How to Take Hold of Your Money | Dave Ramsey38 years ago, my wife sharon and i got married and we were stupid. We didn’t know anything if we’d have known half of what we know now. We’D have known not to get married because it was a mess. I was a beer drinking hellraising hillbilly and i talked her into marrying me and we moved to nashville and started off our lives and about, of course, nashville y’all know about nashville right. It’S the buckle of the bible bell, there’s more baptists there than people, and so we we moved to nashville and about two weeks after we were brand new married, my wife who had never discussed god or jesus or anything else with me prior to marriage, remembered that She was a baptist and she gets up on sunday morning and said we’re going to church, and i said we are not doing anything.
It is sunday morning. I will be here watching football and drinking beer like all good rednecks. Well, that didn’t go well. She got really upset and she cried and she was mad and i didn’t care and she went storming out of the house and it didn’t take her long to find her tribe because those baptists are everywhere and so she wanders in the back door. There’S a little baptist church and they prayed at the end of service for her heathen husband and this scene repeated itself every week for quite a while.
It wasn’t going so good, and so i decided i was going to get rich and i got in one of these multi-level things. You know those things where you make all your friends mad, and so we me and my beer drinking buddy we get in this thing. Together – and this is how bright, daryl and his other brother daryl were, we would we would go to happy hour and then go make sales calls and couldn’t figure out why we couldn’t grow the business dumber than a rock right. So then we heard that they were having one of their big rah-rah things, and if we went to this meeting we could learn how to do it and have a yacht and a big house and all the stuff we were supposed to be having and we weren’t Getting any of it, so we drive from nashville down to birmingham alabama to the alabama theater and have you ever gone back to something in your past and it shrunk in my mind’s eye. The alabama theater holds 10 000 people.
We did an event there, a while back. It holds 800 [ Applause ], but me and daryl were in the back of the balcony up there all day, long with these guys telling us how to get rich and the stuff we should be doing and all these kinds of things and it’s a great sales Conference or whatever in this thing and the big guy gets up at the end, he’s the closer and he’s the one we wanted to hear because he was who we wanted to be when we grow up and whatever he said. We were going to do and we had written down five things on the drive down there, that if we learned these five things, we could be ready to do the business and he was a great speaker and it was as if he had our five things as His talk outline he had credibility before, but by the time he finished answering all our questions about life. He owned us, you know what i’m talking about and then he says, there’s one more thing and we went no. We had five, that’s it one more thing: if you don’t know god, you need to meet him, because if you think business is about monetary transactions, you’re going to fail and you need to learn that people are important and god’s son jesus will teach you that their The people are important and you will not succeed in business until you understand people are important and i looked at my buddy and i said: has he been talking to my wife?
So he goes. I don’t know he says what to do so. We got to do that and i said well i don’t know what to do. You know what to do. No, i don’t know what to do.
We go back to the hampton inn or wherever it was, we were staying. We get the gideon’s bible out of the nightstand, we open it up. It’S king, james, shakespeare and jesus. The chances of these two hillbillies getting through this is zero close that puppy up put it in the nightstand, but i did go home. I told my wife, i said we’re going to church and she said who are you and what have you done with my husband and we started visiting churches and we went to some of those churches where people aren’t happy.
Y’All have been one of those churches where people look like: they were weaned on a pickle, [ Applause ] not having fun, and then we went back door this little church. This is 30 40 years ago right, so we go in the back door. This little church and it was kind of stuff happening in there about 400 people. It had something in the air you know and and the people in the choir they were like moving and stuff and we’re like this is dangerous. And then one woman in the choir raised her hand like she knew the answer to some question and so and then they all started raising their hands and i told sharon.
You know how you do when you’re visiting churches we’re on the back row, sneak out right and so we’re on the back row. I said they get snakes out, i’m out of here, i’m just saying: [ Applause ] we kept being drawn back to that little church and that old pastor about as good as you can get, he would stay say wonderful things from the pulpit like this is what The bible says, and then, if you don’t agree with that, you’re, what’s known as wrong. I love that, like somebody, because i thought christians were kind of wimpy and he was like a man you know and and his wife, you know they his old school church. They stand at the back when everybody left and shake everybody’s hand and give everybody a hug on the way out is a little church. Anyway, you could do that right and she’s.
A big squishy woman, so she’d give you a big old, grandma hug. You know, and you get that big grandma hug and his manliness, and that woman and his talks led me to jesus changed my life and i i do everything backwards. Most people meet god at the bottom of a crisis of some kind. I met him on the way up and i started buying. I left that little multi-level thing i started buying and selling real estate and i got rich at least for by a kid from antioch tennessee standards.
