Do I Ever Agree With Dave Ramsey? | 167

MORI 167 | Dave Ramsey

You’ve often heard me discuss where I disagree with Dave Ramsey. But do I disagree with him totally?

Where do we agree?

And how could I marry someone who used to teach his classes?! 😉

Tune in as I (Chris Miles) discuss where Dave Ramsey and I agree, and for whom is he the right teacher.

Chris Miles Bio

Chris Miles, the “Cash Flow Expert,” is a leading authority on how to quickly free up and create cash flow for thousands of his clients, entrepreneurs, and others internationally! He’s an author, speaker, and radio host that has been featured in US News, CNN Money, Bankrate, Entrepreneur on Fire, and has spoken to thousands getting them fast financial results.

Listen to the podcast here


Do I Ever Agree With Dave Ramsey?

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I want to talk about a subject that does come up for me from time to time, even with people that have been great investors and things like that. We tend to get on the subject of Dave Ramsey from time to time. If you read any of my episodes in the past, you pretty much know that Dave Ramsey and I, in some cases, could be Lex Luthor and Superman. You decide which one is which.

I want to talk about where I might agree with him because, for example, I married a woman who used to be one of his instructors. How does that work when you got a couple that has two different philosophies? How does that work together? First and foremost, with regard to my wife and I, not to Dave and I, we’d be able to get together because she’s seen some limitations too, but there’s a lot of good.

A lot of times, I’ve emphasized the things how we differ because a lot of times when I talked a lot about cashflow, people would say things like, “You’re like Dave Ramsey.” No, I’m the opposite. There are some ways we do agree. For example, I do agree with him that we should be wise stewards of our money. He agrees that you should be picky. He’ll even take it to an extreme.

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You have to understand who he’s talking to. If I were talking to the same audience as Dave, I would probably be teaching something similar. Understand that Dave’s audience is not my audience. Those of you reading are probably not going to be Dave Ramsey’s people that he’s talking to. It’s ironic. You can talk to my wife about this. She was training with him in Tennessee.

The people that tend to be attracted to him or that he’s talking to are people that are ministers of different churches. They’re usually the ones who are teaching it. They’re usually teaching the people that are broke. People that are maybe making $30,000 or so a year. People that aren’t making much. People that don’t have a lot to speak for. They aren’t making ends meet, and they’re probably sinking into debt as a result because you’re living above the poverty line or less. He’s talking to those people or people starting out in life, trying to get them the right habits, especially if they have horrible spending habits.

If you need spenders anonymous or support group, he is your guy. I am not your guy. I can teach you some good stuff, but for the most part, you might need some deep intervention. Dave is going to do great stuff for you. The fact is that he teaches in-depth on narrowing down on that little niche of budgeting and paying off debt. Even though I teach a different method of how to pay off debt, which I believe is more effective, still, the things he teaches will get you in a better situation if you’re in a tight financial situation where you don’t make a lot of money or have a bad spending habit or both. He’s amazing for that.

I’ll tell you an example. I had one client, and this was over a decade ago. I tried to help out this client. I refinanced their mortgage to help them consolidate and pay off some of their debts. It freed up about $600 a month. Surprisingly enough, within a matter of about 1 year or 2, they were right back into running up credit cards again. This shouldn’t surprise too many people.

MORI 167 | Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey: Debt must never be used in a bad way.


The whole reason we paid this off was so that they wouldn’t do it. Back in those days, I was a traditional financial advisor. I was teaching a little bit more of Dave Ramsey’s type of stuff, but it didn’t change their habits. They end up spending the extra money they were given. Granted, back then, I wasn’t looking at people’s budgets intensely. I was doing it based on what they thought the numbers were, not what they were. They ended up running a bunch of credit cards, and they’re deep in debt.

One day, enters Dave Ramsey, the bias Financial Peace University Course, and amazingly enough, they paid off all that debt, and they’re in a much better and more disciplined place at this point. That’s where we agree. I agree that people shouldn’t be using debt in a bad way. I don’t believe it shouldn’t be at all. I think that debt can be used in a good way. He goes all or nothing. He’s black and white. It’s all or nothing.

