I Finally Had to Ignore Dave Ramsey’s Money Advice to Take Control

Insider’s experts select the best products and services to help you make wise decisions with your money (here’s how). In some cases we receive a commission from our partners, but our opinion is our own. The conditions apply to the offers listed on this page.

  • Growing up, Dave Ramsey’s financial advice helped my parents get out of debt.
  • But following his no-debt rules was limiting for me and ended up costing me money.
  • I finally got alternative advice and got a credit card, which I always pay off in full.

When I was in middle school, my parents took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course through our church. His principles helped them pay off debt and build healthier, more sustainable financial habits.

As I grew up, my parents passed on Ramsey’s guidance to me. His ideas shaped my view of money—particularly my view of debt. Ramsey is opposed to all forms of debt, going so far as to recommend paying for a house in cash to avoid a mortgage loan. In particular, he warns people about the evils of car loans and credit card debt.

I soon internalized the idea that my number one financial goal should be to avoid debt at all costs.

It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but at some point I realized that this mindset was holding me back.

Also Read :  How Ancestry.com’s CEO is making its services 'more accessible for everyone'

Paying for everything with my debit card stopped working for me

Throughout my teenage years and early adulthood, I followed Ramsey’s advice and avoided almost all forms of debt. I bought my first car with cash. I used my debit card for everything. The only debt I couldn’t completely avoid was student loan debt, but I managed to minimize that burden by completing my four-year degree in just three years.

But as I progressed through my 20s, I encountered more and more limitations. I couldn’t book a hotel room with just a debit card. I paid extra fees when using my debit card abroad. I also felt like I was losing potential credit card benefits like reward points, airline miles, and cashback.

I reached a breaking point after moving from the US to Canada in 2021 and dealing with foreign transaction fees on every single purchase. My irrational fear of debt was still in the back of my mind, but I started researching credit cards in earnest.

How I chose the right card for me

I researched different banks and credit card companies, card types, rewards and perks, sign-up bonuses, and annual fees. I asked family and friends for recommendations.

I was still wary of debt, but I’ve read that many people pay their balances in full each month and never pay interest. I was confident that my sound financial habits would keep me out of trouble and debt.

Also Read :  Navassa councilman, finance officer James Hardy to step down next month

Finally I took a card, submitted an application and waited. I was concerned that my poor credit history would make approval more difficult, but my student loan payment history proved sufficient.

Just after my 29th birthday, my very first credit card came in the mail—a US Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card. I chose this card for several reasons:

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Good award rates for travel categories
  • A generous welcome bonus offer

Also, I have a long banking history with US Bank and I liked the idea of ​​having my debit and credit cards with the same institution.

Cash back credit cards recommended by insiders

chevron icon It displays an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous/next navigation options.

chevron icon It displays an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous/next navigation options.

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

$200 cash reward bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

5% cashback up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. 5% cashback on trips purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3% cashback on drugstore and restaurant dining purchases, including takeout and eligible home delivery, and unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening

I use my credit card responsibly and collect rewards

I’ve been using my credit card for a few months now and I’m very happy with it. I use it for almost everything and the reward points stack up. I love not having outbound transaction fees anymore.

I’m not afraid of misusing my card or overspending, but I pay off my credit card balance in full every week – just for peace of mind.

Ramsey’s advice and programs have helped many people, including my parents. I am grateful that they found financial freedom through Financial Peace University and passed on some valuable financial lessons to me.

Adopting Ramsey’s cautious approach to credit and debt probably saved me from developing irresponsible spending habits when I was younger, but I’m glad I sought alternative advice when his debt-obsessed mindset no longer served me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.