Dave Ramsey http://www.daveramsey.com/ Real Life Money Stories en-us Wed, 26 Oct 2016 23:10:40 CST 180 Saturday Sunday Dave Says - October 25, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-10-25 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-10-25 Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:10:33 CST My husband owns a small landscaping and masonry company. His profits over the last couple of years have been about $80,000 annually ... Dave Says - October 17, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-10-17 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-10-17 Mon, 17 Oct 2016 11:10:53 CST I'm 23, and I lost a good job a few days ago due to layoffs. My wife has been a stay-at-home mom with our 10-month-old daughter, and we have very little in the way of savings ... New Report Finds Most Employees Are Scared or Confused About Their Money http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/new-report-finds-most-employees-are-scared-or-confused-about-their-money http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/new-report-finds-most-employees-are-scared-or-confused-about-their-money Tue, 11 Oct 2016 09:10:54 CST Most Americans are scared and confused about their handling of personal finances, according to a new report by SmartDollar and its parent company Ramsey Solutions. Dave Says - October 10, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-10-10 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-10-10 Mon, 10 Oct 2016 11:10:43 CST My mom is 95 years old, and she's in amazing health. Financially speaking, she has about $150,000 in Certificates of Deposit, money market accounts, and savings bonds ... I'M DEBT FREE-For 5 Years! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105908 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105908 Sat, 08 Oct 2016 04:10:24 CST Every year I celebrate the anniversary of when I became Debt Free, October 6, 2011. I was 27 years old and had been listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio and online for several months. I found Dave Ramsey by accident, driving through Arizona for work and scanning channels. The introduction to the show hooked me and I started listening to the show everyday. I had a "small" amount of debt, between $8,000 to $10,000, but it was constant since I was in college. I got the credit card freshman year and thought I was doing well financially when my credit limits kept being raised as I was carrying more and more debt. I also had little to no savings. Dave Ramsey was my wake up call and I decided to get Debt Free before my 28th birthday. I started the baby steps and a week before my birthday I completed Baby Step 2 and let go of the constant credit card payments that I had been carrying for almost 10 years. To this day my family and friends still think I'm weird with my reluctance to get back into debt. I am saving for a 100% payment on a house and because of Dave Ramsey and FPU I am heading toward a financially secure future I never believed I could have. I'M 5 YEARS DEBT FREE!!!! Dave Says - October 3, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-10-03 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-10-03 Mon, 03 Oct 2016 10:10:37 CST My wife and I are on Baby Step 2 of your plan, and I'm in graduate school while working full-time. We're trying to cash flow my education from this point forward after previously taking out student loans ... Dave Says - September 26, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-09-26 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-09-26 Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:09:38 CST I make $2,100 a month after taxes, and I have accumulated $46,000 in credit card debt. My husband makes more than I do, but he won't help me ... Princess Teeth http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105821 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105821 Fri, 23 Sep 2016 06:19:44 CST My daughter had dentist surgery this Monday to have crowns put in. Dental insurance is not the greatest, the procedure was a little over $1200 and our responsibility was $526. My wife carries our dental insurance and was considering doing "Care Credit" to cover the cost. Care Credit is the same as a 18 month, no interest credit card. Once I saw the final amount I just pulled the money from savings and just paid it. I know I'm only talking about $526, but it felt great that I had enough in savings to cover it, and now we don't have that hanging over our head. I know this was possible for two reasons -- no credit card debt and putting away money into savings every two weeks. So we tell our daughter she has "Princess Teeth" since they were crowned. Dave Says - September 19, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-09-19 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-09-19 Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:09:28 CST My wife and I recently sat through a timeshare pitch at my mom and dad's community as a favor to them. We're trying to get out of debt and take control of our money, so when the salesman said we could put the whole thing on a credit card, I told him about you and your plan ... New Study from Ramsey Solutions Finds Only 1 in 10 Americans Currently Saving Enough for Retirement http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/new-study-from-ramsey-solutions-finds-only-1-in-10-americans--currently-saving-enough-for-retirement http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/new-study-from-ramsey-solutions-finds-only-1-in-10-americans--currently-saving-enough-for-retirement Wed, 14 Sep 2016 07:09:11 CST Nearly half of Americans aren’t saving for retirement, and those who save aren’t saving enough, according to a new survey by Ramsey Solutions, a leading company in financial education. “THE DAVE RAMSEY SHOW” SURPASSES 575 RADIO AFFILIATES NATIONWIDE http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/the-dave-ramsey-show-surpasses-575-radio-affiliates-nationwide http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/the-dave-ramsey-show-surpasses-575-radio-affiliates-nationwide Mon, 12 Sep 2016 15:09:12 CST “The Dave