Jay responded in my Little Man Syndrome post that he did not know who Dave was. I responded in an email, but, thought, hey, I need content so let's post it here too.
In November of 2007, I came across Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover" while listening to XM Radio. For my entire adult life, I did not carry a lot of consumer debt, but I did not have a plan. At the time, I had about $7,000 out in a car and credit cards. I was comfortable with this.
What I was not comfortable was that I did not have a plan with the income that I made. I make a decent salary, and at the end of the month, Cindy and I could not account for it. Any emergency that we had (emergency was at least $300 or more) was placed on a credit card. I think, at the time, I had $1,800 in a regular savings account. I contributed to my 401k, but to be honest, I did not understand what I was investing in. Finally, there was the looming thought of, if something was to happen to me, what would become of Cindy and the girls?
Dave Ramsey is all about getting you out of debt, "giving you the same advice your grandma would, but, we keep our teeth in." He is from Brentwood Tennessee, and runs a nationally syndicated talk radio show (1 hour is free via ITunes) where the subject is 99.9% driven by the callers. Callers get to ask questions, and on Friday, those who have become debt free except the mortgage calls in to scream "We're debt free!" TMM is a practical application of his "Financial Peace University," which is a thirteen week class that teaches couples how to get out of debt, live on a budget, build an emergency fund, save for retirement, save for kids college, pay of the house and then build and give away wealth. In fact, those are often called the baby steps. Cindy and I have become FPU Coordinators and will be starting our third class this Thursday. FPU is a one hour video followed by a one hours small group accountability session. Here is an example on You Tube. He covers topics including insurance, investment and saving for college.
The impact that this has made in our marriage is immeasurable. At the end of may, we will have finished Baby Step #3 and have 6 months of expenses saved in a money market account. Before the month begins, we spend a few moments looking over our budget for the month to make sure we have covered any of the non standard expenses. We have had enough to save for trips and vacations. We do not own any credit cards, but we do use our debit cards. We pay cash for just about everything. And, we have not had a fight over money since starting.
So, check him out.