Who is this Dave Ramsey Guy?

Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover
Dave’s most popular book, The Total Money Makeover.

Although I don’t mention him much, I’m a huge fan of Dave Ramsey. I’ve been following him online and on the radio for at least six years now. He actually played a huge role in helping me get my own finances in order.

I like Dave for the tough, straight-forward message that he brings. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you how it is. Dave does that well. I also like Dave’s application of Christian principles in his message.

Who Is Dave Ramsey?

I know a little about Dave’s past; mostly from what I’ve heard him tell though. Basically he was a real estate entrepreneur that made a ton of money, but also racked up a bunch of debt. He went through a bankruptcy, and came out of that experience smarter about his finances and with a passion to help others.

He then started his radio show and wrote a book, Financial Peace, which really got him established in the world of personal finance.

Dave is now the ultimate “get out of debt” guru. I would guess that no other person has helped more people payoff debt. Dave is the man.

The Dave Ramsey Show

The best way I’ve connected with Dave over the years is by listening to his show. The show has a little bit of everything going on. Dave takes questions from people struggling with money issues, people who are finally debt free, and even throws in some occasional commentary on the economy and politics.

If you listen, you’ll end up agreeing with what he says as a whole, but you’ll be left with the feeling that you got punched in the gut. He definitely calls you to action.

You can listen to it over the radio (check local listings), or stream it online. When I first started listening to Dave, I listened to the online podcast. I liked it because I could skip around to the parts that applied to me and skip the commercials as well. Check out his radio show page.

Financial Peace University

If you want to really get to know Dave Ramsey’s approach, sign up for his Financial Peace University (FPU). The 13 week video series takes you through all that Dave has to offer. Plus, you get to experience it with others going through the process.

The accountability has to be the best part of this program. The best place to find a Financial Peace University is at your local church or community center. Unless your church is offering to pay, this will cost you around $100.

Pete from Bible Money Matters recently shared his experience with Financial Peace University. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in doing the full course.

Total Money Makeover

Dave’s biggest achievement to date has to be the success of his book, The Total Money Makeover. In the book, Dave outlines his approach to helping you get out of debt and the seven baby steps that you need to use to get started.

This is likely the best way to approach Dave’s methods if you’re not ready for the full FPU and don’t have him on the radio.

The 7 Baby Steps

Dave’s message can be boiled down to seven steps that you need to follow in order to have financial peace.

  1. $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund
  2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
  3. Three to six months of expenses in savings
  4. Invest 15 percent of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
  5. College funding for children
  6. Pay off home early
  7. Build wealth and give! Invest in mutual funds and real estate


Endorsed Local Providers

A big benefit of being a Dave Ramsey fan has been learning about his Endorsed Local Providers (ELP). ELPs are essentially financial companies that Dave has hand picked to endorse. From this list, I was able able to find a real estate agent in my area I could trust.

Most recently, I recently used Zander Insurance (an ELP) to help find the lowest quotes on life insurance. Dave gives these ELPs his stamp of approval and holds them accountable for their service.

Dave Ramsey Is Bad at Math

Because of Dave’s Debt Snowball (paying down debts using lowest balance vs highest interest rate) he’s been accused of being bad at math, or dumbing-down his methods for the masses. While I don’t personally subscribe to all of his methods, I know they work for the people who use them.

Whatever your thoughts are on his specific methods, you’ve got to admit it’s resonating with a bunch of people and truly helping them.

Why Dave Ramsey Works

I never been a strict follower of Dave’s steps and to be honest, I haven’t even read his books. But I’ve absorbed his message over the years through his radio show and been moved to make a change with the amount and type of debt I was carrying.

Each day, hundreds more are experiencing Dave for the first time. What they’re getting is an honest, no-gimic approach to getting to financial peace. That’s the best you can hope for, and that’s what Dave brings.

This article is a general overview of what Dave Ramsey has to offer and is not intended to replace his course, nor is this sponsored or endorsed by Dave Ramsey or the Lampo Group.

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  1. Avatar Damon Day says:

    Hey Phil,

    Great Post. I am a big Ramsey fan myself. He has a straightforward style that I like. Some people are put off by that, but it doesn’t change the simple and practical advice he is giving.

    I actually think it is pretty funny how Dave started this whole hoopla about his debt snowball strategy. He obviously knows people may pay a little more interest using his method, but he also understands human nature. The reality is, for some people, his method will be much better. For others, starting with the highest rate will work out better. Point being, there is no right and wrong way, there is just the best way for each individual.

  2. Great synopsis of what Dave’s about. I’m a big DR fan. I’ve listened to him on and off for years but never started actually applying his plan until a couple of months ago. Hoping to convince my fiance to go through FPU this fall.

  3. Dave Ramsey is a hard worker and knows how to get things done. It’s great to see how much he’s always giving back.

  4. You need to take the time to read his books. You won’t really ‘get’ him until you do, even though you are already a fan. I think he’s worth reading no matter what financial shape you are in. I enjoy your blog!

  5. Avatar Brad Chaffee says:

    Nice write up PTMoney! I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan myself. He got us turned around as well and I have lead two FPU workshops at my church and seen first hand how much this plan has helped people. The Total Money Makeover book is awesome!

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