I live in the same hometown as Dave Ramsey, and it seems like every other person I meet here works for Ramsey Solutions. But my admiration goes beyond my proximity to his home office. I’ve read his books, watched several of his videos, and even gone through his transformative course, Financial Peace University.
Dave has a way with words. Over the years he has come up with some fantastic one-liners — succinct nuggets that sum up much of his wisdom.
These Dave Ramsey quotes had a significant impact on my life, and I hope they’ll mean as much to you as they have to me.
Dave Ramsey Quote #1:
“Not until the pain of the same is greater than the pain of change will you embrace change.”
In some ways, it’s a blessing when things get so bad that you actually have to change. When things are just okay, it’s easy to float in mediocrity for a while. It’s not until things really get bad that you encounter a breaking point. That’s when you can make a major course correction.
And that’s what happened to me and my financial situation.
I was floating in mediocrity. Things slowly got worse and worse until I hit a breaking point. From there, I began to make some massive changes.
We all know breaking points like these often get us to a point where we can actually pray and ask God for help. That’s when you can really start to turn things around.
(Credit to Tony Robbins here: He said something similar to Dave, helping me form my thinking on the relationship between pain and change.)
Dave Ramsey Quote #2:
“You must gain control over your money, or the lack of it will forever control you.”
I spent years of my life not being in control of my money. My money was in control. It was leading me.
Once I decided I was going to be in control of my money (though I didn’t have much at all), my life’s trajectory shifted, moving me in the right direction.
It was just like a snowball. Dave talks about “the debt snowball,” but this was a financial snowball that I started when I began making sound financial decisions. The momentum built over time, and it’s been amazing!
Dave Ramsey Quote #3:
“The key to winning with money is to live on less than you make. Act your wage! Quit spending like you are in Congress.”
Particularly in the US, we have no concept of how to “act our wage.” Acting our wage means this: Spending the money that we actually earn instead of using credit to keep up with our neighbors’ lifestyle.
Maybe this is a result of us not wanting to tell ourselves “no.” I’m not really sure what the cause is but it’s definitely an epidemic.
However, this is by far the simplest, yet most profound, financial concept you can ever implement.
If you just spend less money than you actually have, you can almost guarantee you are going to be in a good financial position for the rest of your life. On the other hand, if you consistently spend more than you earn, like so many of us do, you are going to be in trouble.
There’s just no way around it. It is going to catch up with you eventually. You can only make that strategy work for so long.
For a deeper dive into this concept, check out our video on “The Seesaw Principle” below. It will teach you how to build wealth and a secure financial future.
Dave Ramsey Quote #4:
“Ever notice that when you are broke, everything is an emergency?”
I love this because it is so painfully true. I’ve been there. You’ve probably been there, too.
I spent so many years feeling like my finances were an endless stream of chaos. It came down to the point where I had no margin. No safety net. If the smallest thing went wrong, it would kickstart an avalanche of events that would turn into a huge problem.
Eventually, like so many of us, I discovered that a credit card doesn’t make a great emergency fund. Having a cash emergency fund changes the game.
Follow Dave’s advice. Build an emergency fund! Have one in place before you start paying off your debt.
Dave Ramsey Quote #5:
“If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”
This is one of Dave’s most famous quotes, and here’s why I love it: Winning with money requires sacrifice, and it takes time.
It’s not rocket science, but it does require consistency. When you “live like no one else” by practicing financial discipline, one day, you’ll be able to “live like no one else.” You’ll find yourself in a much more advantageous financial position, allowing you to do some of the things you only dreamed of before.
This is part of why we named our website SeedTime. At the beginning of your financial journey, you’re planting seeds, not really seeing much happening.
It looks small, but after years of nurturing your money like seedlings, you’ll find yourself in an orchard of fruit-bearing trees much bigger than you could have imagined.
Did you find this article encouraging?
We hope so! If this is your first time here, welcome!
Here at SeedTime, we do very similar work to Dave. We give you practical tips and strategies to put more money in your pocket by helping you save more, pay off debt, and make smarter decisions.
We also talk about timeless Biblical principles and how they apply to the whole equation. If that sounds good to you, be sure to sign up for our FREE 5-day e-Course that will help you win with money!