Dave Ramsey Fans/followers - and Those That Want to Be.....=)

Updated on June 08, 2011
S.J. asks from Cherryville, MO
12 answers

If you are a fan of Dave Ramsey, how did you get started? Did you follow his plans strictly, or simply use them as guidance? For example, no going to a restaurant unless you are working there until all debts are paid (I think that is how he puts it! lol) - are you that strict with the plan? Or, did you "cheat" and go out to eat just not often, etc? How soon were you able to pay off the house, car, etc? And what rules did you follow to get to that point? What parts of his plan worked for you and what didn't?

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answers from Pittsburgh on

The more strictly you adhere to your plan, the faster you will be debt free. It's up to you. I'd advise you to begin by working the Baby Steps.

Oh...and I got started by reading Financial Peace.

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answers from St. Joseph on

My husband and I are new fans! We're currently taking FPU (we're on lesson 6), and we're going to see Dave Ramsey live this weekend (we even budgeted for the tickets, lol!). We currently have five children (and one on the way), and only one income, so we're really looking forward to the next few courses--especially since my husband wants to be sure that the kids and I are taken care of if anything (God forbid!) should happen to him.
We're still working on getting that first $1,000 in savings (we should have it done by the end of this month), but, although we're not technically doing our "Debt Snowball" yet, we've also paid off a few debts.
That's only because when we've received "extra" or unexpected money (such as a bonus he got recently at work), my husband cannot *stand* to NOT pay off debts with it, lol! Other than that, we're trying to stick closely to Dave's plan.
In our course, we haven't been told not to eat out at ALL, but we were told not to eat out *unless it's in the budget*! So we do budget for eating out on special occasions or "date nights." But once we actually wrote out our budget and saw what we HAD been spending in that area--and how much we could SAVE by eating at home more often--we really cut our restaurant spending a LOT! (I've also found that it's actually *faster* to make meals and eat at home if I just plan ahead.) The kids are just as happy with frozen pizzas and a library movie rental; go figure! LOL
I should mention that long before we knew of Dave Ramsey, we had learned, through other people and books, some of the same things that Dave teaches--for instance, we got rid of all our credit cards years ago, and we've had NO car payments since 1996 (and this year we got two slightly older cars for our growing family instead of one "newer" one). So we only have about $3,500 in debt left to pay off (mostly medical bills) besides the house.
We've also been paying about $40 more than the minimum on our house every month since the first payment eleven years ago. We have a 15-year mortgage, and if we continue making the same "extra" payments we've been making, we should be able to pay it off by the end of next year--and that's with only $40 a month extra!
Imagine if we had just skipped an extra two or three restaurant visits a month all those years and put THAT money toward the mortgage! =-)

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answers from Phoenix on

We Love his plan! It changed the way our budget was going. Our problem is my hubby is not on board with the whole plan. He is MAJOR free spirit and when I am weak...he jumps on board. I have been out of credit card debt once on his plan, this year we are in debt again :-(.
We are supposed to get a refund this year...he wants a camper trailer...I want CC debt paid off. He is going to have to get a cheap used trailer, cause our CC is getting paid off.

Our work has a mandatory percentage of our paycheck to retirement, thank goodness.

Its tough...but I know it will WORK!

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answers from St. Louis on

We went through Ramsey's Financial Peace University in 2006 and we paid off my husband's student loan and a kitchen remodel (about $30,000) in about two years. The only debt we currently have is our house. Since we took FPU and it benefitted us so much, we now try to teach/lead an FPU class once or twice a year and we have seen it bless so many people. We just got an e-mail from a couple from our last class saying they had paid off over $10,000 in just 4 months! It's just so exciting to see people get out of debt and their lives changed!

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answers from Fort Walton Beach on

We went to a live event a couple of years ago & then read Total Money Makeover. We did great for a while (though getting the budget under control took work) then when hubby got back from deployment with the National Guard things got nuts. We had some plans that took a lot longer to happen than anticipated so we had to put a stop to getting out of debt & just survive.
Now hubby is back in the Army & we have a steady paycheck again so we are back on the bandwagon! In the past 4 months we have paid off approximately $10,000 in debt & are going strong on the rest. We do sometimes cheat a little if something happens - our niece is visiting this weekend so we set aside some money to do a few fun things while she is here. The more committed to the plan you are the faster you will get out of debt - the little victories feel GREAT so I can just imagine how wonderful it will be when we are completely finished & can call his show & scream, "WE'RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Start with the baby steps, get into a Financial Peace University class if you can & work it - it will pay off :-)

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answers from Kansas City on

Hi S.,

My husband and I are currently enrolled in his Financial Peace University class. From what I can tell in your post, things may have changed from what you heard. I haven't been told that I can't do anything. The main focus is to budget and stick to the budget. There are a lot of classes being offered in JOCO over the next 6 months. The cost for us was $99 and it is a 13 week class. They seem to be given at churches and all of the churches offer childcare during the class. Some churches charge for child care and some do not. I have found it to be a minimal charge if they do charge for child care. I would highly recommend the class if you want to make a change in your life for the better. We are only in week 3 and very excited...even my free spirit husband!
Good luck!