By the time i was 26. I had 4 million worth of real estate a little over a million dollar net worth and i was making 250 000 a year in the early 80s. That’S 20 000 a month, and i don’t know what neighborhood you grew up in, but where i grew up, we called that rich and it was fun too. Sometimes i hear these people say all those rich people are miserable. We were having fun fun fun i mean.
I had that car i always wanted. You know that car, if you ever got some money i’d get that car. You know that car car i always wanted was i wanted a jaguar because no one in the neighborhood i grew up and could spell jaguar much less knew what it was or how much it cost. So it was exotic. I got me a jaguar and maybe within 90 days i was a jaguar.
You know it’s like right. You know i was having fun man, we went to hawaii and we loved it that water is so blue. We went back and then we went back again. We loved it, we were having fun now, i’m not here to tell you money will make you happy and i’m certainly not a quote-unquote prosperity, gospel guy, but money‘s not evil either. It’S not in scripture.
The bible doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil. It says the love of money is the root of all evil. What i have discovered now, 30 years later, is that money makes you more of what you already. Are it magnifies the good and exposes the bad brightly? If you have a temper and you get money, lord help the people around you, you will be a rage-a-holic tyrant.
I mean you, you will be out of control if you are generous and give and you get money, you’ll become what the world calls a philanthropist and you will impact entire communities with the wealth that god allows you to manage. You become more of what you are and some of the people around you when you get money become more of what they are like. The crazy in your family gets crazier and listen. Let me just tell y’all: every family has crazy and if you think, there’s not crazy in your family, that means it’s. You [ Applause ].
This is how it works, you guys, and so we were blowing and going. Everything was so good. We were cooking and i had done some stupid stuff. How many of y’all ever do something stupid with money? How many of you that didn’t, raise your hand, have a problem with lying?
All of us have done some stupid stuff with money, and i had borrowed too much money. I had four million dollars with real estate, but three million dollars worth of debt on it. It was on short-term notes, because i was flipping this house flipping these houses before there was cable tv to tell you how and and so we’re just chugging along chugging along the bank gets sold to another bank and a guy in another city looked down and said: There’S a kid 26 years old owes us millions of dollars. Let’S limit this relationship, which is banker, talk for ruin his life and they called our notes. The short version of the story is, we spent the next two and a half years of our life losing everything we owned.
We were sued, we were sued so much we’re on a first name basis with the guy with the sheriff’s department bringing the lawsuit papers. A little pink slip thing and sharon’s like making him cookies, hey harold, how’s it doing today, just good miss sharon, here’s your another one, and so we were just it was just like coming at us like crazy. We had a brand new baby and a toddler. Our marriage was hanging on by a thread because you could have some money fights now you can have fights, but in a marriage you can have some money fights number one cause of divorce number one cause of disagreement in america. Today, money fights now we didn’t get a divorce we held on to each other, but sometimes it was just to get a better grip.
You all know what i’m talking about right. She she’s from east tennessee, the hills of east tennessee and frying pan, throwing there’s an olympic event. Finally, after standing in the shower was so hot in my face, i could hardly stand. I would just stand there and cry because i was so scared. I couldn’t breathe year after year, month after month.
Finally, we were bankrupt, so i met god on the way up, but i got to know him on the way down and it changed everything i had an i surrender all moment and i’m not talking about a baptist altar call. I’M talking about. I surrendered we’re doing it your way and i don’t care what anybody else thinks you’re it. You are the lord. You are in charge, and this is your instruction manual we’re doing it this way, and i don’t care what the other books say and i don’t care if somebody’s mad and i don’t care if somebody’s sad, we’re doing it this way period and there’s a lot of Stuff in here i mean i’m gon na raise my kids this way my kids are like dad.
What’S this rod stuff and i’m like come here, baby i’ll show you i’m gon na run my marriage. This way submit yourselves one to another. Oh no. That means i got ta draw dishes 2500 scriptures on how to handle money and possessions god’s concerned about teaching us how to manage his stuff. His way for his glory he’s really concerned about that, and i said: okay, god, apparently i’m an ignoramus when it comes to money.
I’Ve got a degree in finance and all these letters and licenses after my name, but here i sit, broke so there’s a problem with the knowledge base i was operating from something’s got to change. What does it say about money? And it’s all in here? It’S crazy. Y’All, i’m still learning stuff 30 years after i first started studying this subject and it’s it’s it’s crazy.
