12 Things to Do Differently with Money in 2024 (Dave Ramsey Advice)

12 Things to Do Differently with Money in 2024 (Dave Ramsey Advice)

As we enter 2024, embracing new financial strategies recommended by Dave Ramsey becomes crucial for anyone looking to make significant changes in their financial situation. Drawing inspiration from his timeless wisdom as a leading voice in personal finance, this article aims to guide you through a transformative journey with how you manage and spend your money this year.

We’ll explore 12 essential actions that can reshape your financial approach, from budgeting and debt management to investing, relationships, and personal growth. Whether you’re navigating the complexities of student loans, looking to enhance your income streams, or seeking to fortify your financial unity in marriage, these insights offer a roadmap to a more secure and prosperous financial future.

  1. Get on the Same Page with Your Spouse: Combine finances with your spouse and work together towards shared financial goals if you’re not already.
  2. Get on a Budget: Create and stick to a budget to manage your finances effectively.
  3. Don’t Wait on Student Loan Forgiveness: Continue paying off student loans instead of waiting for potential forgiveness. Focus on eliminating student loan debt.
  4. Protect the Emergency Fund: Use your emergency fund only for actual emergencies and avoid dipping into it for non-urgent expenses.
  5. Try Out a New Side Hustle: Consider starting a side hustle to create more income and help you achieve financial goals faster.
  6. Prioritize Contentment: Cultivate contentment to avoid unnecessary spending and the trap of materialism.
  7. Be Aware of Lifestyle Creep: Be mindful of increasing your spending as your income grows, and live below your means.
  8. Buy a House Only When You’re Ready: Ensure you’re financially stable (debt-free, with an emergency fund) before purchasing a home, and stick to a 15-year mortgage that doesn’t exceed a quarter of your take-home pay.
  9. Beware of Buy Now, Pay Later: Avoid these schemes as they encourage overspending and can lead to debt.
  10. Monitor Online Spending Habits: Be aware of the ease and potential overuse of online shopping.
  11. Maximize Your Retirement Savings: Focus on increasing contributions to your retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Prioritize long-term financial security by investing more towards retirement, ensuring a stable and comfortable future.
  12. Create a Sinking Fund for Large Expenses: Establish a sinking fund to save systematically for significant future expenses. This method involves regularly setting aside a small amount into a dedicated savings account for anticipated large costs, such as vacations, home renovations, or a new car.

Unite Financially with Your Spouse

One of the most significant steps you can take in managing your finances is to unite financially with your spouse. Combining finances is not just about pooling resources; it’s about aligning your goals and working together towards a shared future. This unity can lead to more effective budgeting, shared financial responsibilities, and a deeper understanding of each other’s economic perspectives. It’s a decisive step that can strengthen your financial standing and relationship.

For married couples, joint checking accounts promote transparency, trust, and teamwork in financial matters. Sharing an account encourages open communication about spending and saving, helping you work together towards common financial objectives. It’s a step that signifies unity and commitment to each other and your shared financial future.

Master the Art of Budgeting

Budgeting is the cornerstone of sound financial management. A zero-based budget, where your income minus your expenses equals zero, ensures every dollar is accounted for. This method not only helps in tracking your spending but also in making intentional financial decisions. By assigning a purpose to each dollar, you can avoid the pitfall of overspending and start building towards your financial goals.

Strategically Eliminate Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt can be a significant burden, but it’s a challenge that can be tackled strategically. Prioritize paying off these loans to free yourself from the high-interest and long-term financial strain they can cause. Consider various repayment plans or refinancing options to find the most effective way to clear this debt. Remember, eliminating student loan debt is a crucial step toward financial freedom.

Take charge of your student loans. Don’t rely on the possibility of student loan forgiveness. Take proactive steps to manage and repay your loans. Understand your repayment options, and create a plan to tackle this debt head-on. Taking control of your student loans is an empowering step towards financial independence.

Safeguard Your Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is your financial safety net. Building and maintaining this fund is crucial to cover unexpected expenses like medical emergencies or sudden job loss. Aim to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses and resist the temptation to dip into this fund for non-emergencies. A robust emergency fund is the backbone of a secure financial plan.

Explore New Side Hustles for Extra Income

In today’s gig economy, side hustles are a great way to generate additional income. Whether it’s freelance work, a part-time job, or a small business venture, these opportunities can accelerate debt repayment, boost savings, or fund investments. Assess your skills and interests to find a side hustle that aligns with your lifestyle and financial goals.

Cultivate a Mindset of Contentment

Contentment is a powerful tool in financial management. It helps you resist the urge to overspend and live beyond your means. You can maintain a healthy relationship with money by appreciating what you have and avoiding the trap of constant comparison. Contentment doesn’t mean settling for less; it means finding joy and satisfaction during your financial journey by appreciating what you have now.

