When Bryan Gaines used to open his mail it was a nightmare. "Every time I would get that credit card bill in the mail and I would see that number go up because I wasn't spending within my means and it really made me anxious not knowing how I was going to pay that off and I couldn't," Gaines told me. But after taking the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University program, he climbed his way out of debt in four years and a month and took control of his finances. It's how he has stayed on track that I found interesting.
Instead of one bank account Bryan has two. He has the majority of his paycheck directly deposited into his ‘bills' account. A much smaller amount of money goes into his other account, that money will be all he uses as "spending cash" all month. He's diligent. "Every paycheck the first thing I do is grab my spending money and it goes in my wallet and it is cash that's my spending money. Once that's gone it's gone," Gaines said.
He uses an Excel program for his budget and figures in everything down to Christmas money. He keeps track of his spending on a daily basis. Checks his budget right on his smart phone where he's created a financial folder that has his budget, and apps for his bank accounts. "I know right now how much is in my spending account and what the savings look like."
He laughs when talking about his line-item budget. "My excel spread sheet is very long, full of percentages and a lot of numbers. It's a little geeky but it works for me," he jokes. It has worked for him.
Looking back on his life with a pile of debt that added up to $25,000.00, Gaines says life now is close to stress free. "I still have the regular day to day stresses, but I don't worry about money, I control it, it doesn't control me," Gaines said.
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