How in-depth and detailed and nuanced the instruction is it’s all there, but you just carry it. You got ta open it and read it. I mean it’s. The osmosis thing running up your arm doesn’t work, you got ta really get you got ta and man it’s hard it’s hard. So i got a bunch of young people working on my team, there’s about 964 folks on our team right now and give or take one and um a bunch of youngins on my team, and i came in the day and one of these young guys was doing The stuff wrong that he’s supposed to be doing – and i was like hey i’ll – do it that way?
Do it this way, huh, i said: no, that’s wrong! There’S a right way to do it wrong way to do it you’re doing it wrong. This is the right way. Do it this way and he’s like okay, okay, i come back two days later, he’s doing it wrong again, the same way, i’m like hey again one more time. This is the way don’t do it that way.
Do it this way, i come back two weeks later, he’s doing it wrong again, i’m like boy we’re going to set you free in jesus name. Okay, this is ridiculous and he looks at me and he says i’m not like you and i said you don’t have to be like me. You just got to do it the right way and to the extent you’re not like me and the way you do it. You need to change when you’re doing it wrong. You need to change when you’re walking the wrong way in christianity.
God says: stop you’re doing it wrong. When we change that’s called repentance in our world, i got a lot of stuff. I get to repent for every day because i do so much stuff wrong, but this money stuff, i studied it and studied it and studied it, and i’ve been doing it right for decades now and it works, and i’m i’m believing i’m a lot better husband than The one the guy that that woman married 38 years ago and i’m a lot better daddy than i was when i started and matter of fact. I got grandbabies now and if i don’t know how great grandkids are going to be, i’ve been nicer to their parents, and so i mean it’s my my kids are like. Who are you?
You want this one back? Okay, so this is this one smells you can have it, and so, oh man, it’s you get better. If you change, the technical theological term will be called sanctification over time. We get better if we change. So let’s talk about the five things that the bible says.
We should do with money now, there’s a whole bunch of them, but if you do these five over a couple decades, a hundred percent of the time you will get results that will blow your everlasting mind a hundred percent of the time, because, let me just tell You, if you plant corn, don’t be shocked if corn grows as you sow, so shall you reap if you plant nothing and wait on the government? Don’T be surprised if you have mud? This is how it works. You are in charge of planting. He is in charge of sunshine and rain, and there’s this dance that we do with god between our works and his blessings and provision and protection that causes this thing where his children, the heirs to the throne, a royal priesthood, are blessed, and this is how we Do it the first thing is you get on a written plan?
We call it a budget in the financial world. Jesus said: don’t build a tower without first counting the cost. Lest you get halfway up and you’re unable to finish and all who see you begin to mock you and say this man began to build and was unable to finish, don’t build a tower without first counting the cost. My friend zig ziglar used to say: if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. My friend john maxwell says a budget.
Is people telling their money? What to do instead of wondering where it went? Winning is an intentional act when the super bowl is over and the little reporter runs over and says. How did you win? The guy never goes.
I don’t know, i just got off the bus, and this thing happened. Getting to the super bowl is an intentional act over decades of developing your skill, [ Music ]. No one accidentally grows a bumper crop unless it’s weeds, no one so plant something control the process control the controllables write it down. This is my plan. Thank you, lord.
I’M gon na do this. I’M gon na manage your stuff. I’M gon na take care of my own household. First, it’s in there remember and we’re gon na live this plan out and we’re gon na. Do this thing it changes everything.
The second thing is, you need to get out of debt. Now we knew dave. Ramsey was gon na, say this. That’S a fairly predictable thing coming out of my mouth, but here’s the deal the borrower really is slave to the lender. The ritual is over the poor and the borrower is slave, [ Applause, ] to the lender.
I’Ve experienced that i lost everything because i let other people have control over my life. You know what that’s called a master. Well dave. I don’t know if i agree with all your theories about debt. It’S america, you have the right to be wrong.
[ Applause, ], my old pastor, used to say a man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an opinion. I’Ve led more people out of debt and into wealth than anybody breathing on the planet today and i’m not bragging. I just showed them how to do it god’s ways i didn’t make up any of this. I stole it all from god and your grandmother, and so we’re going to get out of that, because it’s no fun trying to be married, like this right, knock your glasses off doing that. This is crazy.
You guys we’re walking through our lives where all the money comes in, all the money goes out and only the names are changed to protect the innocent. We make tons of money and we have none, and we can’t figure out why. I know why you gave it all to a financial system, that’s designed to take it from you. You surrendered it and we’ve got to stop so i quit borrowing money period for anything. For any reason – and this weird thing happened when i didn’t have any payments – and i made an income – i had money, it was so strange and then, when i got money and i bought an asset that created income that i paid cash for, i got to keep All that there was no payment, except for what the government takes, but i mean there was no payment and it was.