I also believe in some of his Baby Steps. I believe in Baby Step number one. For him, it is to have $1,000 in emergency reserves. I believe in having emergency reserves. It should be more than $1,000. I don’t think $1,000 is even as close before you start aggressively paying off your loans. For some people, I might tell them to get at least $5,000 or $10,000 saved up before they start aggressively paying off credit cards. It’s case by case. I can’t be blanketed like that, but he’s teaching to the masses.

Thirdly, I agree that you should have a savings plan. That’s a good thing. I don’t believe you should be investing in mutual funds. I’m clear on that one. He believes that maybe your 401(k) or mutual funds are great. He still believes that somehow mutual funds are producing a 12% rate of return. I read an article where they said, “The market does hit down at a new high of $22,000.” It hit $11,000 back in the year 2000, which means that the market returns have been about 3.98% average returns in the market. Congratulations, guys, you are having a hit of 4%, and that’s before fees.

If you stop being self-centered, you can start using your assets to bless your life as well as the lives of other people. Click To Tweet

I don’t agree with that stuff. I like to check my facts a little bit more. I like to be up to date and up to speed on that. I’m not perfect because things change all the time. It’s possible it could be outdated a little bit. Once I find out I’m wrong, I change it. He keeps teaching the same thing. The thing is, you will never get a 10% or 12% rate of return in the market over time. Over 1 year or 2, yes. Over time, no.

We differ on those kinds of things. I don’t call it a budget but a spending plan. I believe in having that and being disciplined. He’ll go overboard. He’ll tell you to get that second job or that pizza job. There are times I agree with him on that. Especially if you’re a business owner, you might need to get out and get a side job. Some people had to get an extra job outside of their full-time job. Sometimes getting another job can help. I’ve seen a lot of situations that’s been a way to speed up your progress and speed up the way of getting out of a job if you’re in a job.

If you’re working full-time at a job, trying to run a side business, and trying to do a part-time job, you’re going to have a difficult time. I don’t recommend that. It would be hard to be successful at anything, but it’s a case by case. The moral story is that Dave teaches some good things, and I believe wholeheartedly that Dave cares deeply about helping people.

With my wife and her experience, one thing that shocked her got her to think differently. This is something that upset some of those that were instructors like her for the Dave Ramsey course. People say, “You start saving up a lot of money and give to charities, but you don’t need overly lavish houses or anything like that.”

MORI 167 | Dave Ramseyv
Dave Ramsey: Your emergency financial reserves should be around a thousand bucks before aggressively paying off your loans or credit cards.


My wife has been to his house. He has an amazingly huge mansion out there. When she went through that mansion, she said, “Maybe that’s not everything. Maybe what he’s teaching is teaching to the lowest common denominator. He’s teaching to the lowest level. How he’s living is different than what he’s teaching. He lived a much better place of abundance than what he’s teaching.” I’m not saying he’s ever gone into debt or things like that. He might have paid full out cash. He’s got a $100 million business. It’s a pretty successful business he’s got there that he has a lot of people doing, but you have to ask yourself, “What do they do?”

It’s like questioning Susie Orman. Several years ago, there was an article that came out about Susie Orman about her portfolio. It was released about where her assets are. If you know who Susie Orman is, she’s a person that’s all about putting that money in that 401(k) and stuffing it. She started changing in the last few years. She started telling people, “Maybe you should pay off credit cards first before you start trying to get an IRA or 401(k) and things like that.”

What’s interesting is that out of the $20 million of assets that she had that was reported back then, only 5% were in mutual funds. That means you only had about $1 million of the $20 million in mutual funds. She’s not doing the very thing she says that you need to have to become financially free herself. She was investing mostly in real estate, bonds, and things like that. It’s a much more conservative portfolio, not in aggressive portfolios like she tells people to do.

