I Heart Dave Ramsey

When I’m in the car with the radio on around lunch time, I make a concerted effort to listen as Dave Ramsey (102.5 in Nashville) dishes out advice on how to live with money. It started years ago for me, because, well, first of all, I’m financially conservative (In college, I called it being cheap. In my 20s, I called it being frugal. Now I’m acting like an adult by calling it financially conservative). For the longest time, I felt guilty when it came to spending money. I didn’t like to do it. It wasn’t because I didn’t have it. It wasn’t because I had gigantic student loans, I guess I was sort of a hoarder. But wanting to save money felt wrong. So when I first heard Dave advising on being wise with money, not spending more than you have, and “living like no one else so that one day you can live like no one else,” it was so completely refreshing. It’s as if I finally had someone in my corner saying it’s OK to be thrifty. A weight was lifted off my shoulders and now I’m actually more proud of my conservative behavior. And surprisingly, I spend more, too. It’s awesome (and sometimes odd) what the feeling of freedom will do for a person.

Today, though, he said something that struck my pride; Always value relationships more than money. That’s something I can do better because many times I sacrifice an experience with a friend for the sake of saving money. That’s not a good way to be. I don’t like that about myself, so I’ll be working on it. But anyway, it’s nice to hear a wise financial guy like Dave Ramsey recommending ways of living within your means and knowing that I’m already there, and then some.

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Spending vs. Saving: What To Do About Money

“Spenders are proud of how much they spend, savers are proud of how much they save, but neither are happy. Spenders are never satisfied and savers are never comfortable.”

I can admit now that when I was in college, I wasn’tt frugal. I was cheap! If there was a way to save rather than spend, I did it. I rode my bicycle to class. I ate boxed dinners. I wore clothes from thrift stores. On road trips, I voted for someone else to drive. Or if I drove, I didn’t use the air-conditioning. Many times I shrugged it off as being frugal or wise with my money, but that wasn’t the truth. I was stingy and cheap. I was proud of my self-deprivation.

“Do not eat the food of a stingy man, do not crave his delicacies; for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost. ‘Eat and drink,’ he says to you, but his heart is not with you.”

After college, like most graduates, I entered the American workforce. You’d think earning more money would help me loosen up and spend more liberally. Not surprisingly, though, I still gravitated towards saving. Constantly thinking about how much something costs, where I can save a few cents, and how much money is in the bank was exhausting. I believed spending money was the root of all evil, but what I didn’t know, or didn’t understand, was that hoarding it is just as taxing on the mind, body, and soul. What I needed all along was not more money, but simplification. That didn’t come until I was around 28 years old. My lifestyle, as simple as it was already, needed to change. More specifically, my perspective needed an overhaul. As a saver, I was just as wrong as a person who spent their way into major financial debt. The quote above is true, saving or spending won’t make you happy. There needs to be a balance between the two. If you live strictly on one side or the other, you will either never be satisfied and therefore keep buying things to make you happy, or you will deprive yourself of anything good and comfort will not be an experience you ever have.

This is still a learning experience for me. I am very good at being frugal, and I’m becoming better at spending. The best way to leave it for now is to think of everything as luxury. We can live without air-conditioning, we can live without a car. But if you have air-conditioning and a car, enjoy them both as a luxurious blessing.

Ali Fedotowsky The Bachelorette, Episode 10. The Next Bachelor Revealed?

Last night’s episode, “The Men Tell All” “Welcome The Next Bachelor: Kirk DeWindt.” Despite rumors that he’s dating Jessie Sulidis (yes, the former Jake-season contestant that outed Justin Rego), Kirk will be the next Bachelor. Please note that I haven’t read any spoilers, this is all based on my instinct and cold, hard evidence. I’ll explain now.

The show kicked off with a heart-to-heart between Chris Harrison and Ali. The discussion focused on Justin, Kasey, Kirk, Roberto and Frank. No need to explain that Justin and Kasey aren’t options for next season. And Nicole won’t let Frank leave. Roberto’s going to win (that’s my educated non-spoiler reading guess) , so next year’s Bachelor must be Kirk. Remember how they clumsily set Ali up at the end of the Jake season? Kirk is the new Ali just like “the paid off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice.” Thank you, Dave Ramsey, for that not-totally-unrelated quote that just popped into my head.

Chris Harrison then introduced us to the bachelors who showed up for “Welcome The Next Bachelor: Kirk DeWindt,” who the heck is Kyle? My guess is he’ll be next season’s “surprise guest” that shows up to reveal startling information to Kirk, who will cry a little and say something like, “I didn’t know it was going to be this hard.” After all the introductions, the guys took turns ragging on Kasey, ripping Justin apart, and half-way defending Frank. Cut to highlights of Ali with Kasey: the awkward moments, the singing, oh wait, those are the same thing. Now here you may think, “They haven’t shown Kirk much. Is he really going to be the next Bachelor?” Yes, he is. If you missed it, here are all the words used to describe Kirk on this episode.

Sincere, great chemistry, major moment, sweetness, a lot of the qualities I’m looking for, feel safe, feel appreciated and comfortable around him, love, upbeat, positive, something missing, Kirky, think the world of you, never had heart broken before, bruised heart, inspiring, bed ridden, healthy.

Ok, some of those are taken out of context, but you’re picking up what I’m laying down, right? Kirk is next in line and if you need more proof, let’s move on through the rest of the show. Guess what’s next, more talk about Justin. However, Kirk emerges as a comedian during this segment. The crowd (of girls) applaudes vivaciously. After the break, more talk about Justin. Wow, for someone no one likes, they sure are spending a lot of time talking about him. Wait, this is about ratings. Oh, yeah. Villains have high ratings. So guess what? Let’s talk about Justin some more. More about Justin leaving messages on a social networking site. Justin and Canada. Who’s Kimberly? Jessica is the main girlfriend, Kimberly is the new one. Jessica isn’t allowed to have a Facebook account. Kimberly left wall posts on Justin’s page. Jessica signs back on and messages Kimberly. Text messages, wall posts, more than just voicemails. Valentines with Kimberly. Walks to Jessica’s. Wobbles over. Two girlfriends. Trying for a third. Justin from Toronto has a girlfriend, pictures to prove it. Phone call to Ali. Whew, I’m exhausted. Next the audience got a chance to ask questions. A girl hits on Craig R. who doesn’t understand that’s what just happened. He agrees to wrestle Justin in an olive oil ring and doesn’t understand a girl just hit on him. She sits down.

Ali comes out and runs back through the season, the ups and downs, and how she feels about Justin. Ok, producers, we get it, you want ratings. At one critical point, Ali said it was hard to say goodbye to people she really cared about and they cut to a shot of Kirk smiling. Chris Harrison gives Kirk a chance to speak to Ali, he says he’s ready to find somebody to spend the rest of his life with. Come on, people! Isn’t it obvious? And is it just me or is Ali’s upper lip getting smaller?

Kasey sings a song, we see some bloopers, here it goes: dancing guys, Ali laughing, Kirk landing on stiff bed, Roberto’s crotch, Ali says idealacise, wants to do it with Roberto, dog barking, Ty barking, mom jokes, Ali as Legolas, mouse, beeps. Then highlights of the two remaining bachelors, Roberto and Chris L.

Check back next week to read my recap of Roberto proposing to Ali in episode 11!

Click here for Chris L. tattoo pictures!