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answers from Kansas City on

We got started from listening to his radio show. We read a few of his books (borrowed from the library) and decided to make a change in our financial lives. We started with the budget and tracking our expenses (and I mean everything thing down to the vending machine).

How strict were we? On somethings very on others not so much. We didn't empty out our savings to pay off some of the debt because I was uncomfortable with only having $1k in the bank. We stopped all our retirement savings. We did get rid of all credit card use and have been credit card free since 2006, only have debit cards and we have traveled and still buy things online. We have an annual salary over 100K and our debt was around 26K, most of it being a car loan with a few credit card debts. We make really good money but that is not the key to this. If you had asked in us prior to August of 2006 if we could find extra money to eliminate our debt we would have said we couldn't. We were able to work the snowball and pay off all that debt in about a year without sacrificing too much. So we still went out to eat and did things. Since then we have continued to create a new budget every month. We pay for everything in cash. We are on baby steps 4, 5 & 6. We will never use credit again for anything.

Being debt free except for our house has given us the freedom to do stuff. If we want something and we have the cash...we get it. It's improved our marriage cause when it comes to finances we are on the same page. Even when we are talking about buying something we both talk about it now. And don't do anything till we either both agree or both disagree.

It's the best thing that has happen to us and we are changing how our kids lives will be.

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answers from Wichita on

Hi S.! Funny you should ask this, cuz I was just reading my email and one came from my husband. You see, we are in the Financial Peace University currently and he was emailing home a detailed plan on how we can get out of debt, (except for our house). For us to be "debt free" except our house will be six months. As for if we're strict or not, let me say, you get out of it what you put into it. If you're serious about getting rid of the debt, follow his plan as closely as you can! He has everything thought of, so if you follow it as he says, you WILL succeed!! If you "fall" down! The important thing is, you GET BACK UP!! This plan has the same idea as losing weight. If you really want to lose, you don't go out and eat whatever you want! You cut back, exercise and then when you get to where you want to be, you're free from the "bondage". Those that stick to a plan, do succeed!

I wish you well and only the best!! I highly recommend this course! The $100 it costs, is TOTALLY worth it!! You WON'T be sorry!!

God bless you!! ls

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answers from Salt Lake City on

We are 100% committed to Dave's plan and as a result have managed to make it through our 6 years of marriage so far with NO debt! It's a wonderful way to live....those little sacrifices yield HUGE results of a peaceful mind and a growing savings....definitely worth it!! Good luck, keep it up!

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answers from Dallas on

Following his plan is easy if you are debt free to begin with but my husband and I are not debt free and sometimes things just happen. We have been trying to follow the plan as much as possible. We started about 2 years ago and have paid off over $20 K in debt between house, car, and student loans for college. We do cheat everyone once in a while - probably about once every 4 months but only if we have met all of our goals for the month and have managed to increase our savings. It is never anything big (usually a dinner out and movie rental). I'm not sure how long it is going to take us to become debt free but we are trying our hardest.

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answers from Phoenix on

I heard of him a few years ago from a friend who lent me her copy of "Total Money Makeover". I was on board but my husband wasn't. Even though I am the free spirit--I HATE debt---and he doesn't mind it so much. Wierd, huh? We went to a live event this year AND did Financial Peace University. We would LOVE to get out of debt---and I have been trying to get a job. But with 3 high schoolers and 1 in college---it's a little difficult to budget for EVERYTHING! We are making progress---very slow--but we are talking about money and working as a team---and that is a HUGE step for us! I would highly recommend FPU and listening to him on the radio. Yes, he does STILL say stay out of a restaurant unless you are working there( "rice and beans, rice and beans"). We aren't THAT strict---we still live and eat well---but we haven't gone out to eat in months! The fewer people you have in the household--the easier it is to get everybody on board. (we have 6--not so easy). Bute, Lord willing, we will be done with our debt in 2 years MAX (my goal!). No credit card use--at all! Good luck! I hope you can get everybody on board and be debt free soon!

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answers from Beaumont on

Took his Financial Peace seminar and loved it. Followed everything, exactly. Only started 9 months ago and we're out of debt, except for the house, and are working on the $22,000 emergency fund! Thought I'd hate it but actually love the accountability. He's pretty radical, but it works!!!

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