Join us for one of the most exciting announcements in our history,
a Sneak Peek at the New Financial Peace University!
Also Included In This Issue:
Get Plugged In!
Look at your left arm.
Do you like it? Do you really like your left arm? Isn't it just awesome?
Now imagine your left arm with a red, nasty sunburn—the really painful kind of sunburn. You know, the type that leaves you bathing in aloe for a week and cursing anyone who breathes in your general direction.
Isn't that an awful thing to do to your awesome left arm? It absolutely is.
But those are the types of things that happen when you don't budget for your summer vacation. You get stuck on a beautiful beach without sunscreen because you spent all your pre-vacation money on flip-flops and sunglasses.
Your eyes love the protection, and your feet are free to breathe—all while your poor, once-colorless, naturally pale left arm must endure the sun's fiery flames.
Vacation doesn't have to be that way. You can keep your left arm happy and healthy by simply planning ahead.
Here are a few things to keep in mind while budgeting for your summer vacation:
Is your chihuahua, Tinkerbell, going on the trip with you? If not, who's keeping her? Will she be staying at a doggie hotel or at a friend's house? Do you dare leave Tinkerbell to fend for herself in the backyard? Does she have a week's worth of food? All of that costs money. Don't forget about Tinkerbell.
Few things in life are more disgusting than a dry mouth on the beach. Okay, maybe it's more than just a few things. But you've got to admit, in the middle of all that grainy sand, dry heat and wind, a cooler filled with crackers, sandwiches and refreshing water is a welcome treat. If you can buy all that stuff in bulk before you leave, then do it—especially if you have kids. As you probably know, kids tend to eat a lot of food.
You know what else kids like? Stuff. Like plastic dolphins and shark's teeth and a bongo drum with a painted bird on it. And, hey, if you want an airbrushed shirt that says "Kevin Loves Lisa" with palm trees and a setting sun in the background, who are we to judge? But those personalized memories aren't cheap. You might not realize it, but everything within 10 miles of an ocean is 100% more expensive.
Are you driving? If so, don't become one of those sad families stuck on the side of the interstate in South Georgia because Dad forgot to change the oil. That burned-up engine will send your vacation budget into flames.
Think of this as your "blow money" on vacation. Vacations are unpredictable, so you need to budget in that unpredictability. Junior might get stung by a jellyfish. After five days of seafood, you'll surely need to make a Prilosec run to deal with that nasty acid reflux. It might rain one day, prompting you to rent and watch season four of Saved By The Bell. Or maybe your 3-year-old decides to make a self-portrait on the bathroom wall. Something unexpected always happens.
What vacation necessities have you learned to budget for? Share your advice with others.
Vacation is supposed to be fun, but budgeting for it sounds so … boring.
Maybe it's not as fun as snorkeling with dolphins, but it's absolutely necessary, because snorkeling with Flipper isn't cheap. You need to make sure you can pay for that before you take the dive.
Budget now, and you'll be thankful later.
Many families will go on ridiculously fun trips now and still be paying for it in September. Don't become one of them! Now’s the perfect time to reset your family’s money goals so when things speed up in the fall, you’re on track. Learn how to control your money and vacation wisely now and in the future. Find a Financial Peace University class near you!
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How to Sell Your Home
When your home is for sale, you'd give anything to get into the minds of homebuyers and find out exactly what they're looking for in a new home. We did just that, asking recent homebuyers what sold them on their new homes.
Attract the Right Buyer
The responses we received made one thing clear: The key to attracting the right buyer is to highlight your home's features without trying to bill it as something it isn't. That goes for new construction with all the bells and whistles and fixer-uppers that need a lot of work.
This strategy also works equally well for the two main types of buyers we identified.
The "Move-In Condition" Buyer: "Move-in condition" buyers are drawn to unique features, so play them up. For Amy Brause, it was the transom windows and claw-foot tub. For Kayla Leggett Herrera, it was the charm of a home built in the 1920s. Mike Daggett fell for the quiet lot, mature trees and established neighborhood.
Others enjoyed their homes' open floor plans, and many, like Lia Buchanan Dunne, sang the praises of a kitchen with plenty of storage. Laundry rooms also get a lot of press with happy homebuyers.
The "I See Potential" Buyer: If your home isn't much now but has great potential, be upfront about it. But make sure buyers understand how great the neighborhood is or how peaceful the wooded lot is.
Lynn Dean said her new home was dated and had been empty for four years. "We studied the average [cost per square foot] in this area and knew we could remodel and built great equity immediately."
For Lori Bisser, who says she just bought the ugliest, smallest home she has ever owned, it's all about the location. "The neighbors are great, and the lifestyle is a perfect fit (walk to school, church, shops, restaurants, lots of biking and dog walking)."
Sellers can write a short letter describing their home's positives and leave copies on the kitchen counter for prospects to take home with them.
Price It Right
Basically, the old real estate adage that every home has a buyer is true—as long as the price is right. We can't overstate the importance of getting this right. Many new owners said they either bought their homes with cash or have payments less than what they used to pay in rent.
Get It Sold With a Real Estate Pro
Consult an experienced agent like one of Dave's real estate Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) to find out how to make the most of your home's features. Your ELP will also help you set the right price for your home. And, if you're ready to buy, an ELP can help you find a deal that's just right for you. Contact your ELP today!
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The New Retirement Age: What's Yours?
The expected retirement age is up. Again.