My point is that I can agree with any point of some people. Over the last several years, Susie started to gravitate more towards me, not the other way around. She’s started to even out a little bit. She’s been less extreme in her viewpoints. Dave has stayed pretty steady for twenty-plus years. He’s taught the same thing, and he doesn’t vary from it, but Susie Orman started to gravitate more towards, “Maybe not always investing is good. Maybe there are some exceptions to the rule.” I’m telling you, “There are always exceptions. There’s always case by case.”

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I’ve had people that are Dave Ramsey fans, that after years of following his advice, they get to a point and say, “I’m debt-free. Now, what? I’m nowhere.” Some of them will even have some savings, too. I’ve had several people come to me about wanting to create more cashflow on the investing side. They’ll be debt-free or pretty darn close other than maybe a mortgage. That’s it. Some of them had their mortgages paid off and said, “Now, I have it paid off. I’m sitting on my best asset to get capital to go invest and make more money.”

You got to be a wise steward. I don’t teach you to be a saver and I don’t teach you to be a spender, either. I teach you to be a steward. A steward is in between the spender and the saver. It takes the best of the two worlds. The saver is always about paying off debt and saving, but it’s never enough. It’s a scarcity mentality, but it’s never enough for spenders either because they’re always spending the money.

There’s got to be that in-between. That’s where that steward comes in. Stewards want to make things better. They want to improve upon things. They want to multiply the blessings and the resources they have. They want to make it better. They want to leave this world a better place than how they came in. That is what it means to be a steward.

Sometimes assets that you have are not being utilized appropriately. There are things you could be doing that could not only be utilized to bless your life and make your life easier and better. By the way, in many cases, there are. At the same time, it could also make other lives better because you’re stopped being centered on yourself. When you’re in that scarcity mentality, you’re either trying to save money like crazy or trying to stay afloat. It’s easy come, easy go because you’re spending it fast. You can’t focus on other people. You can’t make a huge difference in people’s lives. You can do that. The ability is there but you’re so focused on yourself. You can’t see it. You miss out on opportunities.

MORI 167 | Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey: A saver saves endlessly, but their finances are never enough. Meanwhile, spenders also think they lack money because of frequent spending. Try to look for the gray area between these two.


The whole reason that people consult with me is that I get paid to help people see what they don’t see. That’s what almost everybody says when they come to me. Sometimes it’s not that much. I’ve had some pretty sharp people I’ve talked to. There’s not a whole lot we have to change. For some people, it’s like, “We can do a massive overhaul.” The funny thing is that a massive overhaul isn’t much different. It doesn’t take a lot. It’s much easier than they thought it would be. It’s already right there. The resources are already there. The question is, can you see them?

I’m not saying people like Dave Ramsey are bad. They have their place, but they’re going to be talking to people that are in a scarcity world and teach them that little next step in the scarcity world. They’re getting them a step higher, but they’re still in that scarcity world. Here’s the problem. If you’re in that situation or in a situation where you don’t need to be in that world, most people who listen to Dave Ramsey don’t need his advice. Most of them are already thinking of that saver mentality. They’re being reinforced in it.

When you’re being reinforced in it, you get stuck. You can’t see the opportunities that are right there, making it easy for you to build to get out of a rat race and start living your dreams now. Within the next 5 or 10 years, you could be in a place that’s completely different financially. Most people keep following that advice. They’re going to be pretty much at the place they work, as long as they possibly can, and spend as little as they possibly can when they get to retirement. That is the life that people are creating nowadays. I don’t want you to be a financial casualty. I want you to live a life of freedom and prosperity. That’s my thing.

Everybody has their place ever. I believe that when you have these people that are financial advisers, they are not evil, but their advice can be destructive in your situation. If you want to live a higher life, choose to live a higher life. If you’re in a place of saying, “I need that next step,” shoot me an email at and let’s chat. Let’s see if it makes sense at this point because you might have procrastinated. You’re delaying your life and your enjoyment long enough. It might be time now to make it different. Have a wonderful, prosperous week. We’ll see you later.


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