"If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun." - Katharine Hepburn
Question #92335 posted on 06/13/2019 2:12 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Thoughts on Dave Ramsey vs other financial guides? Have any of you tried his steps? Would you recommend?



Dear Babs ~

Dave Ramsey has done a lot of good in the financial world. I don't like his attitude about some things. He can be a kind of jerk. I also disagree with his opinion that credit cards are 100% evil. His program though, is generally good advice. 

My favorite program, though, is actually software, and it changes the way you look at money. It has been a total game changer to me. (And it allows me to really spend on credit as if it's debit. I pay off my credit card 100% every month with money already budgeted for it, and get all of the points.) It's called YNAB, and I evangelized about it some in Board Question #92352.

There are a lot of people who use YNAB and follow Dave Ramsey, though. I believe there are Facebook groups dedicated to the combination of the two.

~ Dragon Lady


Dear Babs, 

I don't think Dave is The expert or his advice should be followed like gospel. Heck, most of his advice is the same kind of stuff you find everywhere. Pay off debts, diversify your investments, keep your money in savings, save for retirement... Nothing really special. I'm not at the point where I can follow all of his steps (I don't have children and am not looking to buy a house, I don't have a retirement fund yet, etc.) but I do think that his advice is valuable. For example, I have an emergency fund savings account that contains 2 months of living expenses, I'm saving to buy a car with cash, and I always do a Zero Base Budget. Most of what I know from Ramsey came from my Financial Literacy class in high school, where his advice was a little bit different, for a younger audience.

Finding what kind of financial planning works best for you is a game of tinkering... personally I like to look around at different advice from lots of people and just make decisions that I feel are educated and best for me personally. I plan my own budget using a spreadsheet (how vanilla) and it seems to be working so far. I don't like paying for budgeting advice. 

I do recommend, though, using the Acorns app. It rounds up when you spend money and just saves the change and invests it. At least for starting out in investments as a college kid, I really like this. It doesn't feel like parting with a lot of money, but it adds up pretty fast.