Monday, January 2, 2012

Dave Ramsey Gives the U.S. Budget A Money Makeover

Dave RamseyCover of Dave RamseyThere is a great article over at comparing the U.S. Federal budget to an average families budget. Whenever I hear on the news, how out of balance the federal budget is, it's difficult to understand how messed up it really is. The actual amounts of money talked about are mind numbing. 

Dave Ramsey is the financial guru who teaches people, at meetings all over the country and on his radio show, how to manage your money. Recently he posted a great article explaining how the government took in $2.173 trillion dollars in revenue in 2011. 

It is a lot of money and should pretty well do the trick to pay for a years worth of government expenses. The only problem is the government spent $3.818 trillion during the year. This leaves $1.645 trillion in overspending. Over the last few years the debt has grown to a grand total of $15 trillion

That deficit was borrowed and it was put on the big federal credit card.

Dave Ramsey gives a good example how this relates if the government was an average family:

"If a household income was $55,000 per year, they’d actually be spending $96,500—$41,500 more than they made! That means they’re spending 175% of their annual income! So, in 2011 they’d add $41,500 of debt to their current credit card debt of $366,000! "
What would Dave recommend to this out of control family?

"Stop overspending! But that means a family that is used to spending $96,500 a year has to learn how to live on $55,000. That’s a tough pill to swallow. Those kinds of spending cuts seriously hurt, but it’s the only way out of debt for John Q. Public."

Is Dave Ramsey's advice to simplistic?

Personal finance is just a matter of spending less than you make and allocating your money correctly. The trouble with the U.S. federal budget is, plain and simple, it overspends. Cutting back to pay off debt and save can be painful. It's a great sacrifice. So it will be when the government begins to do this. The people who have been on the government dole will be the ones hurt the most.

But I have to agree with Dave Ramsey when he says the best way to not be affected by the governments future austerity programs is just to not be dependent on them. Have your financial house in order by doing the right things:

  1. Live on less than you make.
  2. Have an emergency fund.
  3. Save for college and retirement.
  4. Stay away from debt except your mortgage.


  1. Putting the Federal Budget in terms of household income is a very effective way at driving the point home as to just out of whack the nation's finances are....... and yet we remain the best house on a bad block when compared to the other major economies.

  2. This is a very effective step this really is a brave thing to start keep going ..


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