Dear Dave Ramsey,

 Previously I promised that I would chase my potential naming issue in a very direct manner… this process is underway.  Below is a copy of the letter I have sent to Dave Ramsey to tell my story and seek his approval.

In the meantime, my spirit is buoyed by my finding 2 3 other ‘tribute’ sites that invoke the name of Dave Ramsey – and in perhaps a more assumptive or ‘aligned’ manner given their titles and content - see blogroll to the right. 

In any event, I remain hopeful for his support in which case I’ll add one of the many link-back banners advertising his site (currently available free on his website).  If he asks me to stop - at least as part of a positive discussion I would hope - I will take measures to change my name with no ill will towards him or his organization. 

I will add, that based on the comments I have received – either posted here or received via direct emails - my sense is that I have already steered a couple folks to Ramsey’s books and radio show.  But that could simply be wishful thinking on my part.

Stay tuned for more updates as they unfold.  I commit to being as transparent as I know how to be as part of this process… I think this ideal comes across in my letter and letter attachements as well.

If you have other clever naming ideas – or want to voice your support (or dislike) for this name – please drop them in the comments portion!

And now on to the letter… unedited from the version mailed last week:

 

February 11, 2009

Dave Ramsey -

Hello, my name is Dave Ozment and I am writing to achieve two purposes – first to express a word of gratitude and second to seek your approval.

First, I am truly grateful to you for your ministry.  My wife and I have paid off nearly $200k in the last ~20 months following your plan.  I was recently offered a buyout and as a direct result of our Baby-Stepping we were in position to recognize it as an opportunity for blessing rather than as a risk of ruin.  Sincerely, we thank you for what you do and as soon as I land a new job we’ll almost immediately finish the Snowball and have our Emergency Fund in place.  I look forward to calling to offer our Debt Free scream once this happens.

Second – and this is the true motivation behind my letter.  I have recently launched a personal finance blog which I have, I think, cleverly named www.DoYouDaveRamsey.com.  While my intentions are pure, I fear that I may be infringing upon your copyright.  Ideally, I would like your approval to continue but I understand if your policy is to deny such requests.  In either case, I wanted to confront the issue sooner than later.

I am including attachments to better explain how I arrived at this point – an active website bearing your name, as well as, sample posts to help establish a feel for my content.  Further, I welcome you to visit the site for additional materials and contextual aids.

 Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.

Thanks,

Dave Ozment

 

 page 2

Attachment:  Background

How did I arrive at this point, having a live website with Dave Ramsey’s name attached but yet no previous contact with Mr. Ramsey?  First, I admit fault.  I could have stopped and sought approval at any step along the way.  This is not intended as an excuse but rather a flow of events.

I am the budget nerd in our household.  As such, I could not devour enough books and podcasts on the topic nor could I spend enough time working through my budget spreadsheets.  As my passion overflowed these vessels I did what any other reasoned person would do… I started to Google. 

A quick “Dave Ramsey” entry into Google yielded a high ranking blog post challenging Ramsey’s ability to do math.  From there the obvious happened, I began devouring personal finance blogs.  Some were pretty good and others not so much.  “I can do this” entered my mind and then I realized that folks actually made money doing this… (I did start this from a position of naivety) so I thought I’d give it a ride. 

I first decided to write a handful of articles to test my passion… here’s where I started to cloud my judgment.  Nearly every blog I read had what I call a “Dave Ramsey position statement”.  Makes sense, it carves out a mental model and helps with search rankings.  I wanted a similar article but didn’t want it to sound like a regurgitation of all the others.

Meanwhile, I was trying to think of a clever name for the blog.

Then one day inspiration struck… Dave Ramsey is a brand, a methodology, a metaphor (if you will) for taking control of one’s finances.  In this way, do you budget or do you plan your personal finances becomes Do You Dave Ramsey?  Wow, a neat concept and a brilliant name for an article.  But wait, why stop there?  Just as rock bands often name their album after its best track, I thought this article name would make a great name for a website… and I still think it does but suddenly it seems in my excitement and haste I’ve stepped beyond a reasonable checkpoint.  I’ve failed to seek permission from the individual for whom I am an advocate and fan but of whom I’ve turned into a metaphor.

So if I am treading on policy ground previously marked black or white then I’ll respond accordingly.

However, if this represents a shade of grey in which conditions can be negotiated then I invite and welcome the discussion.

Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.

page 3

Attachment:  Sample Articles*

I am including a few sample articles to help provide further context as to nature and content on this site.  As this is but a sample, I welcome you to visit the site for additional materials for your review.

