I am not sure if you are the same Steve Rhode I wrote to about 7 years ago. I heard about you on the TV show Starting Over, with Rhonda Britten. I wrote to you asking advice on how to get out of the large debt we had from attempting to start our own business, while also experiencing all the stress of having a sick child. At the time, you told us our best option was to borrow any money we needed to in order to file Chapter 13.
You also said that it would be best, at this point, for my husband to work for someone else. We did exactly what you said, and have always been so grateful to you for that advice.
Now, 7 years later, we have great credit again, paid off the bankruptcy, and my husband is earning his Masters while teaching High School.
My question is this: Now that we are not in debt, what is the next step we should take to have greater financial security? We don’t have any savings. Is that the best place to start?
Well thank you so much for your question. Is nice that you remembered me as the debt coach on the Starting Over television show.
I’m so glad my advice to you was a benefit and helped to get you back on track.
Getting started on the savings account is going to be a key building block on living safer moving forward.
A savings account, or as some call it, an emergency fund, is critical so unexpected expenses don’t wind up back on expensive credit again.
I’m a huge fan of a balanced approach that includes having fun and living life.
So my suggestion is to first make sure you are both taking advantage of any employer matching contributions into your 401(k) or retirement accounts. That is free money they want to give you. Take it.
Next, determine what money you have left over each month after paying all the bills and essential items. Then apply my law of thirds to it. Save a third, invest a third, and blow a third having fun.
Despite what you might hear from people, there is no perfect budget to live under. Just make sure you life fits within your income, you’ve got a financial safety net in place to protect you from an emergency and retirement, and enjoy life.
Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.