Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's still Okay

Dave Ramsey often using a saying, "When it doesn't work, it still works out." It's kind of a confusing way of saying that if things don't go as planned, you still come out okay.

This is a really good philosophy for life- kind of like when of those quotes you here and then forget. So let's look at it in different contexts and maybe that will help it stick...

I recently met a woman who's family is living below the poverty line. They didn't have very much debt, but considering their income, it was probably more than they could handle. She wanted to go back to school and take out Federally insured student loans to get her through. Then when she graduated it would be easy for her to pay off the student loans and their other debt. Sounds great, right? Except that Federally insured student loans are not bankrupt able, they don't go away, and unless she becomes disabled or dies they are there for life.

If her plan to finish school by taking out student loans doesn't work out, where will that put her family? With a pile of debt that's not going away and the same income. It's probably a plan that wouldn't pass Dave's test- "When it doesn't work, it still works out." Anyway I tried to talk to her about that, but she sounds like she's going to do it anyway. That's fine, it's her choice, but she's banking on everything working out and everything going as planned. How often does that really happen?

Then I met a couple that pad off all their debt, saved up a six month emergency fund and a huge down payment for a home. They got a smaller home than what the bank qualified them for so that if one of them lost their income, they could still make their payments. If both of them lost their income, they had a six month emergency fund. If she got pregnant, or one of them had health issues, car issues, house issues, or family issues- they had a back up plan. Like Dave says, "if it doesn't work, it still works out."

There have been so many times in my marriage where my husband and I have had this perfect plan. And really it was perfect. If everything went exactly as planned, things would turn out great. I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but it has taken me about three years to finally realize that long term things never go exactly as planned. But now that I get it, I always try to have a work out plan, just in case things don't work out.

What about you?


  1. Oh gosh, my husband and I had THE perfect plan to move. And had everything gone according to the original plan it would have worked out perfectly. Notice I say "original" plan. In the past 6 months our "plan" has changed more times than either of us care to count. We're at the point where we are just going to have to wing it and pray, BUT we still have a backup plan JUST in case it doesn't work out.

    In other words, plans change. Constantly. The only thing that stays the same is everything changes.

  2. My husband and are were both working for several years in mortgage. In April of 2008, we got the news that subprime was dead. In that moment, our ability to earn over 2/3 of our income vanished. Just like that. No warning, nothing we could do to stop it or fix it. Just gone. The whole industry just flew downhill from there for the next 2 years. Just when I decided to go back to school and get out of the industry, I found out I was pregnant. It has been a huge struggle, but we've survived. Our lifestyle has changed in ways I never anticipated. It did force me to finally commit to finishing school. I could no longer say, "But I make so much more money without a degree." I am also spending a ton more time with my kids, which is priceless.

  3. I used to work in the real estate industry. Lost everything in the beginning of the crash in 07, had a kid, was pregnant, and their dad walked. I've had to start over so many times since then. Every time I thought I was getting a leg back up, everything came crashing down again, but one thing I learned from real estate was to 'create income.' By selling whatever people were buying. I was able to survive doing that, but every time I thought I would finally get out of 'survival mode' and back into 'living', something would happen. In 2010 I remarried to the greatest guy in the world and even with two incomes, we still had some SHTF times, but we've gotten through it. Now we live with very little debt, and the debt we do have is going to be wiped out in a CH 7 soon enough. We've started growing our own food and learning to become self-sufficient lifestyle-wise and financially.