I should have saw it coming. Just as one could have easily predicted Clay Aiken would eventually come out of the closet…
…I should have known my proclamation of debt freedom would be followed by one question, and one question only.
“Are you gonna call Dave Ramsey?”
I was probably asked this by a dozen or so readers via emails, comments, and tweets. So let me address the masses: I have no intentions to contact Dave. It’s nothing against Mr. Ramsey, his show, or his teachings. Actually, The Total Money Makeover kick started my passion for PF. If it wasn’t for Dave, I’d most likely still be in debt.
You’re probably thinking to yourself “If Dave was the major player in becoming debt free, why wouldn’t you want to call in?” Truth is, I’d love to, but there is one tiny thing preventing me from doing so…. I’d be a terrible interview. No, not because I’m socially awkward, but because I didn’t really follow Dave’s plan. Here’s how I envision the DR debt free interview would go…
DR: Hey Ninja, You’re on the DR show.
Me: Hey Dave, I was calling in to let you know, I’m debt free!!
DR: Awesome man, how much debt did you have? And how long did it take you to pay it off?
Me: I was $28K in the hole and it took a little over 2 years to pay it back
DR: Great, making what kind of money?
Me: Well I started at $38k and now I’m making a little over $65K
….and here is where the interview would get awkward…
DR: So did you live like no one else, so later you could live like no one else
Me: Not really. In fact, I bought a motorcycle (with cash), fully funded my Roth IRA, contributed to my 401K, dined out at least once a week, paid for a $4,000 honeymoon, and had enough cash to pay off my debts about 8 months ago…
And that would be the end of my interview. Honestly, guys (and girls) I won’t be calling DR because I didn’t do what he said. Had I really been on a “beans and rice” budget, I probably could have been debt free a year ago. I’ve never heard a debt free interview with someone that didn’t follow his baby steps…to the “T”.
Most of you know that wasn’t the case for me. At one point, I had $16K in debt, but $23K in savings. If that’s not a DR sin, I don’t know what is. Now that I think about it, my interview could actually make Dave’s plan less appealing. After all, I didn’t cut out fun or entertainment from my budget, I still use my credit card for just about every purchase I make, and I was working baby step 4 before baby step 2, but in the end every thing turned out just peachy. Ya see, even though I wasn’t “living like no one else” (by DR terms), I’m convinced I still have the ability to live like no one else.
While the liberating feeling that would follow a “debt free scream” would be awesome, I felt just as good professing it to you all last week. Heck, I’d even argue it was more rewarding sharing it here since you all participated in my journey. I apologize to the DR cultists, but there will be no phone call from Ninja on the DR show any time soon.
For those of you that are debt free, did you call in to the show? For those working towards debt freedom, do you plan to? If you were me, would you call in?