Dave Ramsey http://www.daveramsey.com/ Real Life Money Stories en-us Fri, 12 Feb 2016 06:02:04 CST 180 Saturday Sunday Dave Says - February 8, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-02-08 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-02-08 Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:02:12 CST What is your opinion of churches encouraging members to do e-giving with credit cards and debit cards? Engineer in the Morning, Trash Man at Night http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104830 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104830 Sat, 06 Feb 2016 11:06:59 CST I'm not special. I don't come from a wealthy family, I didn't win the lottery, and I don't have a 6-figure income, nor am I a genius. Living Like Everyone Else The initial point of my debt-free journey occurred a few weeks after my 26th birthday on a February Sunday in 2015. Up to this point, I was extremely comfortable with my life and thought that I was financially secure. I graduated from Oregon State in 2012 with an engineering degree and had a job already lined up at graduation making $56,000/year which is something that was unfathomable to a broke college student like I was. Fast forward to 2015 and here I was saddled with student loan and credit card payments and to my great chagrin, a car payment because I felt that I could "afford" my dream car (a Honda S2000). I also got wrapped up in a bad video game addiction that had been haunting me all my life since I got a Nintendo Gameboy. My life was falling into a rut where I was blinded and falling into a deep, deep hole. I would go to work, go home, play video games, pay bills, sleep, and repeat the process. The video game addiction was starting to interfere with my personal life where I would spend my weekdays when I got off work and more than 20+ hours on the weekends playing games. It also started to seep into my work performance and that's when I knew that things were starting to get bad. Dave Ramsey and a Cold Turkey I've always been a fan of personal finance with my interest starting at a young age where I asked my parents at 16 to help me open a Roth IRA so I could see what it was like to purchase stocks and mutual funds. My coworker introduced me to podcasts and I downloaded a few episodes of the Dave Ramsey Show on my phone but didn't listen to them - I was too addicted to the Serial podcast! Little did I know, the planets were already aligning to open the gate for my Debt-Free journey. On a Sunday night in early February after a 16 hour bender of video games (DotA being my drug of choice) I stumbled like a zombie back to my room that I share with Alexis (daughter) and Tiffany (girlfriend) - we sleep on a bunk bed :D As I climbed the short ladder to the top bunk, Alexis' butterfly night light illuminated both of their faces perfectly and flashed an epiphany in my mind. I heard a voice asking me if I loved my video games more than my family and why I couldn't see the unintentional pain that I was causing them. Rather than spending time with them and putting them to sleep, I was in the other room wasting my life away in an unforgiving virtual realm. My inner eye was finally opened to the potential repercussions of my current path: losing my job, alienating my family, destroying my other relationships, and extinguishing any potential I had in this life. As I lay in bed, I made a vow that I would quit playing video games and I would refocus my energy to better my life. As corny as it sounds, I shook my own hand because I've always believed that a man is only as good as his word and that was a principle that I lived on. The following morning I deleted DotA from my laptop along with the back-up file I had in my external hard drive. I know I needed something else to latch on now that I didn't have video games preoccupying my time. That same morning on my drive to work I decided to listen to my downloaded Dave Ramsey episodes and the rest is history... Battle of the 5 Debts I put pen to paper and listed my debts from smallest to largest to visualize how big and mean this monster was that I had to vanquish. The evil horde consisted of five demonic debts: 1. Phone Bill - $432 (I bought my mom a new iPhone for Mother's day on a payment plan) 2. Credit Card - $1,645 (Remaining debt of my vacation to Florida TWO years prior) 3. Student Loans - $15,034 (I received my BS from Oregon State in Construction Engineering Management) 4. Car Loan - $18,968 (My beautiful Grace, a 2005 Honda S2000 with 45k miles) 5. Parent PLUS Loans - $44,052 (My parents sacrificed so much to put me through college therefore I wanted to repay them by taking over the loan payments) Total = $80,131 The most important thing I learned about getting debt free is that it's not your weekend 5k fun run, it is Forrest Gump running across the country!! It requires 100% commitment from you physically, mentally, and spiritually - you will not succeed unless you get "gazelle-intense" and take it seriously. Increasing Income I knew I had to increase my income if I wanted to tackle this debt and Dave talks about getting a part-time job with pizza delivery being his go-to job recommendation. I didn't think being a pizza delivery boy would work for me because A) I had a full-time job and the hours could potentially conflict B) my hours would vary from week to week. Therefore I searched for part-time jobs on Craigslist and found a perfect one! I was going to be a garbage man! ZipEco (formerly Ecommunity) The job was from 8-11 PM every day of the week except for Tuesday and Friday nights which basically meant that I would have to skew my work/life balance to the extreme. The other dagger was that it was in Vancouver, WA therefore I had a 40 minute commute each way to get to work. The apartment complex I was servicing consisted of 188 units and the tenants would leave their trash and recyclables in containers in front of their doors. My job was to carry these items from the door step to a centralized area that included a trash compactor and recycling bins. It was a physically demanding job but I was not scared of doing manual labor because I've spent many summers doing those types of jobs. Another odd thing was I never complained or felt angry about doing this job because I was doing the job for a greater purpose. I was "living like no one else so that later I could live like no one else." That was my life for 11 months, I would work at my day job as an engineer till 4:30 PM, go home to eat and usually take a quick nap, head off to my part-time trash job at 7:00 PM, get home at 11 PM and then wake up at 6:00 AM to lather, rinse, and repeat. Adding this part-time job helped me reduce my journey