(Closed) Dave Ramsey – Life changer or pointless?

posted 6 years ago in Money
  • poll: What do you think of Dave Ramsey
    I have read his books/listened to his semiars and think he's awesome : (17 votes)
    31 %
    I have read his books/listened to his semiars and think he's worthless : (5 votes)
    9 %
    I have not read his books/listened to his semiars cause my finances are just fine : (12 votes)
    22 %
    I have not read his books/listened to his semiars cause I dont think it'll help : (3 votes)
    5 %
    I have not read his books/listened to his semiars cause I havent really thought about it : (7 votes)
    13 %
    I have not read his books/listened to his semiars but I'm damn curious what the big deal is : (11 votes)
    20 %
  • Post # 3
    3182 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    My mom is a big fan of his Financial Peace and kept trying to get me to read it. I think I read parts of it. Honestly most of it seemed like common sense, and some of it I disagreed with. But like I said, I have only read a little bit and have just picked up bits and pieces from other people. 

    ETA – An example of what I disagree with is paying off your smallest debt first. That could easily be your lowest interest rate debt, and you end up paying more in the long run. I don’t need a psychological boost thanks, just want to spend the least amount of money. 

    Post # 4
    1112 posts
    Bumble bee

    Some of it is common sense, but some of the stuff is REALLY good. I haven’t listened to him directly, but been part of many classes that teach based on his principals. Some of the stuff is radical, but VERY helpful. For example, cash only spending, no credit cards, how to save for/buy a car, etc. I say go for it – worth a shot if nothing else.

    Post # 5
    6123 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    @pinkshoes:  I will say I have only read about the baby steps and listened to podcasts when I’m bored at work.  I don’t think he’s awesome or worthless.  he can be a life changer if you’re really really stuck and cannot get yourself out of debt. 

    I have never implemented his methods because I don’t think they are for us.  We have no credit card or student loan debt, we have an emergency savings, we’re socking away 49.2% of our income in retirement, the house is getting extra payments, we live below our means.  I don’t allocate every dollar each month to a category or use cash only, but I do track expenses more for data.  I am all for credit cards especially with cash back rewards for every day expenses.  He doesn’t think most of his audience can be trusted with cards, hence another reason why it may not be for us.

    If there is anyone out there who knows his prinicples inside and out and can see how our situation can be benefitted even further, I am all ears.  I am up for learning anything new or beneficial.

    He kind of has a superiority attitude and I’ve heard him rant and call people stupid like he’s some tough guy.  I hate all the company plugging too on the radio!  Maybe the books would be better then.

    His sytem works for people who are really struggling with trying to get out of debt and cannot seem to find a way themselves.  Or if they have many credit cards and don’t know where to start.  They need structure and hope – so I think Dave gives that.

    There is nothing wrong with reading various authors out there and finding what suits you best.  I’ve also read David Bach’s books.  We all can learn new things every day.

    Post # 6
    10601 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: January 2011

    All the really popular financial people don’t really offer great advice from what I’ve seen.  Suze, Gail, Dave.  Some of it is common sense.  Some of it is not the best thing you can do with your money, but it helps people who don’t have self control when it comes to money.  Ie. it is usually smarter to use a credit card for most purchases, and just pay it off.  Some people can’t handle that though.

    Getting a huge tax refund isn’t actually good, it’s better to owe (knowingly) as owing is like getting an interest free loan, and getting a refund is giving the government an interest free loan.

    Post # 7
    691 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I like how he breaks it down. Suze Orman makes me anxious haha

    Post # 8
    2295 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I’ve written long posts on my experience in the past, so you can go look them up if you’d like to read more.

    I first went through his FPU class 8 years ago. I never was bad with money, didn’t have much debt, yet I still found value in it. It is an absolute LIFE CHANGER. Fiance and I have absolutely no debt and plan to be able to pay cash for a house within 4 years of getting married (may buy sooner and take out a small mortgage but will have it paid off in the same amount of time either way). He also had a big impact on shaping my career. I listen to his show frequently (Podcasts or iHeartRadio).That’s one of the best places to start if you don’t mind talk radio, totally free.

    I am not religious but am able to overlook that stuff because of how helpful I find the content. I absolutely believe it is common sense – but common sense isn’t common practice. And I also agree that personal finance is more about behavior than about math.

    LOVE IT. I don’t follow it 100%, but you don’t have to take every single piece for it to have a big impact on your life.

    Feel free to let me know if you have any specific questions.

