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Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers is an SEC-registered investment adviser firm. The information presented is for educational purposes only and intended for a broad audience. The information does not intend to make an offer or solicitation to sell or purchase any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed. Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers reasonably believes that this marketing does not include any false or misleading statements or omissions of facts regarding services, investment, or client experience. Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers has a reasonable belief that the content will not cause an untrue or misleading implication regarding the adviser’s services, investments, or client experiences. Please refer to the firm’s ADV Part 2A for material risks disclosures.

Past performance of specific investment advice should not be relied upon without knowledge of certain circumstances of market events, the nature and timing of the investments, and relevant constraints of the investment. Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers has presented information in a fair and balanced manner.

Copyright (c) 2023 Clearnomics, Inc. and Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers, LTD. All rights reserved. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the fairness, accuracy, completeness, or correctness of the information and opinions contained herein. The views and the other information provided are subject to change without notice. All reports posted on or via www.clearnomics.com or any affiliated websites, applications, or services are issued without regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific recipient and are not to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future results. Company fundamentals and earnings may be mentioned occasionally, but should not be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold the company's stock. Predictions, forecasts, and estimates for any and all markets should not be construed as recommendations to buy, sell, or hold any security--including mutual funds, futures contracts, and exchange traded funds, or any similar instruments. The text, images, and other materials contained or displayed in this report are proprietary to Clearnomics, Inc. and constitute valuable intellectual property. All unauthorized reproduction or other use of material from Clearnomics, Inc. shall be deemed willful infringement(s) of this copyright and other proprietary and intellectual property rights, including but not limited to, rights of privacy. Clearnomics, Inc. expressly reserves all rights in connection with its intellectual property, including without limitation the right to block the transfer of its products and services and/or to track usage thereof, through electronic tracking technology, and all other lawful means, now known or hereafter devised. Clearnomics, Inc. reserves the right, without further notice, to pursue to the fullest extent allowed by the law any and all criminal and civil remedies for the violation of its rights.

  • Writer's pictureKelly Kranstuber

Baby Step Motivation

A Quick Backstory

People told me growing up that I needed debt in my life and that debt was good. “I can’t get a mortgage without a credit score,” “I need a good credit score to get a personal loan,” “I can use credit cards for reward points,” and, of course, “I will just pay my card off every month,” are just a few examples that I and many others have used before. I always had a personal credit card to use for gas or small expenses and pay off the entire balance (almost) every month. I also had a rewards card that I would run as many expenses through as I could to rack up airline miles. I had a nice SUV with a monthly payment, but hey, I “owned” it. I felt accomplished as a young professional back then because I had nice stuff…until I met my neighbor.

 

My Neighbor

We both moved to the neighborhood around the same time, and it was both of our first homes. We were about the same age and shared many common interests, so we hit it off fast. We would hang out almost every day. Whether helping each other with home projects, playing sports, or hosting barbecues, we spent a lot of time together. We would even joke with our friends that we were going to tunnel through the basements to join the houses together. All the time we spent together was memorable and fun, but there was one day that would set in motion a different path that would change my life.

 

Introduction to Dave Ramsey

I was over at my neighbor’s house one afternoon, sitting around watching TV and chatting about random subjects. At one point, we got onto the topic of personal finances. Something I did not give much thought to because I had a steady job, a roof over my head, and a nice SUV…then he said, “Hey, have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey?” At the time, I had not, so he pulled up an hour-long seminar hosted by Dave Ramsey on YouTube. At the time, I was thinking, “Why are we watching this?” But, not too long in, it started to click. After the video was over, my neighbor gave me his extra copy of Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover. The book reiterated much of what Dave talked about in the YouTube video, and I realized, “I’M BROKE!”

 

“We Buy Things We Don’t Need with Money We Don’t Have to Impress People We Don’t Like.” -Dave Ramsey

While reading the Total Money Makeover, this quote stuck with me. I started looking around my house at all the crap I had accumulated and started adding up the cost. I would think about everything I could have done with that money if I did not buy all that stuff. I thought, “You could have paid cash for that SUV in the garage,” “You could have something saved for retirement,” “You might not be living paycheck to paycheck,” and so on and so on. There was so much truth in that quote, and it resonated with me so deeply that I felt physically ill thinking about all the financial mistakes I had made. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and it was time to make a change.

