Dave Ramsey http://www.daveramsey.com/ Real Life Money Stories en-us Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:07:07 CST 180 Saturday Sunday Dave Says - July 21, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-07-21 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-07-21 Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:07:02 CST My wife and I have $25,000 in credit card debt, $2,500 in medical bills and $89,000 each in student loan debt ... Dave Says - July 14, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-07-15 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-07-15 Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:07:13 CST My mom is 71 and debt-free. She's investing $600 a month in a universal life policy ... WINNERS ANNOUNCED IN DAVE RAMSEY’S FINANCIAL LITERACY CHALLENGE SCHOLARSHIPS http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/winners-announced-in-dave-ramseys-financial-literacy-challenge-scholarships- http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/winners-announced-in-dave-ramseys-financial-literacy-challenge-scholarships- Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:07:39 CST Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance announces the three winners of the $5,000 scholarships awarded in the Financial Literacy Challenge. Married for 2 months! PAID off $47k in 17 months! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100412 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100412 Wed, 09 Jul 2014 07:37:35 CST We were debt free in 17 months paying off $47,000 in debt! My husband and I started Dave Ramsey???s plan in January 2013. At the time we were just dating and I had $19,475 in debt and he had $27,656 in debt. My Debt: Student Loans: $18,800 Medical Bill: $175 Credit Card $500 His Debt: Student Loans: $22,835 Auto Loan: $2,980 Medical Bill: $243 Credit Card: $698 Zales: $900 My Husband is 25 and I???m 27 years old and we???ve been married for 2 months!!! I became debt free 5 months before we got married. We put all of our wedding gift money, as well as an additional $15k that we inherited towards debt, the rest of debt was paid off by HARD WORK! We worked a lot of overtime and paid for our wedding in cash! We decided to spend $5k on our wedding and by the grace of God we were able to stick with our budget! We???ve been so blessed over our 17 month journey and all glory goes to God! AND just last week my husband got a $20k promotion!!! We were so encouraged by all the debt free screams on the radio and all the articles written on the blog! We hope and PRAY our testimony encourages you. Debt FREEDOM is just a budget away. We are doing better than we deserve http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100415 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100415 Wed, 09 Jul 2014 03:59:32 CST My wife and I are 45 years old. Our equity, investment and savings net worth is currently about $2.1 Million. The home we live in mortgage free is currently worth about $1.1 Million. We work in the entertainment industry and our annual income plus investment income is about $230,000. Our situation is very unique because we gained wealth by predicting the downfall of the real estate market. Here's how we got to this point in our financial situation. Before my wife and I met: My wife bought a Burbank, Ca. Condo ($130k) in 1994 (right after earthquake) I bought a La Crescenta, Ca. Home ($229K) in 1996 (total fixer upper) (During this time I rented rooms to pay for improvements. I did my own work with my Dad and gained "Sweat Equity") We married in 2001: While renting out her condo we were living on double income with no kids. In 2004, I believed the real estate market was too high and was going to crash. Against everyone's advice, we sold the condo for $300K and used the left over proceeds to pay off the mortgage on the La Crescenta home. My wife took advantage of the tax free gain of up to $250k and it was beautiful. When my son was born in Oct. 2004 we were living mortgage free. :) People were saying: "Paying off your home is the worst thing you can do. It's the cheapest money you can borrow. You'll never get rich that way." Oh but the peace of mind was immeasurable!!! I lived in the La Crescenta area my whole life, and decided I wanted to try living someplace new, where there were more young families. We wanted to move to a new neighborhood eventually, but I kept waiting for prices to drop. For no sane reason they kept climbing. I became an avid student of the real estate and financial markets. I started researching many different L.A. neighborhoods. I looked at all types of statistics: School ratings, Crime rates, Megan's Law database, the number of Christian churches, sports programs for kids, air quality, weather, number of parks, community layout. Commute was also an important issue, but I soon realized I would have to sacrifice commute time to have all of the other things on the list. We finally settled on Westlake Village, Ca. It was perfect in every category except commute. Although my commute is 10 minutes less than my old commute to La Crescenta, my wife's commute is longer. The market was way too high. We sold the La Crescenta home in May of 2007 for $810,000. (My wife's $250K tax free cap gains reset after the 2 year waiting period and we used it again along with mine too!) The invisible gain: We decided to wait to buy our next home until after the prices dropped. We rented a condo in Westlake Village for $2100 and put our stuff in storage. In the beginning, the interest on the money was paying our rent. Most of our income went to savings. We watched as the prices dropped over one and a half years. The homes we could afford to pay cash for became nicer and nicer. It was exciting and fun to watch the market fall because it meant we could afford a nicer home as time went by. It was a hard time to be happy because so many people were in distress while our situation got better and better. We prayed for friends who were in distress. It was bitter-sweet. Right after Bush announced the bailouts several homes in the area came down into our range. In November 2008 we bought our completely