    Post # 9
    9053 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I’ve only browsed some of his stuff, but didn’t find it that useful.  We have no debt other than our mortgage which we pay triple payments already, a two year emergency fund and save 25% of our incomes for retirement on top of having very stable government jobs with 70% pensions after 35 years.  I’d like to learn more about building wealth when you’re mid-income than how to pay off debt.

    Personally, I quite enjoyed David Bach’s books.  I was given “Smart Women Finish Rich” when I graduated highschool, and thought that was fairly informative.

    Post # 10
    666 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I like a lot of what Dave Ramsey has to offer.  The only thing that turns me off is his religious bent, and a bit about his instruction to not use credit cards at all (even if you pay them off every month, which is what I do).

    I have never needed Dave Ramsey because I naturally spend less than I earn and I don’t carry debt on depreciating assets.  I save and invest and always have.  But I still enjoy Ramsey’s radio show and books because the motivate me to keep it up, and I enjoy hearing other people who get themselves out of financial trouble.

    I think he’s a great motivator to people that have gotten themselves in messes.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear an amazing story from someone that they dug themselves out of huge amounts of debt by following his plan.

    My fiance’s former roomate was totally transformed by going through Ramsay’s program.  He started out with huge amounts of debt, having to declare bankruptcy for his business, fresh out of his second divorce, not having money for rent most of the time, making poor decisions, etc. He used to go to the bar for “a drink” and come out with his rent money spent partying. He bought a new car when he couldn’t really afford even the payment.  Just lots of bad decisions that hurt him big time.

    After just a couple years doing Ramsey’s plan he’s got all his credit cards paid off, back taxes, and can afford his own apartment.  He makes much better choices now as well in terms of spending.  


    Post # 11
    539 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Agreed! I think he is a great motivator and can provide a really good plan for people who are lost or need direction. i find the show really interesting (though like above, I wish it was less religious!) and I think that anyone who is struggling with money or not sure how to get on the same financial plan with FI/DH should check him out! It is funny that we all spend years of our lives is school, but few of us get taught how to best spend or save money

    Post # 13
    3697 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I have lots of friends who say he’s the bee’s knees, but I only use cash when it can get me a better deal, so…

    ETA:  My dad was a CPA (and he’s Dutch), so I joke that money management was right after ABC’s in our house.  And that’s pretty much no joke.  We opened our first bank accounts the day we got our first allowances. 

    Post # 14
    6123 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I’m listening to him right now (the 1/4/2013 episode).  A 25 year old man called in to see what Dave thought about him finding a job 2-4 hours away because his wife is a nurse, makes a lot of money and it wouldn’t be wise to uproot her job.  He was having trouble finding more income locally.  

    Then Dave later finds out that they eventually wants kids and she will probably stay home – then Dave interjects, “Why did she go get a Master’s if she’s going to be a stay a home mom?”  In fact he asked the husband several times why on earth would someone go extend their schooling if all the ever wanted was to raise kids?  The  husband was stuttering all over himself. 

    My jaw dropped!  I think that is appauling of Dave!  An average working woman has 43 years in the workforce (ages 22-65) but only raises kids for a max of 18 years.  That’s still a minimum of 25 years that you could use your Master’s and the income it generates.  WTF Dave Ramsey!

    Post # 15
    699 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    Some people love it.  I’ve never been in the situation where it’s necessary to “do anything” about my finances.  One of the reasons my spouse and I get along is that we’re fairly eye to eye on saving a boatload of money, while still making some luxury purchases that we like.

    Some people who have received his books as gifts found it to be a great wake up call, to tackle things like their student debt, instead of just paying it off at the prescribed rate forever.  Apparently he uses a lot of emotional wins, to keep motivated, as that is in fact a big part of finances.  Too bad it’s counter intuitive to the math, but for most people with CC debt, the math was never a motivator in the first place, so it works for them.

    I donno – I would read a selection of personal finance books and figure out what works for you.  Other suggestions: The Millionaire Next Door, the Wealthy Barber, Are You a Stock or a Bond?, Your Money Milestones, the Automatic Millionaire, Millionaire Teacher

    Read a few different ones and you ought to have a good idea of some different methods, so you can pick what best fits your personality and goals.  I do not recommend Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

    Post # 16
    1474 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    I LOVE it. It seriously got me and my Darling Husband on the same page financially while we were engaged, and we follow his principles each month, although not to a T. We disagree with a few things. I do think he can be kind of an arrogant jerk, but that comes across more in his radio show than in his books or the Financial Peace University class.

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