by 9 months! Additional Income I did various things to increase my income as much as possible including: ??? Driving for Uber ??? Selling Plasma ??? Selling everything I could on Craigslist ??? Liquidating my stocks ($10,000) and decreasing my savings account from $15,000 to $1,000 ??? Taking out all the money that I had saved for Alexis' college fund ($5,500) ??? Selling all my silver at a 60% loss (never buying commodities as an investment again!) ??? Eliminated my CarMax warranty (I didn't even know you could do this until Dave mentioned it on his radio show) Lowering Expenses The greatest expense reducer I had was being able to live with my parents - if you have this option available then I highly suggest moving in with your parents to help boost your debt-free journey. Of course, make sure everyone is on the same page with a goal in mind of when you're going to move out and what expenses you'll be helping with. I don't pay rent but I do pay utilities to aid my parents in their household expenses. Living with my parents has been a tremendous boost to me getting debt-free because they gave me support and have helped me cover so many typical expenses that I don't have to pay for like laundry and groceries. I could not have done this without my parents. Bringing Lunch from Home I started to bring my own lunch instead of going to fast-food restaurants. Typically, I was spending around $6 for lunch every day and eating non-healthy foods - the simple math shows that I was spending $30/week or $1,560/year on eating out at lunch. Bringing my own food allowed me to eat healthier and eliminated a big expense that I never really thought about. Stopping 401(k) Contribution This cut was probably the moment I knew that I was fully committed to my Debt-Free journey. I loved investing in my 401(k) but I was diluting my goal by spending potential debt money into an investment. I was basically borrowing debt to be able to invest and that was not a smart move. I did a calculation on what I was giving up from my company match by not investing in the 401(k) and it was around $1,500 a year but to get the match I was also "sacrificing" $3,000 of income. I decided that I was diving into this thing 1,000% and changed my contribution to 0% and didn't look back! Of course, when I get debt-free I will bump my contributions back to 15% as taught in Baby Step 4. I'M DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!! This has been one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. It required me to be fully committed to a goal that demanded my body, my mind, my relationships, and every inch of my life. I had to do a complete paradigm shift of my thoughts about money and how I viewed debt. I literally lived like no one else and now I can finally live like no one else. I sacrificed and took every principle Dave offered to help me through this journey. I was able to pay off my $80,000 of debt faster than I imagined and finished in 11 months! It's really amazing how the universe starts to help you when you're on this journey. I had money coming in from unexpected places and opportunities opened up that allowed me to get additional income. Break the chains that debt has on you because the borrower is truly a slave to the lender! I hope my story gives you inspiration to start your own debt-free journey because the view is magnificent from the top and when you don't owe a single penny to anyone!! I sacrificed a year of my life for an eternity of freedom and I would make the exchange again EVERY TIME. Paradigm shift! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104813 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104813 Tue, 02 Feb 2016 09:17:03 CST In September of '14 I took the giant leap/and signed up for FPU. My husband Bill and I have been married for 13 years and have 2 amazing sons. He's a police office and I'm a stay at home mom. I signed up to take FPU when I was absolutely at my wits end. We had move out of DC to a small country town with a house that cost half as much and we still couldn't make ends meet. I knew we were doing something wrong. I had no idea how our lives would change in such a short time. We started out in serious debt. Approximately $46,000 in debt and a mortgage. My husband was stressed out of his mind with the finances and I couldn't watch him drive 180 miles each day and still seem miserable. I knew there had to be a way to make it all work. I looked around for something detailing a budget and came across FPU. Neither of our parents had taught us anything about budgeting. (Not their fault they were raised to not discuss money.) As a result of that we were the blind leading the blind. The first class was a little intimidating as we are not members of the church we took the class in ( actually we are Jewish and the group was incredibly welcoming). But the minute the lesson started it was like our eyes finally opened. We finally had a clue! I'm not going to lie the first quick budget almost made me lose my mind. I even had one of the class leaders help me and I still felt like a fish out of water. After several classes we got the hang of how a budget worked and in October we cut up our credit card and haven't looked back. We completed the course and in just 13 months have paid off all our debt as of today! My husband and I have absolutely no stress about if we can afford life. We still do our budgets together each month and usually joke all the way through it. We have even gotten to the point we are able to send abut 10% to charity which is a first EVER. Heck we are also a month ahead on our bills. I'm not going to say we never screw up. We have plenty but because of our framework we got through it without a meltdown. We have started teaching our sons about how important budgeting is and how to save, give and spend responsibly. We are now saving for our full emergency fund and then on to tackle the house. When I say this has changed everything, it really has. I recommend it to everyone I know because if we can do it, a couple of misfits anyone can! Dave Says - February 2, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-02-02 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-02-02 Tue, 02 Feb 2016 09:02:22 CST I've been following your plan, and I've finally gotten out of debt and feel I have control of my finances. I'm also single ... Spend business profit or pay taxes? http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104811 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104811 Sun, 31 Jan 2016 11:50:44 CST We are a family business and an S-Corporation. We are wanting to create a 3-6 month emergency fund for the operations of our business. This would be about $80,000 and