13 Ways to Know You are a Dave Ramsey Follower

charlie_imageAbout three years ago, I had the pleasure of reading Dave Ramsey‘s book, The Total Money Makeover, and immediately was drawn to his philosophy and take on finances. Lately, over the last six months, I’ve been tuning my radio to Dave’s show everyday after work for my commute home and love it. In listening to him and reading his book I’ve become acquainted with his terms, sayings, and how followers (who call in) have an instant connection with him.  With that said, here are a few ways to know you are committed mentally and to Dave Ramsey! :) 



  1. You frequently yell out “FREEDOM!!!!” when you pay with cash
  2. Your home wall art includes framed notices of your paid off mortgage, credit card, and car loan.
  3. You use terms like “that’s just stupid”, or “why wouldn’t you pay it off”, and “I’m living like no one else, so I can later live like no one else.”
  4. On your tomb stone you want it to say, “My paid off home mortgage replaced the BMW as the status symbol of choice.
  5. You have an emergency fund with at least 3-6 months of living expenses.
  6. You talk to people in terms of baby steps and non-Ramsey followers think you are crazy! Strangers who follow Ramsey treat you like you are a family member and invite you over to see their paid off home.
  7. You know what to do if you receive a large sum of money! Buy lottery tickets and take out loans! :)
  8. You aren’t a sucker for 0% loans and refer to them as dancing with snakes.
  9. You have a life size tattoo of him on your back. (I couldn’t actually find anyone on images.google.com that had a Dave Ramsey Tatoo. So I think this would be considered extreme, but then again…Dave Ramsey is extreme with his viewers, because they sometimes need it!)
  10. Going to church and listening to Dave’s show every day are your weekly goals.
  11. You know his wife and kids names (this would be more classified as a stalker). Please no one comment with all his kids name! ;)
  12. You own a signed copy of The Total Money Makeover.
  13. When you become debt free you want to take a trip to Nashville and go to Financial Peace Plaza!

Well, these are just a few funny ideas I have of Dave Ramsey and is indicative of the type of following/culture he is creating in America! I personally think more people should take the same type of bold attitude to tackle their finances and I SO appreciate the FREEDOM he preaches from the air waves!

These are my ideas, but I’d really love to hear some of your’s! And feel free to come up with some funny ones too!

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11 comments

  1. Eric says:

    When I listen to him, I get the impression that he wants people to equate debt with sin. Debt is a tool, and when used well it can increase the economic well-being of its user in the long run. I don’t like what he does because I think it inadvertantly hurts the entreprenuerial spirit that many people inherently have.

    For example, someone may have an idea to build better widgets, but because they are a Dave Ramsay follower, they are so focused on paying off their house that they never consider going to a bank to get a loan for building the better widgets. And that lack of risk-taking hurts them in the long run. Get enough people doing this, and it hurts the whole country in the long run. He comes from a good place, but it’s only good advice if your aspiration in life is to die with a paid off house. If you’re trying to grab the brass ring and rise up from middle class to rich, you need a little leverage in your life.

    • Carol Jordan says:

      Eric – actually you are incorrect. He has said many, many, times that debt is NOT a sin issue. It’s foolish (and that’s biblical) and crippling to our economy (you do remember 2008?). Hurt the entreprenuerial spirit? Seriously? How many debt-free businesses tank because they can’t pay loans? NONE! As he (and hundreds of others) have become well above rich because of following his advice, which really use to be normal (during the greatest economic strides of our history – imagine that); I’d say you’re wrong there as well. Have you read The Millionaire Next Door? You might find it eye opening.

  2. Diane says:

    You know you are a follower when rice and beans is on your grocery list every week!

    You know you are a follower when your inner ninja whips out when the naive cashier begans her speel for the “helpful” offer of why you should open a store card with them.

  3. Charlie says:

    @Eric – I’ve pondered your statement all day, and thinking about how best to respond without being upset, and while I was driving home today it came to me. Dave Ramsey said, “400 of the wealthiest people were interviewed, and asked what is the number one success factor in creating wealth. 75% of them said Pay Off Debt and become debt free.” Now that’s coming from people who know how to make real wealth! Now I have to say I completely disagree with your statements, Eric, and here is why. If more people would focus on first eliminating debt, then it would free their income to make money for them. Plainly, our debt is a burden, a continual drag on our ability to do other things with our income. Too many people think debt is a normal part of life, and we’ve become use to it like a parasite! We don’t realize we have this parasite on our backs (most Americans), and it’s constantly sucking a portion of our income. I agree debt can be used as leverage to get into the middle class or out of the middle class, but ask all the people that did 100% financing on their homes or “investment homes” in 2008 what they think of debt now! Debt leveraged them right into being poor or having to file for bankruptcy. Also Dave never says that debt is sin, but the Bible gives specific examples of how the debtor is a SLAVE to the lender. Again I’m reminded of how you can’t be foreclosed on if you have no debt. Simple, but great truth!

    @John – it’s always nice when you find one of those envelopes with “unexpected cash” in it.

    @Michael – great one! I forgot that one!

  4. You know you are a DR follower when the Gazelle is your favorite animal. :-) Regarding using debt as a wealth-building tool: the biggest fear I have about that is that anything could go wrong with your wealth-building debt: in the market, you could lose it. In rental prop, you could lose your tenant or experience a housing value plunge, in a biz, you could go under. If your debt is just gone, plain and simple, there are no worries, and your wealth is not based on whether the market, your rental props, or your biz is doing well. They could all go under, and you’d still not have to worry about making payments. Everyone is different, I know, and some are ok with those types of risks, but for me, that peace of not owing anyone is worth all of the money in the world.

  5. Eric says:

    Charlie-

    Your response is why I have a problem with Dave Ramsay. He preaches to the general public that ALL debt makes you a slave, and doesn’t allow for nuanced thinking about certain classes of debt. I’m talking about mortgage debt. As long as you are investing a portion of your income in a tax-advantaged account, there’s nothing wrong with having a long term mortgage because the interest is tax-deductible. You can get a mortgage for 4-6 and deduct the interest while investing in stocks earning, on average, 8-10% a year, even when you account for historic market crashes like the one in 2008.

    Let’s focus on what we probably agree on: I believe credit card debt is a burden. You have to pay that off first, it is parasitic because the interest rate is so high and there’s no tax advantage. But mortgage debt? I’d rather live for 30 years in a house with a yard and room to move around while paying a mortgage, than be stuck in a small apartment trying to squirrel away enough cash to buy a house free and clear in 15 years. Life’s too short. I guess we have to agree to disagree there.

  6. Lauren Smith says:

    I love all these wonderful comments. I didn’t know he has a radio show! I’m going to be tuning in! Another great book we are using in our finances is the book, “Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence: Your Road Map to Exiting the Rat Race and Living Your Dreams” by author Usiere Uko. This book will inspire you to start your own journey. We love it!

  7. Adwoa says:

    I started listening to Dave Ramsey in October 2012, I wish I had discovered him before I got married. I would NOT have married my husband even though I love him dearly! We are both high earners and high spenders, neither of us is very good with money. Our spending habits have been TERRIBLE but through applying Dave’s principles we have put together a £15K emergency fund in 8 months. We could have been debt free for over a decade with our incomes. It is a long road ahead but better late than never, I guess. I wish we could attend a Financial Peace University course here in London.

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