Ramsey Show” is now available on more than 575 radio affiliates and is heard by more than 12 million listeners weekly. Securian Adds SmartDollar to Its Retirement Plan Education Platform http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/securian-adds-smartdollar-to-its-retirement-plan-education-platform http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/securian-adds-smartdollar-to-its-retirement-plan-education-platform Mon, 12 Sep 2016 12:09:36 CST Securian Financial Group has added SmartDollar, a financial wellness solution created by author and national radio show host Dave Ramsey, to its retirement plan participant engagement and education platform. Dave Says - September 12, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-09-12 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-09-12 Mon, 12 Sep 2016 11:09:22 CST My husband and I own three commercial buildings in Boise, Idaho, that are leased out long-term. We owe about $500,000 on one and $400,000 on each of the others, and they earn $190,000 ... Dave Says - September 6, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-09-06 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-09-06 Tue, 06 Sep 2016 09:09:06 CST My wife and I make $100,000 a year combined, and we have about $12,000 in credit card debt. We also owe another $80,000 in student loans, and our kids' private school education costs $1,000 a month. Is it okay for me to take a loan against my 401(k) ... Dave Says - August 29, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-08-29 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-08-29 Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:08:48 CST Our three kids are enrolled in a private Christian school. It's a great place, and we truly believe our kids are getting a wonderful, faith-based education, but the tuition is pretty expensive ... Dave Says - August 22, 2016 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-08-22 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2016-08-22 Mon, 22 Aug 2016 11:08:00 CST What is your opinion on paying cash for a "tiny house"? STUDENTS WITH PERSONAL FINANCE EDUCATION EXHIBIT STRONG MONEY KNOWLEDGE AND HABITS http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/students-with-personal-finance-education-exhibit-strong-money-knowledge-and-habits http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/students-with-personal-finance-education-exhibit-strong-money-knowledge-and-habits Mon, 22 Aug 2016 07:08:40 CST A new study by Ramsey Solutions, a leading company in financial education, finds that students who are taught personal finance lessons in the classroom have a better understanding and more confidence when it comes to managing their money. More and more stupid tax http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105703 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105703 Mon, 22 Aug 2016 05:17:47 CST I started school in December 2012. Luckily, school was being paid for by the VA, otherwise I would have amassed $50K more in student loan debt! However, as it stood, I was roughly $45K in debt with a nice truck and credit card debt. My only income was the GI Bill and a disability check from the VA, totaling about $20K per year. I was drowning! In April of 2013, I received a lump sum disability payment and immediately went and got a $15K motorcycle loan! On top of that, I wasn't budgeting. I was going out all the time with my roommates, my brothers, and also going to local restaurants to partake in "FREE" poker games that usually cost me $30-40 per night in food and drink. On the way to these poker games I would listen to the radio and I kept hearing these people talking about their stupid mistakes and then I would hear these people yelling they were debt free. I never really knew what the show was because the drive wasn't long enough to barely make it through a commercial break. I researched and finally figured out what it was. Immediately I went and got The Total Money Makeover and I read it in 2 days. I got rid of my truck in June 2013. I was negative $8,000 on it and got a loan for an $8,000 car. So, I knocked off $9k with that. Then in July I called my amazing Mom and asked her for some help to sell my motorcycle. She gave me the difference to sell the bike, and that knocked off another $9k. I promptly paid her off and continued with my credit card debt. I graduated school in December 2014 with about $25K in debt still. The whole time I was in school I was having migraines, severe back pain and spasms. I tried getting help through the VA, but this was at the same time the Phoenix VA scandal was going on. In January of 2015 we moved back home to Northern California, so we had to save up money for that and it pushed back my debt snowball a bit. The pain was still there and my Mom advised I see a chiropractor. Sure enough, they diagnosed me with "Military Neck" - a severe misalignment in my spine that was the cause for the pain and spasms. The treatment for the chiropractor was going to be $4800, that I obviously could not afford. My amazing Mom ended up paying that up front and I paid her back in less than 4 months. I paid my final car payment of $5346 in April 2016. To this day I still have back pain and regularly see a chiropractor, but I am now able to pay for a full year's worth in advance! My only debt is our house. My income ranged from $20,000 and is now over $100,000. Thank you Dave Ramsey for the wonderful work that you do, without your guidance I would have continued to rack up debt and definitely would have considered bankruptcy. Stupid is too kind a word. http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105650 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105650 Mon, 01 Aug 2016 11:55:19 CST I ran up $35,000 in credit card debt and another $18,000 on an equity line of credit. I used the equity loan to replace the A/C system in my house and for major repairs on my car. The worse part is that it cost just over $13,000 for these two incidents...so how did my CC balances get so high...and on what? "Stupid" is too kind a word to describe a person like me. I made good money and I thought as long