First things first, I don’t hate Dave Ramsey. I’m also not looking to bash him. I’m just not a big fan of him. Frankly, he kind of rubs me the wrong way. And if he has helped you that’s awesome I’m really happy for you but I’ve got some issues with him, which means I don’t like Dave Ramsey.
Now I’m not going to say that he’s not good at what he does, he obviously is. He creates very simple to follow steps when it comes to managing your finances and getting a handle on your money. However, I also think he kind of underestimates certain things. It bothers me a little bit. I’m also not the biggest fan of his slightly injecting religion into his methods.
Inserting religion into money management is not for me. If it works for you and you like that again, great, glad it’s working for you. But it’s just not my thing. I’m not particularly religious, so it is just one of the things he does that rubs me the wrong way. Here are couple other things that make me the wrong way.
I Think He Underestimates and Understates Student Loan Debt
Look I get that the average graduate has $37,000 debt. Fortunately, the economy has bounced back so there’s some jobs available so they can, if they focus and work hard, pay off their debt in a reasonable time. However there’s a lost class of people that got screwed.
They took on more debt with higher degrees, because with the recession, getting a job that paid worth a damn was nearly impossible. They took on the debt with higher the interest rates and still a very low availability of jobs and a lower starting income than those degrees usually commanded.
There is a Lost Class or Two That Got Screwed
Where you start out income wise after you graduate, also has an impact on how much you make in the future. It’s not to say that something can’t be done to fix that, but it means starting at a disadvantage.
At the time, it was understood that going to grad school or law school was still a really good idea. I have a ton of debt from law school and I the two jobs I worked after graduating was two retail jobs. I was underemployed to say the least and frankly the highest I ever got paid since graduating with something like $65,000 a year.
$65,000 sounds like a lot, but when you have what has now ballooned to over a quarter million dollars of debt at an average 8% interest rate for student loans, $65,000 a year is not that much.
I Don’t Think it’s Stupid to Pursue a Higher Degree
This means that the gazelle like intensity of focusing on your debt and not doing anything else until your debt is paid off, suggested by Dave Ramsey, is kind of bullshit. And understates what people with that kind of debt deal with, he’s even gone so far as to say that people are stupid for pursuing those degrees. As if we could have predicted the recession. As if we were the ones raising the cost of these degrees by astronomical rates. Or as if we were the ones telling us that college was necessary our entire lives.
It’s not to say I don’t take responsibility for my debt, I do, but there are a lot of other factors that lead to the amount of debt I find myself in from school. And I find Dave Ramsey’s attitude to be completely condescending when it comes to the topic. I don’t think he really realizes what it is like to have that kind of student debt burden.
Gazelle Like Intensity Isn’t Always Possible
This kind of debt isn’t going to be paid off in a year or two or possibly even five. It can literally take a decade or even 20 to 25 years to pay off this debt depending on your situation. And I’m sorry, but gazelle like intensity cannot be maintained the entire time.
Seriously I don’t think even Yoda could do it. Because while short bursts of gazelle like intensity can be great, it is not sustainable over decades. We are all human and we did not sign up for spending on her life just focus on paying off debt and sacrificing everything else. So I like to kick gazelle like intensity to the curb every now and then.
If He Helps You, Great, He’s Just Not For Me
As I mentioned earlier, I’m really not here to try and bash Dave Ramsey. If he helps you awesome! You got to do what works for you and I commend you for following his baby steps and keep going if that works for you. But if like me, Dave Ramsey rubs you the wrong way, you’re not alone and it’s not blasphemous to say so.
Everyone is different which means who people are going find most helpful is going to be different too. Now I’ve found that most financial gurus or teachers or whatever, don’t take into account the massive student debt situation that I am in or that others experience as well, but there are a few that do.
There is a Personal Finance Resource Out There for Everyone
Which is why I’ve turned to other sources and personal-finance blogs and people who do get it. Those that have been in that much debt and who had to focus to pay it off but didn’t totally sacrifice having any sort of life to do it. They’ve been there.
Because it’s easy from the top of the personal finance empire to say oh yeah just use gazelle like intensity to pay off your hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. However, actually doing it it’s a hell of a lot harder.
Some of my favorite personal finance resources include:
Wrapping it Up with a Bow on Top
When it comes to personal finance, to each their own. But personally, I don’t like Dave Ramsey. It’s not that anything he says is wrong, I just don’t appreciate his attitude towards dealing with student loan debt or the fact that he injects religion into his message. It’ not my slice of pie.
If it’s yours, awesome, more power to you. But if it’s not, you’re not alone. Keep looking to find the people whose stories and ideas motivate and inspire you to take control of your money.