What Dave Ramsey Is Good For

I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio show podcast every day for months. I love it!

Yesterday I started thinking about how I’ve applied Dave Ramsey’s advice in my life and I realized… I haven’t. I’ve done almost the opposite of everything he says. Here’s proof:

  • He says pay off your smallest debt first, I went with the highest interest.
  • He says stop your retirement contributions, I increased mine.
  • He says stop using credit cards, I use mine for every expense except my rent.
  • He says build up an emergency fund of $1k, I did that but then realized I could just use my credit cards and pay them off.
  • He says get on a written budget, but I don’t budget. (I use Mint to sorta check in sometimes… at best.)

It seems like I listen to Dave Ramsey but don’t actually implement his advice. In fact I often go out of my way to do the opposite of what he teaches. Why would I listen to his show every day if I’m going to use other financial principles to guide me?

I listen to Dave Ramsey because he is a great motivator. Listening to his show keeps me committed to accomplishing my financial goals. I might not be paying off debt and saving in the same way he teaches but I am paying off debt and saving. We don’t have to agree on the details to agree on the big things. His show keeps me motivated on the big things.

I love listening to debt free callers to his show. I love hearing how they’ve paid off so much debt. Often way more than I’ve paid off! I re-listened to his special show where people who had paid off everything including the house called in. That was super inspirational to me. I want to pay off a house one day. I want to live without any bills. I want that freedom.

Dave Ramsey does have some good ideas that I listen to as well. For instance, I am driving a beater right now. It’s the ugliest car I’ve ever owned. It’s older than the first car I got at age 16. It’s got random parts from other cars and it’s obvious. It’s not going to get me any style points any time soon but it definitely is saving me money on something I need to have.

In conclusion, Dave Ramsey is good for inspiration. And perhaps the occasional idea. At least that’s what he is good for to me!