upgraded home on a cul-de-sac in an awesome neighborhood. It had originally listed at $1.499K but the previous owner rode the market down for over a year and finally sold it to us for $900K. Because we were worried about bank failures, we had half the money in a treasury and half in the banks. We had to wait for the treasury account to mature, so we put 50% down and had a mortgage for less than 2 months. When the treasury matured we paid off the home and have been MORTGAGE FREE since January of 2009. We saved our money and bought another home in Westlake Village for only $505K in 2011. That was an unheard of price even then. Because of our financial situation, we were able to jump on amazingly low price only a few hours after it hit the market. The next day there were already several backup offers behind ours. The house was clearly underpriced. We depleated our savings and dumped about $35k in desperatley need improvements. Since July of 2011 we have been renting it out for $3100 with a payment of $1905. The current value on that home is about $750K and we owe about $390K. Recently we did something we never have done before. I bought a pre-owned 2013 BMW with 10K miles and financed it at 1.9%. The car payment is $500. We have enough in the bank (40K) to pay for it, but I didn't want to wipe out the reserve savings. Everything else is in real estate, retirement funds, college and mutual funds. After years of driving old cars I wanted to treat myself to a BMW, so I did the unthinkable and financed it. It's hanging over me like a ton of bricks. My wife has a 2007 Mercedes E350 that's paid for with only 70,000 miles so she's happy with her car it should last several more years. We like to take our cars to 200,000 miles when we can. Does it seem ridiculous to have a car payment? I just like knowing the liquid cash is there for emergencies. It's the only outstanding debt we have. We have always paid off the credit card in full every month. (With year end cash back, Visa actually PAYS US to use their card!) Still having this car payment is just so much against everything I believe. I'll probably pay it off before the year is out. We give to our church weekly and sponsor a child in Mexico. I tithe in daily life as much as possible. Even more so I believe prayer is the strongest thing any of us can do to help others. I listen to your show all the time. You think exactly like I do. You are the best! I absolutely love it when people ask "How are you?" and you say "Better than I deserve." I don't have a college degree and my wife grew up very poor, yet for some reason God has allowed us to be in this unique financial position. God has blessed our lives. I hope my wife and I can find new ways to help others with our blessings, but with specific purpose and forethought. In a world gone mad with debt, it's nice to there is a guy on the radio who thinks like I do. My family and I are doing better than we deserve. May God continue to bless your words so others can learn to live debt free. Dave Says - July 7, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-07-14 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-07-14 Mon, 07 Jul 2014 11:07:47 CST I have job offers from two tech companies ... Debt Free 90k in 5 years http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100405 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100405 Fri, 04 Jul 2014 07:59:55 CST Hi Everyone, We had much debt, 90,000, and daycare, and on top of that came a car accident. I lived, but have chronic pain, along with allergies and sleep apnea(im skinny). My wife and I worked overtime, survived a recession, and sold everything on Ebay and Craigslist. My wife didn't want to name the dog Ebay, but she was on board. I listened to FPU CD's from 2001, in a cubical. I was once one of you, in debt, felt trapped, listened to those Debt Free Screams, and was depressed as well. Now, i know why they Scream, its awesome and was worth everything!!. The budgets, the selling, saying NO at malls, the trips to the post office, all worth it. Thank you Dave and team for teaching us, what I wish we had in school or college. Now we are driving decent used cars and loving it. We paid cash for the cars, and going to live like no one else. We have marriage peace. DebtFree for Life and thank you. Shackles off our feet!! thank you God for Jesus, my wife and kids, and Dave Ramsey and Company. You can do it America!!!! Couldn't afford our baby - at first! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100387 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100387 Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:20:46 CST A few years ago my husband and I had no wiggle room in our budget, and then we got pregnant. We had to move half way across the country to be able to afford to keep a roof over our heads (moved from CA to the midwest). We moved next door to family that helped with daycare so that we could both keep working. We finally found Dave Ramsey after that. I realized that personal finance is about behavior, not math! I involved my husband in our finances and we did the monthly budget. We listened to the radio show often in the evenings so that he could hear it from someone besides me and we could stay motivated. Mainly budgeting was how we paid off $40,000 in 3 years, making $65k a year average. We moved back "home" and I was able to quit my job I didn't like to stay home with our (now) two kids. Our broke friends made fun of us when we moved away. We moved back successful. A short term sacrifice is always worth it. Dave Says - June 30, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-06030 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-06030 Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:06:35 CST My husband has a great job, and I love my work schedule as a substitute teacher ... We Did IT!! