How did Dave Ramsey become one of the country's leading financial experts? Why does he have so many die-hard fans? And, more importantly, should you heed his money advice or ignore it?
As one of the most famous authorities on personal finance, Dave Ramsey touts his inspiring rags to riches story as the catalyst for building a multimillion-dollar media company and inspiring millions of people to change the way they handle money.
His message, however, is often met with cynicism and refuted as antiquated and intolerant. Known for his southern accent and sharp tongue, Ramsey makes no apologies for his Bible-based, no-excuses approach to personal finance.
Perhaps the most well-known of Ramsey's teachings stem from his financial framework, the Baby Steps System.
1. Save $1,000 for a starter emergency fund 2. Pay off all debts (excluding your mortgage) using the debt snowball system 3. Save a “fully funded” emergency fund of 3-6 months of expense
5. Save for your children's college fund 6. Pay off your mortgage 7. Build wealth + give
If we had to boil Ramsey's advice down to one specific point, it would likely be that “debt is dumb.” Ramsey despises debt in any form.
He also forbids the use of credit cards altogether, claiming there is no way to use a credit card responsibly and assumes their use, however infrequent, will inevitably lead to the cardholder finding themselves back under a mountain of debt.