we are halfway there. Let's say our business makes a $40,000 profit this year. Is it better to place this money into the emergency fund or pay down our mortgage for our office condo. The interest rate is 6.25% and we owe about $35,0000 and have 6 years remaining on the loan. Overdraft fee agony http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104808 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104808 Sat, 30 Jan 2016 04:53:07 CST We're recent converts to Budgetarianism :P and goofed up a lot last year. When my bank statement came early this month, I noticed our total overdraft fees for last year, due to a lack of budgeting and a lot of bad timing even of purchases that would have been in a reasonable budget, were almost $1500. I didn't punch that into a TVM app because I didn't want to cry even more, but I couldn't help but notice that a few years of not doing that would in principle let me pay cash for a hot tub (my back is fiddly so I've picked being able to, stress-free, pay cash for a hot tub as how I'll know we have our fiscal stuff together). No more being my bank's most valuable "free" checking customer! MORE THAN 1 MILLION USERS BUDGET WITH EVERYDOLLAR http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/more-than-1-million-users-budget-with-everydollar http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/more-than-1-million-users-budget-with-everydollar Wed, 27 Jan 2016 09:01:01 CST Ramsey Solutions’ EveryDollar has surpassed 1 million users just ten months after its official launch. Dave Says - January 26, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-01-26 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-01-26 Tue, 26 Jan 2016 10:01:23 CST My husband was laid off a month ago from a job making $80,000 a year. We have no debt except our house payment. We owe about $82,000 on it, but it's valued at approximately $300,000 ... The sacrifices were worth it!! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104794 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104794 Tue, 26 Jan 2016 06:59:52 CST When my husband and I were engaged, we started discussing our finances and goals. We soon discovered that combined, we had over $70,000 in student loans! Since he had just graduated and I was in my final year of school, neither of us were making much and that number seemed astronomical. We made a plan and decided to sacrifice for a short time to avoid paying all the interest (not to mention the freedom we desperately wanted)! When we got married, we moved into a 300 square foot apartment attached to my parents' house in order to throw the money we would pay in rent at our student loans instead. It was a struggle at first, considering there was no room for our stuff and our commutes were exceptionally long! A few months later, our friends told us they couldn't do the things we used to do together because they had started living on a budget thanks to this new podcast they listened to: Dave Ramsey. We didn't think much of it at first, but as the weeks went on, they couldn't stop talking about this show and all that they were learning! That was when we decided to check it out. We made our own budget, and sure enough, there was more we could do to tackle our debt! We found extra money and paid off my husband's student loans that same month. Mine were bigger, but we had extra motivation after his went so well. After a year in our squishy apartment, we got new jobs and moved 1,500 miles away. We started having to pay rent, but thanks to the new jobs, we were able to do so while still putting about half our income towards the loans! A lot can happen when you live like no one else! We paid off our loans after 16 months of marriage, which was 16 months of rice & beans, beans & rice. It was an incredible feeling, and we couldn't believe it when we had more money to our name than our $1000 emergency fund. We both LOVE to travel, but held off during baby steps 1 & 2. To reward ourselves, we saved up and paid for our trip to St. Lucia next month! We feel so blessed as we see our baby step #3 coming together and can give more than we could before. Listening to both Dave's podcast and Chris Brown's True Stewardship podcast have been so encouraging to us and kept us on track throughout the process. Plus, we feel much more prepared for future big decisions like buying a house and having children! Thank you all for your help! Orphaned: A Story of Dilligence http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104795 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104795 Tue, 26 Jan 2016 01:56:02 CST Hello All, My story begins when I was eleven. While heading home from a family event my family was hit head on by a drunk driver. My father died instantly, my mother dies two minutes latter and my little brother would die from internal bleeding on the operating table. My own injuries were terrible and it is only through the power of the Lord that I survived. Needless to say my life changed. Life got really hard after this event. My uncle who whom I had no relationship showed up and decided he would be my guardian. And ignored the offering of several families to adopt me. I would latter find out this was because he wanted to keep my father???s name alive with the birth of my (future) children. On my twelfth birthday I moved from my childhood home to Memphis. Life took a little bit of a down-hill turn after a speech my uncle gave me. He literally looked at me and told me, ???It is not my job to be your father, it is my job to get you ready for the world.??? And he was true to his word. From that point out I was responsible for myself. I should pause here to let you know I am skipping a lot of the story at this point. It is not helpful to those involved. At the end of my high school I moved out from my aunt and uncle at the age of seventeen. My inheritance which was left to me was still around $140,000. And I had to get it through a private undergraduate program and grad school. At this point I lived like a pauper. I applied to every scholarship I could and refused to buy anything other than what I absolutely needed. (My wife would latter tell me that during this time she thought I was skipping my meals and couldn???t buy clothes). The Lord blessed me to such a great extent that I was able to graduate debt free and pay one-fourth the price of regular tuition. At the completion of my undergraduate I married my best friend. We took a gap year before my admittance to a master???s program. With the Lord???s blessing I will graduate in six months with no debt and a fully funded emergency fund. My wife will also be attending a doctoral program to earn her PhD in Molecular Biology. I don???t tell