By: Shmuel Shayowitz

If you aren’t familiar with the Kosher Money podcast, now would be an excellent opportunity to check it out. Recently, Eli Langer, host of Kosher Money, and Zevy Wolman, entrepreneur and founding member of Living Smarter Jewish, had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Ramsey. As many of you might know, I have been a proud sponsor and supporter of the Kosher Money podcast and have been privileged to be included with mini ‘money tip’ episodes during the shows. The podcast is leading the Jewish personal finance revolution!

If you aren’t aware, Dave Ramsey is an eight-time national bestselling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by 23 million listeners every week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business, and many more. Since 1992, Dave has transformed the lives of countless people by helping them take control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives.

As an evangelical Christian, the fundamental tenets of Ramsey’s financial guidance are based on biblical principles for handling money. The team at Kosher Money sat down with Dave at his corporate headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee, to see how he applies his philosophies to the life of an Orthodox Jew in the 21st Century. As of this writing, the interview has amassed over 15k views within 24 hours of being posted on YouTube.

They initially questioned whether Ramsey could apply his viewpoints to their target audience. His reply was an indisputable confirmation, “The good news is that portions of the Christian faith and Orthodox Jewish faith overlap.” There are principles for handling money that both faiths would be in complete agreement that are “absolute truths.” Ramsey went on to say that if one becomes perpendicular to those principles, they will experience pain and problems. Those who align with those beliefs will see success in their lives beyond just finances.

Ramsey frequently referenced the Bible and the books of Ecclesiastes and Proverbs to support his beliefs. For example, he quoted Chapter 11 of Kohelet, “Divide your portion among seven, or even eight, for you do not know what disaster may befall the land.” Ramsey explained, “what modern financial planners would call diversification was spoken by Solomon in Ecclesiastes.” You can define disaster with however much drama you want; Whether it’s just simple inflation like we’re fighting right now or whether it’s something more catastrophic, you’ll be glad you were diversified, noted Ramsey.

On the topic of credit cards, Ramsey was vehemently against their usage. “You can play with snakes, and some people won’t get bit, but the snakes do bite, and a lot of people get bit – so why play with snakes? I use a debit card, and it pays off everything automatically because you can’t use it unless there’s money in your account,” said Ramsey. Many people play the credit game for the airline miles, to which Ramsey bluntly said, “we have not got any data that indicates that any millionaires became millionaires because of their airline miles.” I can attest to the countless cases I encounter of people who are mired in debt, and it all began with “credit card rewards.”

The discussion went on to cover many other relevant topics such as ‘home buying and peer pressure,’ ‘raising independent kids,’ ‘allowance for children,’ ‘the power of charity/tithing,’ ‘guidance for those who fell into debt,’ ‘successfully finding work-life balance,’ ‘advice on inflation,’ ‘the importance of college,’ ‘entrepreneurship vs. employment,’ and other very captivating topics of interest. I highly recommend listening to this episode and look forward to continuing my review in a future article.

Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Approved Funding is a mortgage company offering competitive interest rates as well as specialty niche programs on all types of Residential and Commercial properties. Shmuel has over 20 years of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. He can be reached via email at Shmuel@approvedfunding.com.

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