Sunday, April 9, 2017

Books That Changed My Life: Debt-Free

When we were in Illinois just before Christmas, I passed up this lovely china cabinet by using a trick I've learned over time. If I see something I "want" badly, I write down the item on a piece of paper and put it in my purse. Then I tell myself I'll go back for it, in a week, if I still want it by then. 

Usually I forget about the item before the week is out, which is what happened with this cabinet. I have to admit though, if I had another chance, this cabinet would be mine...but that's another story. Today I'm thinking about Dave Ramsey and the joys of living debt-free.
Way back in the late 90's, in a Barnes and Nobles Bookstore (where I shouldn't have been since I was in debt) I found a book called Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I wish I could say we were smart enough to jump on the "Dave Bandwagon" that very minute, but sadly we weren't. 

I did buy the book that day, and we read parts of it occasionally... and very slowly we started to understand the things we needed to change in our lives to become debt-free.

We learned to live on a spending plan (budget) and we learned to use cash in envelopes for our daily expenditures. Dave Ramsey calls using cash the "Envelope System" and he has a free app called Every Dollar for tracking your spending and saving. 

We also learned to focus on paying off one debt at a time while paying minimums on the others. We used Dave's advice to pay off the smallest debt first (not the highest-interest debt) and then used that payment money to snowball payments on the next debt...and the next...until one day we found we were debt-free!
Dave's book, Total Money Makeover, is just one of the books I've found that changed my life. The book is not free, but you can check it out of your local library or buy it used on Amazon for less than $4. 

I love Dave's free radio show too, which he bases on his book's philosophy. You can find a radio station in your area by going to his website. Callers ask Dave's advice on a variety of financial issues or call in to give their inspiring "Debt-Free Scream".  Dave's radio show downloads automatically to my smart-phone every weekday after the show ends via his free app from I-Tunes. You can also listen and/or watch his show live, for free, on-line too. 

If you're interested click on the links below to go to some of his websites or to read about his best-selling book. As always, I'm just sharing what I think might be useful information. These thoughts are my own about what worked for me for many years now, and I'm not being compensated to share them. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Dave Ramsey Show Archives

Dave Ramsey Show Live

Every Dollar Budget Tool (FREE)

Retire Inspired Free Podcast (Chris Hogan

Total Money Makeover


  1. His advice is very GOOD advice! I really like hearing the "testimonials" for debt-free living. I'm very thankful to be living with the freedom that debt-free living affords

  2. Hi Sugar, My daughter and her hubby went through the course which was offered at their church when they were first married--after their first baby was born. They are further ahead now (7 years later) than we were after 20 years of marriage. He gives a phenomenal point of view. There is also a course that is even better that we found--I will have to give you the name of it--and it works even if you are getting started 'late' in life. It's amazing, isn't it? The 'wants' and 'needs' method? xo Diana

  3. I like that idea of writing the item down and waiting a week.

  4. love the cabinet, but think writing it down and waiting sounds like a plan.

  5. While I have helped others approach debt in a slightly different way I think that any method which gets you going and gets you managing your money is a good one and if this works for you then that is great isn't it. Well done you for all of your hard work! A good idea to think about something for a week, I do something similar and it definitely makes you think doesn't it.

  6. The cabinet is a beauty, but you have found a good way to wait. Living debt-free is a release from bondage and it is freeing! Good advice!

  7. My Mom was a huge Dave Ramsey fan. I used to go over to Mom and Daddy's house several times a week to check up on them, deliver groceries, or just to visit. If I arrived during Dave Ramsey's program, it would be playing in Mom's kitchen. My parents lived with Dave's principles all their lives, so they didn't need the advice, but liked to listen to how he was helping others resolve their financial problems. I turned my groomer on to his show. She had a mobile grooming van and listened to the radio all day. She had lots of financial problems due to a dead beat husband, but Dave's principles put her on the right path and gave her peace of mind. Dave has a good head and sensible ideas.
    Wishing you a blessed Easter.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  8. Dave Ramsey is a genius! I taught my kids the "envelope" use when they were younger. It truly does make a difference! Love and hugs!

  9. Steve and I learned to live debt free quite young. When we returned from the Peace Corps, we were a family of 3. There was no way I could work so we lived on 1 paycheck for many years. When I did begin teaching full time, instead of living on two paychecks we continued to live on one ... and that has made all the difference.

  10. I love Dave Ramsey! Read his book and now only have 1 debt to pay off. Already paid the mortgage, all the kids college loans, credit cards, and even got a new roof, cash. A great inspiration! Sending hugs xo Karen

  11. Just what I needed today.. thanks for sharing this info... Happy Easter my dearest, with love Janice