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100383 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100383 Mon, 30 Jun 2014 01:46:48 CST Hi Dave, my husband and I began our debt free journey 6 years ago. We decided before we got married we should read your Total Money Makeover book. We decided at that point we would live like no one else, so later we could live like no one else. We decided to forgo fancy vacations, eating out a lot, and other erronous adventures so we could save and payoff our debt. When we married we were debt free, no student or car loans, and we intended to stay that way. However, 6 months after we married we found out we were expecting a baby! That meant we had to build a house and get a new vehicle quickly. Within three months we built our first house and a few months later bought a car. We had a mortgage for $164,000. We both work and have a total gross income of $120,000. We both knew our goal of paying off our loan was attainable in 5 years. During this time, we acquired another vehicle which we took out a car loan. So in total with mortgage interest and car loan we paid off $191,000 in 4 years. Our payoff date was our 5th anniversary. Thank you for inspiring us and giving us a guide to financial freedom!! We could have saved cash for the house but... http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100370 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100370 Sat, 28 Jun 2014 01:35:38 CST Well, I made the mistake today of taking a critical look at how we could have done things differently at the beginning of our marriage. The little apartment was fine, if only we had saved for a couple of years while paying off student loan debt we could have bought our first home for cash; easily. I looked up the mortgage from our starter home...and then figured out what we would have as a net worth today if we had invested instead of being house poor and then moving up to an even more expensive house and being more house poor. Trying to be like the Jones' is NOT worth it!! Newlyweds out there, don't make the same mistakes! You can make it in that little apartment for a few years and your future will be so much better. Invest while you are young, compound interest is the key!! Please learn from the mistakes of others...if only we had known. ;( Listen to Dave!!! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100321 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100321 Wed, 25 Jun 2014 08:56:09 CST Dave, I have been following your financial guidelines since 2008 when I graduated as a RN from TTU (TN not TX)with $20k in student loans. I worked overtime and paid that off and bought an engagement ring with cash within about 10 months. I appreciate that your principles are biblical and I felt that I had a great plan to carry me through my life. Next, I probably diverged from your guidance as I got a graduate nursing degree as a nurse anesthetist all on student loans. I graduated with $110k in debt. My wife and I paid it off within 10 months. We sold several things on ebay to help pay it off. I am so thankful we worked and sacrificed to do it quickly because our child was born one month later and unexpectedly required a 7 hour open heart surgery the week he was born. Thankfully since we were out of debt, none of my stresses stemmed from wondering how we would pay for his care. Being debt free just allowed me to figure out how to support my newborn son and wife during this time. I can also tell you that immediately after we paid off the student loans a weight was lifted off my shoulders as I had felt the first time I paid off my undergraduate loans. I just wanted to write you to thank you for providing a financial plan for me to follow and for helping prepare my family for the future. I also wanted to let others reading on your website know that the unexpected can happen to anyone. Being out of debt is so important because you have to be able to take care of your family. I can't imagine what my family would be going through with this surgery if we just chose to stay knee deep in debt. We are still living in an apartment as we save our full emergency fund and save for our 20% downpayment. It is hard not just diving in on a house right now but I know it will be worth it. Hopefully we can buy in 2 years. I look forward to living stress free for the rest of my life as I don't have to worry about being in debt. It's taken 8 years to get here, but I don't regret doing it this way. I hope to help others receive the guidance you gave me! Shop around for health insurance! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100318 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100318 Tue, 24 Jun 2014 03:23:31 CST We had a daughter a couple of years ago, and we were deciding which health insurance plan to put her under (my wife or mine - we both get a single person insurance paid for through our respective employers). It would cost an additional $415 under my wife, and $375 to add the plus one to my plan, so we just put her under my plan. At the time, we were thinking those were our only two options. Unfortunately, we didn't realize that we could have her on her own plan with the same provider outside of my employer for a fraction of the cost. We ended up with a plan for $125 a month and a lower deductible and out-of-pocket cost! We did this for two years before we finally figured that out. We are now able to save $3,000 per year just in premiums alone. I can still use my cafeteria plan funds towards any of her costs as well. I am just glad I figured that out before we have our second child in which my company's family plan goes to an additional $1,000 a month! Still kicking myself over giving away $6,000 for the same benefit I could have received elsewhere. FYI - Both my wife and I are in group health insurance plans with our respective employers who have a significant amount of older participants who are driving up the premiums. Dave Says - June 23, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-06-23 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-06-23 Mon, 23 Jun 2014 00:06:00 CST You recommend that no more than 25 percent of your monthly income go toward a house payment ... Father's Day "Special" Money Throw away http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100293 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100293 Sat, 21 Jun 2014 05:37:06 CST So on Father's Day, Grandpa offered to take us out to eat. But the condition was that