The Road to Financial Peace

dave r

Total Money Makeover

By Peggy Moore

Seven months have passed since I wrote A New Year, A New Financial You (01/04/13) where I summarize Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover and set personal goals for 2013.  Even though I posted a blog update on 04/12/13 called A New Year, A New Financial You Revisited, I’ve accomplished even more of my goals and want to share more of what I’ve learned and how I’m continuing to strive for financial peace. 

I read a statement by Dave Ramsey that really resonated with me: “personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior.”  With this in mind, I found that I had to change one certain behavior that was hindering my financial goals: shopping.  In the past I was spending money that I didn’t have, using credit cards like cash and was unable to pay off the balances.  I had a decision to make.  If I wanted to accomplish my financial goals, I needed something better to do with my free time, so I picked up additional hours at my part time job.  No longer is the majority of my free time spent shopping.

Keep in mind that shopping wasn’t the only change that I had to make.  I also had to set a budget and stick with it.  I had set budgets in the past but those budgets were mainly just to make sure I paid my bills on time.  Budgeting this time around meant allocating all of my pennies so that I knew how much I had to spend on clothing, food, gas, bills, etc. and when that money was gone for that category, there was no more spending.  Dave Ramsey uses the “envelope system” where you have a separate envelope for each category, put the allocated amount of cash in that envelope and when the envelope is empty, you spend no more money in that category.  I found that system harder to use because I use a debit card for most all transactions.  An online tool I found that has helped me stay on budget is allows you to see all of your accounts in one place, including balances and transactions.  You can even set up your account to send you reminders when bills are due, when you are over-budget in a category, set goals, etc.  There’s even an app for my smart phone which allows me to see how I’m doing at any time. really has helped me stay focused on the end goal: financial peace!

The other major challenge for me was learning to be honest with people.  I thought my friends and family would judge me if they knew about my money and financial troubles.  But trying to stick to my restaurant and entertainment budget without being honest was weighing on me mentally and financially.  I wanted to have a social life but I had to make additional changes if my budget was going to stay on track.  It was at this point that we had “the talk.”  To my surprise, they were very supportive.  Now we do low-budget evenings, such as going out for dinner and then watching a movie at someone’s house instead of at the theater. This has not only helped keep my restaurant and entertainment budget on track, it has brought us closer!

At this point I’ve outlined the major changes I’ve made in my life since January 1st but you are probably wondering where I sit financially.  After months of hard work and perseverance, I can proudly say that I am credit card debt free! How much credit card debt have I paid off?  I personally was surprised by the amount – $4,000.00.  Before the total money makeover I really thought I was living paycheck to paycheck.  Clearly I wasn’t.  I needed to make some changes in my life and Dave Ramsey helped me see that. 

Was it hard work to get where I am today? Of course!  Did I have to make sacrifices?  Yes!  But was it worth it?  Absolutely!

I don’t look at my success up to this point as one hurdle that I’ve surpassed – this will be a complete lifestyle change.  This isn’t only about paying off debt: it’s about making smarter choices in my life and making the decision to change my life for the better.

Are you willing to make a lifestyle change?  Do you want to strive for bigger and better things for yourself, your children and your future?  Read The Total Money Makeover, set your own goals and strive to achieve them.  Will it be hard work?  Yes.  Will there be set backs?  Yes.  Will you have to make sacrifices?  Yes.  But in the end you will be on the same road I’m on, the road to financial peace!

Another way to get financially fit is to be financially secure. Visit Western Fraternal Life to learn more.

For more information on Dave Ramsey, his books, and more, visit or


Food, Friendship, and Fraternalism

Food is the binding force that holds together people in many cultures. Between lodge meetings held over delicious culinary dishes and celebrating special occasion with recipes from the homeland, our members have been sharing and perfecting their recipes for over 116 years. Over the years, wfla has compiled recipes from our members that were made into a cookbook. To order the cookbook, email here. To read more of our favorite recipes visit our website here. Here are some of the Czech recipes for you to try your hand at!

Brambrova Polevka Czech Potato Soup

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, diced

½ c. celery

2 T. parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

4 potatoes, cubed

½ c. mushrooms, chopped

¼ tsp. marjoram (optional)

Put onions, carrots, and celery in large kettle. Add salt and pepper and cook slowly, about 15 minutes until ingredients are tender. Add potatoes, mushrooms, marjoram, and parsley. Make a roux of 3 tablespoons flour and butter; brown lightly. Add to soup and cook 5 minutes.

Sauerkraut Soup

2 lbs. spareribs or pork hocks


1 qt. sauerkraut

½ chopped onion

1 T. caraway seed

Pepper to taste

1 pt. sweet or sour cream

1 T. flour

Put meat in kettle and cover with water. Boil until meat is almost done. Add sauerkraut, onions, and caraway seed. Boil meat until meat is tender. Add pepper. Mix cream and flour together and add to mixture. Cook 5 minutes longer. Do not overcook. If soup is too salty from sauerkraut, add a little sugar.

Head Sausage “jeternice”

1 cut up pig head or 10-15 lbs. pork butt roasts

1 box quick pearl barley

4 oz. pork sausage seasoning

1 T. garlic powder or pressed garlic cloves

Pepper and salt to taste

Marjoram (optional)

Boil the pork meat after cutting it in smaller pieces. It takes 1 ½ hours or so to boil. In the meanwhile cook the box of barley until done. Remove the meat from the bones and grind up. Add the seasonings and mix well. Pour into pork casings with sausage stuffer. Cut in lengths desired and tie ends together in a circle. Fry in oven in frying pan or under broiler.

Grandma Monica’s Kolache

¾ c. lukewarm water

2 tsp. sugar

2 packages dry yeast

3 c. warm milk

¾ c. butter softened

¾ c. sugar

1 ½ tsp. salt

4 egg yolks (reserve whites)


Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Let it bubble. Combine milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture and egg yolks. Add 3 cups flour and beat well. Set bowl over warm water and let mixture get bubbly. Add more flour until dough can be handled. You will want a soft dough. Lightly grease bowl and dough. Place bowl over warm water and let dough rise. Punch down dough and let rise again. Pat dough out with hands in floured surface. Cut dough with pizza cutter and fill with desired filling. (We cut into squares and pinch corners together in the middle). Let rise again. Brush tops with beaten egg whites and tablespoon of sugar. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. Brush baked kolache with melted butter. Yield : about 12 dozen kolache.


½ c. butter

2 c. sugar

6 eggs, beaten

½ c. milk

3. c. flour

1 T. baking powder

3 c. pitted sour cherries

¼ c. sugar to taste

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and milk. Beat well. Sift flour and baking powder and add to creamed mixture. Beat again. Pour into a greased and floured 10 X 15in pan. Sprinkle cherries over batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes. It may be frosted with powdered sugar frosting while warm. If using a glass pan, bake at 325 degree.

Bramborvy knedliky

(potato dumplings)

6 C shredded, boiled cold potatoes

4 eggs

4 c. flour

1 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together well. Take half of the mixture and roll out on a floured surface into a long roll, about 1 ½ inches in width. Cut into 3-inch lengths. Drop into boiling water for 7-8 minutes. Move them around so they do not stick to the bottom. Remove them with a slotted spoon onto a cookie sheet. Brush with butter or oil. Or mix them with hot sauerkraut. If you have cooked a pork roast or duck, pour some of the drippings into the dumplings and sauerkraut.