Let me start off by saying- I love Dave Ramsey. I have read some of his books, follow him on Instagram, and use the EveryDollar app to track my budget. I love how he’s not afraid to talk about his faith and encourages others to pay tithes/give ten percent to charity. That being said, I don’t agree with a few things.
I have a bachelor’s degree in nursing which came with a $43,000 price tag, plus interest. I am also a single mom with two of my four children still living at home; their ages are eight and ten.
The Dave Ramsey program to getting out of debt has seven “baby steps”, and I am on step two. This step involves restricting your spending and putting all extra money into paying off debt as quickly as possible. This is where Dave and I part ways concerning our money philosophy. Let me tell you why.
According to debt calculators, even if I paid $700 per month, it would still take me six years to pay off my loan. A lot happens in six years. In six years, my daughter will go from age 10 to 16, my son from eight to 14, and my mother into her late sixties (sorry mom). There is a lot of life to live and memories to be made in those six years.
I am a school nurse and am fortunate enough to have summers off with my kids. I refuse to sit around all summer so that I can save money to throw at my loan. No, I am going to be reasonable and responsible but still go places, have experiences, and make memories with my kids.
For most of my adult life, I have dreamed of going to Hawaii. I asked my mother, “Of all the places you could visit, where do you want to go before you die?” Not surprisingly, she also said Hawaii. So guess what? I decided to save money for the two of us to go to Hawaii while she is still young and healthy enough to enjoy it. Who knows what the next six years could bring?
Congratulations to all of those who follow Dave’s plan! I sincerely wish you the best, and I am in no way telling you to forsake your dream of being debt free. I probably would change my tune if I had a second income or didn’t have children. But, heaven forbid, should anything happen to me, my children aren’t going to be impressed how much of my student loan I paid off. They will remember the good times we had and the memories made along the way. All while spending sensibly, of course.