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The Reason I Support Dave Ramsey…

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There were quite a few comments about the craziness of Dave Ramsey on the last few posts. I would agree… except I can’t. Following Dave Ramsey made a huge impact in my life.

Following the baby steps got us out of debt and saved us a profound amount of stress. Let me explain…

Baby 4, little man E, was an easy pregnancy. I was over 35 so I had the usual extra check-ups. Every week, they did an ultrasound to make sure everything was OK. Surprise! Exactly like my last three pregnancies, it was.

We still had debt but learned to follow the Dave Ramsey advice, even though I thought it was stupid. He said we needed to pause the baby steps and build a pile of cash while I was pregnant. We built that pile of cash, building enough to pay off all our debt. It drove me crazy not to pay everything off.

Dave said to build a pile of cash so we built a pile.

Every check-up, I rolled my eyes at that stupid advice. I paid interest for months even though I had the cash to pay off the rest of the debt.

Delivery day went exactly as planned. Baby E was on time. I was relaxed. This was number 4. I’d been through this before and was excited to meet him. Thirty minutes into labor, the baby heart monitor went from a pleasant beep beep to silence. It’s not like the movies. There isn’t a solid beep when your child’s heart flatlines. There is silence.

A horrible silence.

My room was flooded with hospital staff. They tried everything to restart his tiny heart. Repositioning. Shots that made my whole body shake.

But his heart wouldn’t start.

I was on all fours. Crying. They shoved a form in front of me. Emergency C-section. I didn’t read a word. I scratched my signature.

They pulled the cords from the wall, ran me to the operating room. My husband couldn’t come. The nurse sat near my head, running her hands through my hair. “It’s going to be alright love” she whispered in my ear.

I heard the doctor say “Baby’s out” and then nothing. I asked the nurse if the baby was OK. She looked at the baby and remained silent. I asked the anesthesiologist. He wouldn’t look me in the eye.

There was no sweet baby cry.

Baby E was rushed to the NICU. He was blue. The cord was wrapped around his neck and the delivery had cut off his ability to breathe. Six hours later. I finally met him. He was a beautiful shade of pink. He had a long road ahead with lots of warnings to be careful about expectations but he was breathing on his own. He would be OK.

We struggled through those first few days. I was in a lot of pain. I wanted more time with Baby E. I was stressing about paying bills until I remembered that beautiful pile of cash we built. I got to ignore the money worry and focus on my recovery and my son.

Is some of the Dave Ramsey advice stupid? Of course! Do I have any regrets about following it?

Absolutely not.


7 Comments

    • Reply Ken K |

      You cannot put a price on your kids and appreciate your touching and heart warming tale. Glad to hear your son has the opportunity to do wonderful things!

      My opinion of Dave Ramsey is that his advice is not always mathematically the best advice to follow but that is not what is special about him. He understands people and bad habits and his methods tear you down and build you back up to shake all those bad financial misconceptions and habits and see how much opportunity & confidence you have with financial security with no debt. Keep it up you are doing freat.

  • Reply Sara |

    What a terrifying ordeal. I’m so glad you all made it through.

    I owe Dave immensely for waking me up, educating me, and showing me a recipe for success. While I think our situation doesn’t fit his steps perfectly, you better believe I’ll keep listening to his show for help and motivation.

  • Reply Alice |

    Wow. Just cried reading this!

    I think some people are put off by Dave Ramsey simply because of his religious beliefs. OK, fine. Don’t like that part about him. But his financial advice works. It just works.

    So glad baby #4 is fine and you were prepared.

  • Reply Kerry |

    First off Beks, I am sorry for your trauma and glad your baby is thriving.

    But this is an emotional response to actual facts and analysis about Dave Ramsey’s advice and how it’s not useful for the majority of people. It’s touted as a one size fits all situations and people and if people weren’t so stubborn and dumb and followed his advice, they’d be better off. And while I agree a pile of cash makes like 95% of all bad situations more bearable, his advice isn’t practical or helpful for most people who need to accumulate that cash.

    It’s like AA–AA works great for some. But do we actually know who and how many? No, because those who discontinue AA are just hopeless drunks who haven’t hit rock bottom, and the program doesn’t collect data on how people use it. People who can’t make Dave Ramsey’s program work are just lazy (in his words). But there’s no data on why that is. And frankly, Dave Ramsey is just an entertainer–people read this blog or reddit for financial sh%tshows, or they turn on Dave Ramsey. Same thing. But there is plenty of descriptive data and facts about how the real buying power of wages has fallen, housing is unaffordable, medical care and insurance is a mess that no one understands and is cost prohibitive, there’s no safety net, and the student loan and education bubble will burst soon.

    I read financial blogs because I’m interested in the whys and hows of people managing money and what money and how we spend it says about us. But I don’t read or listen to Dave Ramsey anymore because I can’t get behind being yelled at about how I’m not following his way of life when I know all of the above is true. He’s an entertainer posing as a thought leader, but his message is only “do it my way!” and “bootstraps!”

  • Reply Elizabeth S. |

    That picture made my heart drop into my stomach. I’m so glad your child is ok now. I’m so sorry you went through that and I’m glad you didn’t have to worry about money in the hospital!

    For me, it’s the evangelism that makes me dislike Dave Ramsey. I am Christian and I still can’t stand how much he conflates Jesus and finance. He’s also against the free community college tuition program in his home state, which is a disgusting, utterly despicable stance to have. One of the best ways people can overcome poverty is to educate themselves and free community college pays for itself in getting people off of welfare and into paying taxes. I regret spending money on his book and supporting him. I am glad he works for some people, though, and I mean that sincerely. Anything that helps people get out of debt!

So, what do you think ?