  • Do You Dave Ramsey? – the site’s title track… in this article I use 3 personal examples to argue how Dave Ramsey’s plan was better for my family than my own plan
  • 7 Shades of Dave – humor piece intersecting Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps with Dave Letterman’s Top 10
  • Thanks Dave Ramsey – A story of how I overcame my mental obstacles to become a Dave Ramsey fan and follower
  • DYDR Tool Overview – As a budget nerd I’ve created many spreadsheets to help me track our spending and saving over the years… this is an overview of my tools – which are all available free on the site
  • Getting out of Debt is Impossible – another humor piece written from the perspective of the masses who believe debt is good

 *each of my initial articles were written in Word rather than into the blog tool.  For this reason each provided article will appear in a more ‘raw’ version than what is published on the website.

Your Turn – If you enjoyed this article, I would personally appreciate it if you would consider commenting below and/or subscribing to our Free Updates via email or RSS updates.  Thanks!

Category: Personal Finance

2 thoughts on “Dear Dave Ramsey,

  1. Dave Bunker on said:

    Dave Ramsey’s highly individualized fiscal regimen is more than problematic on a macro level. It encourages whole segments of Christian enclaves to allow their values and ethics to be formed by a theological sacramentalzing of capitalism. He stirs up sentiments that are increasingly anti-govermental (i.e. he speaks of Obama and leaders with a high degree of arrogance and flippancy regarding highly complex issues), antiwelfare,( he places responsiblities for all financial problems on the isolated person nuclear family) anti-urban,(the assumption that cities need less help from the government rather than more) which ultimately reflects a great indifference to and ignorance of racial justice) which all points to how disengaged from the troubles of the world this guy is. This is not a biblical understanding of economics but a highly selfish and personalized sense of economic freedom. I.E. I will help you when I get my life together. In the meantime…sorry! He should see if his teaching works in the inner city or in parts of the country where entire towns have been wiped out by corporate greed. Obviously I take a much harsher read on the financial advice of the regressive Dave Ramsey. I am glad you are out of debt. Now…how about your neighbor? Not responsible for him? Yeah…that is what I thought.

    Dave Bunker’s last blog post..Putting Our Own House in Order

    • Dave Ozment on said:

      Interesting commentary Bunker (too many “Dave’s” in this conversation) and thanks for jumping in. I won’t defend Ramsey – he surely doesn’t need my puny voice, but I’ll contribute my 2 cents. I spent some time considering my response and I think I’ll do best by first asking for a clarification as to your true position on the matter.

      You seem to have strong stance against the strength of the individual, calling Ramsey’s individualized approach problematic on a larger scale. However, in your post recent blog post – linked from your comment – you offer the pearl “We are world citizens after we are neighbors”. Following this strand, we are then individuals before we are neighbors. You continue your eloquent prose with 4 beautify crafted paragraphs (you truly are a talented writer) focused on the importance of getting out of debt. If one knew no better, one might mistake you for Ramsey’s Harvard educated older brother.

      It seems I find myself agreeing more with your opinion circa November 30, 2008 than I do today. I firmly believe in the biblical principle of taking care of our own household first. It is at this point that I can best help others. But what if everyone believed and practiced this ideal?

      If everyone managed their ‘economy of one’ then the local and national and global economies would only benefit. I believe this idea transcends demographics. I also firmly believe in the responsibility of the individual regardless of their circumstances. That is not to say that some will still require assistance but let’s focus that energy on those who truly “can’t” rather than on all of those who simply “won’t”.

      Micro and Marco have an interesting relationship. In trying to wrap my final point I’ve only come to appreciate this even moreso. You offer that Ramsey’s approach is too individualized yet ask what I, as an individual, am doing to help my individual neighbor. I would counter than everyone doing the best for themselves would prove bouyant to the larger economy yet this ingores true pockets – urban or rurual – of individuals still requiring assistance.

      So is there a balance and where does it reside? Frankly, I believe you beat me to the answer many months ago – Put our own house in order as inidividuals then together we’ll treat our local community and only then can we aspire to achieve nationally or even globally. This road map and these principles are timeless and cross ethical or political or even most favored talk-show host lines.

      Dave Bunker, thanks for contributing this evening. I’ve enjoyed putting my thoughts down on this matter. I simply hope I did so in a logical and constructive manner. I hope you’ll visit again and continue to keep me on my toes.

      Dave Ozment

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