as I could make the payments I was fine. It's when one thing after another kept happening and my cards were almost maxed out is when I finally woke up I got a second job over a year ago and I found Dave Ramsey's show on the radio. I already started paying down debt and then he explained the baby steps. I finally finished baby step 1 and I no longer charge on any CC. I have closed two CC accounts since then. I am doing much better now but I am paying a horrible price for my stupidity. I think about the regret of not being able to invest or help others as I would like. I want others out there to know that there is a way out of a bad financial situation even when you are the one who created it. I did this to myself and I take responsibility for it. A New Future http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105649 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105649 Mon, 01 Aug 2016 11:16:44 CST I wanted to write this day one of my snowball rollin??? journey but how could I tell a story that hasn???t happened yet? I DID IT! I paid off almost $31k debt this past Saturday after fourteen months! I had graduated college with over $60k in student loans seven years ago, plus the purchase of two cars in that time frame. I had slowly chipped away at my debt over the years, sometimes going more intense than others because I would feel the need to treat myself to things or make that travel bug of mine feel complete. Last June I woke up out of bed and my first thought was, ???I need to get out of debt by 30.??? And just like that, things started happening for me. There was no excuse for me having a decent income and only needing to depend on myself (single gal here) and still having this mountain of car and student loan debt. I was thankful that I already knew how to build a budget and stay on track with it so it was only a matter of tightening down and being honest with myself on the NEEDS and the WANTS of life. I needed shampoo, I didn???t need to pick up three other products in the same beauty section just because I was there. I leaned on my friend who had gone through the FPU program previously with her husband and she recommended I read the book entirely through first. I read it three times. It was tough to wrap my mind around draining my savings account down to the $1,000 emergency fund and stopping my 401k contributions, but I knew it would kick start everything. I had read stories about families only living off of one person???s income and the rest going entirely towards the debt so I started living off of one paycheck a month and the other one going towards the debt. I also made it a vow to not purchase any new clothing or travel until I was debt free. I avoided malls like the plague and went grocery shopping during times I knew it would be busy so I wouldn't aimlessly wander through the aisles. Murphy knocked once with a trip to the ER but I never faltered, just increased my HSA to take advantage of the tax break and dug deeper. I had charts that I would fill in when I made a payment, my budget was calculated out a year in advance so I could plan for insurance and holidays, I kept my projected debt free date and a picture of my dream vacation to Italy in my wallet. I was not shy about talking about my goal of getting out of debt to friends and family. They had to know why I had to turn them down on shopping days, trips and nights out for drinks and why I was on this mission. I read stories like this when I was having a rough day and my parents helped keep my spirits up on more than one occasion when I would talk about throwing in the towel. Envisioning my new future, and what I could become, made all the difference in the world and gave me drive. I exceeded my goal, I still have 6 months left till I???m 30! I feel like I???ve earned my diploma twice now, I???m not sure which time was more rewarding. And I???m passing on my story to friends and family in hopes that they start their path on to being debt free. Whether you know it or not, this community has helped me so a huge THANK YOU to the FPU family! Beginning band? READ THIS http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105648 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105648 Mon, 01 Aug 2016 10:43:33 CST I went to a local, and recommended, music store for my child's band instrument. As a beginner, we planned to rent. NEED TO KNOW, rent to own programs are purchases with interest. I should have realized this when credit check was run. Anyway, we trusted the sales person with the instrument we left with, knowing it was used, knowing it looked used, however, not knowing the true value and age. While they offered an early payout, that seemed like a better deal than the long term payment plan, it was double what the value of the instrument was. AFTER doing research, I went to another music store, with my instrument, and purchased a used and newer instrument for less than the asking price of the rented one. I also found out that the instrument being rented to me was 30 YEARS OLD!!! Yep, that actually happened. My stupid tax, $188 for the rental term of the contract I signed. Better than paying $800 for an instrument worth $300-$400. Advice: Do your homework!! Don't think that a music store associate will help you with information. Look online at blogs for the instrument you are looking to purchase. The same instrument recommended on multiple sights should be a good choice for a beginner. You can also compare prices and know if you are getting a fair deal, or the shaft, like I did. Learning the credit card dance http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105645 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105645 Sun, 31 Jul 2016 08:26:23 CST I actually thought I was doing well with my credit cards until I stopped to read the bill. Usually I glanced at the bill and fired off a payment but this time I noticed a late payment fee of $25.00. My checking showed 22 days from mailbox to them posting it. It also (on page 4) informed me my interest rate was now 27.5%. I studied my bill of about $3500 with $62 a month payment and discovered that $50 was for interest only and $12 to principle. Got mad and did math! The late fee was going to add 2 months and I was going to be paying for another 22 years! Found a weekend job that netted about $400 a month and shut that card down in 8 months. They cancelled my card a few years later for lack of use. Military life and almost debt free! