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Dave Ramsey? Suze Orman? Who is the best for my situation?

October 17th, 2011 at 08:42 am

I haven't blogged for a while because I haven't had any money in my pocket for a few weeks. Every Monday, after my payday, I look at my bank statement and cringe. I have alot of bills that are due and past due, yet I spend my money during the weekend and justify my purchases at the time as " I deserve this" I have this mind set, that I don't have enough money to pay my bills, because I usually have two month balances or more, so I need to hang on to my money for the next two weeks, because gas and food are so expensive, and $100 doesn't go far with two tanks of gas at $36 and food, but then I end up spending the money I have and I haven't paid one bill. I am in over my head with a cell phone plan, a chapter 13 plan I'm three months behind on and my rent check bounced this month. I don't really know where to turn to get a grip on my pattern of money management. I hope someone can give me advise, because I'm not being responsible with my money. Frown

16 Responses to “Dave Ramsey? Suze Orman? Who is the best for my situation?”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Personally, I'd read book by both of them to see which one seems right. My guess is, Dave Ramsey would help get you started and on the right track fast.

    If you are behind on bills, there is no expense that you can justify with "I deserve this". You need to tell yourself no. It will be tough, but it will be sooo worth it.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey = fast results, but also a complete mind shift and different way of thinking. Someone like Suze Orman will help you move forward for the long run, but Dave Ramsey is really good for getting out of debt and staying out of debt.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. You don't need to buy anything of Dave's - his info is ALL over the internet. You can listen to his show online and join forums dedicated to Dave, etc. I'd borrow his book from the library.

  4. PauletteGoddard Says:

    I present a third option: the book All Your Worth by Elizabeth Warren and her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi. It's sympathetic common sense, with a percentage plan for necessities, debt repayment, and nice-to-haves (aka "I deserve it!")

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    Paulette: coool! I didn't know Elizabeth Warren had written financial advice books, but I totally just added that one to my Xmas wish list.

  6. baselle Says:

    I want to be a bit gentle here, because your mindset has to change a bit. I hear a lot of "spend" solutions, when the mindset should be "I want to do X, how can I do it for free?" Monkeymama has a good point - you want advice, try the free outlets on the Internet and your library. No sense paying for something twice.

    For the little "I deserve it" voice. Of course you deserve good things, things that make you happy, things that relax you. But what I hear is for you is that you spend to relax or to make yourself happy. Is it possible to do those things on the cheap? What free, public, cheap resources do you have and that you could enjoy within walking distance of your house?

  7. laura (momcents) Says:


    Challenge yourself with a "No Spend _____ " - Day/Week/Month, whatever. Put aside a small amount of money to reward yourself with (whether it be $5 for a trip to Starbucks or a matinee at the movie theater). We've been cash poor and everyone in the family is aware of our situation - meaning as a parent, I do not want to hear about things that you want. If it is an immediate need (like something for school or likewise), I'll entertain it and we'll see if we can borrow it/buy it used/etc.

    My children regularly view their weekly trips to the library as "fun" - a new batch of books/movies/wii games. They no longer ask about renting movies from Family Video or buying books through the Scholastic program at school. Unless, of course, they are using their own money for that purchase.

    I think if you step back from the spending and report what you spend daily, you'll be able to change your behaviors and mindset. Sort of like honestly writing down what you eat when you want to lose weight. Seeing it in black and white can influence how you spend your next day's calories or money.

    I've read both Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman and both have their positives. I think you need to investigate and see which is a right fit with you. We've used Mary Hunt in the past, I like her plans because they address past issues, but help to plan for future expenses which are undeniable.

    Good luck to you!

  8. creditcardfree Says:

    Very good advice from baselle.

    Another thing to think about when you are about to spend: What would a reponsible person do with their money? Would they buy a new pair of slippers if they are behind on bills, or would they just wear an extra pair of socks?

  9. Beawealthywarrior Says:

    I also like Dave Ramsey becuase it lays it out in 6 "Baby Steps"

  10. crazyliblady Says:

    I have been through a Chapter 13 and it was the best, and worst, time of my life. There were weeks when my husband and I only had $13.00 to buy groceries with, but we made it and we paid off $50,000 in 3 1/2 making a lot less money than I do now. As far as experts go, I can't say I really advocate one, but you definitely need to cut your spending to the bone. We were told when we did the Chapter 13 that if we did pay on time, we could be sued by our creditors. I don't know if that's true, but it was enough to motivate us to stay on track. While I know of other couples who broke up in the process of a Chapter 13, my husband and I are still together. It is difficult, but not impossible.

    Think about all the nonessential things you may buy and strongly consider cancelling them: cable tv, duplicate cell phone and land line phones, coffee, sodas, lunch out, perfume, makeup, tv dinners, and anything else not required to keep body and soul together. You actually need: 1) a place to live, 2) food and water, 3) heat (or cool) depending on the season, and 4) medical care. You have to prioritize your expenses according to need and want. For those things you want, but cannot afford, try freecycle or craigslist to see if someone is giving it away. If it is a book or dvd, can you borrow it from the library?