you this to praise my own story or myself. All the praise belongs to the Lord. But I know there are many out there who are looking down a very dark and long journey to being debt free. Please know the Lord is faithful, and will keep you till the end. It has been twelve years since my parents died. One never heals through what I have been asked to walk through, but I finally feel my diligence has paid off. I was looking ahead and have realized if we continue to ???live like no one else??? at the completion of my wife???s grad school we will be able to buy a house with cash. We will be 27 and 28. ???Never, Never, Never Quit??? - Churchill “THE DAVE RAMSEY SHOW” PODCAST TOPS AMONG TALKERS http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/the-dave-ramsey-show-podcast-tops-among-talkers http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/the-dave-ramsey-show-podcast-tops-among-talkers Tue, 19 Jan 2016 15:01:43 CST Averaging more than 2 million downloads per week “The Dave Ramsey Show” was recently recognized by Time magazine as one of the Top 10 Podcasts on iTunes in 2015. Dave Says - January 18, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-01-18 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-01-18 Mon, 18 Jan 2016 10:01:16 CST My wife and I recently followed your plan and became debt-free, and we're committed to never going back there again. Currently, I work for the state but I've been feeling God's calling to the ministry ... From Despair to Disneyland http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104739 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104739 Thu, 14 Jan 2016 10:08:16 CST A few years ago, I remember coming on this site to read the success stories. I was extremely jealous of everyone bragging about how they were debt free. But jealous in a good way. In the way that says, ???Good for you. I want that too!??? We were $64,000 in debt at the time. It was mostly credit cards, but with $5,000 in student loans thrown in (I graduated from college in 1991 by the way). Worst of all I was making all of $10 per hour driving a delivery van. My wife and I had just closed down a failed retail business, were living in an old, tiny house, with a baby and just one income. There didn???t seem to be any hope on the horizon. No nice cars, no spacious home in a good area, no vacations. I was stuck in a dead-end job with no fun and no prospects on the horizon. As a guy who loves to travel, I felt imprisoned in my cold, small Western Colorado town, knowing we didn???t have to money to eat out, much less take a vacation to somewhere warm. I???m ashamed to say that at one point suicide crossed my mind. Thanks to this God, this site, the ???Total Money Makeover??? book, and obsessively listening to Dave???s radio show, I slowly become to gain hope. I sought out a higher-paying job, we got on a written budget, we sold everything, and I built a website that generated extra revenue. I worked a ton of overtime. It was heartbreaking to have my little daughter cry for me as I left to go work on yet another Saturday morning, but I knew it was temporary and for the betterment of my family. Six years after being in the pit of despair, I???m proud to say today, January 14, 2016, we are now debt free. I write this to hopefully inspire that person like me, who is looking for a kernel of hope. I remember those lonely, cold dark days, reading the success stories, listening to the debt-free screams, and wishing I would have started when those people had started. Even with the radio show, book and this site, it got depressing at times. It seemed like it would take forever for us to get out of debt. But time moves fast, and I am so, so thankful my mother-in-law gave me the Total Money Makeover six years ago and that we stuck to the plan. Tonight, after posting this, I???m opening up our first Roth IRA. In March I???m going part time at work so I can spend the other two days a week on my growing website, doing what I love. We are going to Disneyland in 10 days. I don???t say all this to brag, just to show you how fast you and God can turn things around for you. If anyone is reading this, and they feel ???stuck??? like I did, please know there is hope and a wonderful, fun life ahead of you. Get on a written budget, work your tail off, follow the plan. You???ll get there faster than you think. For our 1st Debt Free Anniversary - we lost a job http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104720 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104720 Wed, 13 Jan 2016 01:45:33 CST Standing in PetSmart I told my soon to be husband that I couldn't marry him because I couldn't live paycheck to paycheck, so he had to change his ways or the wedding was off. He stuck to our budget like his life depended on it, a wedding, a couple new jobs and 3 years later we had paid off $107K in debt and owned a home. All the while we cash flowed 2 Master's degrees, 2 surgeries and he donated a kidney to a friend of ours and was off work for 6 weeks. We saved up our 6 months of expenses and thankfully we did because for our first debt free anniversary my husband lost his job which meant that the last $6000 of his degree was now on us - less than a month from when it was due. We understood the devastating reality that half your income can disappear in a day - and we are surviving because we were debt free and had an emergency fund in place CHRIS HOGAN REDEFINES RETIREMENT IN HIS NEW BOOK RETIRE INSPIRED http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/chris-hogan-redefines-retirement-in--his-new-book-retire-inspired http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/chris-hogan-redefines-retirement-in--his-new-book-retire-inspired Mon, 11 Jan 2016 14:01:54 CST Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan has authored the new book Retire Inspired to change the way people view saving for retirement and equip them with the knowledge and know-how to properly prepare for long-term financial success. Dave Says - January 11, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-01-11 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-01-11 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 11:01:55 CST My fiancé and I are getting married in May. He's a youth pastor, and I'm in grad school. His mom and dad found a home they think we'll like, and they want to gift us money for a down payment ... Working for the Kingdom of God http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104717 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104717 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 06:16:18 CST My wife and I were thrilled on May 18, 2013 when we both graduated with our