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105624 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105624 Wed, 27 Jul 2016 12:09:05 CST My husband and I's story involves quite a few aspects that Dave instills in his books: dedication, perseverance and giving. My husband and I (newly married for about 5 months now!), were very fortunate to only have student loan debt from my schooling (around 65k). Him being an officer in the military, his school was paid for by the ROTC program. Not long before we got married my car was pretty much running on fumes. I am SO happy to say that with the advice from Dave (and the help of living at home with my parents), I was able to purchase a car outright with all the cash I had made during my internship experience. Not having payments on any cars have greatly helped us to tackle the loan. About two days after we married we moved to our permanent duty station and starting attacking the loan we had right away. I have to admit, not having to pay certain expenses because of the army and me being determined to get a job as soon as we moved, have helped us to make payments of $4,000 each month to our loans. We have truly lived a simple life while putting as much money as we could to our loans. We had the determination to pay off all the debt by a year after I started working full time in our location, and I am SO happy that by next month (only 5 months after we moved and I started my job), we will be DEBT FREE! However, I wanted to share another aspect of Daves teaching that has tremendously helped us in paying off our debt. Giving. Dave mentions that after you become debt free it is important to give back, and there are many ways that you could do that. My husband and I have been very fortunate to receive various gifts of money throughout our time of paying of my loans from friends and family. Without these gifts it just wouldn't have been possible to become debt free so fast. We are incredibly and forever grateful and thankful for these gifts. They have truly changed our family tree. We cannot wait to grace others with gifts like those that we received once we are financially stable, we hope to change many family trees also! Thank you Dave for helping us to become financially stable and smart about our money! We truly can't thank you enough. Debt freedom and Murphy...and then some! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105625 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105625 Wed, 27 Jul 2016 03:36:06 CST My husband and I began our debt free journey in 2011. We owed a total of $100k in car payments, credit cards, student loans, and medical bills after having our son with no health insurance back in 2009. We finally paid off all of our debt on June 19th, 2015. We did not go out to eat, go on vacations, or buy anything that was not absolutely necessary during those four years. We were making an average income of about $60k a year. During this time we were also trying to have our second baby. Finally, after three years of trying and cash flowing fertility treatments we became pregnant with our daughter in October 2015. That was also the month we finished our emergency fund. During this time, we also sold our house and moved into a beautiful house in a great neighborhood. Tragically, this amazing experience was not going to last. In May 2016, we lost our beautiful daughter at 34 weeks due to an umbilical cord accident after a perfect pregnancy. Three weeks later our dog passed away unexpectedly. This has been the darkest time of our entire lives. We do not know what the next steps are for us, but the one thing I am thankful for is that we were debt free when all of this happened. Between unexpected hospital bills, vet bills, funeral expenses for our daughter, and me being out of work for 7 weeks, I do not know how we would have managed if we weren't debt free and did not have an emergency fund. We have been able to grieve the loss of our daughter without having the added stress of making monthly payments. If you are working the plan and feel discouraged, or have others telling you that you don't need to be debt free or have savings, DO NOT listen to them. You never know what life is going to throw your way. Trish Young Teacher Debt-Free! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105621 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105621 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 01:41:29 CST At 25 years old I paid off $30k (student loans and car) during the first 2 years of working professionally on a TEACHER'S salary ($35k)! While all of my friends were living large, going on vacations, buying homes, and paying for expensive weddings, I was living like no one else well below my means. I'm 26 years old now, have $7k saved towards Baby Step 3a (FFEF) and will be saving for a down payment on a house soon. This program works! Debt-free in the Military http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105620 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105620 Thu, 21 Jul 2016 03:59:03 CST My husband and I started our debt repayment journey almost immediately after getting married. We were married a month and a half before graduating college, and then the loans kicked in. I was the only one with loans, as my husband had his college debt burden carried through his ROTC commitment. I, on the other hand, had just under $80,000 in student loans (both private and federal to repay). My in-laws purchased us a copy of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University, and we began working on the snow ball method to repay our debt. But because my husband is in the Army, it was very hard for me to hold down a consistent, well-paying job until we moved to our permanent change of station. However, once we got to our duty station where we have been stationed for the last year, we made a commitment