Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Should You Trust Dave Ramsey?

Before hearing Dave Ramsey on a Focus on the Family radio broadcast, our finances had pretty much been spiraling out of control. I knew something wasn't right about our financial situation, but for some idiotic reason, I just couldn't quite figure out what it was. I remember calling my dad one day and asking him what we should do if our 15 year old car died before K got his next paycheck-we literally didn't have anything in our bank account because we had just used all of our money to buy a new MacBook. That's just one example of how we spent money. We bought all kinds of embarrassing things as well (In fact, so embarrassing to admit that we actually spent money on some of the things we bought that I'm not even going to mention them here). Looking back at our situation is almost humorous now, but really could have been disastrous then. I suppose I must give Dave Ramsey credit where credit is due. He gave us the motivation and organization we needed to get our financial house in order. We paid off all of our debt (about $50,000) in less than a year. We sold EVERYTHING. We did the envelopes. We had "allowance." We were really "Gazelle Intense." The house of course was not included in the $50,000, but praise God, it is now off our backs as well thanks to a short sale, so I suppose we can now legitimately say, "We're Debt Free!"

Anyway, you must wonder where I'm going with this post. After all, here I am talking about the positive change we had in our lives as a result of Dave Ramsey's program. What could possibly be untrustworthy about a man who encourages people to become debt free? Quite a bit actually. Now I'm not saying it is a bad idea for people to have an emergency fund. In fact, $1000 was never a comfortable amount for me, and even when we first started his program I think ours was closer to $3000. I'm also somewhat neutral on his advice to get completely out of debt since the one and only advantage of the criminal Federal Reserve devaluing our currency is that it benefits debtors. On the other hand, I certainly like the financial security that we have knowing that we don't owe money to anyone. What an awesome feeling! With all that said, it saddens me to say that I believe that Dave Ramsey is misleading many people. Before you take all of his advice you may want to read this article. It helps paint the other side of the picture. If Dave is just a guy who is out there to help people, then why does he charge money for his program to people who are already saddled with debt? Why does he tell people to make lousy investments? Could it be that he is doing more harm than good?