Dave Ramsey’s top 10 calls of 2017

Dave Ramsey sometimes takes a lot of heat. His assumptions on investing are, well, questionable. Plus, there are people who take issue with his version of the debt snowball, which focuses on repaying low balances first instead of high interest rates.

Quibbles aside, there can be no doubt that Dave Ramsey does a lot of good in this world. (His book The Total Money Makeover helped me get out of debt a decade ago.)

I don't listen to Ramsey's radio show, but I took the time to view this 73-minute video clip featuring the top 10 calls from 2017.

Callers in this video include a couple who has $158,000 in debt but hasn't paid their bills in six years, another couple with almost $700,000 in student loans, and a third couple who is homeless because of haphazard financial decisions.

Watching Ramsey patiently guide lost listeners through the dense jungle of financial failure is inspiring. I couldn't do it. Even though I've done lots of dumb things with money myself, I'd get frustrated dealing with call after call after call from people who have made such poor choices. But Ramsey remains calm, patient, and interested.

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dh
dh
2 years ago

I like Dave Ramsey, tho I have a real problem that he never mentions index funds unless specifically asked about them from a caller or whatever, which in that case, he always has positive things to say. But the reason he doesn’t go out of his way to promote index funds is because there’s a real conflict of interest with his “endorsed local provider” program, where he wants you to *pay* someone to help you invest in mutual funds. The thing is, anyone can call Vanguard on their own, set up a Roth IRA, then start investing in VTSMX. But… Read more »

PF
PF
2 years ago
Reply to  dh

The people Dave deals with mostly don’t know anything about money which is obvious given their situation. I don’t think it’s bad advice for him to direct people to someone who will help them invest. Investing in index funds is easy but if you don’t know the first thing about it and all you hear on the news is how the stock market is gambling, having someone guide you, even though you could do better on your own is not a bad idea. It’s better for people to pay someone and have something invested than to feel like they have… Read more »

Accidental Fire
Accidental Fire
2 years ago

Watching that video to me is kinda like watching the show COPS. I know it sounds smug, but you can always feel better about yourself and your achievements or situation when you hear stories like that. I used to watch COPS and think, “hey I might not be happy in life right now, but at least I’m not that guy!”

Steveark
Steveark
2 years ago

What a nice thing to post! It is click bait popular to trash well known names and not all that hard because they are all just as human and mistake prone and frail as the rest of us and make pretty easy targets. But you didn’t do that, you pointed out the value Dave Ramsey has brought to so many people. You also have helped a multitude of others by example and by inspired writing, you obviously are a good animal! Speaking for a ton of other people, thanks for what you do!

Jason@Simple Man Money
2 years ago

I started listening to, and following, Dave Ramsey way back before the 60 Minutes interview which propelled his career. I still occasionally listen today when I need a little extra inspiration to keep my credit card under control.

I generally agree with his plan, but also believe one can tailor it any way they see fit without feeling guilty. After all, as Dave says himself, personal finance is personal.

brian @ singledadmoney
brian @ singledadmoney
2 years ago

I too used Dave Ramsey and his book “The Total Money Makeover” as a great resource and tool to help me think differently about my financial past and future. Nobody says you have to follow his plan only, but I consider it a wonderful first step for anyone in debt and with no plan. Once you have your head (and money) pointing in the right direction, grab some other tools to help you get where you want to go!!! On that mini, the clutch is considered a consumable, like your brake pads. It needs replaced a few times during a… Read more »

Dave @ Married with Money
Dave @ Married with Money
2 years ago

I feel like Dave’s advice is good, if a bit out of date and not entirely my style. $1000 just doesn’t cut it IMO. I get that for many people that’s a shit ton of money to round up, but it’s such a small security blanket…I’d advocate for something like $2500 for starters. Also his disdain for debt makes sense but isn’t necessarily the best advice once you’re on solid ground. Once you can handle your own finances, is it REALLY necessary to save up so much money that you can pay cash for a house? He’s gotten more lax… Read more »

Shirl S
Shirl S
2 years ago

I agree $1000 is not enough but for people calling his show it is a more realistic goal than $2500. Once they save the $1000 and have to use it someday, only then they will understand the value of an emergency fund…they will most likely boost it up on their own. I imagine some would never even try to start an EF if he suggested $2500.

Don
Don
2 years ago

I will admit I have only listened to Ramsey in short bursts over the years on the radio, but I find him to be one of the most condescending human beings I have ever heard. Much like Bruce Williams was years ago. I guess he has helped some, but I don’t see how they get past his smartass, holier-than-thou attitude.

Keith Schroeder
Keith Schroeder
2 years ago

I have the same complaints about Dave Ramsey (debt snowball order and unrealistic expectations of investment returns) coupled with the fees he charge endorsed local providers (ELPs) who have to pass the added cost on to people who can least afford it. There is a cheaper way to get more client. But I digress. Like you, J.D., I feel Dave does massive good in our world. His heart and intentions are in the right place. Getting people to focus on their finances and take action is something he has done. I was an ELP for many years and left due… Read more »

Jen G
Jen G
2 years ago

This is the first time I’ve ever listened to him, although I’ve heard plenty about him. I’m (luckily) way past needing his debt advice, but I do like his approach — firm and honest but from a good place. However, I *cannot believe* he advises paying off all debt before saving for retirement — even if it’s just getting your 401k match. That, to me, is crazy bad advice!

Emily C
Emily C
2 years ago

I appreciate that he gives people a plan they can stick to, even if it’s not optimized it’s psychologically sound. I also like Dave Ramsey’s style because he calls BS when he sees it with these callers. Especially the ones who whine about never getting out of debt. Live like a student until your debt is gone is advice no one ever gave me; but I love to give it because that’s how my husband and I paid off $128K in student loan debt in 2.5 years. That’s with me staying home with our three kids and only working small… Read more »

Roz
Roz
2 years ago

Dave Ramsey is nothing short of awesome! Ramsey Solutions rock! Thanks for posting this video. #DebtFree #CashIsKing

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