that by July 2017, we would be debt-free!! We have lived off of one salary (his), and everything that I have made over the last two years has gone into a separate bank account that is used for nothing but loan repayment. I have been very blessed with having had jobs here that have paid well, and because of my husband's being Active Duty Army, there are a lot of household expenses that we don't have to worry about that help with financial aspects of our life. However, it still has been extremely frustrating and challenging for the both of us, as we chose to take the aggressive repayment route, and have been paying upwards of $2000.00 per month to repay the loans. Between my private loans, which my parents took out a home equity loan to refinance, and my federal loans, it was hard to stay motivated. But my parents were firm about the fact that we were responsible for our loans, and encouraged us to stay strong in repaying that debt. It was also helpful to keep in mind that they were tying their own assets and financial future to our ability to stay disciplined and get the loans paid off. We finally paid the last of the private loans off in December, 2015, and starting putting the money that we had been throwing at the private loans into the federal loans and more than doubled the efforts we were making toward paying those off. But today, July 21, 2016, we made our very last student loan payment of $5008.00 for student loans that we will ever have to make. The bank account for debt repayment will have just over $400.00 left in it, but it will be ours. If it hadn't been for the Financial Peace University, we most likely would have wallowed and wended our way through debt repayment. As it is, we're just three years post-graduation, and we are FREE! Millionaire's at 59 making less then 80K http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105603 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105603 Wed, 20 Jul 2016 04:53:26 CST This more or less started in 1993. We refinanced house to 15 yr. loan, wife was laid off and adopted baby all in that year. I made about $65k back then. We always invested $1k a year for sons education. My wife wanted to send our son to a christian private school and we agreed to wait for high school. Paid off house early in 2007 so we could pay for son to attend christian high school for 4 yrs. After graduating high school he wanted to become a watch maker and found a 2 yr. school tuition free from a major watch maker and applied and was excepted. In august we moved him back east for school and I was laid off. I started a new job Sept 1 the same day he started school. I was making about $78k at this time. We bought him a used car , paid his living expense's and about $7k for tools during the next 2 yrs. I also was able to start drawing my pension from my previous employer $2300 a month so we cash flowed our sons schooling. He graduated last yr. and then we moved him to Dallas to do a 3 month internship at Rolex. He started his job the beginning of this year debt free making $50k a year. Now at 59 we have $1.3M in are retirement savings.A paid off home at about $350k, and about $100K in savings and investments. This was all making less then $80k a year in all that time except the last 2 years, It can be done. None of this was inherited. God has been good to us and hopefully we can retire soon if needed. Employer Retirement Education Plays Key Role in Long-Term Financial Success http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/employer-retirement-education-plays-key-role-in-long-term-financial-success http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/employer-retirement-education-plays-key-role-in-long-term-financial-success Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:07:00 CST A new study by Ramsey Solutions, a leading company in financial education, finds that employees with access to financial and retirement education have less stress, more savings and more confidence than those without access. Goodbye Wells Fargo! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105598 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/105598 Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:37:26 CST Our story started more than 13 years ago. Before we were married, my husband and I were talking about how great it would be to have a parent at home with the kids, just like our mothers were with us when we were young. We concluded that it was GREAT back then, but these are different times! We were young professionals, just out of college with good jobs. Separately, we could hardly afford our apartment, car payments and student loan payments, how could we ever afford to pay all that on 1 income, plus have a family? How did our parents ever manage? Then the light bulb went on. Our parents didn't have student loans, car loans, credit card debt and all the other things we were starting our adult life with. Credit was hard to come by back then, you saved and paid in cash for most things. It was an epiphany. We started talking about how much different life would be without debt, we just didn't know how to get there. Not long after that, my husband was talking to a coworker about our epiphany and was told that he sounded an awful lot like Dave Ramsey. We had never heard of Dave, but started to listen to his radio show, then read his books. We decided to get serious about our debts. At that time, we had combined over $60,000 in student loans, car notes and credit card debt. We were also starting to plan a wedding. We agreed right away that we would not incur more debt from the wedding and everything would be paid in cash, and we stuck to it. We had a friend bake our wedding cake. My dress was a sample bought on sale at a bridal show. It was a morning wedding with a brunch reception to lower costs. My mother did all the flowers. A family friend trying to get into photography did our pictures for free-in exchange for using them in his marketing brochures. Our honeymoon was local, no exotic island getaway for us. We figured we'd have plenty of time for great vacations--paid for in cash--down the road. Our wedding rolled around and was wonderful--and