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Personal Finance Encouragement

August 2007

I've mentioned before that I really started paying attention to my personal finance while I was in college. For several years now, I've paid off my credit card every month and the only debt I have is the mortgage on my house. I also put money in my 401K and in a ROTH IRA every year. All that's to say that I'm doing a lot of things right with my personal finances. One thing that has helped me to stay on track with all of this is reading personal finance books and blogs. In addition, I have recently started listening to podcasts of the Dave Ramsey Show pod cast ( podcast - site . Initially, I listened to the show a few times just to see what it was like. Most of his focus is on getting people out of debt so I wouldn't have thought that I would keep tuning in. However, I find that it's generally really encouraging to listen too. Basically, it helps re-enforce my goal of saving money. I guess this shouldn't be surprising when you consider how much of the time we are bombarded by both explicit and implicit messages to spend every last dollar we have along with some we don't via credit cards. An example of this encouragement is my car. It's a 1995 Camry that has long sense been paid off. So, no car payments and lower insurance. I'm probably going to get a new one within the next year or so, but for as long as I've been at my job (seven years now), I get occasional questions (and shit) from folks about why I don't get a new one. If someone is just asking, I just say that I like not having car payments. From the look I see on peoples faces after this I'm guessing the pretty much always start thinking about their car payment and how nice it would be to not have to pay that out each month. If someone is being a shit, I tend to drive the point home a little more by asking them what their car payment each month is. The math of getting and staying out of debt and then building wealth is pretty easy, but the fortitude to do it can take a lot of energy. Especially if you are just getting started. The show and a few blogs I read, like Get Rich Slowly and The Simple Dollar , really help me recharge and stay on track.

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