It was an amazing experience and the first few years were tough because you know other stuff. I wanted to do and i didn’t have the money and i had to learn this magic ancient word called no most people don’t know this word. You press your tongue towards the roof of your mouth. You release there. No, it’s tough you’re not allowed to say it in our world anymore.
It’S politically incorrect! So you know what i did was we got the scissors out and we said no more, i’m not going to play you guys, game anymore, it’s time for a plasectomy, it’s time for plastic surgery, citibank! What’S in your wallet, money, american distress! Thank you discover bondage bank of america. Oh my gosh, you don’t have any credit cards, no, not for 38 years well, 30 years.
That’S when i went bankrupt. They wouldn’t give me one at first and then later after they would give me. I didn’t want it because i had learned this stuff from the bible, and this is my wallet. Green president’s faces four pieces of plastic. My debit card on my business, my debit card for my home, my driver’s license and my handgun carry permit um, oh rednecks, in oklahoma.
I see. Okay, i had a guy call me on the radio and he’s like you’re gon na kill me my truck payment. I said how much is your truck payment 763 dollars? You have a 700 truck payment yeah. I said how much is your house payment?
I live in a double wide. 550… Oh man, i said dude.
If your truck payment is bigger than your house payment, you might be a redneck. The borrower is slave to the lender. You got to sell that truck dude it. Don’T you you don’t own it. It sounded good at the time and you and i both know the reason you called me is you just wanted somebody else to say it out loud with you.
Who’S also done stupid, because i know what stupid looks like son. That’S stupid, that truck’s got to go. You’Re saying i got, ta sell my truck what’d, you just say. Of course, i said you sell your truck and stutter thing owns you man. This is crazy.
Get you a truck that you can own. Instead of it owns you. This is just crazy. The third one surprises people and that’s foster high quality relationships. The bible says be not deceived.
Evil company corrupts good habits. Did you know you become who you hang around with? I was up north of the day and you know all those people talk alike. They got accents, they thought i had one, but they had a group accent thing going. I saw it and when they moved down south they stayed there long enough.
We teach them how to talk right and they’re fun. I love yankees they’re awesome, but um. It’S fun. There’S a couple in here right now, but they um we can have all the phone we want. You know you become who you hang around.
With studies say that your 10 closest friends over the next decade, your income will be within 10 to 15 of the average of your 10 closest friends and some of you’re going. I need some new french [ Applause ]. Well, maybe i mean you: don’t let your little son, your little johnny, run around with the weed head down the street, because you know if you do he’s going to turn into a wheathead right. He comes home. Talking language, we don’t talk in our house, you go where’d.
You pick that up because you didn’t pick it up in here. So where’d you, you know oh yeah, okay, you become who you hang around with be not deceived. Evil company corrupts good habits, so hang out with generous people, and you will be generous. People hang out with people who read the bible you’ll end up reading the bible. You can’t keep yourself from doing it, hang out with people who treat their wives with respect men, and you will find men who treat their wives with respect and you’ll start treating yours that way.
It’S an amazing thing that happens. It’S a weird thing that happens so choose carefully. Now, i’m not talking about being nice to someone or snubbing other people, i’m nice to anybody. I love people. I love people that are wrong.
Even i love people, okay, but i’m talking about my crew, the men in my life that shape my language, the men in my life that impact my spiritual wealth, my generosity, my thinking in business and my acumen, who are the men in my life that are doing That, ladies, the same thing for you, you’re going to become, who you hung around with now the next one is save and invest see if you don’t have any payments and you got a plan. The first thing you’re going to want to do is save and invest because in the house of the wise are stores of choice, food and oil and the rest of that proverb says, and a foolish man devours all he has. If you spend everything you make biblically speaking you’re a fool, i didn’t say it: god dad don’t get mad at me, but i have been a fool: big red arrow fool full full. I know i know what being a fool feels like it feels like being broke, because i spent everything i made, because i’ve always been able to make money. I just weren’t able to keep it.
I always thought i could out earn my stupidity and i tried it for a long time. It doesn’t work, save and invest. You’Re saving for an emergency fund first save three to six months to get ready for maybe something like a a what a rainy day. Visual aid, 2020 right man – i mean what, if you had no payments and a big 20 000 emergency fund in 2020 happen or what? If you had 20 000 in payments and no money for emergencies in 2020 happen.
