I Have Two New BFFs…

…Their names are Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze.

For those of you that don’t know, Dave Ramsey is the mastermind behind Financial Peace University (FPU) and the Seven Baby Steps to living a debt-free life. Rachel Cruze is his daughter, and I’ve been devouring any and all things Rachel Cruze.  Her YouTube videos, her book Love Your Life Not Theirs, her newsletter, and I’ve probably developed slightly creepy, obsessive tendencies.

I cannot get enough of these two. I’m currently doing the FPU, and LOVING it. Each week focuses on a different lesson for handling money. I’m pretty sure my family is sick and tired of hearing about Dave Ramsey and how I’m “tackling my debt and getting my life together”. I don’t care. Why don’t I care? Because I’m seeing real results.

Week one focuses on the different types of savings you should have: Emergency funds, retirement funds, college funds, etc. After finishing the lesson, I felt slightly motivated, but mostly apprehensive.

Baby Step 1 is to save $1000. Fast. 

Now let me tell you, I did not accept this step easily. For some people, this may not seem like a challenge at all. But for me? $1000 just seemed unrealistic. I’m drowning in debt, how am I supposed to  save $1000 in a month? Shouldn’t I be paying off these credit cards? Not quite. The $1000 is my “Emergency Fund” to use in place of credit cards. The concept behind it was clear, the execution was where it started to get a little fuzzy.

I started Baby Step 1 on June 4 and was only slightly optimistic after completing a detailed budget, and figured it couldn’t hurt to try. And guess what? It’s June 19 and I’m more than halfway there. Let me repeat that. I’m more than halfway there.

And I’m proud. Seriously, so proud. I didn’t think I could do it.

Here are the big changes I’ve made to save my $1000 emergency fund as fast as I can:

  1. Hello Budget – I’m currently using a paper budget AND the EveryDollar App to keep myself accountable, and it’s actually working
  2. Hello Clip System (AKA the Envelope System)  – only using cash for budget areas where I typically overspend and keeping the cash in color-coded binder clips in my wallet (groceries, restaurants, entertainment, clothing, and miscellaneous are my categories)
  3. Bye Bye Stitch Fix – no more $20 subscription fee plus $100+ in clothes each month.
  4. Bye Bye LulaRoe – no more comfy, loving clothing that is draining my bank account
  5. Bye Bye Amazon One-Click purchasing – no more random Kindle book purchasing, or random Amazon recommendations that I just HAD to have
Financial Peace University Kit, Rachel Cruze Wallet, & the Clip System in action!


I’m currently on track to save $1000 before the end of this month. I’m still in shock typing that sentence. Completing this step truly gives me feelings of pride, accomplishment, and strength. It wasn’t easy for me to recognize that the issue with paying off my debt was me. Looking in the mirror and acknowledging that it has been my behavior – not my income, or my many excuses – that was causing this downward spiral of debt was a difficult pill to swallow. But realizing that by changing my mindset and my behavior with money has led to such a significant accomplishment for myself is extremely gratifying.

I’m doing this. One Baby Step at a time. 


  1. Annie Dragosh

    June 20, 2017 at 2:31 am

    I’ve always been interested in looking at Dave Ramsay. Now you’ve made me really want to see what he has to say – I’m afraid of what I’ll learn. But, I probably need to hear it! Hahaha. So awesome you are having so much success!!

    1. cayla

      June 27, 2017 at 1:10 am

      Honestly, it’s been so eye-opening for me. I can’t believe how much time and money I’ve wasted! Just the simple change of carrying cash has made such a huge difference in my spending habits. Love love loving it and can’t wait until next month when I start my debt snowball!

  2. Alyssa Plata

    June 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Wohoo ! Go girl! Keep it up the good feelings will keep coming

    1. cayla

      June 27, 2017 at 1:11 am

      Thanks girl! I just finished the Week 4 lesson about the debt snowball and I’m feeling SO inspired. Next month (only a few days away!) I get to start my debt snowball and I can’t wait!

  3. Katie schroeder

    June 22, 2017 at 12:43 am

    I’m on week 5 of FPU and I LOVE IT!!!!

    1. cayla

      June 27, 2017 at 1:11 am

      Yay!!! I just finished Week 4 and I’m so motivated! Next month is when I get to start the debt snowball and I can’t wait to start seeing things disappear!

  4. Charissa

    June 27, 2017 at 2:38 am

    We are a Ramsey household. Many of our conversations now begin “did you hear the episode where…” I was skeptical at first, and thought some points were good, and some not so much. But now, I listen to the podcasts whenever I’m in the car, walking the dog, etc. Thinking and planning for the future is what has gotten me excited about it. Stick with it!

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