it would have to be cracker barrell, a place we all love but maybe it's not as fancy as we had hoped. After enjoying a LOVELY meal with our toddler and 6 year old,perhaps we had dillusions that we were rich when we offered to take everyone out for dessert. Dessert at a fancy restuarant (SHARING 2 sets of Smore's, one milk for the kids to share and 3 coffess) came to FIFITY DOLLARS!!!!!! The whole time my kids were antsy and unhappy and Im thinkin, "WHAT A DUMMY I AM TODAY!" We could have made those silly "SHHHHHMORES" ourselves in the comfort of our own backyard for like $5 bucks! PS- I desparately need new shoes now but oops! we "ATE" them for dessert! $21K of debt in JUST 9 weeks http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100261 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100261 Thu, 19 Jun 2014 12:27:31 CST We began FPU in April 2014 $31,620 in debt. We live off of $40,000 a year and have always written a budget and stuck to it. At the beginning of the class, we made just enough to barely scrape by every month making minimum payments on everything. We have a baby and could not take the financial stress much longer. We decided to sell a bunch of things around our house, my husband took a night shift at work to make a little extra money and worked some overtime, and we sold both of our newer cars. We were able to pay off two credit cards, a doctor bill, and the cars. We finished our last FPU class today $9969.40 in debt (which will be paid off in less than a year)! That is a total of $21,650.16 of debt gone in JUST 9 WEEKS!! We now have a plan for building up our emergency fund and saving up for a down payment on a house. Thank you Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University! Credit Card Offeres Gave Me A GREAT Idea! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100254 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100254 Tue, 17 Jun 2014 11:26:56 CST I am constantly getting credit card offers in the mail. And their great deals! 0% interest for a year or more, including balance transfers. And they even offered deals on getting airline points--one of the offers promised 50,000 airline miles when I spend $1000 in 3 months. And they would waive the $175 annual fee for a an entire year. Another credit card offered automatic 5% back on all purchases when I spend $1000 in three months. First thing is first. I ripped up the offers and used the postage-paid evelope to mail the offer back. And I let my 4 yr old daughter do some ripping and let her put the evelopes in the mail. I have taught her..I can say "What are credit cards?" Her response is "Yucky"! The next day I started thinking about the offers, they were all the same. Get 50,000 airline miles, waive $175 annual fee, 5% cash back....need to spend $1000 in 3 months to get this "stuff". Well, if you save $333 a month for three months, you'll have a $1000. If You save $14.58 a month for a year, you'll have $175. This is not hard to do. I'd rather take 3 months and give myself $1000, instead of paying it to a credit card. I'd rather put the money in my pocket and not the credit card company's. So thanks credit card companies, you gave me a great idea! I appriciate it! I ain't settling for just getting by... http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100257 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100257 Tue, 17 Jun 2014 06:00:14 CST I ain't settling for just getting by, I've had enough so so for the rest of my life! I credit Sugarland for that title and I am pleased to announce that as of 1/31/2014 I am 100% debt free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do not owe a penny to anyone - there are 21 exclamation marks for the 21 months it took for me to pay off my $67,899 in debt. My journey to financial freedom began in May 2012 when I received an email from a loan company that said they acquired my student loan balance and my monthly payments were too low and I would not pay my balance off by the stated due dates ; they were going to recalculate my monthly payments and were giving me a two month deferment in order to adjust/prepare for the higher payments I would be responsible for. I was already trying to pay extra on my student loans, but there was no rhyme or reason to my extra payments, $50 extra here $100 extra there - I was not seeing any progress. So when I found out about the deferment I asked my roommate for her advice on what to do with the $1200 I no longer had to pay. I asked if I should save it, pay it towards the loan it normally would go towards, or pay it towards a different loan. My roommate went into her room and came back with a copy of The Total Money Makeover and suggested I should give it a read before I make my decision - the best financial advice I had ever received. I read The Total Money Makeover in entirety that night, I was hooked and I already had my $1,000 for baby step 1. When I started on baby step 2 I was earning $40,000 annually at my full time job and $6,000 annually at my part time coaching job. My $67,899 in debt consisted of $54,468 in Student Loans, $11,336 on a vehicle loan, $1,590 on a Care Card (orthodontics), and $475 on a Credit Card (that I charged all my expenses to and paid off every month to "build credit"). When I compiled all my debts and monthly payments to create a budget I calculated it would take me three years to pay off my debt, but through a series of fortunate events and a lot of extra effort, I was able to take over a year off that target date. It turns out showing up to work on time, actually working while you're at work, and having a cheerful demeanor at work will earn you promotions and pay raises. I earned two promotions bumping me up to $43,000 and then $52,000. And it turns out the more time you spend at work, the more they pay you! I was able to earn about $10,000 in overtime each year at my full time job and I picked up an additional weekend job over the summer giving kayak tours at the beach which allowed me to earn tips and gave my brain a break from the office (sanity). I started babysitting, pet sitting and house sitting for the families of the athletes I coach and co-workers from