 

The Baby Steps

I started from Baby Step 1 (Save $1,000) and worked through Baby Steps 2 (pay off consumer debt) and 3 (build an emergency fund) fairly efficiently. A 3-month emergency fund for my household makes sense because we have no children, both are employed, and do not have very many expenses, fortunately.

 

Through the first three Baby Steps, there were setbacks. Things around the house break, medical issues arise, and unexpected expenses come up. I learned that doing the Baby Steps in order makes perfect sense. At first, I tried to do multiple steps simultaneously and found myself failing. I kept finding myself stopping one step to try and fix or continue another step.

 

Only when I started doing the steps in order did I begin to see success. Starting at step one, and only baby step one, changed everything. Eventually, I started gaining confidence in the process and never looked back. I am currently working on Baby Step 4 (saving for retirement) and have a long way to go. The first three steps helped me build good money habits that naturally flowed into Baby Step 4.

 

It Can Work for Anybody

We all tend to make excuses about why we cannot do something. I am the same way from time to time and certainly was making excuses about money and finances. The fact of the matter is, once you make the conscious decision that you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you are already winning. It is kind of like losing weight; you must want it to succeed.

 

Getting started is the most challenging part, but the easiest way to do it is starting with Baby Step 1 (save $1,000). There are plenty of motivational success stories out there to get you started outside of mine that you can find with simple Google searches. You can hear them every day just listening to The Ramsey Show.

 

We at Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers have a team of financial advisors to help you reach your financial goals, but we also have a Dave Ramsey-certified financial coach who can help you on your debt-free journey.

 

I would encourage anyone to follow the Baby Steps journey because experiencing debt freedom is a different feeling that I hope everyone can find in their own lives. Thank you for taking the time to read my short story. If I can help you on your Baby Step journey, please do not hesitate to reach out. I will be your biggest fan.

 

**If you are interested in receiving a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book, please email Shelly Sturts and reference this article (and don’t forget your name and mailing address to send it) for your very own copy from Witaker-Myers Wealth Managers!

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Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers is an SEC-registered investment adviser firm. The information presented is for educational purposes only and intended for a broad audience. The information does not intend to make an offer or solicitation to sell or purchase any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed. Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers reasonably believes that this marketing does not include any false or misleading statements or omissions of facts regarding services, investment, or client experience. Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers has a reasonable belief that the content will not cause an untrue or misleading implication regarding the adviser’s services, investments, or client experiences. Please refer to the firm’s ADV Part 2A for material risks disclosures.

Past performance of specific investment advice should not be relied upon without knowledge of certain circumstances of market events, the nature and timing of the investments, and relevant constraints of the investment. Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers has presented information in a fair and balanced manner.

Copyright (c) 2023 Clearnomics, Inc. and Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers, LTD. All rights reserved. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. No representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to the fairness, accuracy, completeness, or correctness of the information and opinions contained herein. The views and the other information provided are subject to change without notice. All reports posted on or via www.clearnomics.com or any affiliated websites, applications, or services are issued without regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific recipient and are not to be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future results. Company fundamentals and earnings may be mentioned occasionally, but should not be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold the company's stock. Predictions, forecasts, and estimates for any and all markets should not be construed as recommendations to buy, sell, or hold any security--including mutual funds, futures contracts, and exchange traded funds, or any similar instruments. The text, images, and other materials contained or displayed in this report are proprietary to Clearnomics, Inc. and constitute valuable intellectual property. All unauthorized reproduction or other use of material from Clearnomics, Inc. shall be deemed willful infringement(s) of this copyright and other proprietary and intellectual property rights, including but not limited to, rights of privacy. Clearnomics, Inc. expressly reserves all rights in connection with its intellectual property, including without limitation the right to block the transfer of its products and services and/or to track usage thereof, through electronic tracking technology, and all other lawful means, now known or hereafter devised. Clearnomics, Inc. reserves the right, without further notice, to pursue to the fullest extent allowed by the law any and all criminal and civil remedies for the violation of its rights.