We had a failure that was the catalyst to change and a tool that would help us change our relationship with money. Now we needed to get out of debt. We needed to get serious. We needed Dave Ramsey.
Full disclosure: our household has kind of moved away from some of Dave Ramsey’s ideas since 2010 when we drank the Koolaid. I’ll get into why in the next post, but for now I want to write what I appreciate about him and how he presented personal finance to us in a way that got us serious about getting out of debt.
Dave Ramsey doesn’t do debt. He hates it. To him, the only reason one should get into debt is to buy a house, and he doesn’t even fully recommend that one. Most people think he’s extreme.
Ramsey’s genius is that when it comes to being in debt, being extreme is exactly what is called for. The numbers aren’t the reason people aren’t getting out of debt; the psychology is. So when you get out debt the Dave Ramsey way, you sell everything. You don’t eat out. You think about it every day. You work extra. Maybe an extra job.
You get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
The principle here is Move the Needle. Sometimes it makes sense to get crazy and move the needle in some area of your life. Make a change happen, possibly at the short-term sacrifice of other things, so you don’t quit. Once you accomplish something, quitting it is no longer an option.
So if you’re needing to make a change and gut it out in the short term in order to create the environment where you can win in the long, term, have at it! I know with getting out of debt, this is the only way to go in order to actually do it. If you try to nickel and dime your way out of debt, you’ll never get there because you’ll get distracted and go after something else.
When we got serious and decided to move the needle with getting out of debt, all the pieces fell into place and we got out of debt really quickly.
The problem is when this becomes a way of life. At some point, you’ll need to stop moving the needle. More on this in the next post.