the office as well. I cut EVERYTHING from my budget. If something was not free, I did not participate. I carpooled to free events, or I did not go because there was not enough cash in my fuel envelope. Dave is right, if you get fired up enough you get creative and crazy. It was easy for me to be crazy as a young single person making all my own decisions. The hardest part was saying no. And not because I really wanted to do things or buy things, but because I felt like a bad friend and family member for declining event invites. Sometimes I felt like all I did was work and sleep, but it was manageable because I knew it was for a short period of time. Listening to Dave's show everyday at work and reading the other success stories have really helped keep me motivated. Sharing my goals, successes and set backs with someone else also helped as it made me accountable and allowed me to vent. I also kept a thankful diary where I wrote down at least one thing I was thankful for each day which keeps me humble and positive. Since January I have slightly detoured from Dave's plan. After I made my last payment I immediately started contributing 10% to my 401k at work which matches 8%. But I was still able to save my fully funded emergency fund at the same rate because I was actually bringing home the same amount of money. My company applies annual pay increases in February and the same month I started contributing to my 401k I started to received my pay increase for a $9,000 annual salary raise. My emergency fund is up to $10,000 and I have been able to save $5,500 to open a ROTH IRA as soon as I decide on an ELP. I am really excited to start investing and saving for future life events and lots and lots of giving. I cannot wait to give back with more than just time. Wyatt Family is Debt Free! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100248 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100248 Mon, 16 Jun 2014 12:03:49 CST Emma and I got married in 2007, two years before I graduated college. During that time, we racked up $65,000 in student loan debt. We didn't really think twice about the consequences. Once I graduated with a degree in Engineering Technology, we looked at our income of $35,000 a year and felt overwhelmed at the amount of debt we needed to pay. I had heard of Dave Ramsey before when I listened to the radio. I really didn't want to hear what he had to say because I didn't really want to own up to my responsibilities. Fortunately, I just listened to what he had to say. I got really excited about the plan he laid out. I quickly told Emma about the possibilities of living a debt-free life. With a little convincing, we were both on board. During the next four years, we increased our income to $70,000 a year, cash flowed two pregnancies, fixed a 10 year old Malibu at least 3 times, and grew so much closer to each other. The road felt rough at the time, but we are so excited about living like no on else! Thank you Dave Ramsey and all your team members for encouraging us and laying out a clear plan to win with money. Dave Says - June 16, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-06-16 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-06-16 Mon, 16 Jun 2014 00:06:00 CST What things do you advise buying used versus buying brand new? Dave Says - June 9, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-06-09 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-06-09 Mon, 09 Jun 2014 00:06:00 CST My current employer offers a regular 401(k) and a Roth 401(k) ... Green Fever http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100195 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100195 Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:31:46 CST I recently bought a brand new home, built from the ground up. My family and i were blessed to be able to afford it, and for a couple of years we managed to save $20k for expenses of the home and other closing costs etc... After a week of moving i got the "Green Fever" Im a grass guy. I love my grass and i love to see it nice and green. I also enjoy cutting it on the weekends. It gives me a sense of pride that i own my grass. So when we bought the home, we had about $7,000 left over and i decided to get a quote on getting sod for the back yard. I went with the first quote and had to pay $3500 for grass, irrigation, and a smal 10x10 concrete slab. The job was done and the sod was not properly installed the first time around. It dried up quickly, the guy forgot to do the prep work on the soil. He had to replace some of the dry patches and fix some of the sprinkler heads. A 2 day job turned out to be a week. The stupid tax was for the horrible service that was provided, and to make matters worse, i didnt consult with the wife about it.. i acted alone (HUGE MISTAKE). Ater install.. my smart beautiful wife told me that she knew a guy that couldve done the job for $2500 with prep work. I learned my lesson. Get bids .. get at least 3 and choose wisely. Its hard to find good help these days! ... ohh and Guys.. never do anything with out consulting with the wife .. ohh man !! MORE THAN 1.5 MILLION HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS GET FINANCIAL EDUCATION THROUGH DAVE RAMSEY’S FOUNDATIONS IN PERSONAL FINANCE COURSE http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/more-than-15-million-high-school-students-get-financial-education-through-dave-ramseys-foundations-in-personal-finance-course http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/more-than-15-million-high-school-students-get-financial-education-through-dave-ramseys-foundations-in-personal-finance-course Thu, 05 Jun 2014 16:06:15 CST More than 1.5 million high school students have used Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum nationwide. Ramsey offers Foundations in Personal Finance for high school students to learn more about how to better manage their finances and build wealth so they can have a solid financial future. We know exactly where our money is going! