Suzie Orman or Dave Ramsey?

Updated on July 06, 2011
M.M. asks from San Antonio, TX
23 answers

Who do you prefer for your financial books, dvds & seminars? I catch Suzie Orman's show every now & then and have watched her PBS special but haven't purchased any of her books/dvds. I haven't watched or read anything from Dave Ramsey.

Of the two - who provides the best, practical and doable advice?? Mainly, of the two, who is your husband more inclined to follow the advice of??

I'm wanting a financial overhaul and my hubby, even though he watches Suzie, doesn't really buy into any of this. I need something logical - Suzie sometimes is over the top w/ the "hey GIRLFRIEND" and I think it turns my hubby off, even though her advice is good.

Many thanks Mammas -

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So What Happened?


Mommas - you ROCK!

Thanks so much for your valuable input. I will research the library first and check out both books to compare these two and I'll also check out their websites. It seems like both have very good ideas but two distinctly different approaches.

I will definitely do my own research with the helpful tips you all so kindly provided. I hope my hubby gets on board!!

Again, many thanks Mommas!!

Here's to your financial health & success! :)

UPDATE: Yay! Talked to hubbie. He's on board w/ trying out the Dave Ramsey stuff!! Woo-hoo! I'll still get into all the free stuff and will get the book from the library before we purchase anything. But wow - what a start. Thanks so much mommas!!!

Featured Answers


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't buy anything that is supposed to help me save money...but I LOVE watching Suze Orman!

There are a TON of Dave Ramsey groupies on here so I am gonna guess that is the majority of responses you are gonna get!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Dave Ramsey gets my vote. We are out of debt, saving for college and retirement and able to go out to dinner and on nice vacations all because of his Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace seminar!

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Milwaukee on

Can't you get both at the library? FREE!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Dave Ramsay fan here.

Just get a book. Easy to follow, outlined steps. It's all you need.

Yep, Christine--won't cost you a cent. People do deserve to EARN a living from their skills. All I bought was a *used* copy of Financial Peace and I listened to him for FREE (GASP) on the radio.

See the thing is with Dave--his program is not EASY or MAGIC--and it HURTS to get out of debt. Hmmmm...snakeoil? We're debt free INCLUDING our house and have been for several years--not bad for our early-40's.....

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

take what you like from both...they both offer good advice...bottom line is you need to find out what works for you and your family...

For us - it was neither....we did it ourselves...other than the mortgage - we are debt free...our only bills that come in the mail are the cell, internet, TV, electric, water and the occasional medical bill....

It was HARD becoming a cash only family...I can spend!! YAHOO!!! Self-control and knowing your goals are the most important thing I can tell you...and there are times when I lack self-control so being cash only works best for us...this way my husband isn't slapped with a $5K credit card bill like he was once....yeppers...not one of my proudest moments...

any way - you and your hubby need to be on the same's NOT easy. find the goals - look at EVERYTHING - see where you can cut back and see what you can pay off creditors and see if you can make a deal with them to lower the bill - we did that - it takes a lot of talking but you can do it!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

SO is too animated for me, way over the top with "girlfriend" etc. & doesn't talk about EVERY single aspect that money has to do with in real life. Her prices for her items are way more expensive & don't offer near as much. My DH can't stand Suze either.

DR you can get all his stuff for free & if you would prefer to take the awesome class it's only about $95 AND you can take the class as many times as you want & never have to pay an additional penny. with the $95 membership you get access to tons of online stuff, his book, all the cd's , the envelope system, an awesome workbook with soooooo much info. I love the DR system because he doesn't just talk about staying out of debt. He talks about life insurance, disability ins, house insurance, how to buy a home, how to sell a home, FHA loans vs conventional or VA loans, how to teach your kids about saving, how to save for retirement, 401k, mutual funds, stocks, college planning, recommended percentages for all your household bills, how to get on the same page with your spouse, health insurance, flexible spending accounts, HSA accounts, how to buy a car, how to buy furniture.....that's just a glimpse of all that is taught., your head will spin with all the info.

My husband & I do well, he makes a six figure income & I am a SAHM with 3 small children & 1 in colege.....we never had any substantial amount of debt. We pay everything off either monthly or within a couple months. My husband did not want to go to this class at all. I finally got him to go & we just completed our 2nd class. We absolutely love it & plan on taking it a 3rd time in the future. He has an hour car ride one way to work & he has listened to the Cd's too.

