I highly recommend the course. It is a common-sense, plain-English approach to smart money management. It's helpful whether your finances are in line or you're completely disorganized and lost in an ocean of debt. Dave is funny, engaging, and has a lot of practical tips (and paid me to say none of this, I promise).
With a baby on the way, we might have been extra motivated to save, but the course was a little extra push to get us to save the amount Dave suggests. And maybe the biggest benefit was learning the importance of budgeting.
We've never been crazy with our money, but we hadn't kept track of every dollar either. So when we started a more disciplined process of budgeting (which still isn't in any danger of perfection), it really opened our eyes to ways we could save. Just cutting out little things here and there can make a huge difference.
Some people, for example, don't realize how much they spend at Starbucks. Those little cups of fancy-schmancy coffee are super expensive! We don't have this particular issue because we both hate coffee. However, we found that we could cut some other things.
- We ate out way too much, and some of that had to go. We still enjoy eating out plenty, but now we have a limit that we try to stick to, instead of just going out whenever we feel like it.
- We also decided to cut cable (and not just for financial reasons). It's not much a month, but after 12 months, we could use our savings to purchase a plane ticket.
- We limited what Dave likes to call "blow money." A trip to the craft store here, and a book on Amazon.com there adds up, so now we just try to stick to some stricter limits. (OK, I admit that my trips to the craft store were probably more frequent than my husband's book purchases.)