bachelor's degrees. Our excitement was diminished when we realized we had $91,000 in student debt, no job, and no home. Our two pieces of paper seemed very insignificant in that moment. We needed more than an average paying job to have hope of ever paying off our astronomical student loans. I worked various odd jobs for five months, and eight months later neither of us had gotten as much as an interview, and our bank account was quickly emptying. Finally, on February 4, 2014 I was offered a job as a Conductor on the railroad. The job paid $90,000 a year. The job, however, required a significant lifestyle change. I would have to be gone for 36+ hours at a time three times a week, work constantly changing hours, constantly be babysitting my phone, and have almost no time off. We knew the short term sacrifice would be worth it at the end to have no debt. I heard about Dave Ramsay in college but thought he was some fruitloop whose expectations were too unrealistic. My wife, however, bought his book "Total Money Makeover" and told me we were going to somehow pay off all our debt quickly using his methods. I didn't believe her. I viewed my student debt, as Dave Ramsey says, "a pet." I thought it would be around forever. In my mind, God didn't view student loan debt as the bad debt he talked so much about in the Bible. I was planning to never pay it. That summer, I decided to read Dave's book, "Total Money Makeover". It completely changed my perspective of money. It showed me how important the proper management of money is to God. At this point in my life I finally understood the importance of "giving ever dollar a name". Too often I found myself at the end of the month wondering where all my money went. By "giving every dollar a name" we took control of our money and stopped letting it control us. This is what excited us to start paying off our loans. Dave inspired us to design a big bar graph chart that listed each loan (10 of them), and all of their specific details. For every payment we made, we colored in that portion of the bar graph until it was filled in. When the loan was paid off, we gave ourselves a 1% reward each time we finished a loan. This chart has been the driving force of paying off our debt. We made our first debt payment on June 23, 2014. When we colored in that first little sliver, we felt hopeless. The chart looked like it could never possibly get colored in. Over 18 months, we have paid $45,000.00. We lived like we were still poor college students. We drove our cars with 200,000+ miles on them. I would pull into work with my 2003 Honda Civic and the guys would look at me funny in their $70,000 trucks. I have been off work for the last three months for the birth of our first child, which set us back six months. Today we won $5,000 in a debt Pay-down contest at a local bank. That puts our total amount paid up to $50,000 in 18 months. We are planning on paying the remaining $41,000 by this summer. Dave showed us using scripture how important it is to God to get rid of all of our debt. We are excited to do great things for the kingdom of God when we finish paying off our debt. As Dave says, "Imagine what the people of God could do for the kingdom of God if they were debt free?" We are going to find out. Dave who? http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104715 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104715 Fri, 08 Jan 2016 10:16:35 CST Our son was in a death spiral of stupid debt. I was searching ways to help him. A friend asked if I knew of Dave Ramsey; of course I did - as I frantically googled his name as I had no idea who this man was. That was Thursday. I had our son enrolled in the FPU class that started the following Monday and I attended too to see if it was worthwhile. (my apologies Dave!). I saw light and hope in our son's eyes! We both shared the information with spouses and he is now on a tight budget and a written plan. For me? Well, we humbly learned that we were not doing as well as we thought. We always had a 15 year mortgage but just didn't "get it" that it should be paid off. Every time we moved we just got another 15 year loan. It took us 35 years to pay that thing off. Our daughter also took FPU. I paid for it and her initial reaction was "I'd rather stick a fork in my eye". Fast forward 7 months our daughter is debt free except for a small mortgage that will be paid off in 4 years and my husband and I have paid off $112,797.67 to be totally debt free of cars, credit cards and that 15 year mortgage. Beans and rice for 65 yr olds works too. Thank you Dave. Dave Says - January 4, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-01-04 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-01-04 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 14:01:25 CST My husband and I are currently renting an apartment for $1,200 a month. Together, we bring home about $7,000 a month, and we'd really like to buy a house soon ... Hang In There, Everybody! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104703 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104703 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 06:14:13 CST December 31, 2015... Today we are finally free of credit card debt! I purchased Dave's book, Total Money Makeover several years ago in a Christian book store (it was half price!). Actually I think I purchased it with a credit card! Anyway, fantastic book, I read it several times over and decided to apply Dave's plan to our financial situation. That was almost 8 years ago! I never thought we would actually see this day come to pass - but thank God, it is finally here! Many thousands of dollars in debt, which took longer to pay off than I would have liked - many setbacks along the way, Murphy showed up a few times. Bottom line, don't give up and stick to Dave's plan - YOU WILL GET THERE! Our next goal is to pay off our home - I am going to try to do it in 5-6 years. It will be great not to have a mortgage anymore! Laura in Spokane, WA We're Debt Free; Now It's Time to Build http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104702 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/104702 Thu, 31 Dec 2015 02:09:41 CST 5 years ago my husband, Matt, and I began hacking away at our debt which included student loans, medical bills and credit cards. During that time we had a baby who needed to spend two months in the NICU, I was unable to work but Matt was-prior to her birth we were able to save $6,000 in anticipation of the rollercoaster we were about to jump on. With that savings we did not go deeper into debt but rather were able to pay off all hospital bills in full. We have read Dave's books, read his blog posts, listened