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THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER JOURNAL
By DAVE RAMSEY
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2007 DAVE RAMSEY
All right reserved.
I want to talk you into doing something you normally wouldn't do. I want you to track your progress through your Total Money Makeover in writing. Journaling this process in detail will be a huge tool and great treasure for you if you make the effort. I know that writing everything down as you go means more work, but the payoff will be well worth it.
Take this journal and record everything happening that seems like a big deal. Record the relationship issues, the debt, the emotions, the setbacks, the victories, and anything else that seems important at the time. Just so you know: I am not a big journaling nerd. But I did this through my process of going broke and losing everything. While you are heading the other direction with your Total Money Makeover, you will likely get the same benefits I got by journaling.
The immediate benefits of writing everything down are twofold. First, writing helps you process the problems and victories. Have you ever had a problem and sat down with a friend for advice? We have all had the experience that by the time we finished describing the problem, we knew the answer. The reason that we answered our own question is that in order to verbalize the problem we converted our jumbled thoughts to concise ideas that clarified the situation. The same thing happens when you write out the "crisis of the day" or-hopefully more often than not-your latest victory. This new clarity will help you move faster through your Total Money Makeover.
The second immediate benefit of journaling is that you can reread your entry just days-even months-later and gain vital perspective on your progress. When we were going broke, I remember entering a very emotional, hopeless entry. It was right after we lost one of our apartment complexes to foreclosure. "Gloom, despair and agony on me...." It sounded like a Hee Haw song. My entry pretty much revealed how I knew life on the planet was over thanks to this particular foreclosure. Of course, it wasn't. The weird thing is that just a few weeks later, while still heading toward bankruptcy, I reread my entry and laughed. Rereading my hopeless entry didn't depress me; it gave me perspective. I realized that life on the planet hadn't ended, so maybe-just maybe-I was being a little melodramatic. This isn't to devalue the feelings I had in the middle of the crisis, but to highlight the fact that the next time I faced a "planet ending crisis" I was better prepared, emotionally and spiritually. Journaling helps you see the big picture during your Total Money Makeover.
But I think possibly the best reason to do this journal is that it makes a generational gift. I have a copy of my great great grandfather's memoirs. He fought in the Civil War, later founded a college, and even later became a preacher. The memoirs are full of challenges, humor, and wonderful stories. If you leave this book full of what you experience while having your Total Money Makeover to your great great grandchildren, you will have left a real treasure.
I believe that if you do with money what we teach, then you will literally be able to financially change your family tree. I think it would be very cool to leave this journal to document how you did it. So here is my challenge:
Write it down.
You will be glad you did.
Excerpted from THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER JOURNAL by DAVE RAMSEY Copyright © 2007 by DAVE RAMSEY. Excerpted by permission.
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