I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend about my goals for 2012. This was sort of inspired by the discussion over at Newlyweds on a Budget regarding Dave Ramsey and If I Were a Wealthy Girl’s post about why she chose Dave Ramsey’s plan over those peddled by other financial gurus.
The bottom line is, I don’t really like Dave Ramsey the person very much. I think his ideas about marriage are very old-fashioned and the infusion of religious ideas into his financial teachings just isn’t my taste. I also take issue with some of his financial ideas, like his view of credit cards. I really don’t understand why credit cards are so bad if you pay them off every month. Going completely credit card free just isn’t for me.
But in general, I think Dave Ramsey’s financial approach is pretty sound, at least for someone like me who is young (I’m not so sure someone in their 40s or 50s should put off saving for retirement while they get out of debt, but again, that’s not the situation I’m in) and trying to set my financial life up right. I like the step-by-step methodology of the plan and how it addresses all the aspects of leading a healthy financial life – getting out of debt, creating an emergency fund, saving for retirement, etc. I also like that it’s easily customizable to your own financial situation.
So what does this have to do with my 2012 goals? I’ve decided to take the next step (baby step 3) in Dave Ramsey’s plan and spend 2012 creating my 3-6 month emergency fund. That is, I’m going to aim to have $10,000 saved by the end of 2012. That could float me very comfortably for 5 months if I lost my job, but I really could stretch it for six months if I had to. That will make me feel very secure and ready to start aggressively saving for retirement.
What do you think about Dave Ramsey’s baby steps? Are they right for you? Do they impact the goals that you make?