to podcasts, read about other people's struggles with debt which kept our motivation going to dig out of our pit which roughly totaled $35,000. Now today, 12/31/15, we are debt free and can't wait to start building our legacy! Where do I find an apartment for under $400 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104690 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104690 Tue, 29 Dec 2015 08:43:08 CST I make 2236 a month. My take home is 1581 a month. I would really like to find a place that is 25% of my gross but Dave says it should be 25% of my net which would be less than $400 a month. There are places with income restriction but they want 30% if my gross which is too much. I generally don't qualify for such places anyway. Perhaps I ought to live with roommates--if anyone would take a 60 year old roommate. Dave Says - December 28, 2015 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2015-12-28 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2015-12-28 Mon, 28 Dec 2015 00:12:00 CST I work in IT, and I recently learned that I'll be losing my $88,000 a year job at the end of February. We're debt-free, except for our home, and we have a full emergency fund in place ... Dire need of HELP! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104672 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104672 Tue, 22 Dec 2015 09:53:19 CST I am 26, with a 16 month old. I make $484.77 a week after taxes, and I am in a temp position which doesn't accrue PTO or get paid holidays. My total monthly bill is $2,069.96 which is car payment, car insurance, rent, babysitter, cable, light/gas, gas for car, tithes, groceries, student loans, cell phone bill, 2 credit cards that I pay the $25 min on monthly which isn't getting me anywhere with interest being added each time I pay. I have been thinking about getting rid of cable, but then my daughter will not have anything to watch. She loves Disney, and I called the cable company to take to a lower TV plan which includes Disney, Sprout and the Baby Channel, but of course they don't have a lower bill option with those channels included. I don't want to take away her TV, but then again I can't pay the Cable bill which is past due $158 now :-(. and I haven't even paid my light bill which is past due $148 and my rent is coming due and I don't even see how I will be able to pay all of that. My mind alone can't do this, so would someone smarter help me out, map this out on how and what to cut. I am in desperate need. I do not eat out anymore nor do I go shopping unless it's for wipes and diapers or food. Dave Says - December 21, 2015 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2015-12-21 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2015-12-21 Mon, 21 Dec 2015 11:12:45 CST I haven't spoken to my mom and sister in more than six months. Over time, I realized we have a real clash of moral values that has led to arguments and hard feelings ... The Stupid Tax is the IRS one http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104671 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104671 Sun, 20 Dec 2015 09:06:50 CST Ever since I got on board with the proposed Fair Tax I've been noticing how many services would be completely unnecessary if all payroll taxes turned into consumption taxes. It taught me that I can always afford the calorie burn to bend down for that penny. Avoided Stupid Tax http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104659 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104659 Wed, 16 Dec 2015 10:45:01 CST Recently, my car needed a major repair. When I went in to an auto shop to get a quote for the estimated cost of the repair, the technician pitched for a credit card where I could make payments over a period of time. Since I have made it a goal in my life to never finance anything, I did some research and ended up finding an auto shop that ended up saving me $1,500 and did the repair for half the cost that the other auto shop quoted. Staying away from financing things and seeing the benefits is so rewarding! I am not smarter than experts http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104660 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104660 Wed, 16 Dec 2015 01:45:20 CST A few decades ago, everyone was making money off stocks in a certain industry. So I pulled some money out of my boring low-fee mutual funds to buy these exciting "sure-thing" stocks. Of course, it all fell apart in a few weeks, and I lost almost everything invested in those individual stocks. (The mutual funds were almost flat, despite the debacle in this one industry.) Since then, I have not tried to beat the market. The mutual funds make up for boring with exciting compound returns, now about equal to my annual wages. On to automatic wealthy! Dave Says - December 14, 2015 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2015-12-14 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2015-12-14 Mon, 14 Dec 2015 08:12:18 CST I woke up this morning and realized I haven't started Christmas shopping yet ... Personal Loans http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104657 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104657 Sun, 13 Dec 2015 02:56:40 CST I planned a big 40th party for my husband, but didn't plan for the expense. I applied for, and was approved for a $2,000 loan. Having terrible credit, I was just excited to be approved for the loan. I had the payments automatically deducted from my account every two weeks. Not reading the small print, imagine my surprise in finding out that the interest on the loan was 176%. Yes, 176%. I paid bi-weekly payments for 2 years and the final payoff was almost $5,600. It is now paid off, but it still makes me sick to think of how many bills we could have paid for that amount of money. Never again will I apply for a personal loan. And never again will I not read the fine print. Dave Says - December 7, 2015 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2015-12-07 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2015-12-07 Mon, 07 Dec 2015 11:12:45 CST I started working your plan earlier this year. I even budgeted for Christmas and got my shopping done early, but in the process I overspent and blew my whole monthly budget ... 