Rachel Cruze was born the year her father, Dave Ramsey, filed for bankruptcy.
During her childhood, she watched her parents transition from struggling and rebuilding from their bankruptcy, to becoming debt-free multimillionaires.
Her dad went on to become the host of The Dave Ramsey Show, a money management radio show and podcast that reaches more than 12 million people per week. It’s central message is to budget carefully and avoid debt.
Despite their success, the Ramseys committed to raising money-smart kids. They didn’t want their children to become lazy or entitled. Rachel paid for toys as a child. She partially paid for her car as a teenager. She worked throughout college.
Rachel, now in her late 20’s, grew up to become an accomplished speaker and New York Times bestselling author. She and her father co-authored the book Smart Money, Smart Kids, which reached the number one spot on the NYTimes bestseller list. Her latest book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs, is also a mega-bestseller.
In this episode, Rachel describes the lessons she learned about saving, spending, budgeting, debt and giving as the daughter of Dave Ramsey.
We discuss “Instagram envy” — the act of comparing your life to someone elses’ — and how to avoid the traps of consumerism and materialism.
Here are three lessons that emerged from this conversation:
Lesson #1: You value things more when you work for them.
Rachel paid for half of the car she purchased in high school. Her father matched her earnings, dollar-for-dollar, through a family plan he called “401DAVE.”
“There was the part of me that was the cliche teenager that said, ‘I don’t wanna do this, I don’t wanna work,’” she said, describing jealous feelings towards her teenage friends who were given cars.
But in hindsight, Rachel says, “I’m glad I did.”
Lesson #2: Beware the “Oh, I’ll just be happy if” pitfall.
Rachel says she’s sometimes tempted to think that happiness comes later — “if I just had that purse.”
But happiness is present, not future. “You realize stuff is just stuff,” she says.
The same is true for experiences. It’s tempting to think “I’ll be happy if …. I quit my job, I travel the world, I live in a nicer home.” But happiness cannot be deferred.
Lesson #3: Practice gratitude as the antidote to wanting more.
When Rachel starts feeling “Instagram envy,” she reminds herself of the abundance in her life.
“I, on a very tactical level, started on my phone a gratitude list,” she said, “and so I would write two things a day that I was grateful for.”
She says gratitude helps curb feelings of jealousy and want, and allows us to enjoy what we already have.
Gratitude is a habit.
Feeling gratitude might not happen naturally. You might need to develop a gratitude muscle.
We’ve created a Gratitude Worksheet, which you can download below. Print as many copies as you’d like. Keep this in a location you’ll see everyday, such as next to your alarm clock or phone charger.
Everyday, you’ll write down two things for which you’re grateful. This habit will help you focus on appreciating your life today — rather than getting caught up in the things you don’t have yet.
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And everything is FREE.
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