I joke that i have created a monster. He never cared about spending money & had the attitude that we will always have a car payment. Not anymore, he now has a clue about our monthly bills & we paid off his brand new car in 14 months rather than the 5 year note he took out. Not only that but he typically likes expensive cars but after we took the DR class he decided to get a brand new nice car but not a luxury car, and I have DR to thank for that.

Oh and it's ignorant to think that SO or DR are going to do this for free. Both are very wealthy and who cares, I love Capitalism.

And as far as common sense, well it obviously isn't since most of the US is in debt & our government is too. Please remember this is not just about 'don't spend more than you have', it's also about knowing how to save for your future. We didn't have debt besides our mortgage & 1 car payment so we didn't take the class to learn how to get out of debt. But we did learn how to calculate how much we need to save for our future since social security is in the dumps.

you can also take DR class online too.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

So, I read that you're getting both their books, but I wanted to throw in a little more input. . . .

In short: Dave Ramsey, hands-down. (Oh, and before I forget - you can buy the Total Money Makeover on his website right now for only $10, if you can't find it at Half Price, and want your own copy.)

Last September, Financial Peace University was offered at our church. I talked to my husband, but he didn't want to take it, because he didn't think it would really pertain to our situation. At the time, we had two auto loans, and a 0% for 12 months on a mattress we had purchased - we weren't "up to our eyeballs in credit card debt. That class is for people that don't know how to get out of debt." I showed him the class schedule, and what piqued his interest, were the classes on investing (for when we eventually did pay off our loans), insurance (he was preparing for self-employment) and how to talk to your kids about money. Fast forward 13 weeks later: spending far less because we were on a budget, mattress paid off, motorcycle paid off and sold, and the van just a few months shy of being paid off.

At the end of class, our facilitator asked if anyone was willing to host the class in the spring, since they had family coming to town. I about FELL OUT OF MY CHAIR when my husband said, "Sure! We can do it!"
By March, we paid off my van, we finally committed to Dave's envelope system, and we now only have the house left to pay off. I can TRULY tell you, that had we not taken his class, we would still be moseying along, paying month-to-month on the 2 auto loans and thinking, just like all the "normal" people, "Everybody has a car payment." Dave is very common-sense, and good about appealing to most everyone, explaining how savers and spenders (aka nerds and free spirits) think and communicate differently. He teaches you how to work together, to come up with a plan together. Anything is possible, when you and your spouse are on the same page.

On his radio show, I frequently hear Dave joke about/make reference to someone, "Worshiping at the alter of the almighty FICO." As he explains, it's not necessary to maintain good credit, unless you -intend- to keep borrowing (which is what got you into trouble in the first place). When you are completely out of debt (and everything's rolled off), you will have a ZERO credit score. If you need to borrow $$ for a mortgage (which he understands, given specific parameters), a good mortgage company will give a loan to someone with a ZERO credit score, because they have the brain capacity to look at the whole picture (income, net worth, rental history, etc.). Don't get me wrong - I think Suze is very good at what she does, but Dave's steps are very clear cut, easy to follow, and they just plain make sense. They may take a long time to follow (depending on how big a hole you're in, and how big your $hovel is), but they are logical, and attainable. When you get The Total Money Makeover (or any of his other books), look for the Seven Baby Steps. This is where he explains how to do it. If you read the book in detail, he'll explain the "why's" for doing things in that particular order.

Either strategy - the point is to get out of debt, and stay that way. Looking for the tools to work your way out of it is the first step.

