If you’ve looked into going debt free you’ve probably heard about Dave Ramsey. His was definitely one of the first names that popped up for me when I started looking into how to get my finances in order at the tale-end of last year, and, even after all these months, his method is still the one I fall back on when I talk about going Debt Free.
Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps will show you how to save for emergencies, pay off all your debt for good, and build wealth. It’s not a fairy tale or a nice story for someone else. This is a proven, practical way for you to change your life step by step.
An American ‘financial guru’, Dave’s methods work so well he has his own show, podcast, and even a University, to help people get out of debt, teach them how to stay that way, and publicly celebrate their debt-free wins!
The official 7 Baby Steps are as follows:
Of course, being American, his steps aren’t entirely UK-applicable, and so I’m actually following the ‘UK method’, which isn’t an official branching off of the 7 Baby Steps, but they’re certainly better suited for those of us living in Britain.
I found out about the alternate Baby Steps method after looking for blogs or groups that were following this method specifically and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done in regards to my debt.
And if you click on the picture it’ll take you straight to her page for the complete break down of each step and what you should be thinking about doing in regards to the ‘changes’ made between the US and UK versions.
They’re pretty much on par with each other, but with subtle differences in terms of when to save for a house deposit and topping up your state pension.
There’s even a bonus ‘Baby Step 0’ that precedes the first one, which recommends getting your spouse on board, (which, let me tell you, is the best thing you can do if you’re committed to someone!) and cutting the excess from your lifestyle.
I have to admit, I haven’t fully committed to ‘BS1’ even though I’ve technically completed it, as one of the first mini-steps in both the US and UK versions is to cut up any credit cards you may have to make that insta-commitment to going debt free. And even though pretty much every other blog or vlog I’ve seen on debt management has told me to do the same thing, I don’t feel as though I’m in a good enough position just yet to do it. It will definitely seem like a cop-out, maybe even that I’m conning myself, but I honestly cannot afford to cut up my cards until the end of the year.
Why? Well, the thing is… I’m taking J over to Australia to meet my sister and her new family for the first time. It’s also a trip for me to meet my godson, who’ll be over a year old by the time we visit in November. Why is this a problem? Because as great as I can be at saving money, juggling saving for a big trip like this whilst still trying to pay off my debt isn’t the easiest.
I want to throw everything I have at my debt, because I hate the idea of paying interest, and unfortunately, until I can pay it all off, I cannot keep money aside for the trip. Most of it will probably end up going onto my credit card anyway, which is all the more reason to keep the card until we’re back and I can 100% commit.
Why don’t you just cancel the trip? I can almost hear your ask. Well, with our work bonuses we earned in April, we’ve already out-right paid for our return flights and two night stay in Sydney. We’re going. One way or another.
My thinking right now, however flawed it might be, is to pay off my debt asap (J will be paying his off at the same time- we’re pretty much even in terms of debt), so that if- and when- I have to start paying for things for Australia on my card, it’ll be our debt and therefore quicker to pay off because both J and I will be throwing all of our pennies at it.
On the plus side, we have already completed the main aspect of BS1 and saved our Emergency Fund, so that’s… good? Right?
Are you following any kind of debt management plan? Got a better suggestion than Dave? I’m all ears. Let me know how your own journey is going and what steps you’re taking to go debt free.