I grew up listening to Dave Ramsey and thinking financial advice was black and white, but in recent years I’ve found a better way

Laura Grace Tarpley Nashville

Dave Ramsey courses were my only exposure to personal finance until my 20s, so I felt obligated to follow his strict rules about money.
My personal and financial goals are changing as I grow older, and I’ve realized that the teachings I learned as a teenager don’t fit my needs anymore.
It’s important to look to financial experts when looking for financial guidance, but money issues aren’t black and white — it’s time for me to look for advice from experts whose tips match my priorities.
See Business Insider’s picks for the best personal finance books»

Growing up, I didn’t ask my parents about personal finance very often. (We weren’t as open about sensitive topics like money back then as we are now.) But I had a natural interest in the subject, so I set out to learn more during high school.

My sophomore year, I enrolled in a personal finance class at my Christian high school. Then I attended a money seminar at my friends’ youth group my junior year.

Both the Christian school and non-denominational church turned to one famous guru to teach teens about money: Dave Ramsey.

Dave Ramsey is a popular businessman with a radio show and numerous books about personal finance. His show and publications aren’t exclusively for Christians, but his identity as an Evangelical Christian is a defining aspect of his brand.

For years, Dave Ramsey was the main person I looked to for financial advice. But in my 20s, I realized something: Ramsey’s values didn’t align with my own anymore. As I had grown up, my worldview had changed — so why was my main financial mentor still the same person I had looked to when I was 16?

Dave Ramsey has strict rules about money

Dave Ramsey has seven steps for getting out of debt and building wealth, and they are designed to be followed in order. Here are what he refers to as the seven “Baby Steps”:

1. Save $1,000 to begin your emergency fund

2. Use the snowball method to pay off all debt, excluding your mortgage

3. Save three to six months of expenses in the emergency fund

4. Invest 15% of your income in a retirement fund

5. Save for your children’s college educations

6. Pay off your mortgage early

7. Build wealth and give to others

One of Ramsey’s most popular books, “Total Money Makeover,” explains these steps in-depth. When you read “Total Money Makeover,” you’ll also learn that Ramsey has an inflexible no-credit-cards rule.

In fact, Ramsey doesn’t believe you need a credit score at all. (Although if you’ve already developed a bad score, he does say you should work to improve it.) If you want to buy or rent something that requires a credit check, you should show other proof that you’re financially responsible.

I didn’t understand the significance of some of Ramsey’s stances …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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