I am really thankful we encountered Dave Ramsey and his financial plan to get out of debt. I started listening to the Dave Ramsey show on the radio, during short periods of time when it just happened to be on when we were driving around doing errands. I liked his direct, no-nonsense approach to people's financial problems and they seemed like common sense.
I found his website and got his free financial tools, his baby step plan and worksheets. Yes, they are all free. We just started with step one and took it from there. We were struggling with debt mostly from medical expenses and paying for David's school and student loans. We aren't big shoppers, so it was just bad planning.
The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.
We eventually realized we could clean up this mess if we set our minds to it. These tools gave us hope. Hope for the financial future of our family. It also gave us a different perspective: that debt is not necessary. In fact, there is no such thing as "good debt". Anyone who believes that is in denial.
We eventually bought the "Total Money Makeover" book by Dave Ramsey (which is currently on sale for $10 on his website). It was a very motivational book, but all of the worksheets and information are found for free on his website. The literature goes into more detail on how to apply it, but he really does give this information away. It is a great ministry.
I only wish we had learned this sooner. We were ignorant and we have learned so much, mostly on how to apply this wisdom to our lives. I am thankful that we learned and that we came together and it has strengthened our marriage. It gave us a common goal and plan for our financial future. It also taught us to lean on the Lord to provide for our needs (and not our wants) and see that he truly does provide us with what we need.
We are happy to be out of credit card debt, and never looking back. We are still working on baby step 2 but we see a debt-free light at the end of the tunnel.
Here is another blog post about Dave Ramsey: Why I Dislike Dave Ramsey by Life with Four Boys