Some Bash Dave Ramsey, But Why?


Every so often, I run into a blog that bashes Dave Ramsey and what he teaches.  If you are loaded with debt, and you don’t know who Dave Ramsey is, then maybe you should take this opportunity to get to know him.  Don’t take my word for it, and especially do not take the haters word for it.  Learn for yourself, and find out why Dave is actually changing people’s lives! You might be surprised at what you find out!

Who Is Dave Ramsey?

Dave has made it his mission to help people avoid, or get out of tough financial situations, by sharing what he and his wife Sharon have learned from their very own struggles.  When Dave was in his mid 20’s he had a net worth of a million dollars, but it didn’t last long.  His fortune, which was built by using debt, suddenly started to crumble, and for the next two and a half years they struggled with losing everything.

Dave has written numerous books which include, The Total Money Makeover, Financial Peace Revisited, and More Than Enough, to name a few.  He started a radio show called “The Money Game”, and now hosts the nationally syndicated radio show called “The Dave Ramsey Show“, which has over 4 million listeners, and reaches 400 stations.  On the show, Dave gives life changing advice, and on Friday’s, takes calls from people who have become debt free and are ready to scream “We’re Debt FREEEEE!!!”

Dave is also known for his comprehensive 13 week, video-based course called Financial Peace University.  Dave has helped millions get out of debt and continues to share his knowledge and experience with others.  Recently, he held a Town Hall For Hope Live event which reached over 1 million people, and was hosted in over 6,000 locations!  The event was organized in a matter of weeks!

What Does Dave Ramsey Teach?

Dave is someone that has changed our life, and in more ways than just financially.  He gives people hope and motivates them to reach for something that others have told them was impossible.  He teaches people debt free, common sense, biblical based principles that anyone can understand and follow.  His program involves using what he calls the baby steps which give you a clear and concise plan of action to follow in transforming your financial situation!  His message is that by eliminating your debt, your income becomes a wealth building tool, instead of being used to pay off tons of debt payments.  His motto is, “Live Like No One Else, So Later You Can Live Like No One Else!”  In other words, sacrifice now, like no one else, so that later, you don’t have to.

His Baby Steps Are:

  1. Baby Step 1:  Save $1,000 FAST!
  2. Baby Step 2:  Debt snowball
  3. Baby Step 3:  Save 3/6 months of expenses
  4. Baby Step 4:  Invest 15% for retirement
  5. Baby Step 5:  Save for kids college
  6. Baby Step 6:  Pay off your home early
  7. Baby Step 7:  Build wealth and give!!

Why Is Dave’s Plan So Successful?

The reason it works is because instead of addressing your problem with math, it addresses the real culprit which is your behavior.  He shows you that by taking control of your situation and having a plan, you too, can build wealth like many others before you!  It can be done, and he is very good at convincing you of this. He explains the importance of knowing what it is that you are doing, instead of taking someone else’s word for it.  When you understand something, you are more likely to make a smarter, more informed decision because of it.

Even though some do, it is hard to argue the success of Dave Ramsey’s plan, and just how many people have discovered financial peace for themselves!  Anytime I have recommended The Total Money Makeover to a friend, Christian or not, they have on more than one occasion told me that it was the best book about money that they have ever read.  I have read many, and certainly agree with them!  I have even had friends who were stubborn to the entire idea, but eventually came around, and are now excited every time they pay off a debt!  The plan works every single time if you actually do it!

Success Story: Debt Free Living Part 1, Debt Free Living Part 2. (Story of Paige and Micah Tyson)

Critics of Dave Ramsey Say…

I first want to add that I think Dave’s critics are usually those involved in the very industries that are affected by what Dave teaches, such as the insurance industry, credit card industry, and others who are in the investing world.  Then there are the ones that seem to be too smart for their own good, and think that Dave’s plan is too simple, or not mathematically correct.  Dave’s plan deals with more than just math, and as Dave himself points out, if you were doing math, you would not be in debt in the first place.

  1. He is only in it for the money – The people that say this are just ignorant all together.  They likely believe that when someone makes money off of their ideas, even if those ideas help millions, that the person must be taking advantage of others.  I believe that anyone with great ideas deserves to get reimbursed for their contribution to society!  Ideas often involve blood, sweat, tears, and tons of sacrifice to make it from the drawing board to be used by you and I!  Additionally, if he was only in it for the money, why would he pay back lenders that he had no legal obligation to pay back, because of his bankruptcy?  We’re not talking about small change either.  How many people do you know, that have filed bankruptcy, and done this?
  2. His methods are not sophisticated enough – This attack usually comes from the people who think that just investing in Mutual Funds and IRA’s is stupid.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and can still do it their way if they choose.  Dave is very good about explaining all possible investments and the risk that comes with them.  His point is that taking on high risk investments isn’t needed in order to build wealth.
  3. He gives people bad advice – What bad advice?  If his advice is so bad, then why are millions of people, including myself benefiting from that advice?  Bad advice usually is uncovered immediately because it does not work!  This accusation is usually spouted by the ones I spoke of earlier that have only an agenda, but no proven plan to wealth.
  4. He is too mean with his advice – This comes from the politically correct folks, that are more worried about someone’s feelings being hurt.  Dave’s advice is to the point and truthful, and if that bothers you then maybe you do not really want a solution to begin with.  Maybe you know the saying, “The truth hurts.”  The truth is what people need to hear, not some lie that leads them to believe that their situation is not as bad as it actually is.

Do You Want To Become Debt Free?

