A few weekends ago I attended a Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover event in Atlanta. The event began at 1PM and ended a little after 6PM. Here are the details of the first 3 hours.
The event starts with one of Dave’s employees coming out and getting the crowd excited about the event. The particular dude that Dave selected for this task was alright, but he was not especially good at creating enthusiasm. (If I had to guess, I’d say that roughly seventy-five percent of the audience members were already Dave “fans”, so most of us were already excited to see him.) So, after a few minutes, Dave comes out to a pretty decent round of applause. I, of course, stood and cheered. The first hour of the event is mostly Dave talking about his past, how he made lots of money and then lost it due to some issues with his bank, and then how he went bankrupt and rebuilt his life using the principles that he teaches today. As someone who has read every book the guy has ever written, I was familiar with Dave’s stories, his jokes, and his motivational techniques. Nonetheless, it was still exciting to hear Dave in person, and I was “re-motivated” all over again. The next hour or so is spent talking about Dave’s “Baby Steps” program for getting out of debt and saving money. Because of the nature of the event, and the time constraints thereof, Dave did not have time to go into great detail when covering the Baby Steps. He spent MOST of his available time talking about baby steps 1, 2, and 3. (In my opinion, these are the most important steps, as 4, 5, 6, and 7 seem to take care of themselves once you’ve worked so hard to get through steps 1,2, and 3.) For a refresher, here are Dave’s Baby Steps:
1. 1000 in baby-emergency fund
2. Pay off all debts except house using debt-snowball
3. 3-6 months expenses in full emergency fund
4. 15% into retirement accounts
5. College Funding for children
6. Pay off your home
7. Build wealth
Dave spent a good long time talking about how to accomplish steps 1, 2, and 3. He really, really focused on the importance of the debt-snowball. After Dave finished talking about step 3, we took a break, and so shall I.
(In the. Check it out for all of the details!)