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Alternatively titled: What Dave Ramsey got wrong.
Financial planning is a diverse topic that has as many different opinions and options as do diet plans. But just like diet plans it is something that is extremely personal and there is scarcely two people that run their finances the same. What this means is everybody has different priorities and everyone was raised differently. Some people were taught at a young age how to save money and have money work for them, and others had to learn through mistakes and then do some damage control. There is no right or wrong way, but in order to be financially intelligent there are principles you need to follow.
Reid and I are fans of Dave Ramsay’s Financial Peace University. It is a really great program that helps a lot of people. We actually for the most part follow it ourselves. We are on the pathway to total financial freedom which means we will carry absolutely no debt and build our wealth. We want abundance and to be able to care for our family and serve and give as we feel inspired to and part of this is to be in a good place financially.
So why on earth do I talk about finances on a travel blog? Because they absolutely go hand in hand. In order to have full-time freedom you have to have some sort of plan. If you are brand new to financial planning Dave Ramsey is a great place to start. He has helped thousands of people get out of debt and start to rebuild their lives. But there is something really big that bothers me about the program and before I get into that I want to throw this out there.
Debt is not a death sentence.
There are many different circumstances that can happen that can allow you fall into debt. It doesn’t mean you are lazy, lost, or broken. There is ALWAYS a way out no matter how hopeless you feel at the moment. Debt could be caused by health issues, a loss of a family member, a loss in income or in many cases all of the above. I think it’s important to mention you can live your life, work towards your dreams and get out of debt and while at some times you may find yourself feel as though you are drowning, life is precious and meant to be lived.
So this brings me to what Dave Ramsey got wrong. Dave Ramsey says you shouldn’t go on vacation if you are in debt. I will strongly disagree with that statement. There are the typical arguments such as mental health, family bonding, etc. But this falling out with Mr. Ramsey and this heartbreaking proclamation really started a year ago:
A year ago after much prodding from my husband I went to the dermatologist to have a mole looked at. During my initial consultation the Physicians Assistant took one look at the mole and quickly left to grab the attending Physician. They both took a look and then looked me in the eye and said they needed to do a full biopsy and there was a chance I had melanoma. I didn’t think about it much at the moment but then of course googling had my mind spinning. I read story after story of loss and devastation all from a little mole.
Those next five days I was literally waiting for the phone call that would tell me if I had cancer or not. The one thing that crossed my mind continually was how grateful I was that I hadn’t waited to live my life. I had spent the last twelve years traveling as much as possible, chasing my dreams, having and loving on my babies and serving in my church. I found so much comfort in that thought.
I did eventually get the call that my mole was pre-cancerous and I needed surgery to remove the skin surrounding the mole but no further treatment would be needed. But you can see why it hurts my heart to hear someone telling people that they need to wait to live their life until they are out of debt. I do not think people need to drop 10k on a trip to Fiji but to take a well thought out and well planned family vacation to the beach paid in cash is so much more valuable then just the vitamin D soaked in.
We never know what is going to happen tomorrow. We never know what is waiting for us around the corner. Financial planning is key to living a well rounded fulfilled life, but so is actually living life and enjoying life as it comes.