A new Gallup poll shows the average expected retirement age in America is now 67. That number has been steadily increasing since 1995, when it was 60. Even more shocking is that, on average, people age 40 and older expect to retire at 68.
As you can probably guess, the financial fallout of the last few years is a big reason for the new number. The market has made a lot of 401(k) plans feel like 201(k)s, and there's no shortage of news stories about home values dropping so fast you'd think the house was bought at a new car lot.
But there's good news. Retirement is very much within your control, even when the market tanks. The key is being smart with the money you have. For example, people tend to think that when it comes to retirement, investing is all there is to it. Obviously, you want to sock money away and grow it over time. But in addition to investing, you can make your money go a lot further when you have no debt. It's a simple fact: Getting out of debt makes your cost of living significantly lower.
Let's say your house payment is $1,400 a month. It can take years to build up your retirement savings to the point that it generates that amount, but paying off your house drops your monthly bills by 1,400 bucks instantly. How manageable would your expenses be if all your debt were gone? Don't underestimate how valuable it is to be debt-free when you are older.
It can happen. In fact, if you are bound and determined to retire on your terms and not the economy's, it will happen. Even if your retirement plan drops in value a bit, being debt-free and willing to live within your means will do a lot to carry you through any economic rough stretch, and it will certainly give you the freedom to retire with a bunch of years in front of you.
Retire when you want. And the way to get there is to do a zero-based budget! Our surveys indicate people who create and live by a zero-based budget pay-off 19% more debt, and save 18% more money. And using our new Gazelle Budget Wizard will have you up and running in a matter of minutes. We'll even help you with recommend percentages of your income for each expense category. Get started today – the first 7 days are FREE!
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What's Happening at daveramsey.com
There's always a lot going on at daveramsey.com! Here are a few highlights that you may have missed recently:
Should You Buy or Sell in 2012?
Depending on who you ask, the housing market is finally, but slowly, starting to climb back. Or, it's more of the same — foreclosures and falling home values. Either way, homebuyers and sellers have a lot to consider before they make a move this year.
What We Learned at EntreLeadership
While attending EntreLeadership Master Series, we talked to several of these new EntreLeaders and asked them about their journey through EntreLeadership. For many, it's been life-changing. Here is a sampling of what they learned over the week.
Money Talks, Parents Don't.
According to a recent T. Rowe Price survey, most parents would rather talk to their kids about smoking, drugs or bullying instead of their own family finances. But, the truth is, the kids would rather hear about saving and how to make more money. Use these quick tips to start talking with your kids more about this important subject.
Dr. Meg Meeker's 30-Day Challenge
In the anticipated follow-up to Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, Dr. Meg Meeker takes dads through 30 practical challenges to help them grow in their parenting skills. The 30-Day Challenge teaches you how to become engaged and intentional in your daughter's life as she matures from childhood into womanhood. Read the Day 1 Challenge now!
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Find Dave's Class in Your Town
||Financial Peace University classes are beginning all over the country, so get involved with one in your area.
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- September 12, 2012 - EntreLeadership 1-Day - Indianapolis, IN
- September 13, 2012 - Living a Legacy - Oklahoma City, OK
- September 21, 2012 - EntreLeadership 1-Day - Nashville, TN
- October 3, 2012 - EntreLeadership 1-Day - Phoenix, AZ
- October 4, 2012 - Living a Legacy - Southern California
- October 6, 2012 - Total Money Makeover LIVE! - Southern California
- October 14–20, 2012 - EntreLeadership Master Series - Orlando, FL
- October 24, 2012 - EntreLeadership 1-Day - Houston, TX
- October 25, 2012 - Living a Legacy - Denver, CO
- November 7, 2012 - Living a Legacy - Seattle, WA
Keep up on the latest happenings by following Dave on Twitter: @daveramsey
Did you know Dave has a Speakers Group? Here are a few upcoming dates.
- June 5, 2012 – Christy Wright – Great Clips – Nashville, TN
- June 5, 2012 – Jon Acuff – Salvation Army – Pasadena, CA
- June 8 – Chris LoCurto – Pizza Ranch, Inc. – Wisconsin Dells, WI
- June 12 – Jon Acuff – Kairos – Brentwood, TN
- June 19–20 – Jon Acuff – BigStuf Camps – Panama City, FL
- June 21 – Christy Wright – Families and Money Seminar – St. Augustine, FL
- June 22–24 – Rachel Cruze – Alive Festival – Canton, OH
- June 26–27 – Jon Acuff – BigStuf Camps – Panama City, FL
- July 15 – Rachel Cruze – Gwinnett Church – Atlanta, GA
- July 16 – Chris Hogan – Mattress Firm – Laguna Niguel, CA
- July 19 – Jon Acuff – Special Kids – Murfreesboro, TN
- July 19 – Chris Hogan – Missile Defense Agency – Huntsville, AL
- July 23 – Chris Hogan – ThinkTank – Nashville, TN
- July 24–25 – Jon Acuff – BigStuf Camps – Panama City, FL
- July 27 – Rachel Cruze – Vector Marketing – Stamford, CT
Want to bring one of Dave's speakers to your group or event? Find out how.
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Sunday 12–4 p.m. ET
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|| KRAC AM 1370
||M–F 12–3 p.m. PT
Quote of the Month
"Don't buy a home in the first year of young marriage. It takes a year to know how close to your mother-in-law to buy."
—Dave Ramsey via Twitter, @daveramsey
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