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How Wise Are You? (stupid money, brain un-drain, school factories, and coco)

1.

Dave Ramsey usually answers people’s questions about life and money. And sometimes he goes off on a rant of some sort, sharing a valuable sermon from his radio pulpit. One particular rant I listened to on his podcast while doing the dishes the other day has been sticking with me. He was talking about wisdom with money, but the concept applies in all sorts of ways to living this life.

His premise was this: being wise is eliminating the knowing and doing gap. See, when you’re wise, that means you know the right thing, and you do the right thing. You can be educated and still do stupid, just like you can do dumb things with good intentions if you’re uneducated about something. So, the chart looks something like this:

So being wise is learning so you know, and practicing what you do. When you do stupid things, usually it’s not about ignorance. It’s about that knowing and doing gap. I know hunching over a computer all day will give me a sore neck, and that burning more oil to drive my lazy butt around will contribute to climate change, and that borrowing money will cripple my freedom. But I do those things anyway. That lands me at unwise. Unwise is stupid, but boy do I practice it well.

The wonderful in it is we get to choose to be stupid. Or wise. If you feel guilty or foolish, you can change your behavior.

So many of us choose stupid too much of the time.

(Find Dave’s radio show in Sioux Falls on 1140 KSOO, or listen on his website. He inspired us to quit being so stupid with money.)

2.

Courtney Lowell Cowgill, a Montana farmer, is mega-wise. She writes about how she finally realized going back home to the farm doesn’t mean going backward. I just love to hear about flipping the brain drain funnel around. You should really read her story. (I think I know someone else who vowed to never marry a farmer, then did. Love you sis.)

3.

Ken Robinson is a witty Brit. Come to think of it, every Brit I know is witty. That’s not really very fair, is it? Anyway, Sir Robinson is also a genius about how our schools (yes–OUR schools) are killing creativity each and every day. Please watch the video. It will probably make you laugh, sulk, and hope.

And if you want to read some terribly wise stuff about the mess that is schools and creativity, I’ll be happy to give you a copy of Seth Godin‘s new book “Linchpin.” Just a bit of it is about that bummer stuff–most of it is about how you can change the world. Yes you. Just holler if you want the book (but you must be first–I have one extra copy Seth asked me to give to you).

Oh, and Seth cranked out wisest, and most simple, blog post ever this week on why questions are more powerful than answers.

4.

Team Coco thinks you-know-who is wise. I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t mind swapping severance checks with him these days.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2010 in education, farming, money

 

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Freedom

Pronounced Freeeeeedoooommm!!! Screaming like William Wallace in Braveheart (you remember, before Mel went psycho off screen and tanked his reputation…).

braveheart

Jaim and I have been wearing war paint for four years now. You don’t see it, unless you go shopping with us, or listen to us budget every month (and hold emergency budget meetings once a week or so), or listen to either one of us when the other (or one of the kids) comes up with some silly spending idea… We’re debt free today.

Yes, except for our home mortgage, we owe nothing. No more student loans, credit cards, car loans, or hospital bills. Not even any couches or TVs on “no payments or interest for 36 months!” Not one red cent owed to anyone. It took us four years on the Dave Ramsey plan, budgeting and saving and scrounging, and the last payment to XLS Student Loans went out of the bank today.

How much did we pay off? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2009 in money

 

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Greening the budget

If you’re a regular bartblog reader, you know we’ve done some things over the years to try to lighten our footprint on Mother Nature around our house. You also know that we are pretty strict Dave Ramsey-ish budgeters around here. We craft a new plan every month and tell every dollar what to do ahead of time and on purpose.

Yesterday, while putting together our January household budget, we decided to create a new budget line called “Green Steps.” It was inspired by a heftier-than-ususal water bill for December. This month it will be replacing our shower heads with shiny new ones that use less than half as much water (now if Hope and I can both just learn to take shorter showers…), and a rechargeable battery set to fire up those AAs powering our Wii remotes and other nonsensical toys (inspired by my annual smoke detector battery replacement on New Years Day).

1/4/2009 UPDATE:

A note on those CFL bulbs (Listen up, Sis)–if you break one, be careful. But don’t panic. Here are some helpful links:

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2009 in going green, money

 

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Dumping Our Debt Dave Ramsey Style

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that we’re on track to be debt free (yippee!!!) by the end of this year. A bartblog reader sent me an email, and I thought I’d answer the question for everybody:

“I read on your blog that you will have all of our debt paid off by the end of the year. How did you do that? Did you use a program? I would love to find out.”

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We follow the Dave Ramsey plan. We started by reading his book “The Total Money Makeover,” and have been following his “Baby Steps” and listening to his radio program whenever we can. I subscribe to a podcast of the first hour of his show every day and listen on my ipod when I’m driving (get the free mp3 of Dave’s show here). The first thing is, you need to agree with each other that you won’t ever borrow money again, and to budget every penny every month before you spend it. That’s a hard thing to do! Then, you (temporarily) stop investing in 401 K, etc, and then make only minimum payments on everything. You save up a $1000 emergency fund in a savings account and then start the “Debt Snowball.” You pay as much as you can on your smallest debt and minimums on everything else until that smallest debt is paid off. Then you add the minimum payment of your next smallest debt to the biggest amount you can pay and attack your second smallest debt, and so on… If you have more than $1000 put away (not including 401K, etc) then use all but 1000 on your first debt.

We’ve made a list of all our debts smallest to largest and keep it taped to our kitchen cupboard door, and cross off each one we pay off. That way we can celebrate a little for each small win.

The biggest thing is learning to change your behavior with money. It means making every budgeting decision together and sticking to the budget, or agreeing how you’ll change it. And get rid of all those stupid credit cards and recognize the difference between what you need and want. You have to stop spending more than you make!!! If you dump your debt, then you’ll be able to have plenty of money to spend and give! Good luck!!!

(We’re sending our copy of Dave’s book to this reader–you can join the waiting list to get it next, or just go to the library and check it out, or buy one–if it’s in your budget!…)

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2008 in money

 

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