Have you ever met one of your biggest celebrity heroes? Did you know what to say? Were your knees knocking? Last month we had our own celebrity encounter with the man who is at the heart of why we are non-retired, debt-free full-time RVers — Dave Ramsey. I’ll tell you what Bono has to do with this in a minute.
Dave Ramsey is our Debt-Free Hero
Jim and I work hard as hell, but when it comes down to it, the debt-free principles we learned from this man are the reason we can have our lifestyle. When we hit the road we were not debt-free, and it wasn’t until five months into our journey when we met a generous Christian full-time RVer mom in Florida who gifted us a copy of Dave’s bestseller, “Total Money Makeover” This book changed the course of our lives, you can read how, here.
Eight years after committing to stay debt-free forever, our bucket list Dave Ramsey meeting came true in June, when we traveled to Nashville for the Blog Paws Pet Blogger Conference. Dave’s headquarters and radio broadcasting facility are also located in Music City.
There, he graciously allows people to hang out in his Ramsey Solutions office building to watch a live broadcast of The Dave Ramsey Show, meet him in person and scream their “Debt Free” stories live on the air.
We visited so we could shake his hand and thank him for all he’s done for us (our debt-free story was more than 6 months old, the cut-off point to share your debt-free victory on the air).
A Day at Ramsey Solutions, Inc.
The day we attended was a rainy one, which meant there were only three or four of us in the audience (a rarity). The studio was abuzz with employees who were genuinely happy to work for Ramsey Solutions Inc. This employee’s shirt showcases Dave’s principles, and we love them too, especially the “Self-Employed Mentality.” How many times did your boss ever encourage you to think like that?
The show is three hours long and it was a blast to see how things really happen on the air. We watched a young family from West Virginia do their debt-free scream, then during one of the commercial breaks Dave came out to meet the rest of us.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” — Collossians 3:23
Jim and I were prepared with a small poster for Dave to sign. It had pictures of our adventures and a photo of our new-to-us rig that we purchased last year, debt-free.
With just a minute or two to make our introduction, we explained to him that we got gazelle intense on saving for a new RV after I called his show two years ago and he pointed out the utter stupidity of RV financing.
During the call, Dave explained how financing a depreciating asset, even if it is your primary residence, is a bad idea. If you’re thinking of financing your RV, or are doing it now, I urge you to read his explanation.
Dave’s face lit up when he heard our story, he was genuinely happy that we’ve been living our debt-free full-time RVing dream for the last eight years and didn’t go into debt for a new home. This man, a debt-free multi-millionare and business genius, clearly enjoys what he does for a living and the way it changes family trees.
There just weren’t enough words or time to tell him what our life-changing debt-free experience has meant to us. It was a day we won’t ever forget.
In that spirit, we continue to spread the word to others whenever want to hear it, and hope that lots more folks will be courageous enough to stay “NO!” to debt and live a life of true freedom.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. — Romans 12:2
Our book “Income, Anywhere!” discusses ways to get started so if you’re curious and haven’t made the debt-free leap, I urge you to check it out so you can get started. Then, I’ll wait for you to announce your own Dave Ramsey fan meeting too!
Now, getting to the part about Bono . . . about 22 years ago I had the knee-knocking, jaw dropping honor of meeting The Man The Myth, at the legendary Tosca Cafe in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. My sister and I saw him sitting at one of the back booths.
I walked past his table and quickly yammered something cliche like “Wow I just want to say how much your music means to me, I love all of your work!” He was gracious, and outstretched his huge hand to shake mine. Being from L.A. I knew it was even tackier to ask for a photo or dog-forbid, an autograph, so I didn’t.
When I told my sister about how thrilled I was to meet Dave Ramsey, she said “wow Rene, you must be getting old. You’re as excited about meeting Dave as you were when you met Bono!”
Yeah, I was that excited! Like Bono’s amazing music, Dave’s words also speak to me. And although I don’t agree with his politics, I can get past that. Like Bono, Dave’s message is positively changing the lives of everyone who’s smart enough to listen, liberal or conservative, Christian or whatever. True greatness goes beyond politics and it doesn’t get any better than that.
Thank you Dave!