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100190 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100424/storyid/100190 Thu, 05 Jun 2014 10:53:54 CST In 2007, I doubled my income by going from nurse to a nurse practitioner. I specifically remember having a conversation with a physician friend of mine. She had asked me how I liked making all that money (basically, I had gone from making 50k a year to 100k a year, and even though my husband's, a pastor, income had gone down a little when he changed churches, our family income was way up). All I could say was, "it doesn't feel like we have that much more money at all. It's all gone and we don't know where it's going." And she agreed that no matter how much she made, she never felt like she had any. That really frustrated and upset me! But I felt helpless to do anything about it. A year later, we had bought a new truck and were working on paying off our one credit card, but we still had no idea how all the money was slipping through our fingers. The first year we were married, in 1995, we were working in non-profit organizations and made 17k together. 13 or so years later, that income was increased 5 times, and we had nothing to show for it! The summer of 2010, my husband drove several hours to pick up a puppy we had bought after our older dog died, and he picked up a show on the radio about money management. In the middle of nowhere, Texas, he heard his first Dave Ramsey show! He came home pretty excited and started watching the show on Fox Business. I admit that at first, I was reluctant. I felt like he was trying to control me-I'm the natural spender in the relationship. But I got to watching with him, and we bought Total Money a Makeover, and soon we saved our first 1k. I moonlighted to pay off that new truck in 18 months, and we paid off our dumb line of credit we had at the bank. We weren't perfect-we used our big old income to simultaneously to build our emergency fund at the same time we worked on retirement and college savings, but it was working for us. Fast forward about 2 years, and because we were living on a budget and using (and loving) our envelopes, we were done with our emergency fund and debt free except for the house (about 2012). Because we were debt free, we were able to adjust our budget so that my husband could leave an unhealthy work situation and half his income without much of a hiccup for our family. It was so great to have him happy and at peace! Since that time, we have paid extra on our mortgage each month, and I am thrilled to say that tonight we received our paid in full email from the mortgage company. Now, we can continue to save for our retirement and our kids' college funds (they are 13 and 11), and enjoy being debt free including the house! I think in our marriage, the biggest change that Dave Ramsey's plan has brought us is that we rarely fight about money anymore. We know where each cent is going now: we meet for a hot "budget date" night about every 6 months or so or when our situation changes (like in January, I took a 20k pay cut so I could be home when the kids get home from school, and we just met and adjusted the budget and we were fine). If we have something we are saving for, we start setting money aside for it, like we have saved up $2,500 for a summer vacation-we added it to the envelope system last fall. I LOVE paying cash for vacations: no guilt and it makes them so much more fun!! God has blessed us so much over the years. We are so thankful that we found your plan when we did. Our kids' lives will be changed forever, thanks to you! Giving to others and Jesus has always been a priority for us, but we are especially excited that for the next 4 months, our mortgage payments (or what would have been those payments) will be going to different charities-each family member gets to choose a month to give away. Then we will redo our budget again to factor in the extra money. Yay for us-WE'RE DEBT FREE!! Dave Says - June 2, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014_06002 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014_06002 Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:06:00 CST How should I handle my 401(k) ... Dave Says - May 26, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-05-26 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-05-26 Mon, 26 May 2014 00:05:00 CST My husband died several years ago. He always worked very hard, and we did very well financially ... Lifetime stupid tax http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100059 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/100059 Sat, 24 May 2014 08:47:30 CST At 32, I had enjoyed a lifetime of perfect health; I was a nonsmoker, virtual non drinker, no drugs, daily exerciser, and had always played by all the rules. Because my husband and I did not yet own a house or have children, I had given no thought to life insurance or to long term disability. Out of the blue, I became very, very ill. After weeks of agony and a five-day hospitalization, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic illness with no cure as long as I have a colon. My illness and recovery spurred us to start a family, at which point life insurance popped up on my radar. That's when I found out that due to my illness, I was rated for life insurance. Ever since, I have been paying more per month than my husband, for less coverage, despite him being two years younger. I cannot get long term disability insurance at any price. My long term disability plan is "don't get sick again," which is not a great plan for someone whose income is >50% of the household income. I have been extremely fortunate in that my illness was in a very long-term remission, and is still asymptomatic despite being in a mild flare. But I tell all the young people I know: I don't care how healthy you are, I don't care what good care you take of yourself. You do not know what will happen to you. You don't have the control over your health that you think you do. Get health insurance even if you think the penalty is cheaper, get life insurance, get long term disability insurance now while it is cheap and you are eligible. The one good part of my story is that I did have health insurance through my job at the time. Had I not had that, we would have been financially ruined. DAVE