A Letter to Dave Ramsey


Dear Dave Ramsey,

I feel like we should talk. Not just chit chat, but TALK talk. As you may or may not know, Lover and I recently incorporated your debt solving antics into our lifestyle. With our law school loans making us feel like we had been punched in the stomach, we felt it necessary to try and dig ourselves out of this hole we’ve created for the sake of “an education”. I will admit, I can’t entirely blame our debt on law school. There were a few (hundred) trips to Target that MAY have played a small role in the money issue that we now have.

Although I know this program you have us doing is for a greater good, it’s really a thorn in my lifestyle. To be completely honest, I’m not a big fan of keeping my money all budgeted evenly and tucked away in white envelopes. It makes me feel…well, budgeted. I don’t like when I have to go to the gas station and thumb through all my 12 envelopes to find the “gas” envelope just so I can pay for my fill up. It’s kinda embarrassing. And my “allowance” envelope? Well, the problem with that one is that it never has enough money in it. I always spend my allowance in like, the first 3 days and the rest of the two weeks I’m left wandering parking lots looking for loose change just so I can get a route 44 ocean water during Happy Hour at Sonic.

I would have to say that my very least favorite part of using your technique is having to plan ahead. I hate planning ahead. I hate budgeting my money and then having to withdraw all of it. I hate having to go to the teller and ask for 4-100’s, 2-50’s, 6-20’s, 3-10’s and 4-5’s just so the money is divided perfectly in their individual envelopes. I hate having to make a grocery list. I never used to use a grocery list. Now I can’t even walk INTO the grocery store unless I have a list, and not only that, but I have to USE the list. I hate having to write down the price of EVERY item that goes into my cart and I ESPECIALLY hate having to pull my cart over when I’m done shopping and ADD UP EVERY ITEM to make sure my total is STILL within my budget. I usually try to hide in the dog food aisle to do that because I’m SOOO embarrassed. Ugh. Who DOES that?!?

Okay, Okay, I will admit, we are seeing some wicked results. We’ve only been using your system since January and we’ve already been able to pay off one credit card which DID make me feel like a rockstar. I guess if you want something bad enough you’ll do whatever it takes. Even if it means telling your BFF’s you can’t go to girl’s night out because Dave Ramsey won’t let you. I know once this is all over, I’ll be so thankful that I stuck to it and sacrificed so much (like those Jessica Simpson black platform pumps I wanted SOOOO badly). I can’t even imagine what it must feel like to have absolutely NO debt. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll EVER know that feeling.

Anyway, I started writing this letter because I was annoyed and tired of using your debt solving plan, but now that I think about it, I’m just grateful that I HAVE a plan. Thank you, Dave Ramsey, for being the jerk that you are. I love that about you.

Your new BFF,

Jessica Lowe

Jessica is a TEXAN. She’s also a mother of 5 (4 boys and 1 girl) who has been married for 11 years to a super hot US Marine that she likes to call, “Lover.” She and her family live aboard Camp Lejeune in NC and they fantasize about the day they can move back home to the great state of Texas and build their dream home. She writes on her personal blog about other crazy adventures at www.thelowefamilynews.blogspot.com or you can hear her craziness live at the HunDuddle Hussy.

Comments

  1. says

    Our law school debts could fund a small country. It boggles the mind. However, we are doing Dave Ramsey and I am proud to yell “WE ARE ALMOST DEBT FREE!”

    {we have the student loans and house left}

    One more year and we should be student loan free.

    I do the same thing in the grocery store. I scour the ads to find the prices and then I price match. I menu plan now, and we actually SAVE money.

    I LOVE to hate Dave.

  2. says

    I’m sure Dave would appreciate knowing you were his bff! And I think he would love the criticism. You ought to send him your letter. :)
    Keep up the hard work. It’s hard to stay motivated but it is so worth it.

  3. says

    I agree…you should send the letter to Dave.

    I am just slightly ahead of you on life’s path (i.e. I am OLDer) and I can tell you that you will never regret this. We have been fortunate enough to never go into debt for anything but our house which is almost paid for (we are in our early 40’s). But it meant going without any luxury and even some necessities our whole early marriage especially after having our first child while still in college. 20 years in we are just starting to rid ourselves of the hand-me-downs we acquired then.

