you are still paying off) etc.

    After that shock to my system, I would want to know how to track what I spend, make a FAIR budget, and keep motivated to stick with it. Also maybe include ideas of how to get stuff for free or cheap??

  5. Christina LawrenceApril 21, 2010 at 6:22 AM

    someone to show you how to make a budget? YES

    Would you want to hear about how to deal with credit companies? YES

    Or how to save money? YES


I love comments!! Let me know what you're thinking!