I’ve listened a lot to Dave Ramsey over the past 4-5 years and our family has benefitted tremendously from his advice as we seek to steward our resources for God’s glory and the good of others. Here are the ten words (or concepts) that I hear again and again in his broadcasts and books.

1. Study (Prov. 24:3,4)

  • No one is born a George Soros.
  • If someone gave you $2M today, you would buy a book on money management.
  • The average American family will earn $2M in working life.
  • Consult with others who have a proven record of financial stewardship (Prov. 15:22).

2. Budget (Prov. 24:3-4; Luke 14:28)

  • If you aim at nothing you’ll always hit it.
  • 3% who had written goals achieve more financially than the other 97% combined.
  • Give every dollar of income a name and every dollar of expenditure a name.

3. Save (Prov. 21:20; 22:3; Matt. 25: 14-30)

  • Short-term (emergencies)
  • Medium-term (major purchases)
  • Long-term (retirement, college tuition)

4. Give (Prov. 3:9,10; Luke 6:38; 1 Cor. 16:2)

  • Start now, even if it is a very small amount.
  • Church then chosen charity.

5. Insure (Prov. 22:3)

  • Foresee the evil and hide (“cover”) yourself.
  • Number one cause of bankruptcy is medical bills (#2 is credit cards).

6. Wait (Heb. 13:5; 2 Cor. 6:10; 1 Tim. 6:6)

  • Be content with what God has given you and learn to patiently wait until you can buy with cash.
  • 19% of bankruptcies are filed by college students (usually caused by credit card debt).
  • People spend 47% more when using credit cards than when using cash.
  • 88% of “Ninety days interest-free credit offers” are turned into high interest loans.
  • Avoid get-rich-quick schemes (Prov. 13:11).

7. Unite (Eph. 5:22-31)

  • “One flesh” means “one set of finances.”
  • “If you are not working together it’s not going to work” (Dave Ramsey).
  • “Separate checking accounts mean one of two things, either ignorance or problems” (Dave Ramsey).

8. Repay (Prov. 6:5; 22:7)

  • Repay loans as fast as you can “like a gazelle escaping a hunter.”

9. Work (Eccl. 9:10; 1 Tim. 5:8)

  • Choose a vocation in an area/interest you are passionate about and God has gifted you in, rather than something that will make you rich.

10. Audit (2 Cor. 5:10)

  • Review, review, review.
  • Seek accountability (with a husband, wife, parent, friend) before you are called to account.

Postscript
And here’s two more of my own:

1. Prioritize: Above all seek the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8)

2. Eternity: Lay up treasure in heaven (Matt. 6:20)

And if you want to get more details on Ramsey’s financial fitness plan, you can start with The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

  • Joanna

    We love DR’s books, as well & have been following the Total Money Makeover for about 6 years now. However, after finishing a biography of George Müller, and discussing it with my husband, he asked me, “So where’s the line? Do we give away all the money we’ve saved & expect God to supply what we need, as we need it like Müller did, or do we save for retirement & plan & invest, etc?” He was quite serious & it got me wondering, too…
    Any thoughts?

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