RAMSEY HOSTS CONFERENCE TO HELP PEOPLE LIVE SMART http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-hosts-conference-to-help-people-live-smart http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-hosts-conference-to-help-people-live-smart Tue, 20 May 2014 13:05:41 CST New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey will host the Smart Conference on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Calif. Dave Says - May 19, 2014 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-05-19 http://www.daveramsey.com/davesays/column/column/dave_says_2014-05-19 Mon, 19 May 2014 15:05:40 CST My wife and I are debt-free except for our house, and she would like for us to go ahead and start a family ... Massaging my wallet http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/99950 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/99950 Fri, 16 May 2014 01:55:22 CST I have struggled with back pain for years and my job requires quite a bit of lifting and standing so I decided to treat myself to a massage. The massage was wonderful, of course, and afterward they try to talk you into signing a year "membership" which you can "freeze" whenever you want, so "there is no worry if you can't afford it some months". Well, being in a blissful haze from my massage, I signed up for this year long "membership" which I didn't realize may as well have been signed in blood since it was impossible to get out of. What they don't tell you is that when you freeze the account your membership extends for the length of the freeze time, so no matter what you end up paying 12 months worth of membership fees. I got stuck paying $70 a month for a whole year because I didn't read the fine print well enough! ALWAYS read the fine print! Lesson learned. Dentist office more interested in extracting money http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/99935 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/99935 Thu, 15 May 2014 12:05:53 CST I had been going to one dentist for several years and had never really had any problems with them. Somehow one of my teeth split and needed to be extracted. After a consultation I was given a quote. I would be responsible for almost $4,000.00, after insurance. They offered to call CareCredit and get my spending limit increased. I felt uneasy with that amount and started questioning the items on the quote but was assured that I needed all the work done that they planned, which included tooth extraction, grafting in new bone, stud implant, fabricating a new tooth and finally fitting the tooth into my mouth. The tooth was on the bottom, second from the back and I didn't feel that I needed to have all that work done. I finally spoke to the dentist who was going to perform the extraction and asked him if he thought I really needed all that extra work. To make a long story short, he said I did not and pulled the tooth for an out of pocket cost of $52. I'm still on track with my Debt Snowball. My Share of Stupid Taxes! http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/99936 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/99936 Thu, 15 May 2014 02:58:18 CST I am so glad I have found this website. I have a several Stupid Tax experiences and with Dave's and all of your help maybe I can avoid more! I have a huge cable bill every month that started out at a great "bundle" price. For good reasons I can't give up the cable as I have a home bound person that needs the tv and internet, but after seeing all of the deals out there I called and asked "What have you done for me lately? and can I get the new low price?" I didn't get the really low package but they actually lowered my bill by $20 per month. This at least saves me $240 a year that I can now put on my mortgage. They also said to call when a year is up and they will give me the lower price again. Wish I had called sooner. But better late than never I guess. Overpriced Croissant http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/99820 http://www.daveramsey.com/articles/articleList/category/100423/storyid/99820 Fri, 09 May 2014 12:50:07 CST Ok, so this is not a radical story, but I still felt stupid. Walked into a Starbucks inside a grocery store this morning (I had a gift card) and ordered a latte and a croissant. The croissant was $2.15 before taxes. Right after paying turned around and saw the grocery store's bread section with pastries at $.50 each. Yup. Including Croissants. That's about $2.00 of stupid. I could have at least got a Venti instead of a Tall for my latte for that money! “SMART MONEY SMART KIDS” BY DAVE RAMSEY AND RACHEL CRUZE DEBUTS AT #1 ON MULTIPLE BEST-SELLERS LISTS http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/smart-money-smart-kids-by-dave-ramsey-and-rachel-cruze-debuts-at-1-on-multiple-best-sellers-lists http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/smart-money-smart-kids-by-dave-ramsey-and-rachel-cruze-debuts-at-1-on-multiple-best-sellers-lists Fri, 02 May 2014 14:05:25 CST “Smart Money Smart Kids” by nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze debuted at number one on “The New York Times” best-sellers list for Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous, “The Wall Street Journal” nonfiction best-sellers list and “Publishers Weekly” best-sellers list. “SMART MONEY SMART KIDS” BY DAVE RAMSEY AND RACHEL CRUZE DEBUTS AT #1 ON “THE NEW YORK TIMES” BEST-SELLERS LIST http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/smart-money-smart-kids-by-dave-ramsey-and-rachel-cruze-debuts-at-1-on-the-new-york-times-best-sellers-list http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/smart-money-smart-kids-by-dave-ramsey-and-rachel-cruze-debuts-at-1-on-the-new-york-times-best-sellers-list Thu, 01 May 2014 14:05:56 CST “Smart Money Smart Kids” by nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze debuted at number one on “The New York Times” best-sellers list for Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous. DAVE RAMSEY ANNOUNCES STOPS ON HIS FALL 2014 LEGACY JOURNEY LIVE! TOUR http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-announces-stops-on-his-fall-2014-legacy-journey-live-tour