Dave Ramsey is a well-known finance figure, and he has changed my life. He actually entered my life as a child, but I didn’t know what a difference he would make throughout my adulthood. You may be asking how or why I was concerned with Dave as a child, and the answer is my parents. My mother was insistent on listening to the Dave Ramsey Talk Show (which I now think is fabulous and a source of motivation) on our car rides. To this day I cannot stand listening to talk shows or podcasts (sorry, not sorry), but I do follow the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps!
Below are an outline of the Baby Steps:
1) Save $1K for your Emergency Fund
It is recommended to save $1,000 into an emergency fund. The idea behind this fund is that $1,000 should be able to cover the majority of life’s emergencies that come up, and an individual will not need to go into further debt to handle it. Something to consider here is whether or not this principle applies to you! For example, I am a single individual and I am still saving additional money to my emergency fund since I only have one source of income.
2) Pay Off ALL Debt (Except for Your Mortgage)
During this BS, you should be listing all of your debts and paying them off from the smallest to highest debt. As you pay off one debt, you will transfer that payment amount to your next debt. This action creates a debt snowball, which allows for you to have more momentum and continue your motivation!
3) Fully Fund Your Emergency Fund
CONGRATS! You paid off your DEBT! Now you need to fully contribute to your emergency fund. This amount should be able to cover your lifestyle costs for approximately 3-6 months in case if you were to be without a source of income.
Vee and I loosely follow these steps, understanding that each of us may have different priorities. Right now, both of us have focused on steps 1 & 2, and will hopefully be moving into step 3 in the near(ish) future. In the future, Vee will likely cover move on step 6 since she and her husband have recently purchased a house. Besides that, we will share more on the steps as we progress throughout our debt journey. There are many other theories and strategies out there, but we have found this to be the most effective for our motivation!
What other strategies do you utilize for your debt payoff? What do you see being the pros and cons to the different strategies? Tell us in the comments, and as always, if you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org