0% turns to 29% http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104641 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104641 Tue, 01 Dec 2015 02:42:57 CST Few years ago, bought a computer with one of those wonderful 0% financing for 3 years deals. Figured out exactly what I would have to pay each month to pay it off on time to avoid the 29% interest charges that started after 3 years. Paid it religiously and made my final payment. The next month got a letter from them saying the account was in default by $2.38. Something about figuring the interest based on when the bill was mailed vs. when I paid the final payment. And even though there was technically 'no interest' they still figured it as if there was. Paid that, thinking that was the end. Nope. Got a bill for close to $500 for retroactive interest, fees, penalties, etc. I eventually argued it down with them to a couple of hundred dollars, and only paid that because of their threats to turn it over to collections. When Dave says that the CC companies will find a way to get you even if you pay on time, he's right. You just won't know when or where until it happens. Help needed http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104627 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/104627 Mon, 30 Nov 2015 09:27:43 CST I have been struggling with debt my entire adult life! I married young and had children young, well before I understood the importance of making my money work for me. I am a social worker passionate and committed to helping the geriatric community. I have a good job but I am working close to 60 hours a week and there is no room for a second job. I am making 80k. I have a student loan worth $60k which I cant ever imagine paying off (Thank goodness my mother is temporarily helping me with this bill among others) My husband is a builder (50-65K) who doesn't work as many hours as I do but has taken on the role of my son's lacrosse coach to help offset the cost of him playing and has made himself available to take kids to events and home with them while I juggle the long hours. He tried to go out on his own and had his own business but after financial mistakes it resulted in bankruptcy and IRS debt for 25k. At this time we are bringing in about 7K a month and our monthly bills without any savings is 9K. We have a small townhouse without a garage so we have to pay association dues and Storage fees for all of my husbands tools. We sold everything we could sell. My older son is graduating high school this year and hopefully going to college and my younger son is an all star lacrosse player both costing money not in the budget. we hate where we live (horrible neighborhood and school district) and just don't know how to climb out of this. The first Dave Ramsey class we went to was in 2012, we did get to baby step one and working on debt snowball and eliminated 45K of Credit card debt ( I have 2K left, but we are treading water and not getting ahead! Ramsey Solutions Closes on Property in Williamson County http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-solutions-closes-on-property-in-williamson-county http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-solutions-closes-on-property-in-williamson-county Wed, 28 Oct 2015 14:10:57 CST Ramsey Solutions has closed on the southernmost 47 acres of land in the Berry Farms development of Williamson County. DAVE RAMSEY ANNOUNCES ALL-NEW FOUNDATIONS IN PERSONAL FINANCE: MIDDLE SCHOOL EDITION http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-announces-all-new--foundations-in-personal-finance-middle-school-edition http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-announces-all-new--foundations-in-personal-finance-middle-school-edition Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:10:36 CST Ramsey Solutions is launching a brand new curriculum, Foundations in Personal Finance: Middle School Edition, specifically designed for grades 6 to 8. RAMSEY PRESS BEGINS PRE-SALES OF NEW BOOK BY CHRIS HOGAN http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-press-begins-pre-sales-of-new-book-by-chris-hogan http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-press-begins-pre-sales-of-new-book-by-chris-hogan Thu, 01 Oct 2015 11:10:56 CST Retire Inspired, published by Ramsey Press and authored by financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan, is now available for preorder. RAMSEY SOLUTIONS SURPASSES MAJOR MILESTONES IN 2015 http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-solutions-surpasses-major-milestones-in-2015 http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-solutions-surpasses-major-milestones-in-2015 Mon, 14 Sep 2015 09:09:17 CST Millions of people have been empowered to take control of their financial lives with the help of Ramsey Solutions. LPL FINANCIAL ALLIES WITH RAMSEY SOLUTIONS TO PROVIDE A NEW FINANCIAL WELLNESS PROGRAM TO ITS PLAN ADVISORS http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/lpl-financial-allies--with-ramsey-solutions-to-provide-a-new-financial-wellness-program-to-its-plan-advisors http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/lpl-financial-allies--with-ramsey-solutions-to-provide-a-new-financial-wellness-program-to-its-plan-advisors Mon, 20 Jul 2015 09:07:43 CST LPL Financial LLC, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer*, a custodian for registered investment advisors (RIAs), and a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA), today announced that it has established a relationship with Ramsey Solutions to offer the financial wellness program, SmartDollar, to LPL retirement plan advisors and plan sponsors. SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN DAVE RAMSEY’S FINANCIAL LITERACY CHALLENGE http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/scholarship-winners-announced-in-dave-ramseys--financial-literacy-challenge http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/scholarship-winners-announced-in-dave-ramseys--financial-literacy-challenge Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:07:47 CST Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance announces the winners of the college scholarships awarded in The Financial Literacy Challenge, including a $36,000 scholarship. DAVE RAMSEY HOSTS SMART CONFERENCES IN PHOENIX AND DENVER THIS FALL http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-hosts-smart-conferences-in-phoenix-and-denver-this-fall http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-hosts-smart-conferences-in-phoenix-and-denver-this-fall Tue, 19 May 2015 16:05:41 CST New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey will host the Smart Conference in Phoenix and Dallas this fall. $54,000 In 17 Months! http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=9479 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=9479 Tue, 18 Mar 2008 00:03:00 CST In total, we paid off <b>$54,000 in 17 months!