I used to listen to a lot of Dave Ramsey show broadcasts while I was working as I found them to be very motivating. I’ve since stopped as I find him to be a little “all or nothing” with his approach.
If you’ve ever listened to his show, then you know that he advises living on nothing but rice and beans until you get your debt paid off. Why? Because that is a cheap and filling meal. This is terrible advice though as it will cost you in terms of your health. You can’t possibly get all the nutrients that you need when you’re only eating rice and beans! And those poor health bills will cost a lot more than a little variety in your meal plan. Not to mention the cost of lost wages when you have to stay home from work sick due to a weak immune system thanks to your poor diet of rice and beans.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for finding ways to lower your costs and throw every possible amount of money at your debt. However, I think that setting up extreme measures to get your debt paid down is just a recipe for failure, not success.
Sure, plenty of people have followed the Dave Ramsey plan and successfully paid off all their debt. There is no doubt that it works for some people. But, it doesn’t work for me. Why? Because I can’t bear the thought that I’ll spend years sacrificing everything to pay off debt and possibly die before I get to experience other things.
Yes, this means that I am paying off debt a little slower than if I followed the Dave Ramsey plan. But, it means that I don’t have to be miserable because I didn’t spend $20 on a concert ticket or $7 to park at a festival. By scheduling things like this, that are small in cost but offer an opportunity for fun and new experiences, I give myself something to look forward to. And that is what makes all those long periods of doing nothing and spending money on nothing easy to get through. I also try to make enough extra money on side hustles to cover the cost of any extra events, travel or other spending.