Emergency fund, check! Zero balance on credit card, check!

Today is a good day. I’m happy to report that I’ve paid off the entire balance on my Citi credit card! I carried a balance on that thing for over a year! Fortunately, I only had to pay interest charges for the past two months ($30 total or so). I first got the Citi card in college, was immediately granted a $4,000 credit limit and 15 months no-interest, but made purchases wisely and paid it off in full every month. However, over the past year or so, a number of financial emergencies and frivolous purchases crept in.

Citi Card Paid Off Sam Miller

Before tackling the Citi card balance, I stocked away $1,000 in an emergency fund. I haven’t had $1000 or more in my savings account in over a year – since I bought my current car and paid cash for an (absolutely amazing) engagement ring. So, I’ve got Dave Ramsey’s first baby step checked off, and now I’m at step number two – paying off all debts (except the mortgage – of which I don’t have).Continue reading “Emergency fund, check! Zero balance on credit card, check!”

Don’t argue Dave Ramsey on credit cards

I’ve read a number of blog posts and articles in the past few days that attempt to refute Dave’s steadfast belief that there is no good reason to use a credit card. These articles I’ve stumbled upon (here’s one) all go on to explain the benefits of using credit cards, and I just smile and laugh to myself because they’re completely missing the point of Dave’s philosophy.

If you watch or listen to just one episode of the The Dave Ramsey Show, you should pick up on one thing really quick: It’s not always about logic and numbers for Dave – It’s about behavior and behavior change. Cut up your credit card? Good luck using it again. The idea of behavior change is why Dave recommends listing your debts smallest to largest and paying off your smallest debts first, rather than paying off high-interest debts first. The psychological satisfaction of quickly paying off a small debt (and repeating) is going to do more for you than slowly ticking away at high-interest debt. As Dave always says, if this was about math you wouldn’t have gone into debt in the first place.Continue reading “Don’t argue Dave Ramsey on credit cards”

The secret ingredient to a great personal finance blog

Thinking of starting a personal finance blog? You have to be completely transparent.

I know this is only my fourth post on Dimes to Dough, but I’ve been following a lot of top personal finance bloggers and industry leaders for a long time. When I think about the people in personal finance I relate to and respect the most, I think of people like Pat Flynn, Mr. Money Moustache, and Dave Ramsey. What’s so unique about these three? They’re super transparent.Continue reading “The secret ingredient to a great personal finance blog”