Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Doing The Dave Ramsey Thing

I was doing a blog search using the search term Dave Ramsey. As I scanned through the search results, I noticed a phrase that caught my eye. It has many variations, but the core of the phrase seems to be "we're doing the Dave Ramsey thing".

Something about that drives me nuts.

I think the reason it drives me over the edge is because it infers that what they are doing is a fad or a phase. Doing something to change the course of life events, in a short term, cavalier manner. It didn't matter what it was. It was just something. The phrase seems to indicate the person writing it lacks commitment.

I know that sounds judgemental. Maybe it is. But I have seen so many people go off on this tanget on that with only half a heart and give up or burn out before the postive effects can take root and grow.

Doing the Dave Ramsey thing is more than just picking up a book or listening to the radio show. To have it work, one must really make it a part of their value system. You must embrace it. Nuture it. Set goals within it. Envision yourself making progress and seeing the finish line. Otherwise, like with a diet, you soon return to your old ways and find yourself flabby both in body and wallet once again.

Making it part of your value system requires something more than just making it a passing fancy. It requires tradeoffs that aren't easily accepted by common society. You don't become a monk, or as Dave says collect lint and only come out on triple coupon Thursday, but there will be times you are out of step with the peer pressure of friends, family and co-workers.

The key is to be wise enough to not put people off. You must creatively learn to say you no longer do things that make you spend money you cannot afford to spend. You've got to be able to verbally illustrate your dreams that your lifestyle may lead to in words that is enticing to those you are speaking to. Otherwise your seen in the same light as the person who just gave up booze, cigarettes or the latest person to find God. Ever met a reformed alcoholic, smoker or sinner? Not pleasant is it.

Even as one completes Baby Step 2 (all debts paid except for the mortgage), choices and tradeoffs must be made. There will be repairs and replacements. There will be retirment savings to fund. College educations to save for. Inadequate insurance coverage must be addressed. The move from the first two Baby Steps to the latter Baby Steps requires the shift from tactical to strategic thinking and actions. It may sound complicated, but it is an ongoing learning process. It's growth. But it's growth that will take a lifetime.

Don't just do the Dave Ramsey thing. Make the life change that will permanently make your life change for the better.

If you're interested in seeing the hits that I found, do a google search in blogs for "dave ramsey thing".

1 comment:

Adam said...

hey thanks for the comment on my blog. i appreciate what you have to say about making it a way of life, not just a "money diet" or whatever. good dialog. thanks.

adam