This weekend I read my first Dave Ramsey book. I’ve heard about Dave Ramsey for a long time but I’ve never read any of his books or listened to more than 20 or 30 minutes of his radio show. More or less, I guess, I’d say that I default to his big picture positions on money, finances, debt, saving, etc., but never really went very deep into his “philosophy” of finance. Because he’s so influential in so many evangelical Christian circles (and because Krissy and I are thinking through some pieces of our finances), I decided to pick up Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness from the library (saving $15 that I would have otherwise charged on my credit card – ha!).
So…a few things today that I liked about Dave Ramsey:
(1) He pushes against a consumer mentality prevalent in America that heeds little attention to debt. I know plenty of people who are “deep enough” (which is not very deep) in debt where it is one of the major stressors that they face. This is true of people with credit card debt, house debt, business debt, and school debt (even though this is often written off as “good debt”). I don’t know if I would always go as far as Ramsey does, but I do appreciate that he talks about debt from personal experience and paints a real picture of how stressful debt can be.
(2) He teaches that money is something that should be controlled rather than something that controls. Budgeting financially has been one of the best practices that we’ve done in our marriage, and I think staying on top of our finances has freed us from a lot of difficult conversations and situations. I don’t think money is bad or evil, but I do think that money has a lot of potential to do bad or evil things to us. I think Ramsey’s approach to budgeting – account for every dollar – is a good way to prevent money from becoming the terrible master it has proven to be for so many people.
(3) He looks like Brian McLaren. This is just kind of fun.
Tomorrow, I will give you 3 Things I DON’T Like About Dave Ramsey (The Money Guy), so that’s exciting – stay tuned!