Right now my and my husbands major source of financial stress is all of our debt and lack of savings. What's even more crazy, two and a half years ago we did not have any debt except a small credit card balance. Now it seems to have mushroomed.
We had heard about Dave Ramsey a few years back and read his book. We liked a lot of what he had to say but didn't exactly agree with his plan. With people like this who help advise on how to get out and stay out of debt you have to take them with a grain of chocolate. Take the suggestions you like and come up with a hybrid of your own. Most importantly, find out what works for you in your particular situation. What is workable for you.
With the amount of debt we have right now I could not even think of waiting to get it all paid off before seriously starting to save money. The hubs and I came up with what we think will be a workable plan. After all of our expenses, minimum payments and some fun money are covered we have X amount left over. We are calling that X our "bucket". In April we will put our bucket towards our debt, in May towards our savings, and keep going like that. True, it will take us a little longer to pay off debt but we will also be increasing our savings at the same time. That is just as important to us as getting the debt paid off.
In just over five years my husbands youngest will have graduated from high school and we will be in our young 40's. It's almost like a do over. We do plan to move to a part of the country that is less expensive (and warmer) and we KNOW that we will be out of consumer debt and have a significant amount of money in savings by then.
If you are in your 20's here is the link to that managing money article.