Kids. Money. Free stuff.

Let’s be up front here. I don’t have kids. I just have theories. I hear it’s a lot easier to have theories than it is to raise kids.  That said, one day, we hope to have children, and when we do, we want to raise them to be wise with their finances.

Blessed not spoiledWe want to teach our kids how to manage their money so their money doesn’t rule their life for the rest of their life. We want to teach them to save for the future, to give generously to those in need, and to spend wisely–all before they turn 18 and move out. Will we be successful 100% of the time? Nope. Is it all going to be sunshine and roses? Most likely not. But I think it will be worth the effort.

Two weeks from today, Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze’s new book Smart Money Smart Kids will be released. This book will walk you step by step through raising your children to be blessed, not spoiled, starting with toddlers at age 3. As your kids grow, Smart Money Smart Kids gives you the information and the tools you need to raise them to be wise with their finances. The end result: your teen moves out at 18, and is a self-sufficient adult. He or she works hard and pays his or her bills, and is not relying on the next handout from mom and dad. Doesn’t sound so shabby, does it?

WorkThe book is written by both Dave and Rachel, so there are sections from each of their perspectives–father and child. Each chapter is full of actionable steps for you to use with your kids today!  It will take work, but it will be worth it.

Finally, the free stuff. You ready?

  1. Read the first two chapters of Smart Money Smart Kids for FREE.
  2. Download Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money (the whole thing!) for FREE.
  3. If you like what you read in Smart Money Smart Kids, pre-order the book today. If you pre-order, you automatically get the e-book, the audio book, and a video lesson–a $50 value. For FREE.

smsk_800x800I wanna know: What did you think? Could your kids use some money smarts? In what ways are you teaching your kids to be wise with their finances?


Sunday Small Talk

Happy Sunday! What a full and wonderful weekend it’s been, and it’s not even over yet.

Friday night, we snuggled in to watch a movie. Neither of us had seen Young Frankenstein, so we made it happen. I’ll admit, it’s fairly entertaining, in a Mel Brooks sort of way. Huge mugs of hot chocolate were on the menu for dessert. Use this recipe from Hershey, you won’t be sorry. And you’ll never want hot chocolate from a packet again. Add marshmallows, a leftover candy cane, and you’re in business. Maybe even some Baileys, if that’s your thing. Delicious.


After helping my brother and sister in law move into their newly purchased house on Saturday, we headed to Big Rapids to watch Michigan Tech take on Ferris in a hockey game. First, Michigan Tech is the husband’s alma mater. Second, Ferris is undefeated this season. It made for a good game, with the final score being 3-2. Ferris won. Alas, we hollered and cheered and screamed our hearts out.  And will probably make this an annual tradition. Go Tech!

20140111_204228Tonight, we’re offering a free preview of the Dave Ramsey class we’re hosting at Rehoboth Reformed. If you’re in the area, come check it out! You’re not obligated to register just by attending–we’ll show a short video, and answer questions people might have. Short. Painless. We’re getting started at 4 pm. And there shall be snacks.

20131124_133528I wanna know: What have you been up to this weekend?

Dave Ramsey: The Total Money Makeover

Bob and I recently paid off our student loans, making us debt free! Totally and completely debt free. We were so excited when we hit “submit” on our last payment, and we’re still reveling in our newfound financial freedom. How were we able to accomplish it so quickly? In a nutshell: Dave Ramsey. His plan gave us exactly what we needed to get on the same page and to work together toward a goal.

His The Total Money Makeover was recently re-published in a “Classic Edition.” Ramsey has sold over 4 million copies of the book, originally published in 2003.

Cover art

Ramsey’s advice is based on simple and smart financial management. Running on the bottom border of each page is “If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” In other words, planning, saving, and sacrificing today means your hard work will pay off later in life. You will have saved for rainy days, for vacations, for large purchases. You will have invested for retirement, so when you reach that phase of life, you will be prepared. He doesn’t make it complicated. Who wouldn’t want that?

Unfortunately, without a plan, it’s difficult for many of us to have that much foresight. Dave Ramsey’s baby steps offer a plan. They’re simple—pay off all of your debts (except your house), save an emergency fund, then start saving for retirement and your children’s college tuition. If you’re able to, pay off your house early. Tackle each step intensely, and then move to the next one.

Woven through the book are stories of individuals and families, many like you and me, who had debt, marital problems, and not enough money left at the end of the month. In these testimonies, people share how their marriages were saved through good communication, how they paid off debt with a little self-discipline, and how they regained control of their money and their life.

In the back of the book, you’ll find budget forms to help you on your way to your own Total Money Makeover. I challenge you to check out this book! I guarantee you won’t regret it.