Growing Up As a Ramsey

Joe wants to know how to get your kids to learn the dangers of debt without them feeling the sting of it. Dave and Rachel give their answer from the experience of growing up in the Ramsey house.

QUESTION: Joe in New York wants to know how to get your kids to learn the dangers of debt without them feeling the sting of it. Dave and Rachel give their answer from the experience of growing up in the Ramsey house.

ANSWER: Rachel: Speaking from the kid, if you will, growing up in a house, I think for us—or for me personally, I’ll say—I was able to avoid debt first and foremost because logically it made sense because Mom and Dad taught us things like you work and make money and you pay for things. If you don’t have the money, you don’t buy it. You save up for emergencies—all of these things to basically avoid debt completely, and so debt wasn’t really an option in my mind logically because I didn’t need it because my parents gave me tools to avoid it.

Then the older I’ve gotten, I think I realize the emotional side of debt and really saying, wow. It does—it takes your life from you. There’s a weight associated with debt. There’s not freedom, so I didn’t have those emotions personally until I’ve gotten older and really experience hearing Mom and Dad’s story and grasping that and grasping other stories people have told me. But for me, going off to college at 18 years old, it was more about just avoiding it because I could.

Dave: For me, it’s more like the kid doesn’t have to have a car wreck to teach them to drive a car. They don’t have to do heroin to know it’s bad.

We have gone through the blessing now of both of our daughters getting married. You can teach them all this stuff and then they select poorly on their mate, and it all goes down the toilet. Part of the selection process has to be that the future husband or the wife has to have a freaking brain.

I don’t know how old your kids are. I started praying for my girls’ and my son’s mates—their future husbands and wife—when they were born. When these young men came into our lives, they were the answer to 20 years of prayer. I firmly believe that had a lot to do with it—that and teaching the girls and Daniel to select well. Daniel has yet to select or be selected.

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