Dave Ramsey is a seventime #1 national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Dave Ramsey Show, heard by more than 16 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business, and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for Ramsey Solutions.
I made a resolution to start following your plan in 2021. I talked to my parents about this, and while they like some parts of your teaching, they don’t think living on a budget is necessary if you make good money. They also said budgeting is extremely difficult. Are they right?
For whatever reason, I’m afraid your parents are way off base on this one. A lot of people trash talk the idea of budgeting, and make up all kinds of excuses for not living on one. The truth is a written, monthly budget is essential when it comes to beating debt and winning with money—period. It’s the map you need to get where you want to go in your financial journey.
There are lots of myths, and just some bad information, out there where living on a budget is concerned. Making a budget isn’t rocket science. If you can do basic math, you can create a budget. Your income minus your outgo needs to equal zero. That’s it! You might spend a couple of hours tallying all your expenses when you first start, but the process soon becomes faster and easier. All it takes is a little practice.
If you think doing a budget is only for people who have trouble making ends meet, think again. My wife and I have lived by a written, monthly budget every single month for about 30 years. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a multimillionaire, or if you have just $100 to your name, knowing exactly how much money you have—and where it’s going—is an essential part of managing your finances accurately and successfully.
Believe me, I hear dozens of other excuses, too. You’d be amazed at how many people don’t make a budget every month because they think it’s “boring.” Others claim they can do their budgets in their heads. I don’t think so! For a budget to really work, it needs to be something you can track down to the last penny. And if you’re married and saying you can do a monthly budget in your head, that means only one of you is involved in the decision making. That’s a recipe for disaster in your finances and your relationship.
A budget represents your financial game plan for the upcoming month and years ahead. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Ken Coleman is the nationally syndicated radio host of The Ken Coleman Show and #1 national best-selling author. He has been featured in Forbes, appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, and the Rachel Ray Show. Since 2014, he has served at Ramsey Solutions, where he offers expert advice to help thousands of people every day discover what they were meant to do and how to land their dream job. Follow Ken on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook , and YouTube or at kencoleman.com.
Each one of us needs someone we can look up to, learn from, and lean on for support. You’re never too successful, or too old, to benefit from a mentor. In fact, the moment you stop learning from others is the moment you stop growing.
You might be thinking, Okay, Ken, I’m all in. But how do I find a mentor? I’m glad you asked! Here are a few things to consider, along with steps to finding a mentor:
Are you ready to be mentored?
Before you ask someone to commit to mentoring you, you need to make sure you’re ready to be mentored. The most important sign you’re ready for a mentor is if you’re teachable. Listening to podcasts, reading constantly and learning from your friends and peers are all indicators that you’re ready for a mentor. If you’re not hungry for growth, then a mentor relationship is a complete waste of time.
Find the right person
As you start your search, look for someone who has disciplined daily habits and is committed to excellence. There are three specific qualities you should look for in a mentor.
Mentors are accomplished. Look for someone who’s climbed a mountain that you want to climb—someone who’s willing to share tactical advice on how to navigate your own path.
Mentors are also understanding. A good mentor will be empathetic and kind, because they’ve been down the same road you’re on. They know what it’s like to fail, get back up, and keep going.
Finally, mentors are caring. A true mentor is both kind and honest—someone who treats you with compassion, but is willing to share the hard truths you need to hear.
For most of us, asking someone to be your mentor is an opportunity to conquer fear and take a risk. You can’t predict how they’ll respond. But honestly, what’s the worst that could happen?
There’s no proven way to ask someone to mentor you. You just need to be honest, kind, and respectful. You might feel nervous they’ll say no. That’s a possibility. You might need to have a few conversations before you find the right person.
Be a good mentee
A mentor/mentee relationship is a two-way street. Your mentor isn’t going to step into your life with a magic wand, and make your wishes come true. The more effort you put into your time together, the more you’ll grow.
Also, show up on time, and wrap up when you need to. One of my favorite examples of a mentor/mentee relationship comes from Oprah Winfrey’s life. As a young news anchor, Oprah approached Maya Angelou, and asked for just five minutes of the great poet’s time. When they met, Oprah honored her original request and wrapped up the conversation after five minutes. Oprah’s integrity made a huge impression on Angelou, and sparked a lifelong friendship.
Your mentor has conquered mountains. Accept that they can teach you, and approach them with a posture of humility, integrity, and respect. In every area of life, meeting the right people and developing genuine relationships is the key to changing the trajectory of your future. If you want to make your dreams a reality, you need to learn from people who are already living the dream!