11 Responses to “Thoughts On The Total Money Makeover”

  1. Chris 30 November 2007 at 2:20 pm #

    Not so sure I agree with you on the “red herring” thing with the credit card debt thing.

    Basically, it’s like saying, “Myth: Adkins is a great way to lose weight. Fact: 70% of people on the Adkins diet don’t properly monitor their carb intake, and don’t plan well enough to get the proper vitamins and minerals they need.”

    Did I change the subject? Not in my opinion… I said “If people were perfect, Adkins could be a good way, but since 70% of people who try that way fail, that means it only has a 30% success rate, and therefore is NOT a good method.” So just because you can shoot a basket from half court every time doesn’t mean anyone else should try and use that as their method for scoring points. Sure, it might work for some people, but since it only works for 30% of people, it can in no way be considered a “good” way.

    So basically what he is saying (in too much of a concise manner maybe) is that only 30% of people can actually manage to maintain a zero balance, so obviously it isn’t a good way (it might be A way, it’s just not a GOOD way).

    Also, he clearly states that credit scores are worthless if you follow his debt-free plan. Why would you need a credit score if you weren’t going to use credit?

    The only valid reason I can think of for wanting a good credit score is because some potential employers look at that when making decisions on who to hire. According to Dave Ramsey, his credit score is ZERO. Wow. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is…

    I really need to get back onto the Dave plan… We did too well on it so we got lazy and now are slipping back into debt. Arg! It’s like when you take antibiotics. They work too well, and you stop taking them before you are really better (even though you feel better) and then you just get sick all over again because you didn’t finish the meds.

  2. B 30 November 2007 at 2:36 pm #

    I hear ya, and I remember in the book when he was saying if you don’t finish the plan you might as well have never started it, or something along those lines. That’s probably what I would do if I was on the plan. I’d get to about step 5 and then say to myself “well, that’s good enough – better than a lot of people, I think I’ll stop”.

    But as we know, the “worst” is not the enemy of the “best” – “good enough” is. I like that saying, and it’s very true.

    I remember another good saying from the book: “There are no shortcuts to any place that’s truly worth going.” I don’t believe he made those up, but whoever did is a wiser man than I.

    Regarding the logic flaws, I disagree with you. You are focusing on the point that he seems to have distracted us with. I want to know about the first point. I want him to tell us where the 70% go wrong, and what the 30% do right.

    The Atkins diet analogy is also false. In your analogy, everyone is on the Atkins diet, whereas in Dave’s myth, he’s referring to an America where not everyone is on his plan. So, the 70% who do not maintain the zero-balance may intentionally do so. He is assuming that every American opened up a credit card in college, tried to keep a zero balance in order to build credit, and 70% of them failed.

    I also disagree with the broader logic you’ve presented. Just because not everyone can do something doesn’t mean it’s not the best solution. Here’s a similar situation:

    What if the best way to get a job is to get a bachelor’s degree? Less than 30% of Americans (25 and older) have one, and a lot who do probably wasted a lot of money that they’ll never pay back. Does that mean they still shouldn’t have done it, or at least tried?

    What if keeping a zero-balance is the best way to build credit? He never says it isn’t, he just debunks it by diverting our attention to the people who fail.

  3. Bradjward 30 November 2007 at 4:07 pm #

    I don’t necessarily agree that a SMALL amount of debt is bad, i.e. ‘It takes money to make money.’ Example: Putting $250 on my credit card for Hannah Montana tickets to sell for $1150. Or paying a guy in Australia $75 to write me a Facebook App that I’ve made $300 off of this week.

    Other than that, you’re pretty dead on with my thoughts. No false idols, save save save, and HAVE FUN. We set aside a good portion after savings and tithe to enjoy ourselves and vacation while we are young, etc.

    I got paid today and Jen got paid yesterday. I want to go buy a 1TB external so bad, but we’re on target to save 25% a month through June so we can put a hefty downpayment on a house. It’s going to be tough, but it will make subsquent months much easier for, you know, 30 years or so.

  4. jonathan 3 December 2007 at 11:13 am #

    Wow, the comments became like a whole new blog post(s).

  5. Bradjward 4 December 2007 at 6:51 am #

    I never knew people commented on blogs until I met The Gimcrack Miscellany.

  6. B 4 December 2007 at 6:59 am #

    I can’t tell if that’s a compliment or a burn.

  7. jonathan 4 December 2007 at 7:10 am #

    I’ts a burnpliment.

  8. Bradjward 4 December 2007 at 5:07 pm #

    Compliment all the way. What’s your comment/post ratio? Mine is 1.20 (233 comments on 194 posts).

    My comment/post ratio including spam is an amazing 17.17. Beat that. [(3098 spam + 233)/194]

  9. Caleb 10 December 2007 at 3:21 pm #

    I love it. My friends are on the Dave plan. Ha. Awesome. Joel got me onto it when we lived in Carmel (a little too late to learn about saving money huh?), and now I want to do what he does, only do it for young couples and singles like me. I’ll tell you what though, B, if all of us got on these types of plans and stuck to them, by the time we’re older we’ll be able to build a stadium full of Shack O’Strohs huts, fried turkey vendors and pre-mixed Lambic/Lager vending machines while the masses watch us all play Roshambo. Then we can go worship. Because money isn’t just for fun. It’s for God’s Glory too. Dang it, I just spent $500 going to Vienna for three days… Crap.

  10. Bradjward 11 December 2007 at 7:59 am #

    Follow up comment: I am now saving $40 more a month ($10/week) by not having Brian at Butler encouraging frequent trips to Starbucks. My wife thanks you.

  11. B 11 December 2007 at 8:05 am #

    That was getting pretty expensive. I’m also saving a lot of money by making my own coffee in the mornings.

    To answer your question, I have 346 comments on 65 posts, an average of 5.32 comments per post. I can’t touch you in the spam department though.

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