    Think about every single thing you spend money on and question it. While you are still behind on your bills and owe money on your debt, you should not buy new clothes except for stuff like underwear.

    If you normally go out to lunch, consider taking your lunch to work/school every day. Lunch out, take out, and tv dinners are expensive and you have to cut your expenses in order to make your debt payments on time. Buy generic stuff instead of brand names. If you drink coffee or sodas, bring your own from home. It is much cheaper. And you don't have to live on ramen and peanut butter. You could make a variety of meals at home and live quite well, and cheap. If you already have a bunch of food at home, go on a Pantry Challenge, creating meals out of what you already have.

    If you want some entertainment and cannot afford to rent dvds or Netflix, how about going to a museum or zoo for free or really cheap? You could go for a walk or ride a bike. Think outside the box.

    If you have a cell phone on a plan and your contract is up for renewal, consider cancelling and getting a prepaid phone. If you also have a landline, do you really need both? If you have internet access, can you use the internet at a public library?

    These are just a few examples. I am sure you can think of plenty of places to cut. It takes time and practice. Good luck.

  11. crazyliblady Says:

    I have been through a Chapter 13 and it was the best, and worst, time of my life. There were weeks when my husband and I only had $13.00 to buy groceries with, but we made it and we paid off $50,000 in 3 1/2 years making a lot less money than I do now. As far as experts go, I can't say I really advocate one, but you definitely need to cut your spending to the bone. We were told when we did the Chapter 13 that if we did pay on time, we could be sued by our creditors. I don't know if that's true, but it was enough to motivate us to stay on track. While I know of other couples who broke up in the process of a Chapter 13, my husband and I are still together. It is difficult, but not impossible.

    Think about all the nonessential things you may buy and strongly consider cancelling them: cable tv, duplicate cell phone and land line phones, coffee, sodas, lunch out, perfume, makeup, tv dinners, and anything else not required to keep body and soul together. You actually need: 1) a place to live, 2) food and water, 3) heat (or cool) depending on the season, and 4) medical care. You have to prioritize your expenses according to need and want. For those things you want, but cannot afford, try freecycle or craigslist to see if someone is giving it away. If it is a book or dvd, can you borrow it from the library?

    Think about every single thing you spend money on and question it. While you are still behind on your bills and owe money on your debt, you should not buy new clothes except for stuff like underwear.

    If you normally go out to lunch, consider taking your lunch to work/school every day. Lunch out, take out, and tv dinners are expensive and you have to cut your expenses in order to make your debt payments on time. Buy generic stuff instead of brand names. If you drink coffee or sodas, bring your own from home. It is much cheaper. And you don't have to live on ramen and peanut butter. You could make a variety of meals at home and live quite well, and cheap. If you already have a bunch of food at home, go on a Pantry Challenge, creating meals out of what you already have.

    If you want some entertainment and cannot afford to rent dvds or Netflix, how about going to a museum or zoo for free or really cheap? You could go for a walk or ride a bike. Think outside the box.

    If you have a cell phone on a plan and your contract is up for renewal, consider cancelling and getting a prepaid phone. If you also have a landline, do you really need both? If you have internet access, can you use the internet at a public library?

    These are just a few examples. I am sure you can think of plenty of places to cut. It takes time and practice. Good luck.

  12. patientsaver Says:

    At the risk of getting yelled at, I will be blunt:

    If your rent check bounced this week, IMMEDIATE INTERVENTION is needed. Those are all great books, and the people here are kind to suggest them, but I would call this a crisis. Eviction comes next.

    Do you have a land line? If so, get rid of the cell phone immediately. Is there a cancellation penalty? If the cell phone costs more than $45 a month, get rid of it and get a land line. It sounds like a cell phone is a luxury you can't afford.

    I don't know what your other expenses and income look like so I can't offer further help, but if you put it out there for us, you'll get a dozen people offering advice and tips, free of charge and most of it coming from people who have been there at one time or another.

    I think you need to take immediate steps to stabilize your situation, most of all, the bounced rent payment.

  13. creditcardfree Says:

    I also agree with PatientSaver that you do need some drastic changes...NOW. If I remember from earlier posts, there is likely an income issue. Get a second job. Spending all your time working, eliminates spending out of boredom.

  14. Nika Says:

    Wow, I don't know what to say about this. I am curious about this mindset though -- can you please tell me what makes you think you deserve it?

    Where do you expect to be 5 years from now if you don't change what you are doing now? 10 years from now? When you are retired?

    Will that life be what you "deserve"?

  15. terri77 Says:

    I personally would recommend Suze Orman, but I agree that a more immediate solution is needed. Good luck.

  16. Jerry Says:

    If you are starting out and trying to lead yourself through the fire to a better situation, then I would recommend them both... first Dave Ramsey, to get through the baby steps an onto a firmer financial foundation, and then Suze Orman to help you continue toward some insurance of long-term success. Good luck to you!
    Jerry

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