If you are struggling with debt, then you may want to consider checking out what Dave Ramsey teaches a little deeper.  It has changed our life and we are very glad we found him.  He changed the way we think about money, which is what is needed if you really want to attack the problem.  For years we have been fed lies and myths about money and what success looks like.  I am here to tell you that we have been shown a different picture and I think that it can help you too!  Like I said, don’t take my word for it, go see for yourself!

If what Dave Ramsey teaches is wrong, then I don’t want, or need to be right!  “Right” in this case, is probably BROKE!  If you don’t like Dave’s plan, don’t use it, but I would rather listen to someone who has done it, than to someone that merely has an opinion about it. Guess what, it’s working!

Thanks Dave Ramsey!

About Brad Chaffee

9 Responses to “Some Bash Dave Ramsey, But Why?”

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  1. Edie says:

    I don’t truly know why some people detest Dave Ramsey so much. I used to read this one particular financial blog until about 2 weeks ago. The woman who write it hates DR’s principles, but I couldn’t get out of her WHY, except the fact she loves her CC’s.

    Well in light of what is happening this week with the CC industry, maybe she’ll change her mind.

    Perhaps people do not like his truthful and matter of fact way of presenting his ideas. For me, I like the no bull sensibility.

  2. Great overview of Dave and his principles. I can understand constructive criticism and to be fair no one is perfect.

    I’ve heard Dave slip up or answer a question too simply. However, when you are in the constant spotlight like he is it is bound to happen. People like to grab onto these draw conclusion that simply aren’t there on the whole.

    You know Dave doesn’t care. He’d just laugh it off and go back to helping another million people who are struggling. It’s what he does.

    Baker @ ManVsDebt´s last blog post..67 Ways NOT To Sell A Car

  3. Tam Lieb says:

    I’ve listened to Mr. Ramsey for about a year now and have found his advice very helpful. I admit to being a little put off by some religious and political views however these pale in importance to his real message of educating the layperson in personal finance.

  4. Brad Chaffee says:

    @Tam- I think that when someone can put aside small differences in order to get the bigger, more important message that is a wonderful thing. I have had a few friends refuse to read Dave’s book simply because he is a Christian, which is unfortunate. Thanks for your comment!

    @Baker- You are right, constructive criticism is just fine. Someone does not have to agree with everything Dave teaches, but to attack him simply because you do not agree, is where the line should be. I agree that people can grab one or two goof ups and act like it represents his entire plan. I lead FPU at my church and see the real benefit of how people learn how to think differently about money. Thanks for stopping by Baker! Oh and congratulations on getting $1200 for a car with more than 200,000 miles on it. That is awesome!

    @Edie- I have found that to be the case more often than not too! Also, I think people are offended by his Christian beliefs, which is where most of his beliefs about money are rooted in. I HATE credit cards but I believe that some people who do not carry a balance can still do Dave’s plan effectively, I just don’t understand the point of taking that risk when there are other options available. I think too many people LIE about the fact that they do not carry a balance though. It just sounds better to them to say that. I am with you 100% about Dave’s matter of fact delivery! I would rather someone give me the truth as painful as it may be, no matter how much it might hurt my feelings. To me fixing the problem takes priority over my feelings any day! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  5. Peter says:

    I write about Dave Ramsey a lot on my site, and as such I’ve heard all of the arguments against his teaching. Usually they boil down to a few basic arguments:

    1. He’s bad at math: They usually say that some points of his math, or the assumptions that he makes (like the returns you can expect on your investments) are too simplistic or unrealistic. On some points I might agree to a point. I do think that his assumptions about returns on investing can be a bit optimistic at times.
    2. Credit cards: Some people love credit cards, and as such think Ramsey is the devil. Having seen what credit can do to people’s lives, I can understand why Ramsey suggests staying away. I’m not as hardline as Ramsey on this, but I fully understand the benefits and rewards of cards – unlike a lot of people who are just getting into his program.
    3. His advice is too simplistic: To me, this is silly because I think one of the reasons why his advice works so well for so many is that it is simplified and easy to follow. Is some of his investing advice and other advice too simplified? Maybe, but for his audience i think it’s probably about right.

    I guess for me it all comes down to this: Dave Ramsey has shown amazing results in helping a lot of people to turn their lives around and get their finances straight. I have seen it first hand through the FPU class that my wife and I helped to facilitate at our church. Do I agree with absolutely everything that he says? No, probably not. Do I see the amazing value in his classes, books and radio show? Yes. I say take what you can from the class, and if something offends you (are you really that sensitive?) or doesn’t seem right, leave it by the wayside and do your own research for a better way. You may not find it.

    As far as Anne’s comment on Dave worshipping cash and not being a Christian – have you actually listened to his show for more than 10 minutes? Do you really think anyone who listens to or plays rock music can’t be saved? If so, I’m in big trouble. 🙂 I also have been listening to Dave for a long time and have never heard a foul word come out of his mouth. In any event, God bless you Anne, I hope you find the program you’re looking for!

  6. Brad Chaffee says:

    Anne I just sent you an email in love. I hope it reaches you the way it was intended to.

  7. Nice article and review of Dave’s basics. I’ve written a few times about Dave and heard many of the criticisms you described. I’ve found personal success with his system in becoming debt free, investing with expected returns, giving greatly, and having a sense of financial peace. However, sometimes that’s not good enough for the critics. Because I knowingly follow his recommendations … I’m sometimes described as less sophisticated, unknowledgeable, naive, or even stupid. Of course this is all based upon just following Dave’s advice and not upon actual fact surrounding my financial or personal background. That’s okay though … I’m happy with my family’s current financial position and experiences.

    I’ll be the first to admit Dave debt or investing strategies may not be for everyone … but many critics don’t allow for it being for anyone.

    Once again, great article and interesting topic!

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