While I hope I have good insights and advice to share with the world, I by no means think that I am the only or greatest source of financial wisdom. There are many other authors, bloggers, and financial advisors who are way smarter than I am. Everyone dishing out financial advice will have different opinions on personal finance, some differing way more than others. With that in mind, I will periodically suggest other authors and financial gurus, and include my two cense on their advice.
One of the first personal finance books I read was one given to me at my wedding- Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. Dave Ramsey takes a very common sense approach to personal finance. He very intentionally steers clear of all schemes marketed by the financial industry to give you a lavish lifestyle now at the expense of your future financial security. Rather he recommends taking the hard road of eliminating (and then avoiding altogether) debt, strictly using cash, building savings, which in turn builds a rock solid foundation for a secure future. The beauty of Dave Ramsey’s advice is that it works for anyone in any circumstances. If you have no budget and are $200,000 in debt, start at the beginning of the book. If you’ve already got a budget and no debt, skim the first couple chapters and start where things start applying to you. Dave Ramsey keeps things simple with what he calls ‘baby steps’.
Of course, I don’t agree everything Dave Ramsey says applies to every individual, and perhaps he would be the first to admit this. For example, he takes a very hard anti-debt line (even strongly recommending buying your house with strictly cash). If having a credit line or credit card, or even the option of taking on debt is a huge temptation for you to overspend, then by all means, stay far away from all debt. But if you have learned how to responsibly manage debt and fully understand the impact of that debt on your finances, securing low interest loans can be financially prudent in certain circumstances. I view debt like fire- very useful if properly contained, but very dangerous if out of control. However, you could do worse than following 100% of Dave Ramsey’s advice. By all means, I agree that living completely debt free and using strictly cash is far better than maxing out your cash flow and credit limit on car payments and credit card payments and a 30-year mortgage just so you can keep up with the family next door.
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- While I do strive to only write accurate information and dispense valuable advice, I am not a licensed financial adviser. All information is based solely on my personal experience and personal research and should be treated as such. Find out more.