How Dave Ramsey has Changed My Life
Blog,  Frugal Living

How Dave Ramsey Can Change Your Life

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Have you ever heard of Dave Ramsey?  He is a financial guru who has inspired an entire debt free community.

Millions of people all over the world have read his book and are working to pay off their debt to follow in his footsteps.

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Our Story:

We had accumulated a good deal of debt over the past few years, especially after I left my job to stay at home with our kids.  When we were going through a hard time financially, we maxed out credit card after credit card just to stay afloat.

Everyone in my family kept encouraging me to file for bankruptcy when they saw how we were struggling to pay our bills.  I grew up with parents that lived off of credit cards, and my siblings and I kept up the charade after we got older as well.

That’s when Dave Ramsey came into my life.  I was at my grandmother’s house one day and when I went to use her bathroom, she had his book sitting by the toilet.  The Total Money Makeover.







I glanced it over and it peaked my curiosity so I asked her if I could borrow it to read.  That book changed not only my life, but my entire outlook on finances.

So after we received a hefty tax return this year, what did we decide to do with the money?

We took the $6,000 remaining and put it to our credit card debt.

Boy, did that sting!  Seeing that amount of money in our checking account and then it disappearing within a matter of days was hard to watch.

But putting that money to our debt has now eliminated $300 of monthly payments, which has given us a bit of relief.  We still have a way to go, but we are well on our way to paying off our debt.

Dave Ramsey teaches financial advice for a living, and his methods are not complicated.  They are actually pretty simple.  They just take dedication and hard work.

He uses what he refers to as Baby Steps.

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baby steps dave ramsey chart

What are the Baby Steps?

Baby Step 1:  Set up an emergency savings fund of $1,000.  Put it away somewhere that you will not touch.  Use it ONLY for emergencies.  Replenish it if it’s used.

Baby Step 2:  Pay off your debt using the Snowball Method.  This method of paying off your debt involves paying off your smallest debts first, and ending with your largest debt.  Dave suggests this method over paying your debts with high interest first.  He believes people will be more likely to stay on track if they are able to get quick wins.

Baby Step 3:  Save enough money to cover 3-6 months of expenses.

Baby Step 4:  Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement.

Baby Step 5:  Start saving for your children’s college.

Baby Step 6:  Pay off your home early.

Baby Step 7:  Build wealth and give.

By following these steps, you can achieve financial freedom.  It is not a get rich quick plan.  It will NOT be easy.  But it will be worth it.

By following these steps, you can achieve financial freedom.  It is not a get rich quick plan.  It will NOT be easy.  But it will be worth it.

To stay on track, Dave recommends working extra shifts at your job, picking up side jobs to make extra cash, selling things you don’t need anymore, and not spending any extra money on non-essential items.  The harder you work, the faster you will succeed.

11 Now no discipline seems to be joyful at the time, but grievous. Yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness in those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11

As the scripture states, it will be hard when working on the first steps.  You will make mistakes, lots of them, at the beginning.

You will go over your budget and mess up.  But as long as you get back up again, and continue working hard, you will make it through.

And when you come out on the other end, with zero debt to your name, you will finally be free.

Check out 100 Things to Do Instead of Spending Money to find things you can do while working on the baby steps.

Here are the budget percentages proposed by Dave Ramsey to stay on track.*

Budget Percentages Pie Chart Recommended by Dave Ramsey

Giving: 10%
Saving: 10%
Food: 10-15%
Utilities: 5-10%
Housing: 25%
Transportation: 10%
Health: 5-10%
Insurance: 10-25%
Recreation: 5-10%
Personal Spending: 5-10%
Miscellaneous: 5-10%

If you are ready to start your debt free journey, here are some free tools to get you started:

FREE Debt Payment Tracker
FREE To Do Planner Printable

Check out the clip below of Dave’s live show, which can be found on your local radio station, as a podcast, or on YouTube.  

Check out his YouTube page for more videos of The Dave Ramsey Show.

