So, I think I have shared our newest obsession - we are big Dave Ramsey fans and have drunk the Kool-Aid in a big way. Most of my sentences start with..."well, you know what Dave would say...". I think I'm getting annoying, but hey, it's a gift.
Anyway, we are facilitating his Financial Peace University class at our church and really enjoying it. We started with about 50 in the class, and at week 5 (a gorgeous Spring day here in Vegas, I might add), we had 40 in attendance last night. Not too bad! Dave loves nothing better than a good catch-phrase, and one of his favorites is: "If your broke friends are criticizing you, then you're on the right track."
Well, my friends, we are officially on the right track. I have had more people than I can count tell me that we are in danger of ruining our credit rating, never being able to rent a car again, will probably never again own a house, what will we do in an emergency, and on and on and on. Now, I do not know if those friends are officially BROKE, to be honest, but they are certainly in love with credit and think if I don't share that love-affair, I'm a nut.
The way I look at it is this:
1. You CAN rent a car with a debit card.
2. You CAN get your money back if a debit card is used fraudulently.
3. You CAN have a financial emergency and pay for it with savings (we now have 3 months' worth of expenses saved in the bank, which feels really good, I'll tell ya!!)
4. Your credit will NOT tank as soon as you cut up the credit card.
And as far as buying a house goes - with all of the money we have spent getting in and out of debt over the past 20 years, we could have bought a house with cash.
We are renting here in Sin City, and have decided to continue renting. We may buy a condo or something in the next few years, but not a house. We're saving for our retirement house, and barring giant financial disasters, we will be able to pay cash for said house when we retire. No, it won't be a 4-story mansion with a media room, an upstairs maid and a home gym, but we will be able to afford a nice place in one of the 4-5 areas of the country we are considering. And if the house is too big, the kids might want to come back and live with us, right???
So, as I said - we have drunk the Kool-Aid. We do not have a credit card any longer. We still have a balance...but that will be gone soon. I walk around quoting Dave and his catch phrases and will probably continue to.
"I am an American and I refuse to participate in this recession."
"I'm going to live like no one else so later I can live like no one else."
"Broke is Normal. Be Weird."
"Debt is dumb, cash is king and the paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice."
And my favorite one of all - and one I hope to scream into the phone on Dave's radio show soon:
"WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!!!"
Hey one more thing before I jump off my soapbox...if you're at all curious about Dave Ramsey, he's holding a town hall meeting that's being shown at churches around the country on April 23 at 8pm EST. Check out his website to find a location in your area - it's free and it just might change the way you think about the recession. Who knows, maybe you'll decide to join us in not participating in it!!!