Dave Ramsey fans will recognize the phrase “beans & rice, rice & beans” from his show. I listen to his podcast, and don’t think there’s been one yet where he hasn’t said that phrase. Since I’m a rather literal person, my reaction until recently has been to think “ew I don’t like those” whenever I hear the phrase.
Maybe that explains why it took me so long to think about why he might be saying it.
Now I don’t know, maybe he does mean it literally. I could understand circumstances where eating rice & beans would be appropriate. (Or even just normal.) I’ve been in them, although for me it was more like ramen & crackers, which are nowhere near as healthy as rice & beans. But the idea behind the phrase, even when not taken literally, could apply to anyone.
If you want to get out of debt (or accomplish some other money-related goal) really looking at and evaluating where you spend your money is half the battle. Next comes cutting your spending dramatically.
So I thought about our short-term goal of putting away $20,000 each every year for the next 3 years. Then I thought about how much money I’d spent this month on other things: eating out, some new clothes for me and for my son, a few hundred for something he wants to do this summer, money toward new windows, etc. That’s a LOT of money. Nearly a thousand dollars. What if I’d put that toward the $20,000 instead? I could get there so much faster.
But I realized that I’m happy with the $20,000 a year approach that also allows us to DO things. Yeah, I could spend less. And I probably will, to a certain extent. I certainly don’t foresee spending an extra thousand every month, nor could I afford to do that AND meet our goals. So I won’t. But I’ve been enjoying actually being ABLE to spend money, worry-free, for the first time in my life. I’m not going to cut back to beans & rice (or ramen & crackers) either. It’s nice to know that I could though.
My husband is happy with our current approach too, and I think that’s what’s important — finding a balance that works for US. Being aware of the beans & rice, rice & beans idea is good, because it makes us really evaluate our options and appreciate the positive changes in our lives.