Finance: Does The Dave Ramsey Plan Work?

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Many years ago I heard of the Dave Ramsey plan and his process to financial independence – the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps.

My goal, probably like yours, was born out of desperation to get out of debt. I was looking for a process, or a quick fix, to get rid of the debt that was keeping me a prisoner. It was my fault for making bad financial choices, and I needed a financial plan to help me fast.

Dave’s financial plan is a process that if followed will work to get you out of debt, save for retirement, and pay off your house in less time than the traditional 30 year mortgage. But, Dave’s plan isn’t a quick fix.

The first time I heard of Dave’s plan and baby steps, I didn’t apply them to myself all the way. Of course, I was smarter than Dave, more brilliant and knew what was best for me.

I used Dave’s debt snowball to get rid of some of my credit card debt and other stuff that was hanging around, but if I had followed his baby steps to the letter 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be back here on round 2 (or 3) again.

I just bought his Total Money Makeover book to re-start the baby steps as I’ve accrued some tax debt and about $10K on credit cards after 3 months of back to back vacations late summer & early fall 2017.

I started reading the Total Money Makeover, but more importantly, I started listening to his podcast and watching his Youtube show daily.

 

If you’re wondering if the Dave Ramsey plan works, listen to this:

 


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Does The Dave Ramsey Plan Work?

The Dave Ramsey plan works – listen to his podcast here. Caller after caller call-in and outline their adoption of the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps for their financial situations. And caller after caller extol the virtues of whole-hearted adoption of the Dave Ramsey plan.

The average adopter of the Dave Ramsey plan take 18-30 months to get out of debt. And, most people do it by creating a budget, stopping frivolous spending, and or increasing their income with a second job.


How Does the Dave Ramsey Plan Work?

The only way any plan works is if YOU WORK THE PLAN.

Having a plan and following a plan are two different paths. The path you take to create a budget & financial plan only works if you get on the baby steps path and follow Dave’s process & plan.

Every day on Dave’s show, people call in… those who succeed are the people who follow Dave’s plan with “gazelle intensity”. They pursue each step of Dave’s plan with laser focus and don’t jump around from step to step.

It seems overly simplistic and perhaps small-minded to follow a plan like his to a “T”…. but that’s why his plan works so well. It’s simple, it’s easy to follow, and after coaching people for 25+ years, he has seen it all.

He knows that his plan works if people SIMPLY FOLLOW THE PLAN.

In my situation, I started down the Dave Ramsey baby step #2 of creating a debt snowball and getting out of debt.

I didn’t start with baby step #1, which is build a $1000 cushion emergency fund for those times when stuff happens.

And, I didn’t get out of debt in step #2 and then jump to Dave’s baby step #3 which is build a 3 to 6 months worth of income in case of a rainy day.



 

Why Dave’s Plan Doesn’t Work

When I lost my job in 2006, I had to sell some stock options and cash out my 401K, which started another round of debt issues and loss of future retirement income.

If I had followed Dave Ramsey’s plan, I would have been ok when I lost my job instead of scrambling and cashing out my retirement savings.

Dave Ramsey’s plan works if you choose to follow it. As with everything good in life, you have to choose to do it. It’s a lot more fun buying stuff, going out to eat, getting new cars or taking fun vacations…

BUT…

Dave Ramsey’s plan works if you will work the plan.

And, Dave’s plan DOESN’T work, if YOU don’t work Dave’s plan!

 

Your Next Steps with Dave Ramsey’s Plan

To learn more about getting out of debt and the debt snowball, check out this free downloadable debt snowball worksheet I’ve put together to get out of  debt.

And, definitely check out Dave’s Total Money Makeover Book to learn his philosophy on financial independence & getting out of debt.