Why I love Dave Ramsey
Do you know who Dave Ramsey is? I found out about him about five years ago. My oldest daughter was in college and we were starting to pile up student loan debt. My husband and I were not liking it one bit. We had worked hard to pay off our car loans early. We had learned our lesson with credit cards but we didn't think that we could put 3 kids through college without going deep into debt.We were wrong.
I started reading different financial books and came across The Total Money Makeover. I borrowed if from the library and after the first night of reading it I was hooked. There were stories of other families, couples and singles that had a lot more debt than us and still managed to get out of debt.The book explains how to make a zero based budget and Dave's 7 baby steps. We started making a zero based budget right away. We had budgeted before but never like this. It really opened our eyes to how much money we were wasting. Then we started on Dave's Baby Steps.
Step 1: $1,000 Emergency fund: It took us about 2 months to get through this step. At the time it seemed hard because we were cutting so much out of our budget but we realize now that it was worth it.
Step 2: Pay off all of your debt (except your mortgage) from the lowest amount to the highest amount. This took us a little over 2 1/2 years. We were also cash flowing our daughter thru college so that we didn't go deeper into debt. It was hard. I'm not going to lie. We stopped eating out. We stopped going out. Our kids heard more "NOs" then ever before. I questioned if we were doing the right thing. But do you know what happened? It got easier. We seemed to find money. They kids knew that if it wasn't a need then don't ask. They knew that they would still have everything they needed just not everything they wanted. And that is OK.
Step 3: A 3-6 month emergency fund. We took a whole year for this. We didn't let up. We wanted to get this done as quick as possible. My husband's year end bonus helped us cross the finish line on this.
Step 4: 15% into retirement. We are working on this. We are at about 12%. We are hoping to make it 15% by the end of the year.
Step 5: Kids College. We are also working on this. Our son is a freshman in college and we currently have NO loans. My son has contributed some to this since he is working part-time. We are trying to put as much as possible because our youngest is not far behind and only has a year and a half until she starts college. Then it will really get interesting.
Step 6:Pay off Your Mortgage: We are just making our monthly payments right now. We are hoping once the kids are done with school that we can put extra towards it.
Step 7: Live & Give Like No One Else: We cannot wait to get here. It will be a while but we know we can do it.
My husband and I truly believe that Dave Ramsey has helped us change our lives. We listen to his podcast all the time, read his blog and newsletter too. We have most of his books now and have given them as gifts as well. We love all of the Ramsey personalities. We worked hard and it has made a difference in our lives and our kids lives. I love Dave Ramsey and am proud to say it!