Dave also has designed a series called Financial Peace University that you can take in person at local churches all around the country, or online at home.  If you are interested in joining or finding out more information about it, check out how to sign up for it here.

To read about how to teach your kids about money, check out Smart Money, Smart Kids, written by Dave and his daughter, Rachel Cruze.


If you want to teach your kids about saving money in a fun way, he also created a game for kids.  We just got it for Christmas and can’t wait to use it to help teach our kids how to manage their money in a smart and effective manner.


I’m going to finish this post with some quotes from Dave:

Dave Ramsey Tips and Quotes to Pay off your Debt

The decision to go into debt alters the course and condition of your life. You no longer own it. You are owned.

We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.

You know what you can do when you don’t have any payments? Anything you want.

You don’t build wealth with credit card rewards and airline miles. You can’t beat the credit card companies at their own game.

You’re not a bad parent if you don’t save for your kid’s college because instead you had to choose to feed them and clothe them. Those things come first. They can go to school and do this thing called ‘work’ while they’re in school.

Keep people in your life that are encouraging you to reach your goals.

The thing I have discovered about working with personal finance is that the good news is that it is not rocket science. Personal finance is about 80 percent behavior. It is only about 20 percent head knowledge.

There are no shortcuts when it comes to getting out of debt.

Debt collectors like to play on your emotions because they think you’ll give in and do something you can’t really afford to do. Most of them don’t care about you or your situation as long as they get some money.

You need some quick wins in order to stay pumped enough to get out of debt completely.

The world will try to tell you that you need stuff to be somebody. Don’t listen.

The enemy of “the best” is not “the worst.” The enemy of “the best” is “just fine.”

Live like no else today, so you can live like no else tomorrow.

Debt is so ingrained into our culture that most Americans can’t even envision a car without a payment … a house without a mortgage … a student without a loan … and credit without a card. We’ve been sold debt with such repetition and with such fervor that most folks can’t conceive of what it would be like to have NO payments.

My children were taught at an early age how money works and that it comes from hard work. They’ve been on a commission – not an allowance – since they were little. They learned that if they worked around the house, they got paid. If they didn’t work, they didn’t get paid.

When we talk about kids earning commission for chores, we always have at least one parent who argues that children should do chores because they are part of the family. I agree, but if you don’t involve money in a few chores, you lose the teachable moments in the work, spend, save, and give principles.

It takes some discipline and hard work, but relying on credit when things go wrong is a trap.

Pay your utilities, gas and other basic needs before paying on your debts.

As parents, we teach our kids about things we feel competent in. That’s why so many parents don’t teach their kids about money.

Those who don’t manage their money will always work for those who do.

Broke is normal. Why be normal?

It’s never too late to turn things around. You are the only obstacle.

Change is painful. Few people have the courage to seek out change. Most people won’t change until the pain of where they are exceeds the pain of change.

I’m a Christian. Years ago, I went broke, so I decided to run every part of my life according to the Bible. It sounds hokey, but it works. You run your marriage that way, and it works. It will work with business, too, and finances. Treat people like you want to be treated.

You never cash out a 401(k) or IRA to pay off debt, unless it’s to avoid a foreclosure or bankruptcy.

There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but when you are trying to buy nice things to be happy, you are going to hurt. It’s not going to work.

Your decisions from today forward will affect not only your life, but your entire legacy.Click To Tweet


Hope you enjoyed this post!

Are you practicing the baby steps?  What step are you on?  Leave a comment below!




*Every Dollar: Budget Percentages Recommended by Dave Ramsey:

29 Finance Quotes from Dave Ramsey

How Dave Ramsey Will Change Your Life and Help You Become Debt-Free

How Dave Ramsey Will Change Your Life and Help You Become Debt-Free

Pay off your debt with inspiration from these quotes by finance expert Dave Ramsey

How Dave Ramsey has Changed My Life

7 Baby Steps to Becoming Debt Free by Dave Ramsey

Budget Percentages Pie Chart Recommended by Dave Ramsey

Budget Percentages Pie Chart Recommended by Dave Ramsey


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