The Dave Ramsey Show: 5 reasons why I stopped listening

It was 2019 or very early 2020 when Jenny and I would kill some time by listening to old clips and highlights of The Dave Ramsey Show. We couldn’t believe how bad some people were with money. It stunned us how naive they were about it yet so open to discuss it.

Money is a sensitive topic but here’s Sally in Des Moines or Jerry in Ann Arbor talking openly about how they’re in more debt than most people make in a year. Best of all: they have no idea that it’s an issue and they’re trying to follow Dave Ramsey’s plan on how they can lease a new car.

For a while, it was pure entertainment. It was some of our bench trainwreck viewing. Then, as we began to get a little more serious about our own money goals, it stopped being about other people’s misery and more about what the show’s purpose was: to learn.

We dove headfirst into The Dave Ramsey Show. I began listening at work on the Podcast. Throughout the 2020 pandemic as we worked beside each other at home, we’d listen to a new episode and some older ones each day on YouTube. I continued to listen when I returned to the office temporarily only to find myself seeking out something different within the matter of only a few months. More than a year has gone by now and I haven’t so much as sniffed a clip of The Dave Ramsey Show on YouTube. What went wrong? Why did I give up something I was so passionate about?

1) I stopped listening to The Dave Ramsey Show because it’s always the same thing

There is no fresh material on The Dave Ramsey Show. It’s the same thing. He’d have a guest host who would fake laugh at his jokes about how if he knew grandkids were so great he would’ve been nicer to their parents. When the guest host would have a chance to speak, they were on trial. They were only there to follow Dave Ramsey’s script. They were never allowed to stray or disagree with him.

It became apparent that the content The Dave Ramsey Show provided wasn’t changing. Nor has it as far as I know. The emergency fund while getting out of debt is still a ridiculously low $1,000. The inability to change the content of the show and maybe even change with the times is one reason why I stopped listening.

These spoons have more variation than an episode of The Dave Ramsey Show.

2) I stopped listening to The Dave Ramsey Show because of the politics

Dave Ramsey isn’t shy about his political affiliation or his religious beliefs. It’s fine in small doses. Perhaps he was always a political blowhard and having listened to him in 2020 there was a bit of a break. Dave realized people needed help with other aspects of their life during the core of the pandemic. While there was plenty of sprinkling in of all of his beliefs, it was rarely the core of the show.

Something changed. His demand that employees don’t wear masks. The hypocrisy of firing employees who engage in premarital sex. The rants that seem ripped straight from the mouth of a Puritan preacher. The show wasn’t fun anymore. Dave Ramsey had an agenda I couldn’t agree with and yet insisted his company had a wonderful culture. It was uncomfortable to hear a CEO pat himself on the back so often when you know there are people within the organization hating their jobs.

Dave Ramsey could politicize this ant just because it’s red.

3) I stopped listening to The Dave Ramsey Show because of the personalities

When Dave Ramsey talks about money and everything else he knows well, the show is great! His advice really does help people out. Even a lot of the life advice, as archaic as some of it is, does make sense. He only crosses the line when he starts caring what people on his payroll do with their penises and vaginas.

His personalities, the co-hosts, are what began to ruin the theme of the show. Many have since left during the time when I listened. The daily addition of them to the show was an obvious tryout for Dave to see who could eventually replace him. The conclusion I think many came away with is that there is no replacing Dave Ramsey on The Dave Ramsey Show–now marketed as The Ramsey Show. When he retires, the company is going to be much different. This could actually be good. As hard as it is to listen to his daughter Rachel, at least she probably has a little more acceptance in her heart.

The perfect co-host for The Dave Ramsey Show would be a literal parrot that talks about beans and rice.

4) I stopped listening to The Dave Ramsey Show because it’s not for me

There is a very specific niche audience for The Dave Ramsey Show. It stretches from Western Pennsylvania out to maybe a cabin somewhere in Colorado. Middle America is Dave Ramsey’s audience. It’s not just his belief system that targets them. The plan itself only really works for people living in that part of the country.

Many of the numbers Dave Ramsey shares on housing just don’t apply to a normal person. His hard-line stance on 15-year mortgages instead of 30-year makes it impossible for many married couples to ever own a home when you also take into account the idea that you should never spend more than 25% of your income on housing. Dave Ramsey, far too often, is living in the rural 1990s.

Would anyone be shocked if Dave Ramsey suggested renting fewer VHS tapes as a way to get out of debt?

5) I stopped listening to The Dave Ramsey Show because I need better advice

Cutting up my credit cards isn’t going to help me. Paying off my mortgage as fast as possible is a part of the plan Jenny and I have but it’s also something I already know. Dave Ramsey’s baby steps can work but it’s not for everyone nor is it the only program I think people should follow. It’s like an exercise routine that will eventually need to be upgraded.

Dave Ramsey’s advice is mostly practical which resonates with Jenny and I. However, it’s not the most effective. The Dave Ramsey Show is a get out of debt program. People not in debt need better advice.

Life advice we can all agree with.

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