http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-announces-stops-on-his-fall-2014-legacy-journey-live-tour Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:04:23 CST Nationally syndicated talk radio host and personal finance expert, Dave Ramsey, announces stops on his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” tour this fall. DAVE RAMSEY AND RACHEL CRUZE LAUNCH NEW BOOK SMART MONEY SMART KIDS IN BOOKSTORES ACROSS THE COUNTRY http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-and-rachel-cruze-launch-new-book--smart-money-smart-kids-in-bookstores-across-the-country http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/dave-ramsey-and-rachel-cruze-launch-new-book--smart-money-smart-kids-in-bookstores-across-the-country Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:03:18 CST New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, Dave Ramsey, teams up with his daughter, Rachel Cruze, for their new book, Smart Money Smart Kids. Launching April 22, Smart Money Smart Kids offers a parent and adult child’s perspective on raising money-smart kids in a debt-filled world. “BUSINESS GETS PERSONAL” IN NEW YORK CITY WITH SETH GODIN, GARY VAYNERCHUK AND DAVE RAMSEY http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/business-gets-personal-in-new-york-city-with-seth-godin-gary-vaynerchuk-and--dave-ramsey http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/business-gets-personal-in-new-york-city-with-seth-godin-gary-vaynerchuk-and--dave-ramsey Fri, 14 Mar 2014 15:03:43 CST New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey presents “Business Gets Personal,” a brand new event to be held Thursday, October 2, 2014 in New York City. AMERICA’S RETIREMENT SYSTEM OFFERING DAVE RAMSEY’S CORE FINANCIAL WELLNESS FOR 401(K) PARTICIPANTS http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/americas-retirement-system-offering-dave-ramseys-core-financial-wellness-for-401k-participants http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/americas-retirement-system-offering-dave-ramseys-core-financial-wellness-for-401k-participants Thu, 27 Feb 2014 17:02:01 CST America’s Retirement System is now providing Dave Ramsey’s CORE Financial Wellness to participants in their 401(k) plans. CORE Financial Wellness is the premier curriculum for teaching financial literacy in a corporate setting. CHRIS HOGAN PRESENTS DAVE RAMSEY’S TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER LIVE! IN TERRE HAUTE http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/chris-hogan-presents-dave-ramseys-total-money-makeover-live-in-terre-haute http://www.daveramsey.com/press-release/chris-hogan-presents-dave-ramseys-total-money-makeover-live-in-terre-haute Wed, 19 Feb 2014 11:02:12 CST Chris Hogan presents Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover Live! in Terre Haute, Thursday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Maryland Community Church. $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." Son's First Paycheck https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129262 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129262 2014-07-22 10:30:00.08 Amy's teenage son is about to receive his first paycheck. She asks Dave and Rachel about saving, spending and teaching him to set goals. Buy the Building Now? https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129254 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129254 2014-07-18 00:00:00.0 Tucker has been in business for just over a year. Now, he has an opportunity to buy the building he's in. Ditch the Separation Pay https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129163 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129163 2014-07-08 00:00:00.0 Gretchen's husband is going to receive military separation pay. If he goes into the National Guard, they will need to repay it. Dave advises Gretchen to check into whether or not they can decline separation pay. More of a Mortgage https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129162 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129162 2014-07-07 00:00:00.0 Lindsey and her husband's mortgage payment is more than 25% of their take-home pay. They're trying to decide if they should be placing the full 15% of their income toward retirement or pay down the mortgage. Repair Now or Buy Later? https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129161 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129161 2014-07-06 00:00:00.0 Dave is driving a 10-year-old car with 195,000 miles on it. It needs $1,500 in repairs and is worth $4,000 or $5,000. Should he put $2,000 in the car to keep it running or buy something else? Using the Mortgage to Consolidate https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129160 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129160 2014-07-05 00:00:00.0 Leslie is about to get remarried and has $34,000 in debt. Should she take that $34,000 debt and put it on her mortgage to consolidate it? Freezing Your Credit Report https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129159 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129159 2014-07-04 00:00:00.0 Eric wants to know if Dave recommends a credit freeze in order to protect against identity theft. Settling With Sallie Mae https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129158 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129158 2014-07-03 00:00:00.0 James asks if it's possible to settle on a student loan. A Big Choice https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129157 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129157 2014-07-02 00:00:00.0 Gus is 50 years old with $500,000 in retirement accounts. He owes $144,000 on his house and makes about $140,000 a year. Should he stop putting money in retirement in order to pay off his house? No Dogs Allowed https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129156 https://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/?event=dspAskDave&intContentItemID=129156 2014-07-01 00:00:00.0 Jim has been spending money on remodeling rental houses because he allows pets. Should he begin refusing tenants with pets?