That Dang Dave Ramsey

Hey friends! What a busy summer it has been for us! It’s been over a month (again) since I last posted. Life is starting to slow down a bit so I am planning to make blogging a bigger priority again. And I am planning on sharing about some of our summer adventures. :)

We are big Dave Ramsey fans. I have blogged about it a few times (see here and here) and my husband has as well (see here and here and here). I led/”coordinated” Financial Peace University (aka FPU) at our church last year and can’t wait to again this fall! I highly recommend this course to anyone-  no matter if you have debt or not! It has been truly life-changing for us. Click here to see where classes are being offered in your area.

Lately I have been listening to the Dave Ramsey Show podcasts while driving. I figured the more I listen to him, the better I will do with money. The more debt-free screams I hear, the more gazelle-intense I become.

And recently, the more I listen, the more likely it is I will get a stab right in the heart.

You see, I was getting better with money. I was becoming more gazelle intense. But I was holding back one part of our finances. I wasn’t willing to subject it to a true budget and put it in its place.

I wasn’t willing to say, “you are not a need,” or “you can wait until we are debt free.”

Or, “paying off our debt is more important to me than improving our home.”

I was having my cake and eating it too.

And all the while I was frequently frustrated by the lack of debt we had paid off.

Until one day I heard Dave tell a young woman that no, you should not put a fourth bedroom in your home just because the basement flooded. He said, if that is something they really want they can be gazelle-intense to pay off the rest of their debt snowball and then do it. They shouldn’t spend money now, even in cash, for something just because it may cost more to do it later. Even if you have to do the repairs anyways, it’s not time to do anything extra. Period.

At first I didn’t see the light. I thought, man he is so right.

Then I realized. He could have easily been talking to me. We haven’t done something as lucrative (hint of sarcasm) as putting in a fourth bedroom while we are in debt. But.

We did redo our perfectly nice and functional kitchen.

And our perfectly nice and functional guest bathroom.

And our perfectly nice and functional floors.


You get the picture.

So the questions I had to ask myself after listening to that radio call were:

Am I really gazelle-intense about paying off our mountain of debt? Nope.

Is fixing up our home more important to me than getting out of debt? Yes, but I was wrong.

I realized I was not gazelle-intense because I didn’t have to be.

Since I was doing what I wanted in our home now, there wasn’t this big prize waiting for me at the end of our debt payoff. I was happy to take the windy road to debt freedom as long as I got a new bathroom (and floors, and curtains, and…) along the way.

When I called Steven to discuss the radio call I heard and my new revelation, I knew I was shooting myself in the foot. I knew it meant change.

And it has. It has been difficult, but I don’t feel as much guilt anymore. We still have home decor and home improvement budgets. This now means I stick to them (what a concept!) and get creative.

It means I will be living like no one else now- so later I can live like no one else.

And do whatever I want to our home. :)