Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Absorbing common sense financial advice from Dave Ramsey, daughter

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Greg Peck
Monday, March 24, 2014

Do you ever listen to the “Dave Ramsey” show on WCLO? I sometimes catch segments of his show on my car radio as I'm out and about. His show airs live from 2 to 3 p.m. weekdays, when he gives financial advice to callers. Encore broadcasts run from 6 to 9 p.m. weekdays whenever WCLO doesn't have a sports broadcast.

As WCLO's website explains, “Ramsey talks callers through their financial questions and concerns—offering support to the hurting and guidance to the financially uncertain. Ramsey is a personal money-management expert who has authored several New York Times best-sellers, 'The Total Money Makeover,' 'Financial Peace,' 'More Than Enough,' and 'Entreleadership.'

“Ramsey knows first-hand what financial peace means in his own life—living a true rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches story. By age 26, he had established a $4 million real estate portfolio, only to lose it by age 30. He has since rebuilt his financial life and now devotes himself full time to helping ordinary people understand the forces behind their financial distress and how to set things right.”

He and his wife live in Tennessee and have three adult children, the youngest of which is Rachel Cruze. A story by Lorie Hollabaugh in the American Profile insert in today's Gazette explains that Ramsey oversees a 400-employee media franchise in Franklin, Tenn. Ramsey declared bankruptcy six months after Rachel was born. She remembers the days of shopping at consignment and garage sales, going camping for vacations and of not being able to go out to eat.

When Rachel was a teenager, Ramsey would volunteer to take her and her friends to the mall so he could urge them to pick him up a “box of happiness.” Because they went there every weekend, he reasoned such a box must be in there somewhere, and his preaching, of course, embarrassed his daughter. Still, she says she didn't grow up getting nightly financial lectures around the dinner table or anything like that.

Rachel Cruze eventually joined her dad in the business, and now father and daughter have teamed up on a new book, “Smart Money, Smart Kids.” They agree on their favorite chapter, “Contentment.”

Cruze told Hollabaugh that it's tough keeping children's desires and expectations in check. “You always want bigger and better. Facebook is like window shopping: Seeing peers' houses, cars, the best of the best, and you're expecting that, as well.”

Ramsey says television advertising stirs discontent “and it goes from Cabbage Patch Dolls to iPhones and cars in an eye blink.” You can't teach your kids to save if you don't, he adds.

Concludes Cruze: “If parents do this and kids see it, your family will forever be changed. Money is such a stress point for so many people. But a parent giving their child the gift of how to interact with money in life is such a blessing.”

More parents would do their children good to emphasize such lessons and model sensible money management.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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