</b> Thanks Dave for your ministry! The crowns you will be able to lay at the Masters feet one day will be incredible! Single Dad Now Debt Free! http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=9474 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=9474 Tue, 18 Mar 2008 00:03:00 CST Dave, <b>I did it</b>!!! As <b>a single father</b> of 2 wonderful boys (ages 5 & 7), I thought it would be impossible, but 24 months later... <b>I'M DEBT FREE!!!!!</b> I Can't Wait to Lead My Own Class! http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10112 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10112 Fri, 20 Jul 2007 00:07:00 CST Jenna just graduated from FPU, but she's already looking forward to leading classes in the near future! We Are Now Better than We Deserve! http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10126 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10126 Fri, 23 Mar 2007 00:03:00 CST Our only regret is that while watching the FPU videos over and over, we realize how much stupid tax we have paid! We learned to buy only big, big bargains! http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10135 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10135 Wed, 10 Jan 2007 00:01:00 CST FPU Coordinators Joe and Alicia describe the blessings they have received since finding Financial Peace. I Committed My Life to 2 Things http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10141 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10141 Wed, 23 Aug 2006 00:08:00 CST Rick shares his testimony and journey of committing his life and being an FPU coordinator. FPU Is A Great Way To Meet New People! http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10142 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10142 Thu, 27 Jul 2006 00:07:00 CST The McCords attended FPU at a different church in the community and have benefited from the course in multiple ways! FPU Taking Living to the Next Level http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10148 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10148 Mon, 20 Mar 2006 00:03:00 CST After FPU took Stephanie's "commitment to debt-free living to the next level," she lead a course and now shares an incredible story from a couple in her class. Online Potluck Highlights http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10152 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10152 Tue, 29 Nov 2005 00:11:00 CST Here are a few of the stories from the celebration for you to enjoy. You can read them all by signing into the Community and entering the Fellowship Hall. No AC? No Sweat, thanks to FPU! http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10153 http://crc.daveramsey.com/?event=dspTestimony&intContentId=10153 Tue, 04 Oct 2005 00:10:00 CST "I am SO thankful that the course was offered at my church and that I had the opporunity to enroll." No arguments https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131104 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131104 2016-02-11 10:56:56.537 Ricky and his father have been arguing over what Ricky and his wife want to do with their rental property and their money. Dave says there should be no arguments, because the money and the property don't belong to his dad. He also gives Ricky advice on how to handle the financial side of the equation. No insurance on cell phones https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131076 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131076 2016-02-03 15:27:00.317 In his response to Lisa's question, Dave explains why he thinks taking out insurance on your cell phone is a bad idea. Don't tithe with credit cards https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131075 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131075 2016-02-03 15:09:25.937 Melissa wants to know Dave's opinion on churches encouraging people to do e-giving with credit cards or debit cards. Dave isn't a fan of churches asking members to use a debt vehicle to pay their tithes. Loyalty and character https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131052 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131052 2016-01-28 09:36:51.943 Dave responds to a note from someone who says employees don't owe loyalty to their employers. If you guessed that Dave disagrees, you're right. In the process, he explains why things like loyalty and character still matter. Mathematically incorrect https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131008 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131008 2016-01-21 10:12:36.173 Ken just finished reading a finance book in which the author expressed concern that the market could be adversely affected by so many Baby Boomers starting to retire and living off their investments. Dave shrugs off this supposition, and he explains to Ken in great detail why the idea is mathematically incorrect. Discussion with mom and dad https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130986 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130986 2016-01-13 10:55:58.38 Cherie calls in for her boyfriend, who is wondering if he should buy life insurance for his mom and dad. Dave says the idea is not a good long-term plan, and he gives some additional advice for this situation. Mom has no assets https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130958 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130958 2016-01-06 09:51:21.387 Joe's mom is a stroke victim. She's also 81, and she has no assets, but she has $15,000 in old debt. Joe asks Dave how to deal with the situation, and Dave offers advice on handling the debt and the collectors. It's a bad product https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130913 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130913 2015-12-18 15:01:12.403 Rebecca is a real estate agent from Indianapolis, IN, who just attended a class on reverse mortgages. She couldn't get straight answers from the teacher to some of her questions, so she called Dave to clear things up. Extreme measures, extreme results https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130903 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130903 2015-12-16 12:10:36.057 Dave takes on critics of a young man who worked multiple jobs, while scrimping and saving to pay off his mortgage early. This is classic Dave addressing issues such as frugality, financial responsibility, jealousy and victim mentality. Thankfulness and boundaries https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130902 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=130902 2015-12-16 10:26:03.693 Emily's future in-laws are moving a little too fast and going a bit too far in trying to do nice things for her and their son. Dave doesn't think they're bad folks, just excited about the upcoming marriage. He gives Emily some gentle advice on boundaries and relationships.