Someone Has to Pay

My daughters corrected me recently when I criticized Dave Ramsey.  They and their husbands follow his teachings and reassured me that my assessment of his ministry fell short.  I’m told he meets all the proper criteria; they have applied his message and it works!

I misinterpreted his financial presentation based on my interaction with other Christians.  For instance, I received an invitation to a Christian girls’ night out.  The email stated we would meet informally in the hostess’s home, share spiritual lessons that we’ve learned that week and order pizza.  One lady shared nuggets from a Dave Ramsey class that inspired her.  When it came time to order pizza, she told us she only had a few dollars because now she budgets her money and that was all she had to contribute.  We ordered two large pizzas and that wouldn’t even cover the delivery man’s tip. 

When a friend came through town several of us met up for dinner.  During our discussion, the friend mentioned that she tore up all her credit cards as Dave Ramsey suggested and only pays cash.  However, all her cash was used up and she could not afford a hotel room and it was getting late.  Someone picked up her dinner but no one used their credit card to buy her a hotel room. 

Seriously, I don’t think Ramsey teaches Codependency.  I conclude that misinterpretation can circumvent good Christian teachings from basic truth.

Tom told me he has listened to Ramsey several times.  He doesn’t remember any tearing up of all credit cards but using one and paying it off every month.  I’ve always agreed to that leading in our home.

Teaching discipline makes more sense to me.  What if an emergency arose that cash couldn’t cover?  Perhaps some can't be trusted with even one credit card.

Clearly, I misjudged Ramsey. 

These are my thoughts today.  I wonder what yours are? 


  1. I dont know him but upon reading your entry, i would agree tht at least a little something to cover for emergency things is a must.

    When it comes to finances, again, we can consult our tithes and the bible, remembr, our God is the Lord of all, and that includes our finances.

  2. I think Dave Ramsey has a good system for those that want to get out of debt and actually save some money. I've listened to some of his things but never took his advice, LOL, (and that's why probably I'm still in debt and yet to save money). However, the basic principal still holds true. One should not spend more than their means. I think he offers advice to help people get to that if they are willing to work the plan.


  3. I have not heard his teachings but I think it is all about discipline. Using cash is good but a credit card will be good for emergency. Spend when one can afford. We need wisdom and not follow blindly.

  4. My daughter gave me a CD set of his classes and I've been going to listen to them. My daughter shared some things he has said and I don't recall cutting up the credit cards either. I think having one is a good idea for emergencies. I laughed about the pizza story. I witnessed a very similar situation during a women's gathering at church a few years back. Have a great day.

  5. I think the idea is that if you can't afford pizza night, don't go. If you can't afford a hotel room, don't travel. I have never heard Dave Ramsey recommend doing what those two ladies did,

    1. Well took the words right out of my mouth! Very well said! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  6. Or there is the person who can't pitch in because they only have a 100 dollar bill and no one can give change.
    With every teaching we receive, it must be brought together with wisdom. It's godly wisdom that makes the teaching personally applicable. Some people have to operate on cash until they develop self-discipline with credit. Others have the self-discipline to use a credit card and pay it off every month. We are all very different people and God works with us each in a unique and special way.
    Thank you for sharing, Mary.

  7. Although I have a credit card I rarely use it...and when I do, I pay in full so that there is no interest. Great post, dear Mary, thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Codependency ... that's exactly what these gals are exhibiting! Seriously, I'd be soooo embarrassed.

    I've not listened to Mr. Ramsey enough to form an opinion, but my son is a fan ... very judicious in his/their spending decisions. I keep telling him, "good genes" must skip generations. (*smile*)

    PS - I've always heard, having and using a credit card regularly contributes to one's positive credit score. (That is, as long as the balance is paid off each month.)

  9. I don't know the guy but if only I came to know the Lord much earlier for He is full of wisdom!Lots of passages (you probably know it anyway ;) against borrowing. I guess it's common sense not to spend beyond the means. It's not wrong to be rich but we must not love money. Lots of wisdom about seeking spiritual riches. I always share with my son, does he really need something that he wants to buy?and if he does, can he afford it or save up first than owe? No! Don't be fooled!I'm no wise woman. Only disciplined by the Lord! Stay strong in God's mighty power!

  10. My two-cents' worth? I have found Dave Ramsey's teachings to be very beneficial. I think some people really go overboard and misunderstand and even misconstrue what is said sometimes. I know they mean well, and if they have to take it to the extremes in order to feel peace, then God bless them. But, to allow that to put others in an awkward position or cause others to have to carry their weight is unfair and casts a bad light on the one whose advice they are following. Just my opinions! I appreciate Dave Ramsey, and though we don't follow every opinion he shares, we have gleaned some wisdom from his teaching, and I think his plans really work. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. Sending you much love and many blessings!

  11. I guess that just goes to show how any message--good or bad--can be distorted in one way or another. I haven't read any of Dave's books myself, but I do know friends who vouch for him. Being responsible is the bottom line, regardless of which approach we take. Thanks for sharing this, Mary!

  12. Enjoyed this! I think this is like everything else...we must balance. As far as Dave Ramsey....I think he is an excellent teacher on the subject at hand though my husband and I do not agree with every style that he has. But I am quite sure a lot of folks would not agree with our style either. My oldest daughter and her husband taught the Dave Ramsey course at church one season. My daughter still uses the Dave envelope system. She said it quickly became a habit that she loves. What works for one with the Dave Ramsey system may not work for another. But the bottom line is live within your means....NOT ABOVE IT! That's what I see so many people (especially the younger folks) doing today. They want what it has taken me 40 years to get. Great post today Mary! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  13. I definitely have my issues with Mr. Ramsey...and these examples illustrate why :)

  14. As usual, lots of people reading your info and filled with focusing. Thank you for writing and sharing!!

  15. I've never read or listened to him and usually keep my opinions on such matters to myself. But, based on what I've heard about him and his financial lessons, I've wondered how in the world grown up people living in the real world need to hear or learn common sense? Blows me away...

  16. I have heard him on the Radio and liked him enough to order his book and send it to a friend (who probably threw it away) His wife loves cruises and expensive vacations even after they declared bankruptcy. We are careful with our money, yet we give regularly to our church and to several ministries. We do use credit cards and pay them off each month to avoid the high interest rates. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  17. I love that quote about having a budget at the top. That is my basically my idea of handling my finances ♥


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