An American Story

I’ve been a big fan of Dave Ramsey’s for some time.

This spring I’m counseling engaged couples before their nuptials, and I’m giving each couple a copy of his book The Total Money Makeover, because kids today have the sex part down, but they’re clueless about money and debt. They’re not even married and they’ve already got “manageable” debt. Whoa.

I’ve been in trouble with credit cards twice in my life: once as a young adult, flush with the newfound power of credit, and another time when I was in a bit of a personal crisis, and I saw credit cards as my only way through the problem. It wasn’t, but I survived. Other than that, debt has been minimal, usually confined to car payments and the occasional vacation, and closely monitored.

For this, I have my parents to thank. They taught me well about saving, investing and credit. I had to make a few mistakes on my own — don’t we all — but I learned my lessons in the process.

The Dave Ramsey Show on television and radio is a sobering glimpse into the lives of  most Americans.  I listen with empathy and astonishment as these people seek financial counseling for the terrible situations they’ve gotten themselves into. And I personally know many people who have piled on debt without a clue as to how to dig themselves out.

On Dave’s website yesterday, I watched this video, and it blew me away. Obviously, it was made a couple of years ago, as his numbers are a little off, considering today’s economic climate, but the point is still the point.

And then I found this blog. It’s not so much a testimony to Dave Ramsey and his techniques as it is an inspirational look at two parents pulling themselves up out of an uncomfortable, untenable, and unsustainable situation. Together, as partners.

Debt is insidious. Al and I talked about our truck payment last night and decided that enough is enough. As quickly as possible, we’re going to dispatch that bastard and never have another’n.  No matter what the car lots would have you believe, car payments are not a requirement for a happy life.  They’re not a requirement, period.

Life is a lot better with money in the bank instead of bills coming through the door.  Dave calls it Financial Peace.

He’s right.

Dave Ramsey is not my guru, but boy, does he speak the truth about many things. If you’re not familiar with his philosophy on money, it’s worth checking out.

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1 Comment

Filed under Discipline, goals, Marriage, Money

One response to “An American Story

  1. BDO

    I would agree debt is never a requirement to happiness. It is crazy that we, as Americans, have been duped by marketers to believe that all debt is “priceless”. I hope more leaders will stand up and advocate against the normalcy and fallacy of a debt-filled life.

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