Do you have two different results? The answer is yes: in the house of the wise are stores of choice, food and oil, and then that leads you to the position to be incredibly outrageously generous, it’s hard to be generous when you’re broke, you can be generous and smile and open the door for Somebody, but i’m talking about writing a check to feed hungry babies, i’m talking about buying a single mom, a car, i’m talking about you can reach over and pay somebody who’s struggling light bill through the end of the year. I’M talking about outrageous even sometimes spontaneous generosity, and you can do that if you’re not broke and you’ve got your stuff taken care of at home. If my life bill is paid, i can help somebody if i’m still threatened over here. I don’t even see them, god loves a cheerful giver.
He loves a cheerful giver. So i want you to try this next time. There’S a holiday, maybe easter or thanksgiving, or something like that and you’re driving to grandma’s house with the kids now you’re gon na go have a big feast that day, but on the way i want you to do something crazy. I want you to stop at the waffle house: leave the kids in the car motor running, pull up in front of the window, so you can see inside and the people in your car can see inside. I want you go inside by yourself.
Leave them out there. They’Ll be running their mouth anyway. Kids put the screens down watch this go in there have a cup of coffee at the counter. She’Ll come to the counter. She’Ll pour your coffee.
This is thanksgiving morning and who’s working on thanksgiving morning at waffle. House pay for your coffee and i want you to take three or four of these uncle. Benjamin franklin pictures 100 bills, and i want you to slide them on the cup and slip out go out in the car. Tell the kids, hey watch! God work!
Watch what god does when he shows off she’ll, come over she’ll pick that stuff up and she’ll look at it. She wonders if it’s a trick, because in her life it’s been so long, since anything good has happened to her and then when she realizes it’s real and then even if she was in church that sunday or hadn’t been in church in 20 years of sundays. A hundred percent of the time, the human spirit can smell god’s spirit. She knows what’s going on and a hundred percent of the time after she does this she’ll go. Thank you and then she looks one more time when she realizes no one’s looking and she has no idea.
There’S a family with a six-year-old sitting in a van watching her inside, whose dad or mom just pulled this idea off the six-year-old’s life is being permanently changed. While he watches this, then she goes into and does a snoopy dance, because that’s the whole difference in her month. Now i want you to go. Spend 300 with your spouse on a really nice night out and enjoy yourself if we being evil know how to give good gifts, how much more so our father in heaven! I want you to learn to enjoy money, but i dare you to have more fun with 300 bucks than that so to the extent you’re, not outrageously, generous, because you’re in debt and haven’t saved money you’re, not on a plan, and you hang out with selfish people Who are worried about their instagram photo any one of those five things?
That’S not there or any five of those five things is not there. It’S time for all of us to get a little better and change makes god smile. When you do, he loves. You he’s crazy about you, god we thank you for this day. Thank you for this incredible church.
We thank you for pastor craig. Thank you for his friendship over all these decades. The incredible work you’ve allowed him to do and the work you’ve done through him and this unbelievable holy spirit, team god. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you for work that matters. We ask. You bless people help them have the power to change their lives. Holy spirit speak to them speak through them, help them change in jesus name, amen, as you keep praying today at all of our different churches, uh, those of you uh who say. Oh, i i feel the same thing that waitress would feel there’s something in my spirit that bears witness with this, but you may say: i’m not really a committed follower of jesus when dave talked about debt there’s another type of debt in the bible.
It’S called a sin debt and you know it when we look at money. We all know we’ve done stupid things with money we feel guilty sometimes. But when you look at life we recognize that we’ve all done stupid things in life and we feel guilty. We’Ve sinned. There’S really really really good news that god loves you so much that he became like you.
He became one of us in the person of jesus who never sinned jesus. The innocent one gave his life died, and god raised him from the dead. He shed his blood to pay for our sin debt because of the grace of god because of the risen christ. Anyone who calls on that name that is above every name, the name of jesus, your sins, would be forgiven. Your debt, your sin, debt, would be erased and you would change you would become brand new today, wherever you’re watching those of you who say i need his grace.
I need his forgiveness today. I turn around. I turn from my sin. I repent i turn to jesus. I give him my life, that’s your prayer, would you lift your hands right now, just lift them up.
All of our churches say. Yes, i give my life to jesus as we have hands going up in all of our churches. If you’re watching online, just type in the chat i’m giving my life to jesus and now because of the goodness of god, his presence. Would you pray with those around you pray out, loud, pray, heavenly father, forgive my sins erase my debt jesus save me change me. Make me new fill me with your spirit, so i could follow you.
Thank you for new life. I give you mine in jesus name. I pray because somebody celebrate big worship – God.