Hat Tip: aml
I finally took the time out to review Dave Ramsey's book the Total Money Makeover, which I highly endorsed because of its straightforward approach to money management and the ethic behind it. Sure, I had a few quibbles, but in the larger scheme of things, they aren't particularly important.
A number of months ago, I was informed that the CPA who writes for Baltimore's Where What When also wrote a review of the book. At the end he writes that a frum family that is not careful about budgeting "the average frum family can lose a million dollars and more over a lifetime and have absolutely nothing to show for it." I believe that he is very active in the Baltimore community which makes this statement very eye opening. He too liked the book (although he seemed to like the Tightwad Gazette more-different strokes for different folks. I could not finish that book), and recommends it, but he throws a swipe writing:
Ramsey and [Suzy] Orman are preaching to families to stop the cable TV, SUV loans, daily meals at restaurants, and the $4 Starbucks latte habit. That is simple advice to give. If they had to handle frum finances, they wouldn't have it so easy. Frum people have larger families, often with only one wage earner. The expenses are much higher than in the secular world. I wonder if these gurus can imagine making Pesach? Explain to Suzy Orman that some kids need to go to sleep-away camp for the "ruach," because if they stay home they will be influenced by the "outside world." Huh?
It has been said that the more something is said, the more it is believed. The more we talk about just how expensive it is to be frum, the more we believe that we really have no choices and the more permission we give ourselves to just keep spending. After all, there is nothing that we can do, right?
I have no doubt that Dave Ramsey could figure out how to make Pesach. And I think "huh?" is exactly the response that we need to turn around some of the crazy spending on big ticket items. Alternatives can be found when you question the premises.