Dave Ramsey Fans

Updated on January 17, 2011
V.M. asks from Conneaut, OH
8 answers

I know there are a ton of you on here, So i am curious. Those of you that have gone debt free or seriously slashed your credit debt, Can you please tell me 2 things you were doing before that weren't working (ie contributing to your debt) and 2 things you are doing now that is working. I"m guessing going out to eat is a big one that people spend tons of money on, but what else were you spenging money on before that now you are not???

We do pretty well, but with new years resolutions and all i'm wondering if we could do better.

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answers from Washington DC on

Watch what you spend.
Stop getting coffee out. Make your own.
Eat out once a week instead of twice or 3 times.
Shop on sale - never ever pay full price.
Cut your cable - skip the movie channels.
Cut your cell service - do you really need all those minutes or all that data?
Skip the new car - drive the one you have until it croaks - then buy a used one (this is something we don't do -- we buy new and then drive it into the ground.)
Skip the luxury vacation. Stay home and do free stuff.
If you don't have the cash to pay for it, you can't have it.

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answers from Kansas City on

No more expensive lattes!
If you smoke, stop that. A typical smoker can literally burn $1500-$2000 a year, depending on local taxes and how much you smoke. (I figured that based off of what prices are here and how much I used to smoke over 8 years ago. I did not use Dave's numbers as they are not in frnt of me right now.) You can pay down a lot of debt that way alone! Once debt is paid off, that money can be invested.
I use COUPONS!! Coupled with sales and store incentives, you can save a TON! I will never pay for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, or razors again!

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answers from Dallas on

My husband is a soda drinker- we had to cut that out for a while- $3 for chips and a drink a day really add up quickly! We also cut down our grocery bill by eating spaghetti, mac'ncheese, sandwiches, rice dishes with chicken or ground beef. All our dinners cost between $3-$7 for a family of (almost)8. We do oatmeal instead of cold cereal for breakfast.
We don't have cable/satellite and only 1 phone. Outside activities for the kids are boy/girl scouts- no soccer or dance. We have 1 car- paid for. And I don't go shopping without a list- if it isn't on the list we don't get it!
One thing that wasn't working for us is not holding each other accountable to our budget. We would do the budget and both agree on it, then dh would buy his soda and chips at work, I would get a hot chocolate every once in a while or a donut for the kids- just little thing like that. But when I would check our balance- there would be 20 or 30 little things that set us back $100 or more! So, keep an eye on the "little things" and really hold each other accountable to your budget. If there is something you want/need that isn't on there- do another budget meeting and figure out how to put it on there.
we will be debt free(except the house) next month! HOORAY!!!!!
Best of luck to you!

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answers from Kansas City on

Well, I lost my job and we starting putting lots on credit cards just to survive. BAD idea!!! We got to where we could not pay the bills, so all that did was destroy us. So once we took the FPU class, we cut up all our cc cards, got rid of cable, and got rid of internet. We also got rid of our land line. By this time I was receiving unemployment, so we used most of that to pay off our cc cards. We have all but one of our cards paid off. We were also able to pay off my car, so now we only have the house, one car payment, and one cc card payment. We never eat out, unless we use b-day money.

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answers from Dallas on

we were not in debt but I left my job this year to stay home with my DD so here's how we slashed our budget

1. switched to pre-paid cell phone
2. rarely eat out and if we do it's cheap fast food
3. coupon/price matching at Wal-Mart
4. cut out lawn service
5. cut out gym membership
6. use library for books/dvds/cds
7. shop resale (e.g. spent $2.50 on pair of work pants for hubby at resale shop)
8. regift items instead of buy something new
9. Using cash is huge for me. It's true what Dave Ramsey said-- you're less likely to let go of cash than credit
10. Told our family we weren't buying christmas/b-day for adults anymore, only kids
11. cut retirement contribution to 5% instead of 10%
12. changed W2 form to have less taxes taken out monthly
13. eat leftovers for supper (we've always done that)
14. nurse instead of buying formula
15. make my own baby food

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

We haven't had cc debt for 8 years. We have both cars paid off. We are saving our 6 month emergency savings (only a little bit left) and then we are off to saving for a house. We have cut down on giving birthday/Christmas gifts to extended family and send a card or I will bake something for them. We still eat out twice a week for dinner (family of 3) but the big saver is get water, split a meal. We love getting Chinese dish and egg rolls. We all split it and our total for dinner out is $13. I am sure Dave would be ok with that as a eating out budget!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

At this point (debt free) there's nothing I WAS spending money on that I'm not now.
Here's the key--NO credit. Budget. Emergency fund.
As for the getting-out-of-debt part for you for decreasing your spending now: phone extras, cable, car payments (sell O. or both vehicles), eating out, entertainment (movie theater, shows, skating, bowling, etc), newspaper delivery, and you can pause your 401K contributions until you're under control. And--here's the big O.: STAY OUT OF THE MALL! lol


answers from Pittsburgh on

For me it was impulse shopping at the grocery store - I'd see something and think, "oh, I haven't made that in a long time", and added ingredients for an expensive meal to our bill. For my husband it was crucial to pay himself first, because when we didn't, he'd go into withdrawals and whine about wanting something to the point where he would go and buy an expensive tool. For both of us together, it was ordering liquor while eating out (which has a 400% markup!) - now when eating out, we get it to go (saves on tip* and no alcohol).
* a few dollars for take out as opposed to 20%.

Now with me at home, we just use less, need less and buy less overall, sticking to the principals that helped get us out of debt. Good luck!!

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