Saturday, May 29, 2010

favorite thing friday

This past January, Charlie and I decided to do something wild and crazy. We decided to stop using credit cards, all together, and live solely off of cash. Although we knew where our money was being spent, we had come to rely upon credit cards almost exclusively.

At some point, we had convinced ourselves we were using credit cards for the perk of "free airline miles for every dollar spent" but the truth is, credit cards can be wonderfully convenient and incredibly painless. At least until you miss paying off your full balance for a month or more and interest starts to rack up. And then credit cards can hurt. A lot.

So we decided to get rid of them and have been amazed at how much more control we now have over our money. Which is extremely nice, since we're planning to buy a new home in the next month and oh mercy, why didn't we cut up all of our credit cards TEN YEARS AGO?


Earlier this year, after hearing countless times about Dave Ramsey's strategies for financial success, we decided to buy one of his books. Seconds after we purchased a copy of the book, The Total Money Makeover, Charlie whipped out his iPhone and found the same book on Amazon for $9.50 less. So he promptly returned the book to the store and purchased it online, instead. And then we wandered over to Starbucks and spent the difference on some Venti sized drinks and a scone whilst feeling thoroughly pleased with our financial prowess.

(Oh wait. We should have saved that money and had our tea at home for a fraction of the cost? Darn!! There's still some room for improvement.)

Anyway. It happens at least once a quarter, we'll receive a huge box from my sister, Beth, full of wonderful toys and supplies that my nephew, Michael, has outgrown. It is no exaggeration that at least 90% of the books and 75% of the toys in our home have originated from the fantabulous Beth and Mike duo. They have totally set us up and I'm forever grateful for their generosity and incredibly good taste in educational materials. Now, a few months ago, we received a box from my sister and in that box were a series of books, written by none other than Dave Ramsey.

(I'm assuming this is the boxed set of all the children's books Dave Ramsey has written. From what I can tell, we're only missing two.) (Here are links to all of the D.R. children's books that we own, separately.)


That's right, the King of "How To Manage Your Money And Make It Work For You", has written a series of books specifically for children.


And let me tell you ...


These books are AWESOME.


Especially if you found yourself getting bored with "The Total Money Makeover" because it was just a whole lot of words and totally lacked fun and exciting cartoon pictures.


What I like best about these books is that they convey very important messages about saving - spending - earning - integrity - charity - and avoiding debt - in a way that children (and adults) can easily understand and apply.


The stories all center around a little boy named Junior and his fascination/obsession with a television show called, "The Adventures of Dollar Bill."


Each book has it's own storyline and each one is better than the next.


Our children love these books. William especially will sit down with the entire series and read (aka: flip) through one after another. "Mom! Please read me this one. Then this one. Then this one. Then this one. Then this one. And then ... this one again."


Learning at a young age, how to manage money will undoubtedly serve our children well.


In every aspect of their lives ...


And on whatever path they decide to pursue.

(Disclosure: I'm not in any way compensated for these "Favorite Thing Friday" posts and I'm only writing about those things that we use and recommend. If anything is purchased through an Amazon link that I provide [or click through to Amazon], I earn approximately 4% on the sale. Last month I earned $5.57 via my Amazon store. Year to date, the balance is $23.94. Rest assured, those funds will be applied toward my next cancer crusade raffle and not towards something like say, an extravagant Mediterranean cruise. The next raffle will probably be coming up within the next two months - but no more than four, because the 3-Day walk is in October.)


  1. I agree completely about teaching children money management. In fact we just opened MC a checking account w/a debit card - so we can show him how it works, how to keep an eye on his account, etc. I saw a friend's daughter go off to college with no idea and proceeded to overdraw her account many, many times.

  2. Hey!!!!! What is wrong with Mediteranean cruises? Bahahaha.
    I love those books. I'm going to see if my library has them!

  3. Hubby and I are HUGE fans of Dave Ramsey! I guess we could have been better fans; we had no idea about the kids books he wrote. I will, effective immediately, be looking for them for our own collection.
    And DR's money philosophy is phenomenal. We are debt free and working on saving all we can for our impending retirement.
    It can easily be done.

  4. Yes! We love Dave Ramsey- we love these books for our kids too. We have learned the hard way, but now only use cash. Praying our kids do not have to go through the hard lessons like we did....although, they take after us in the hard headed they probably will.....

  5. We are HUGE Dave Ramsey fans here, the total money makeover is awesome. You should have Charlie look into his entrapernarial (sp?) stuff too and the book he recommends by Seth Gogan I think "48 days to the work you love"

    We are on bs2 right now and loving it, can see financial freedom in out future.

    Good Job Jen and Charlie!

    Ann L.

  6. FABULOUS POST! And it could have come at better time. We are planning to sell part of our property and just found out that it's value has dropped in the last 2 years from $1.1 mil to $500K. Because of unusual circumstances ie. the bottom of the market falling out we have what was supposed to be a 6 month bridge loan for $180K on it. Between the loan and taxes we'll get at the most $200 to keep us going for the rest of our lives. I'm 57 my husband 69. There's much more going on put let's just say long held dreams are breaking in a particularly spectacular fashion around here.
    We went to using all cash a few months ago, some what of a forced but needed choice. You can become very creative when you have $.24 cents in you're checking account at the end of the month!

    I love the idea of the Dave Ramsey books and that you get to share them with the Trips while their still young. Hopefully none of them will ever find themselves in the financial straights that so many of us are today.

    A bit more personal than I intended to get but if you can't talk to friends who can you talk to?

  7. Ha. I totally bought the apple corer and tongs because of your Amazon recommendations.

    These books seem great. We have a nephew whose parents value educational items for kids, so this seems like a perfect gift (though the parents may appreciate them more than he will).

  8. Excellent - never heard of him (yes I live under a shell) - but I will look for the kids books.

  9. Speaking of economy??? How much did thoes books cost?? I know one thing, they are on my level, looks like loads of pictures, my kind of story. William is just so handsome!

  10. Do they come in any particular order? Our library-sharing system has 4 of them available!

  11. Sarah - the books were written at varying times, but it doesn't matter in what sequence you read them. Definitely check them out!!