Debt is Dumb, Cash is King!
Updated: May 4, 2020
I first heard of Dave Ramsey while I was on a young adult retreat in my mid-twenties. The speaker made a joke about some guy with an off-brand tablet being on the Ramsey plan. At that point finances were the last thing on my mind and I had no idea who Dave was. I was just there to make friends, enjoy nature and have a nice time.
I would actually come to know him very well a few years later when I had a mini-existential crisis and realized that despite the minimum payments I faithfully made on my student loans the balance wasn't going anywhere (insert shocked face). I also had a credit card where the balance wasn't moving, and a car lease that was coming to an end. So, I needed to figure out what I would do for transportation next with minimal savings. Lastly, I knew I wanted to finish my final semester of school but there was no way I was committing to another penny in loans...I could go on and on. If an emergency were to ever pop up during that time I would've been in trouble. I had no idea where my money was going...EVER.
$40 lunches with my coworkers? Count me in!
Happy hour? Of course.
Vacation? Expedia takes credit cards, right?
A new car? Duh, I work hard!
Oh wait....The above is where my money was going. =/ I thought I deserved to do whatever I wanted because I worked hard (sigh). I was not being a good steward of my resources at all.
Needless to say I was panicked and went down the Youtube rabbit hole looking for a way to fix my life, Iyanla style, and boom! Dave Ramsey videos popped up. I will never forget that southern drawl and his voice screaming about how stupid debt is. He was direct and even abrasive at times...but that was just what I needed in the moment because he seemed to really believe that his callers could change, despite the narrative of hopelessness that is often served to us. The debt free screams his guests did gave me chills. Something was sparked inside me during those late night googling sessions. I wasn't sure if his Baby Steps plan would work but I had nothing to lose. After awhile my partner agreed to buy me the Financial Peace University membership for Christmas one year. He thought the gift request was strange but indulged me anyway and I still count it as one of the most valuable gifts I have ever received.
Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and do what you've never done to get different results.