Maybe this will get me some hate mail.
Dave Ramsey‘s plan works great, but it does not always work for everybody…or does it.
I want to use this topic to address thinking for yourself.
Essentially Dave’s plan is a set of decisions that a person can make which will help them to prosper. We use a modified version of his plan. For instance we use debit cards to make our purchases instead of his recommendation of cash. I could justify this by saying that I get points, or bonuses. Or if it was a credit card I could say “I pay off the bill every month”. I understand that the real reason I use a debit card is for convenience.
Taking a step back, this comes down to being truthful with myself and standing up for my decisions.
“But you spend more when you use plastic than when you spend cash.”
I could lie and say I have better self control. Nope, I know I cannot refute the data. I understand there is a cost for the convenience of using a debit card and at this point in life I am willing to accept it.
Shhhhhh…don’t tell Dave Ramsey I have a credit card.
When I was travelling to Germany I wanted to rent a car. Guess what, no rental car company in Munich would rent to me without a credit card. Believe me, I looked. It took me some time to come to terms with getting a credit card, but we felt we had to to rent a car. I understand there is probably a way for me rent a car there but I did not have the time or patience to keep looking.
I don’t want to say there was no way to rent a car there without a credit card because I admit that I did not search day and night for a way. I looked and I was able to accept the cost of taking a credit card to get the rental card.
The lesson here are there are costs to our decisions.
No matter what you think about Dave Ramsey, you need to be willing to think for yourself and understand that every decision has a cost and benefit to it. Just be careful how you justify the benefit.
Update-July 4, 2012
At this point we have only used the credit card to rent a car in California since we did not plan ahead. Besides that it has stayed locked away.
We still follow Dave Ramsey’s plan about 90% and feel we are doing extremely well.
Recently, we checked our credit scores since we will be buying a house. I assumed we would have to use manual underwriting since we have had very little interaction with debt for about one and a half years. All of our scores were great.
We still are on the plan to eliminate debt so after we purchase the home with a mortgage we have set a goal to pay it off in 10 years and before we move again.