read good books. read anything by dave ramsey, andy stanley, tim sanders, seth godin, or of course kenny rogers. i guess you don’t really read kenny. but, through the years, the gambler’s raspy tones and epic anthems have kept me on track. and like any great philosopher his timeless truths are transferable to personal finance.
know when to hold’em
name my truck, it deserves a good name. it’s not aesthetically pleasing. we’re gonna hold on to it though. it runs and that’s the point of a vehicle. we’re keeping our small sedan as long as we can. at any moment, the eldest princess could wake up 6’5″, but until then – we hold. we hold on new towels. we hold on new appliances. we hold on a new mattress, carpeting, television, pillows and a whole lotta other stuff.
know when to fold’em
sell it. you know what it is. king’s confession: only at the end of last year did i unload my baseball card collection. if you are new to the KoF, yes i am a grown-up. early in our debt slaying adventure, i sold some of the valuable ones. there were fifty thousand left. my lady, she believes in me, but the cards had to go.
maybe it’s a car with a big monthly payment or an atv or motorcycle or some random collection, hobby, or even habit. if you’re in debt – dump the plump. if you’re not in debt, evaluate how much of your net worth you want wrapped up in depreciating assets or assets with high carry costs – dump the plump.
know when to walk away
get out of the mall if shopping is a temptation. back away from friends that encourage a high consumption lifestyle. you’re not the coward of the county if you walk away. you’re a hero.
know when to run
run from credit cards. run from car loans. run from whole life insurance. run from payday lenders. run from home equity loans. run from anyone who tries to sell you the foregoing or any other mechanism that jeopardizes your family’s financial future.
never count your money while you’re sitting at the table
when we took our first swings at the debt dragon, i was bad about this. it’s cool to forecast, but the math does not typically change in five minute windows. i would check every account obsessively. admittedly, it was an overcorrect from ignoring the dragon.
we’re not done yet, but the temptation is to count the victory too early. there’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.