People who drag their feet around with their debt for years don’t understand how much money they’re throwing away. Money they need!
People want to argue with Dave Ramsey’s Method – that’s fine. Do something else. The whole point is to get out of debt QUICKLY! And there is only one way you’re going to do that: you have to make it a priority.
It has to be more important than after work drinks. It has to be more important than “looking cool” in front of people. It has to be more important than an unnecessary non-life threatening vet visit for your dog.
All over the place people with debt think they have a better mousetrap than the millions of people who have gotten out of debt with Dave’s plan. In all honesty, those people’s opinions don’t matter. It’s like asking for skiing advice from someone who’s never been skiing. DON’T DO IT! They don’t know what they’re talking about.
A while ago, I read a blog post in which the person talked about this thing called a “Balanced Approached” where the person in question – who is STILL in debt I have to add – said they have a “proven method” where you can save AND pay off debt at the same time. 😐
It’s proven? Really? Proven by what? Because they have more than $1000 in the bank? Who cares?! The fact of the matter is, after a few years of doing this, they are neither debt-free NOR do they have a fully funded emergency fund. Unlike the thousands of people who do both in 24 months or less with Dave’s plan every year.
You can “what if” yourself to death. What if the dog needs surgery AND I crash my car at the same time? What if the house floods AND I break my leg at the same time? Going back to the people with the “proven” method – lets say the dog needed a $2000 surgery AND the engine fell out of their car at the same time. Let’s say that costs $3000 for a total of $5000. Assuming they even have the money – which they don’t – now they have to go back into building the emergency fund back up again. But what if something else happens in the meantime?
Do you see how stupid that is? You can’t get anything done if you’re pulling your focus in different directions. Their approach is lazy and full of fear – fear that they are not using to push them to a faster pace. Which is a great use of fear!
Part of learning about finances is learning from your own mistakes, as well as the mistakes of other people. If they want to be in debt an extra five years because they’re trying to save at the same time so they don’t have to worry about multiple catastrophic events happening at once – that is their journey and they are free to suck along the way. But it is not smart, and it is not proven. If they are that worried, they should build their emergency fund first. Trying to do both at the same time is crazy-making.
I admit to saving some in between paying off my debt, but in my situation, my first priority was to keep my bank from feeing my savings account down to zero. (They took $25 total! Isn’t that terrible!) After that, I waited about three months and then took extra money – keyword here is EXTRA – and used some of that to put two lump sums, about two months apart, into my savings to get me to $1000. Then I stopped and focused on my debt again. This was because my debts were my priority, and that is why I only have my mortgage left. I was throwing serious money at my debts, like a bonafide insane person. I didn’t worry about emergencies. I probably could have covered most of them anyway.
If you need a fire lit under your butt, try calculating how much your debt is costing you a year and multiply that by the length of time you’ve been in debt or the length of time you’re thinking about staying in debt. Now think about what else you could do with that money if someone else wasn’t ripping it out of your hands. Make it a priority or buy a collar for your new pet: your debt.