Monday, July 4, 2011

Gazelle Intensity

Dave Ramsey, the man behind the baby steps, coined the phrase "gazelle intense" when talking about how you approach tackling your debt.

When a gazelle is being chased down by a lion they are laser focused on the task at hand; it is much the same way while you're working on getting out of debt.  Everything you do needs to be geared towards moving to a better financial life for you and your family.  Some people are more "gazelle" than others; you have to pick a level that works for you.  I just wanted to give some suggestions of things that you can do to help lower expenses to free up more money each month to get you out of debt faster.

1)  Cancel cable.  We did this and it has worked out better then I could have imagined.  We use netflix for all of our movie/t.v. watching needs, and my husband can find any live game of any sports (even playoff basketball) online for free, so we have been enjoying saving the $70/mo we were paying the cable guy.

2)  Meal plan.  I do this sometimes, but have to admit, I fall off the wagon occasionally.  Take a calendar and write out each meal (we only do it for dinner) that you are going to make and eat at home for the week/two weeks/month and go grocery shopping off of that list.  I look to see what is already in the pantry and freezer to make meals around that so I have to do less shopping.  Speaking of less shopping...

3)  Stay out of the stores.  If you have a spending problem, don't go places where you'll spend money.  It is another one of those simple, but oh so hard things.  I am talking about clothes shopping, furniture shopping, even grocery shopping.  I know you have to buy food, but you don't have to buy food every day.  I have to limit myself on going to Target.  I can admit it.  My name is Sarah and I'm a Targetoholic.

4)  Reassess your W4 allowances annually.  Go to and use the withholding calculator.  You will need the previous pay stubs (for you and your spouse if applicable) for the most accurate results.  You put in your information and it will tell you how many allowances you should claim on your W4 at work.  If you're like me you routinely get $2000-$3000 back from your tax refund. Once I actually thought about it, I didn't like that idea.  That is $250 a month I could be using throughout the year instead of having to wait until the following April to get MY HARD EARNED money.

5)  Recycle cans.  It is good for the Earth and good for the your wallet.  We take our soda cans to the scrap metal place a couple of times a month and usually can get about $25/mo for them.  It isn't much, but hey, that is a movie for the two of us every month if that is how we choose to spend our date night.  

Those are just some of the things we started doing on our debt free journey to try to save money.  I'll add more tips as I go along.  If you have any suggestions please let me know.  I'm always looking for some money saving (or time saving) advice.


  1. I have a friend getting in to couponing. It's actually pretty cool. I think I might try it. I just can't have a huge stockpile, you know? So I'll see how it works for our family.

    Also, have you heard of Moneywise?

    PS - So glad you are doing this blog! What a great way to help others!

  2. Thanks! I am really enjoying this because it turns out having the most secure financial future for my family and friends is something I am passionate about. I don't really coupon (yet). I also think the extreme coupon stuff looks cool, but we don't have stockpile storage space either.

    I have not heard of Moneywise, I'll have to look it up.