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  • Writer's pictureStephen Boatman

Book Summary: "The Legacy Journey" by Dave Ramsey

Updated: Jan 22

I’m sure you've heard of Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University course. His book, "The Legacy Journey," is for those who have completed this course and the baby steps along with it.

Baby Steps

  1. Place $1,000 in a beginner emergency fund ($500 if your income is under $20,000/yr)

  2. Pay off all debt except your home mortgage using the debt snowball

  3. Put three to six months of expenses into savings as a full emergency fund.

  4. Invest 15% of your household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement plans

  5. Start college funding for your kids

  6. Pay off your home early

  7. Build wealth and give

Although I don’t agree with everything Dave Ramsey says, you can't argue with the positive impact he has on helping millions of families improve their finances.

Baby steps I disagree with

  • I don't think everyone should pay off their home early and sometimes the debt snowball method isn’t the best option.

  • You may need to save more or less than 15% of your income depending on your timeline, current savings and goals.

Something I can agree with Dave on is that this book addresses a few key questions most people seem afraid to appraoch.

  • Is money evil?

  • Should the rich give all of their money away?

  • Is it okay to have money?

  • How do you manage the guilt that can come with having more than enough?

Pg. 1 - I was just a manager, and God was the owner
  • Deuteronomy 10:14-17 "Everything belongs to the LORD your God. The heavens, even the highest heavens, belong to him. The earth and everything on it belong to him.

Pg. 18 - Is money the root of all evil?
  • No, but to love money and place it as your primary goal/idol is where evil can grow. Meaning that you may be willing to commit evil acts in your pursuit of it and, in turn, harm your relationships, reputation, and conscious.

  • 1 Timothy 6:10 "For the love of money is the root of all evil; and while some have coveted after it, they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Legacy Journey

Pg 30. - Learn how to steward your assets and pass that lesson on to your children.
  • "When I die, they'll take over the management, not the ownership – because it's not mine to leave them."

  • We all are managers of resources, whether money, wisdom, health, friends, athletic ability, beauty, humor, warmth, time, etc. These are all gifts that we are managers of, and they can be used for uplifting others or selfish ambition. If you are giving money to someone (charity, child or friend), it's crucial that they know how best to manage that asset. You would only put a child in charge of mowing the lawn after first instructing them how this dangerous tool should be used and what to be careful of. Finances should be treated the same way.

Pg 45. - The rich young ruler (a familiar parable that people use to guilt the wealthy)
  • Luke 18:18-25 "A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother." "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When he heard this, he became very sad because he was very wealthy. Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

  • "Jesus is so wise. He sees straight through to the heart of this person. He knows this young man is looking for a checklist of things to do to make it into heaven, but Jesus won't play that game. Instead, He immediately calls out the one thing He knows will be a stumbling block for this guy: his wealth.

  • What about the statement in verse 25? "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God? Does that mean the rich can't enter heaven? What Jesus is saying here is cleared up in the next two verses. The people ask in verses 26-27, "Those who heard this asked, "Who then can be saved? Jesus replied, "What is impossible with man is possible with God."

  • This sounds like Jesus is saying that the wealthy can't buy a golden ticket to heaven and neither can anyone else. No amount of donation or good works will ensure their seat in heaven. Entering heaven on one's own accord is like a camel trying to fit through the eye of a needle. Only through God is entering heaven possible.

Pg. 53 - Examples of wealthy godly people
  • "Faithful men and women, who had massive wealth and yet whose devotion to God is never questioned? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, David, Solomon, Joseph of Arimathea, and Lydia"

  • Ecclesiastes 5: 18-19 "This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God."

Pg. 90 - Work is important
  • Proverbs 13:4 "A sluggard's appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."

  • Proverbs 21:5 "The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty."

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10 "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat."

  • Pg. 95 - "Find some things to do that give you that childlike excitement periodically in your career. Your work, your life, everything about you – it all matters to God."

Pg 169 - A call to generosity
  • "The problem comes when, like the farmer, we store up wealth because we worship it, and the wealth is our only source of security."

  • "Generous giving is the antidote for selfishness."

Pg. 173 - Giving should be FUN
  • One of my favorite people, Justin Smith, says you should give where your great passion and the world's great need line up. This is the most fulfilling, fun, thrilling thing you can do. Imagine you have a passion for families and helping them find a safe place to grow. So you give time and money to Habitat for Humanity because they give hand-ups instead of handouts, and you get to work alongside a family to build the home they'll live in at a significantly discounted price!

  • Or you may love rock climbing, pottery, or music, and that is where you can hang out with people and improve each others lives through friendship. Loving others through a shared passion is what we were made for.

Pg 187 - Does the Bible instruct us to give away all our money?
  • Some groups demand that the wealthy give away all of their money and use the Bible to back up their demands. Often, this is a twisting of scripture and comes from a desire to make that wealthy person feel guilty or stems from a root of envy in the person making the demand. Deciding what to give is a personal decision that differs with each family. However, giving away at least 10% of your income is a healthy rule to follow. This is because it helps you find the joy that giving can be and reduces the grasp that money has over your life.

  • Dallas Willard: "If Christians view money as evil and filthy, then godly people should never have money. And if godly people never have money, we are effectively surrendering all the wealth of the world to the enemy. If the people of God pull out of the marketplace, we leave a hole in the world that other forces will rush in to fill. Somehow, I don't think that's what God had in mind."


I am scratching the surface with the excerpts from above. If you want to know all of the anecdotes and stories in this book, I recommend reading or listening to it. However, having more than enough money is rare. It's a sensitive topic that requires those with more to be conscious of how they use it. If you brag about your new toys, houses, income, golf clubs, etc., then, of course, people will dislike you. That's like the kid in school who constantly bragged about everything he/she had. It's natural to oppose those actions. But there was likely another kid in school with the same resources, skills, and natural gifts but used them to be kind and help others. Guess what? Everyone loved that selfless guy/girl. I'm trying to be more like kid two, and hopefully, I can be a better reflection of love to those around me and less of a deterrant in the process. Below are some verses that hit close to home for me.

James 4:16 - "As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil."

Jeremiah 9:23 - "Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches."

Pg. 56: “This is not about you; it’s not about some hocus-pocus, pseudo-Christian formula so you can get rich. I’m not about you getting rich; I’m about God being rich and you managing it well for Him! So go out there and be successful – I dare you!”

I hope you liked the financial wisdom of 'The Legacy Journey' by Dave Ramsey on Flat Fee Financial.

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