Stay Vigilant Against Lifestyle Creep

Lifestyle creep, the tendency to increase spending as income rises, can hinder your financial progress. Be mindful of your spending habits, especially when you experience a salary hike or windfall. Maintaining a lifestyle that aligns with your long-term financial goals, rather than immediate gratification, is critical to building wealth.

Buy a Home When Financially Prepared

Homeownership is a significant financial commitment. Before taking this step, ensure you’re debt-free, have an emergency fund, and can afford a mortgage that doesn’t exceed a quarter of your take-home pay. Buying a home when you’re financially ready prevents unnecessary stress and contributes to your overall financial stability.

Steer Clear of Buy Now, Pay Later Traps

The allure of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ schemes can lead to impulsive purchases and accumulated debt. Recognize these offers for what they are: a temptation to spend money you may not have. Instead, focus on saving for what you need or want and avoid the pitfalls of deferred payment options.

Monitor and Control Online Spending

Online shopping, with its convenience and endless options, can lead to overspending. Be conscious of your digital purchasing habits. Set limits, use tools to track your spending, and resist impulse buys. By controlling your online spending, you can ensure it aligns with your budget and financial goals.

Maximize Your Retirement Savings

In financial wisdom, one of Dave Ramsey’s critical pieces of advice is prioritizing and maximizing your retirement savings. This involves diligently contributing to retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs to secure a financially stable and comfortable future. It’s about understanding the power of compound interest and the importance of starting early, allowing your investments more time to grow.

By focusing on your retirement savings, you’re not just preparing for the future; you’re actively building a foundation that ensures peace of mind and financial independence in your later years. This approach is a cornerstone of responsible financial planning, aligning with the principle of looking ahead and preparing today for a prosperous tomorrow.

Create a Sinking Fund for Large Expenses

Embracing the concept of a sinking fund is a strategic move in managing your finances, as advised by financial experts like Dave Ramsey. This approach methodically sets aside funds for upcoming significant expenses, such as family vacations, home improvements, or even purchasing a new vehicle. By allocating a small, manageable portion of your income regularly into a dedicated savings account, you’re preparing for these huge expenditures in advance.[1]

This not only eases the financial burden when the time comes but also aligns with prudent financial planning, ensuring that you can enjoy these moments or make these purchases without the stress of financial strain or the need to compromise your other financial commitments.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial Unity in Marriage: Merging finances with your partner can fortify your relationship and economic standing.
  • Budget Mastery: A detailed financial plan is crucial for effective money management.
  • Student Debt Strategy: Actively tackle educational loans to alleviate long-term financial burdens.
  • Emergency Savings Protection: Prioritize building a robust fund for unforeseen expenses.
  • Innovative Income Streams: Explore additional earning methods to enhance your financial capacity.
  • Embracing Financial Satisfaction: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude to avoid unnecessary expenditures.
  • Guard Against Spending Escalation: Be cautious of increasing expenses as income grows.
  • Timely Homeownership: Commit to property investment only when financially secure.
  • Proactive Loan Management: Take the initiative in handling and repaying student debts.
  • Avoid Deferred Payment Schemes: Steer clear of tempting offers that lead to future debt.
  • Digital Spending Discipline: Regulate online purchases to prevent budget overruns.
  • Joint Financial Accounts in Matrimony: Shared bank accounts in marriage encourage mutual financial responsibility.
  • Prioritize Retirement Contributions: Emphasize the importance of regularly contributing to retirement accounts. Understand the impact of compound interest and start saving early to ensure a financially secure future.
  • Strategically Save with Sinking Funds: Highlight the effectiveness of sinking funds in planning for significant expenses. Setting aside money incrementally can ease the financial burden of significant future costs without disrupting your budget.


Embarking on a journey toward success in personal finance in 2024 involves embracing transformative principles. It’s about harmonizing monetary goals within a partnership, navigating the path of fiscal prudence, and cultivating a mindset that values long-term stability over immediate gratification.

This approach calls for a proactive stance in managing debts, a vigilant eye on spending habits, and a commitment to mutual financial transparency in relationships. By adopting these strategies, one can navigate the complexities of personal finance with confidence and grace, paving the way for a future that’s not only financially secure but also rich in contentment and purpose.

As you navigate through 2024, embracing these 12 financial strategies inspired by Dave Ramsey is financially intelligent. From budgeting and debt management to investing in relationships and personal growth, each step is a building block toward a more secure and fulfilling financial life. Remember, the journey to financial wellness is ongoing, and every step counts, no matter how small. Here’s to a prosperous and financially savvy 2024! [2] [3]