Best wishes and blessings -

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answers from Savannah on

I think there's a balance. I think they actually teach on different things: one is getting out of debt, one is building credit WHICH YOU DO NEED, they both have budgeting advice, savings advice, back when I was young SO had some really basic explanations for investing that I think gave me the confidence to get my feet wet and even got me into school and working at a great financial firm until I became a sahm. But honestly they both get on my nerves a little bit-I can't listen to DR's show AT ALL because to me, it's not much more than an infomercial where people say how ridiculously in debt they were, and then because of "the program" they are out, hooray. Or the LOADS of him reading ads written for him, basically little commericals that he does with "conversational tone" for his sponsors. It gets on my nerves. No lie, I have tried on several different occasions and listened for a good 30 minutes and not heard one single bit of advice. SO is also good at hawking stuff that sends her some bank on the side, and sometimes her advice is too extreme (as is DR's). My dad hates her because she once said that you could tell if a person was going to be financially successful in life by how his car is---if it's trashed and unorganized, their life is unorganized too. My dad got mad and wrote her off because well, he's the most unorganized, messy slob in the world. But I totally understand the point she was making and agree with her point, if not the actual statement.....she just says everything with such "conviction" that it comes out almost preachy. But DR, I'm sorry, but he's just as grating to my nerves. I say go to the library, get what you can from both, and then incorporate it into your own life. (Also, if it's printed material you don't have to hear the silly "hey girlfriend" or endless hidden commercials). Chew the hay and spit out the sticks (use what will work for you, and ignore the crazy over the top things). For us: we printed off the budget worksheet off of DR's website for free, read a few things that were free, and did mostly budgeting and getting out of debt with him. From SO, we use ONLY our credit card to pay for pretty much everything (we have a couple, but we use the ONE that is connected to our sons 529 plan and pays 2% of EVERYTHING we spend into our sons nontaxable college fund that way). It's also easier to track our spending exactly (cash---you can see when your envelope is empty, but harder to see what, when, where unless you walk around with a little notebook or something....either one of us can pull up our credit statement at any time and see what's been going on with our account, by either of us, and that is not only easy tracking but good financial accountability to see that we're both on the same track). Also I think people credit DR for that little tidbit, but my mom had me doing that when I was 8 years old (1983) with my allowance (tithes, savings, spending for things like clothes and recreational), and I sat alongside my mother back then and helped her put her dollars in HER envelopes too. She listened to a lot of Zig Ziglar back then, but I dunno if he's who she got that idea from or not. Of course, the credit card approach that my family uses takes a better grasp of a budget, your regular spending needs, and some discipline for anyone who's got the card, lol. Years ago when first starting out, SO helped me understand the differences b/w Roth and Traditional IRAs, 401(k), 529, etc and I liked how she explained it all and we utilize what we learned from her now, years later, to help us with taxes, savings, credit building, etc. Once you're out of trouble and have a good grasp on things, you can work together to create a plan that works best for you. I guess that's what I dislike the most about both: different people do have different situations, and things aren't always as cut and dry, or black and white, as either of them want to preach. There are special needs or special considerations to think about because not EVERYONE fits into the same lump (for example: my husband is 52, I am almost 36, we have 2 very young children.....we don't fall into the "50 something" group, OR the "30 something group", OR the generally younger parents with the 2 very young children group.....but both of those speakers just want to preach basic truths like they are the only truths). Someone said that DR has "been there" has SO (she's been pretty upfront about having NOTHING and being in debt, trying like many financial planners to just keep her head above water while trying to tell other people what to do with their own money.....with the fake rolex and the leased car, etc). We are now totally debt free except the mortgage which is very doable, we have money in the bank, I have a roth and traditional IRA, my husband has a 401(k), we have a charitable gift fund and a high interest earning account where we put the money we want to save for cash (learned that from SO--not a savings acct that earns maybe 1% but how to find a good checking acct that gives 4% and we just USE it for savings), our oldest has a little kid's savings acct, the boys have their 529 for college. We were MORE than broke and had a lot of debt when we first got married and started on this 5 1/2 years ago. Learn what you can, and just work together diligently. As for SO and DR, I think they're similar and it's a personality thing----which talking head do you like the most? :P Finally---a good book that helped us at the very beginning of our marriage and helped us work together as a team: "The Seven Habits of Highly Successful FAMILIES" (everyone knows the people, but the families was neat to go through together), by Stephen Covey.

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answers from Wichita on


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answers from San Francisco on

Neither! They both are laughing all the way to the bank.

Start saving (putting into the bank) 10% or as much as you can each week or pay day, and don't touch it for a year. Then invest it in a 401K or IRA.

Free advice...go figure!


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answers from Beaumont on

I prefer Dave Ramsey. He's very humble regarding his financial past. I think that would make it easier for anyone to follow. You don't feel like such an idiot cause he's been there too. If you get the chance, find a Financial Peace workshop. Lots of local churches give them in the summer. Very good. Best of luck to you. We've been on his program for 9 months now and it's working great!!

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answers from Kansas City on

i did like suze orman, the little i have seen, but the one show i watched of hers, it was similar advice to dave ramsey. i would suggest his "money makeover" book for your husband. very factual and to the point. no "hey girlfriend" included lol.