cheap! The ceremony, rings, reception and honeymoon was under $10K. Once we returned from our honeymoon we got busy paying down our debt. 18 months later, it was gone. What an amazing feeling! We continued living on that same budget for another year, saving my income every month and used it for a downpayment on our first house. Here's where the story gets interesting. Life was going according to plan. We were debt free at 30, had a house, and a baby. I was a stay-at-home mom and my husband had a good job as an accountant. Then he came home one day and said he'd been offered a transfer to another state. It was a good opportunity for his career. After a lot of thought, we agreed to move. Little did we know this would set off a chain reaction of 3 relocations in 10 years. Our goal of owning a home outright was seeming impossible. We purchased a home in each of the cities we lived in, only because his employer paid all realtor fees, closing costs and moving expenses and offered a guaranteed buyout if the house didn't sell when were transferred again. We would never have done so otherwise. Still, each city meant a new mortgage. Even making extra principle payments and rolling equity from one house to the next felt like we weren't making the progress we hoped. Add to that, all the other expenses we encountered during that 10 years. Another child. A Master's Degree (needed for my husband to continue advancing). Numerous unexpected expenses like emergency room visits, new A/Cs, new roofs, cars needing to be replaced, plumbing disasters, and so many more that I can't list here. Basically, LIFE happened. And we dealt with each one as they came. We used our emergency fund. We tightened our belts and prioritized our spending. We didn't rely on VISA and MASTERCARD to bail us out. I'm writing this a few weeks before my 13th wedding anniversary. It's been 10 years since we bought our first house. We've owned this home (our 4th) for 4 years. And three days ago, we made our last mortgage payment to Wells Fargo. My husband is an accountant. I was in Public Relations, then a stay-at-home mom for 8 years. Two years ago I changed careers again and went to work as a teacher. We don't make and have never made a ridiculously high income. But we learned to live on a budget and most importantly, to work together and communicate about our spending needs and savings goals as a family. Our parents didn't go to college. They lived paycheck to paycheck their entire lives. They weren't financially able to help us with college or other expenses in our adult lives. Our children are now 10 and 8. They already have a college fund--something that we never had. They have savings accounts and regularly set money aside for their long-term goals. They will grow up with more financial security than we ever had. We have changed our family tree for the better and could not be more happy about our future. Buy Here, Pay Here http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105586 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105586 Fri, 15 Jul 2016 03:37:50 CST To keep the story short and on point I will be omitting some details (like how I got into this situation. Yes, I never thought this was a good idea but unfortunately this was the best solution for my problem at the time.) I have purchased a 2007 Jeep Patriot from Drive Time back in August of 2014.After being suckered into their "extras" (i was told they could not sell me anything unless I took what they added into the Jeep for their financing .) The ending price was $18k with 20% interest. I have been making payments of $440 a month since then and i have barely made a dent into this nightmare of a loan. I have attempted to go to banks, credit unions and online loan sites lending tree. No one will refinance with me. They offer blue book value for a loan (which is fair) but I am roughly $7k upside down. My question is how do I over come this? I have 2 jobs that i work and the money from the secondary job goes to other debt, mostly legal debt. I am really wanting to get out of a 20% loan and into something that is more reasonable. I doubt there is any place that would lend a person around $15k and then pay them back? The most common advice that I hear is pay extra. My payment is at $440 and I attempt to live below my means but there is a still a real struggle. There has to be a way out of this 20% interest loan. American Depressed Card http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105562 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105562 Thu, 07 Jul 2016 11:26:19 CST When we started our business in 1985, there was a great waterline project to be designed in Brazil. That meant plane tickets from Pennsylvania and Colorado to Brazil. We were not the only ones who needed to go to the site. Everyone else had employee mentality even though they expected big profits as if they were owners. Eventually the deal fell through because we would not pay bribes to the local officials in Brazil. Guess who was left with $74,000 of plane tickets on a brand new American Express card? I called Am Ex and told them I'd pay the bill but not that month. That took a long time to pay back. Never one word of sympathy or help from the others, just one fellow who threatened to sue us because he thought we owed him a long term job. Leverage Lessons http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105532 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105532 Fri, 24 Jun 2016 08:24:55 CST Bought a house on interest only loan for lower payments then rented it out for positive cash flow and finally upgraded to a "nicer house." Life seemed GOOD. Then, the interest costs kicked in and my payments increased to $400+ per month. Ten years later, the net lose was $70K net after selling. Then, I kept the new house with PPI but finally sold it for a 30K net lose. To make things worse, I ran up 19K in CC debt Tto support the rental house and lived on those during a few months during unemployment because I had no emergency fund (I leveraged everything so no cash). Then, I starting to watch Dave's videos and read one of his one book. Now, I have 1K set aside and: Today: