If you have visited a blog on finance lately, you will easily see that Dave Ramsey has a ton of fans! Many bloggers follow Dave’s financial principles and love them. I am a Dave Ramsey fan. I think Dave has some solid advice for everyone and generally gives people the momentum to start a change in their lives… BUT… Dave Ramsey’s followers, also known as the “tribe” can be a whole different story. Of course many of the followers are open, honest, loving people who are genuinely non-judgemental and love to offer his tips as advice. Like any group, Dave’s followers includes various personalities, and there are certainly a few who use the internet to bully, harass and intimidate. Here are a few thoughts on the bad tribe.
1. Credit Cards are Evil Reality check. Not everyone thinks this is a true statement. There are plenty of people in the world who can responsibly use credit. Owning a credit card does not make you evil, stupid, or irresponsible. How you chose to use it can make you unwise or irresponsible. Make sure you know the difference.
2. Dave Ramsey is NOT the only popular financial advisor on the planet. I have heard the words out of Dave’s own mouth that Suze Orman was more popular than he was when Dave first interviewed with Oprah. Suze and Dave have completely different financial styles and teaching methods. Does it mean one or the other is wrong? NO! It means that different people live different ways! It also means that neither Dave or Suze are perfect for everyone!
3. People are not “Stupid” or “Dumb” for chosing to have debt. Using myself as an example, I was taught absolute financial basics before being turned loose in the world. No one explained compound interest, credit card interest rates, credit scores, or anything other than to put money in savings when I could and how to balance a checkbook. How many other people in the world do you think have been turned loose without the skills I have only acquired through trial, error, and my own quest for knowledge? Someone may make a decision that you feel is unwise, and it might actually be an unwise decision, but it’s not up to the tribe to degrade someone who might actually be in the midst of a life change and learning to figure it all out. Use your hands to lift up, not push down.
4. If someone is asking for advice, they are not always asking for Dave’s advice. If there is one thing I would say Dave Ramsey is notorious for doing on his show it’s this: He’s given two options A & B for what the caller thinks are the best resolutions to their problem, and Dave always manages to come up with a C that doesn’t involve debt. Well, people are calling into his show and asking HIS advice, so I think it’s safe to say the odds are, Dave is ALWAYS going to say to not accept debt. If you’re on a Dave Ramsey forum, that’s one thing, but people who are not on Dave specific forums should not be chastised for not following Dave. I’ve seen it over and over! “Hey, My husband and I talked and our options are A) Finance a new car or B) Finance a used car. Which would you do?” It NEVER fails that someone comes along and says C) Save up and pay cash. I’m certainly not saying it’s bad advice to go with C. I am saying that the poster didn’t think C was an option so they didn’t offer it for a reason. Again, not everyone follows Dave.
5. Last, and most important- If you MUST give Dave’s advice and feel like it’s your only advice, say it once and LET IT GO. To me, there is nothing more annoying and more of a turn off than someone who cannot accept no for an answer. Using the example in #4, if I were to see your answer of “C”, I would say thank you, however A and B are our only options, so please help me with those. If you continued to say C at me and all the different ways I am going to make C work by doing exactly what you say, and then you have the nerve to get snarky when I again say A OR B are our options, let’s just say the odds are, I wouldn’t be nice, you wouldn’t win any respect from me, and your attempts to bully me to live YOUR way would likely end up getting you blocked. You need to love on people, be a teacher or stay quiet.
Are you afraid to ask for help online because of financial bullies? Tell me about your experience with a bully!by