Thursday, March 11, 2010


I started working as a teller at a local bank during the last few years of college. I remember when I first started doing transactions for customers and seeing the  balances in their checking account. It was eye popping for me to see the range in account sizes. This was where I first realized that I didn’t want to be “normal” any more, I didn’t want to drain my checking account to $0.15 every two weeks. “Normal” is in quotes because it is all too normal for this to happen.

We recently had an operations manager contact us looking for ways to help improve the financial education and in turn the financial positions of his team members. He was looking for a way to quickly infiltrate his large team with impactful information and strategies that will help them change their habits. He doesn’t want his staff to be normal any more!

When you go to do missions work they say that if the people are hungry they can only hear the growl of their stomach and not the message you are bringing, so you need to feed them. The manager that contacted us knows that if his team members are struggling with their finances, all they can think about is the next paycheck. These employees are bound by their needs and are not free to focus on the work at hand.

So how do we show the world that you do not have to live paycheck to paycheck? How do we communicate that their quality of life is being depleted by draining their checking account?

“Not until the pain of the same is greater than the pain of change will you embrace change.” Dave Ramsey

For me the pain of the same was living life as a broke college student, always worried that if my truck broke down I would be in serious trouble. I knew that I didn’t want to add my wife to this precarious situation and I wanted more for the future of our new family.  But the only real change happened when I realized that I could no longer be “normal”. Normal is just not good enough, normal is being one missed paycheck away from disaster. Normal is having credit card debt, leased cars and a McMansion in the suburbs.

As with most things worth doing, the steps to break the cycle are clear but difficult:

1. Put together an emergency fund.

2. Pay off your credit cards, car loans, student loans and any other type of consumer debt.

3. Build up your emergency fund to 3 – 6 months worth of expenses.

4. Save 15% for retirement.

If you do these 4 things then you wont be normal any more.

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