Renting. I Sold both houses but lost 100K (both had ongoing repairs and one rental vacancy off/on). CC Debt: Reduced to $3300.00 (better); 16K paid. No Car payment (I want to jump into a new car but staying focused). The deal said, "your payments would only be $425 per month." LOL. Student Loan: 45K and had it for 15 years cause I wanted to lowest payment to "leverage" monthly cash flow for the house listed above (plan to tackle that next). My lesson: DO NOT LEVERAGE MONEY, EVER!! Millennials Outperforming Older Generations in Retirement Readiness http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/millennials-outperforming-older-generations-in-retirement-readiness http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/millennials-outperforming-older-generations-in-retirement-readiness Wed, 15 Jun 2016 07:06:38 CST Even though Millennials have had less time to build their retirement wealth, they are already catching up to many of those who are closest to retirement, according to a new survey by Ramsey Solutions, a leading company in financial education. Credit Card "Discount{ http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105487 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105487 Thu, 09 Jun 2016 03:39:40 CST My neighbor gave us a gift certificate for $50 on Amazon. When I went to order, Amazon offered a credit of $50 if I applied for their cc. So "of course" I applied (STUPID!!!). That left me "only" having to pay $7 for what I was ordering. YEARS later, I'm still paying off that stupid credit card, so that item has cost me thousands of dollars. 14 years in Credit Card Debt!!! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105469 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105469 Tue, 07 Jun 2016 03:48:20 CST Yesterday, my wife and I paid off our last credit card. I got married with about 3,000 in credit card debt 13 years ago, and it has taken us 14 LONG years of our lives to pay off all this debt. Wow, what a terrible ride it has been let me tell you! But we have survived and now I wish I could go back in time, and do it all differently. The actual debt we have paid back is around $30,000 but that does not include the interest, so in theory we probably have paid back around $37,000 in credit card debt. Many of those years we only had a HH income of about $55,000. Yep! Talk about a hard long road. But now, we have a plan: It's called a Budget! And we still have major debt: About 20,000 in Student Loans, and $10,000 in car loans. But with our current momentum, we'll be completely debt free in 3 years from today. 3 more years. That makes 17 years total of stupidity! Man I wish I could go back in time!!! Thanks Dave for all your wisdom, I wish I would have discovered you back in 2002. WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN DAVE RAMSEY’S FINANCIAL LITERACY CHALLENGE http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/winners-announced-in-dave-ramseys-financial-literacy-challenge http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/winners-announced-in-dave-ramseys-financial-literacy-challenge Wed, 25 May 2016 10:05:51 CST Ramsey Solutions’ Foundations in Personal Finance announces the winners of the college scholarships awarded in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Literacy Challenge, including a $40,000 scholarship. Tough love costs $0 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105366 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105366 Wed, 18 May 2016 02:02:48 CST I'm the oldest of 5 siblings. With being raised by a single father (who's terrible with money), I've always taken more of a maternal and financially responsible role with my siblings. I want to help and see them succeed. Unfortunately, up until recently, I often 'helped' them with money. I've now paid a stupid tax for each of my 4 siblings. Sibling 1: My wait-until-the-last-minute brother waited until 2 weeks before the semester to enroll in community college. He needed $500 to enroll since his financial aid money would wouldn't come in time. I gladly shelled out the money with the agreement that he'd pay me back when financial aid came in. Well, you can't just stop showing up to school after the first few weeks and still expect a check from the government. That was $500 lost forever. Sibling 2: My sister, while in college, was needing a cell phone. She asked me if I could add her to my plan so that both of us could save a little money. I thought it was a great idea! Luckily this was before smart phones, so there wasn't any financing for devices. She purchased a phone, and had agreed to pay $35 a month for the call and texting plan. I only ever received her first payment and was locked into a 12 month contract. $385 stupid tax. Sibling 3: My sister's husband decided to move his family cross country for a job. They were in the process of purchasing a house but they moved 2 weeks before they were able to close on the house. This meant hotel stays. Hotel stays they had no money for because they had no emergency fund, all their money was tied up with the closing of their new house, and their credit cards were maxed. I let them put those hotel stays on my credit card. Two weeks in a hotel is not cheap, but I couldn't let my nephews sleep in the car. And of course, I didn't have the money to pay off my credit card balance so I faced some hefty interest charges for months. They never paid me back, and I don't even know what I paid in stupid tax on this one. And Sibling 4: With all 4 of us sisters now adults with careers and money, we wanted to go on a European trip together. We found an amazing deal, and in order to lock it in, we needed to purchase within 48 hours. So what did I do? Put it on my credit card. It was explicitly clear that everyone had the money in-hand, and could send it to me immediately. Except that my sister lost her job 2 days later and kept the money since it was all the extra cash she had. Even though the non-refundable trip was months away, she never found a way to pay me back. $850 in stupid tax. Conclusion: No matter my good intentions, I was the one left holding the bill. The oldest sibling bank has closed