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answers from Dallas on

Daves advice - save your money while making him rich is beyond ridiculous. He's a televangelist, cult of personality, snake oil salesman. Some of his advice is solid, but the zealous fanatacism of his devotees is just lining his pockets. Suze is annoying, but she gives great, real life advice for the choices people actually are faced with everyday. Not a financial diet - we all know how successful dieting is!

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answers from Kansas City on

DAVE RAMSEY all the way!! I was so gun hoe about getting started and my husband was so hard to get started or even interested in it. But once we did he is the one that is listening to his radio station and keeps telling me to reread the book that's not what Dave says to do. He keeps me in line which is great almost cc debt free hoping by the end of this year!!

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answers from Gainesville on

I have never heard of Suzie Orman, but have attended Dave Ramsey classes and am totally impressed by the way he handles things. He speaks from personal experience, because he went bankrupt before and had many financial struggles years ago. Now he warns people and keeps them from going thru the same thing he did. I just find him totally interesting and dont want to miss nothing when i am listening to his shows on the radio!
just my personal preference though!

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answers from San Antonio on

Dave! Listen to his radio show, it's not a infomercial. He backs certain local providers. He is about getting out of debt WHICH YOU DO NOT NEED! Our lives are much more comfortable since we started following Dave's plan. Good luck!

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answers from San Antonio on

It's kinda like AA. This is the 1st step in a 12 step program. The key is finding who you are comfortable with!!! And btw, common sense tells us not to become Alcoholics but some people do and just need help to figure it all out. Thus the 1st step!!
Before I purchase any book, I check it out from the library. If it is something I will be referring back to many times, then I purchase it. Look at Half Price books for used copies.
Be sure to check out audio versions-they are faster to get thru.
I have seen both on talk shows. Suze Orman has been around for many years and pretty sure Dave came after her. I do like Suze's directness but her voice can be annoying. But you don't hear her voice in a book.

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answers from Kansas City on

I read all of both their books (well, almost. 3 from Suze and 2 from Dave, all from the library) and customized my own plan! I used to watch them both religiously too (Suze comes on CNN at 8 pm on Saturdays) but Dave seems to have dropped off FBN (maybe because of his tour-which I saw back in March- AWESOME and worth every penny!) and, as others have stated, Suze's tone has been getting on my nerves. Now, I dvr it and fast forward what I don't want to hear and usually end up only watching the 'Can I afford it' and 'How am I doing' segments.

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answers from Austin on

I love Dave Ramsey's philosophy. It is easy for the layman. I picked up his book "The Total Money Makeover" at the Library for free. He is brilliant. I see a light at the end of the tunnel and amazingly it is not the train! cb

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answers from San Antonio on

I'm late tot he discussion, but we LOVE Dave Ramsey. My hubby and I went through the FPU starting last March and it has completely changed out life. We have money in the bank, we have paid off about $9,000 in debt, and we are no longer living paycheck to paycheck.
Good Luck!!!

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answers from Cleveland on

just to offer an alternative, usedto have a very simlified financial program on her site. i think the acronym was F.A.C.E i haven't been on her site in a while but if you are interested and for some reason can't find it. let me know and i'll look for it for you.

ps i like suzie , but i think it's because i'm a girl and she's a girl. don't know your dh so can't say who HE would like.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Depends. I think Dave Ramsey gives solid advice and has good ideas that work. But my husband doesn't like his hokey jokes AT ALL. If you could just get the nuts/bolts from him and ignore/turn off the hokey jokes then he'd be tops! We did the class, and bought the "program" ($99)... and it does work. We are doing quite well these days. But every time he'd make one of his jokes, I cringed, because I was afraid it was going to send my husband walking out the door!
Sounds like the same reaction your hubby has to Suzie Orman's "hey Girlfriend", lol.

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answers from Austin on

I agree with Melissa F. Dave Ramsey's system WORKS!
my hubby and i took financial peace class last fall. we didn't have much debt either, but needed to learn investment tips for our young daughter's future and our retirement. the envelope system is amazing... it helps sooo much. we have paid off most of everything. take the class, the dvds you see in class really amp you up and his speaking is uplifting. i almost forgot we were watching a dvd and not seeing him live in person sometimes. the dvd would end and i'd almost get up and clap! LOL
good luck and God bless you!

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