8 Tips to Win With Money: According to Dave Ramsey

Eugene Adams


Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Winning with money is a goal that most people have. Sadly, financial education in America is a complete joke. Many people have no idea what to do with money. 

The good news is that money does not have to be complicated. A few simple rules will take you far. Here are 8 rules from daveramsey.com that will help you win with money. 

1. Only Budget for Needs Not Wants

There is a big difference between something you need and something you want. Most people can decide between the two very easily in theory. However, in practice, it gets harder. 

When you want something badly, a want can very quickly start to feel like a need. If you are trying to win with money, this is a natural tendency you need to fight. 


This is not to say that you should never spend money on a want. You should be honest with yourself about what is a want and what is a need. That way, when you are making your budget, you have an accurate picture of where your money is going. 

Also, this rule does not apply forever. This is a good rule while you are trying to get out of debt or build wealth. Once you are wealthy, you can and should spend money however, you want. 

2. Give Yourself Fun Money

When making a budget, a lot of people make the mistake of being too strict. Remember, winning with money is a marathon, not a sprint. The goal is to build sustainable habits. A budget that leaves no room for fun is a recipe for burnout. 

It is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged to plan a little fun money into your monthly budget. 


Don’t overdo it. There is a big difference between budgeting a little fun and spending recklessly. Remember, every dollar you spend on fun will slow down your progress towards your financial goals. So spend your fun money wisely. 

3. Say Goodbye to All Debt

Einstein was right when he said the following:

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”
― Albert Einstein

Building wealth can be simplified down to two main things. 

  1. Take advantage of compound interest. 
  2. Avoid letting compound interest work against you.

Some forms of debt are worse than others. Here is a list of types of debt, starting with the worst. 

  1. Payday Loans
  2. Credit Cards
  3. Car Loans
  4. Student Loans
  5. Mortgages

If you have any of those forms of debt, pay them back as soon as possible. The sooner you are out of debt, the faster you can make compound interest work for you and not against you. 


Some people will argue about the merits of holding onto student loans or mortgages for tax purposes. 

Whatever you decide to do, just remember that you want interest to work for you, not against you. 

4. Get on the Same Page as Your Partner

If you are married, you are a team. Making sure that you and your partner are on the same page is essential. 

You don’t have to be equally involved with the financial decision, but you both need to be headed in the same direction. 

Getting on the same page will help you achieve your money goals faster since you won’t be making decisions that work against each other's goals. Also, good communication, in general, will make your marriage stronger. 

5. Don’t Believe What Society Tells You 

The average American is $51,900 in debt. You don’t want to be average, so don’t take advice from average people. 

You don’t need a new car just because everyone else has one. You don’t need the latest iPhone just because broke people have it. You don’t need a giant house because it will look cool to your broke friends. 

As a general rule, do the opposite of what “average” people are doing. 

6. Be Prepared for Emergencies

Murphy's law state that:

if something can go wrong it will

You need to be prepared for anything. You could lose your job with little to no notice. You could have an unexpected expense, like a car repair. You or a family member could get sick. The list of potential emergencies goes on forever. 

Have some money tucked away for emergencies.

Emergencies will always suck. But, if you have a sizable rainy day fund, they will suck a little less. 


When you are in debt, there is a balancing act to building a rainy day fund. Any money you save is money that is not paying down debt. Use your best judgment about how big your rainy day fund should be. Then, use the rest to pay down debt. 

7. Make Daily Decisions With Your End Goal in Mind

Having a specific goal in mind is very important. It should be something you want badly. Something that will keep you motivated when things are difficult. 

When you keep your end goal in mind, decisions become easy. If the decision gets you closer to the goal the answer is yes. If the answer does not, then the answer is no. It really can be that simple. 

8. Be Generous

This is my favorite rule, even though it is probably the most controversial. If you get to a point where you can help others, you should. You should help in any way you can, whether big or small. 

Being generous will not directly help you win with money. But helping others will make you happier. 

Besides, what’s the point of working so hard to win with money if you never help anyone else? 


This section is more of an opinion. Feel free to ignore this section if you want to. 

Final Thought

Money is a complex topic that you could read about for hours and still barely scratch the surface. 

This list of rules is not exhaustive, but it is a great start. Keep these 8 rules in mind, and you will be well on your way to winning with money. 

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Certified Personal Trainer | Certified ESL Teacher |I mostly write about all things Southern California, but I also cover national topics.

Los Angeles, CA

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