for good. My husband and I have since gotten on the Dave Ramsey plan. We cut up our credit cards, stopped handouts, accepted my stupid tax situations and forgiven those debts, live off a budget, and are just a few months from being debt free. It's been a huge relief and blessing in our life. Read those E-Bills http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105326 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/105326 Wed, 11 May 2016 11:42:45 CST We changed every bill possible to come by email. I used to read these bills carefully to look for stupid stuff AT&T and others would jam into your life. But, when they started coming via email, I just started paying and not reading. Then, our new TV/internet plan "bonus period" ran out and the bill was so high, I looked at the whole thing. I discovered for one solid year we had been paying $50! a month for extra movie channels we are not interested in. We spent $600 last year for absolutely nothing. Read those bills! RAMSEY PRESS BEGINS PRESALES OF NEW BOOK BY #1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR RACHEL CRUZE http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-press-begins-presales-of-new-book-by--1-new-york-times-best-selling-author-rachel-cruze http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-press-begins-presales-of-new-book-by--1-new-york-times-best-selling-author-rachel-cruze Mon, 18 Apr 2016 09:04:39 CST Love Your Life, Not Theirs, published by Ramsey Press and authored by personal finance expert and New York Times best-selling author Rachel Cruze, is now available for preorder. RAMSEY SOLUTIONS CELEBRATES NATIONAL FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH WITH THE TEACHER APPRECIATION GIVEAWAY AND FINANCIAL LITERACY CHALLENGE FOR STUDENTS http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-solutions-celebrates-national-financial-literacy-month--with-the-teacher-appreciation-giveaway-and-financial-literacy-cha http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/ramsey-solutions-celebrates-national-financial-literacy-month--with-the-teacher-appreciation-giveaway-and-financial-literacy-cha Mon, 04 Apr 2016 11:04:32 CST Ramsey Solutions honors teachers and students across the country during National Financial Literacy Month in April. Along with sponsor Zander Insurance, Ramsey Solutions will host the Teacher Appreciation Giveaway and Financial Literacy Challenge. $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." Special needs coverage https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131606 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131606 2016-10-21 09:23:32.563 Alicia and her husband have a special needs child. She asks if they should take advantage of the child rider on their insurance policy. Dave thinks it's a good idea in their situation and explains why. Targeted funds for retirement? https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131607 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131607 2016-10-21 00:00:00.0 A Twitter follower asks Dave his opinion of using targeted funds for retirement. Dave doesn't advise it, saying the best way to approach investing is to keep things as simple as possible. Be grateful and professional https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131585 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131585 2016-10-13 09:25:19.287 JT has worked at a small company for 17 years. The last time he received a raise was for just 50 cents, and that was 10 years ago. He has found a better paying job, so he asks Dave how to handle leaving a business where everyone is like family. Listen as Dave helps him out and, in the process, provides a look at both sides of the equation when a team member leaves a company. Insurance options? https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131579 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131579 2016-10-06 11:25:57.5 Anna and her husband are self-employed, and the pay almost $1,000 a month for health insurance. Dave tries to help her with other available options, but there aren't many. Maximum investing https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131576 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131576 2016-10-04 09:08:45.74 Dave gives a quick primer in mutual fund investing. Micro investing apps? https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131565 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131565 2016-09-30 00:00:00.0 Tammy asks Dave what he thinks about micro investing apps. He advises her to think big when it comes to investing. Accounting 101 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131533 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131533 2016-09-21 10:28:30.093 Brittany has just started her own business, and she wants to know how to determine profits. Dave has the answer, plus a little good advice, for the budding entrepreneur. Insurance info https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131509 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131509 2016-09-07 10:05:22.997 Cynthia has questions about an index universal life policy with death benefits. She knows Dave prefers term life insurance, so she asks if she should keep her current policy. Dave says no, explains why, and, in the process, gives Cynthia an in-depth look into why some insurance policies are bad products. Cash flow grad school? https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131507 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131507 2016-09-06 11:55:43.197 Dan is in grad school. He and his wife have a good income and little debt. He asks Dave if cash flowing school from here on out is a good plan. Dave loves the idea, and he gives Dan a few pointers for making things work. Travel medical insurance? https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131501 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=131501 2016-09-01 09:32:21.253 Tim and his bride-to-be are planning a honeymoon cruise. He asks Dave if it would be a good idea to purchase travel medical insurance. Dave advises them to first check into the details of their current coverage.