One of Dave Ramsey's biggest pushes is to help people get out of debt. I guess if you've never been without debt it's hard to conceive what it feels like to be debt-free (except a mortgage), but from my husband's and my point of view, how do people function under such heavy debt burdens? Where's the peace of mind, the reassurance that if something terrible happened, you'd be okay financially. Of course, in our finances we still have progress to make and goals to reach, but I'm glad to re-realize that we're on the right track.
One thing I took particular note of in this book was his discussion on car loans. Back in this post I mentioned that it seemed that getting a car loan was just a normal way of life for the average American. Well, I was right. As Dave Ramsey says: "When it comes to money, normal is broke. You want to be weird, and weird people don’t have car payments." (I guess that's why we've seen people look floored when they've learned we bought our van in full. In this, I don't mind being weird!)
"The car dealer won’t tell you that your awesome new car loses about 25% of its value the instant you drive it off the lot. After four years, your car has lost about 70% of its value!
"What does that mean? After six years, you’ve paid almost $33,000 for a $26,000 car, which is now worth maybe $6,000. Not a good deal." (Source)
Ugh. Americans definitely need to wake up and get wise to the numbers! (If you're wondering how not to do the above, see Dave Ramsey's car plan here, and what we did last year here.)
And by the way, if you're one of those who likes to lease your cars, that's an even worse mistake--in fact, Dave Ramsey calls that "car fleecing:"
"Statistically, leasing is the most expensive way to drive a car. But, according to CNW Marketing Research, nearly one in five people lease their cars. The National Auto Dealers Association says car companies make more money off leasing you a car than if you bought a car with cash. Don’t fall victim to the 'fleece.'" (emphasis added) (Source)
There is so much more great information in this book and so much sound advice that I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to know how to get out of debt and/or how to get more on top of their finances. This is a "makeover" that has worked for many thousands of people, laid out in a step-by-step process that makes it easy to understand, if not to do. As Dave so often says, "If you will live like no one else," [budgeting, sacrificing, and being responsible with your money], "one day you will live like no one else," [be financially free and independent].