    I listen to Dave Ramsey on a regular basis and get teary eyed every time a family comes on to scream “we’re debt free.” How liberating!!! I look forward to hearing you AND Motherboard on the radio soon! Keep. It. Up.

  4. says

    I can understand your frustration with Dave’s envelopes. That’s why I could never do his system exactly…however I think he does have some very good ideas on debt reduction and budgeting. I love it when he tells people to sell their new cars and drive clunkers. And you have to look at things as temporary, “Can I live with out such-and-such for a few years to get out of debt?” Of course you can! Good luck with everthing!

  5. says

    We’ve always budgeted, never had a credit card, and I’m here to tell you, even being debt free (besides the house) following a budget is still hard. And it still does suck at times.
    What would give for just one good spending spree. *sigh*
    But it’s worth it. It really is. You’re doing awesome!!!

  6. says

    Hubby and I have been doing the Dave Ramsey thing for about two months now. I can honestly say it’s saving our marriage. Yes, it does take a little getting used to. (The envelope system for example.) But, I love always having money for the things I need right where I can see it. Also, we’re learning as a family the difference between what we really need and what we really want. Big difference!

    We’re also incorporating his system in the way we’re teaching our daughter. Hopefully, she won’t make the same careless mistakes we did when we were younger. And even better, we’re going to be completely debt free soon! You can believe I’ll be shouting from the roof tops on the day it happens!!!!

  7. says

    I think, given the comments here, that lots and lots of people are standing in the grocery aisles adding up their totals! :-) I’ve been there (still am, really) and can say it is totally worth it. We are down to only student loans and haven’t had any consumer debt for 4 years. It is really, really hard sometimes to live debt-free but I wouldn’t trade our budget and lifestyle for anything. And I can’t wait until we finish paying off the student loans and can say that we are 100% debt free. That day is coming soon and then we will start saving for a house. It is exciting!

  8. says

    Yup, Dave Ramsey’s plan is good. Soon we might actually be incorporating his plan–cause you gotta EARN money to budget right?
    That’s been my problem all along.
    But no sad news here, my hubby has a job now!!!
    Time to budget the money away…:)

  9. says

    Well, it’s like dieting. There’s getting out of debt and then there’s STAYING out of debt. We WERE debt free except the mortgage but we’ve managed to find some debt again. I guess the good thing is that we now know what to do.

    As for budgeting, the BEST software out there is called “You Need A Budget”. All my sisters use it and swear by it. If the envelopes aren’t doing it for you, try YNAB.

  10. says

    My husband and I both just finished this book and were excitedly working on our DEBT SNOWBALL!

    Then my husband buzzed my baby’s head to save $9.

    Now Dave and I are definitely Frienemies!

    (Despite that though, I would recommend “Total Money Makeover” to any one with any amount of debt. It is extremely sound advice and falls in line with gospel teachings.)

  11. amylouwho says

    oh the envelopes. I bought one of those little check files and labeled each section – it’s a little more discreet that fumbling through a stack of envelopes.

    you are awesome for doing this! Hard but totally worth it. And habit changing.

  12. HunDuddle Hussy says

    i’ve been traveling otherwise i would have commented back to every ONE of you. thanks for all the support. i’ll keep truckin with this idea even tho it sucks. i know i’ll be thankful in about 5 years and then for the rest of my life.

  13. says

    Maybe it started after receiving the Dave Ramsey tickets in the mail for his show in Colorado Springs this month with special guest speaker Lou Dobbs. On the other hand, it could have been after watching Tebow’s “Year of the Quarterback” special again …

  14. Joy Throgmorton says

    I was doing a yahoo search to find someone that could relate to the “pain” that I’m feeling while going through the Dave Ramsey steps.  You nailed it with this post!  The “searching the parking lot for loose change just to get an ocean water” is totally me!  It just doesn’t seem fair sometimes!  But in the big picture, I chose to take this plan and will love the results.  Nothing worth it is ever easy!  Thank you for writing this, it was exactly what I needed to read this morning!

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