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Rachel Cruze: Financial Expert Profile

Rachel Cruze is in the unique position of having learned about money since she was a child. Her father, financial expert Dave Ramsey, taught her how to stay out of debt and live within her means. Now Cruze is a successful speaker in her own right. She offers similar advice to Ramsey’s but also draws on her own experiences as young professional and recent mother.

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Top Financial Advice From Rachel Cruze

The biggest piece of advice from Rachel Cruze is to avoid debt. If you already have debt, Cruze recommends working to get out of it as quickly as possible. She says that debt will make it more difficult for you to meet your goals and live the life you want. Debt is also stressful and she warns it could strain your relationships with family or friends.

Cruze believes that many of us get into debt because we compare ourselves to others. We see the nice things that other people have and then we want those things too. It’s great to have nice things but Cruze emphasizes in her book, “Love Your Life Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want,” that you can’t compare your life to the lives of others. We’re all in different places financially and personally.

Before you even start paying your debt, Cruze urges people to create an emergency fund. It’ll provide you with a sense of security and will soften the impact of unexpected expenses or challenges, like losing your job. Cruze recommends starting with an emergency fund of $1,000. This will provide just enough cushion for you to focus on paying your debt. As you get your debt under control, she advises increasing your emergency fund so it has enough to cover three to six months of expenses. Cruze goes into further detail on maintaining an emergency fund in her video blog, which you can find on her website. If you’re just looking for ideas on where to store your emergency fund, read this article.

Cruze also explains in her book, “Love Your Life Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want,” how it’s vital to live within your means. Don’t buy something if you can’t afford it. She recommends creating a budget to keep yourself from overspending. Studies show that people are more likely to stick to a goal if they write it down. So help yourself by writing down your budget. You may also want to create a budget with your significant other, should you have one. Cruze does this with her husband. They sit down and together come up with a budget that covers everything from eating out to home repairs.

Some people dislike budgets because they seem restrictive. However as Cruze and financial expert J. Money will tell you, a budget is only as restrictive as you make it. If your morning cappuccino is important to you, then include money for cappuccinos in your budget. Cruze and her husband always makes sure to budget money for fun things like eating out with friends. The key is to spend on things that are important to you and to always live within your means.

One area where Cruze echoes her father is on credit cards. Both Cruze and Ramsey advise people to cancel their credit cards, cut them up and throw them out. They believe people are too likely to misuse credit cards and instead advocate for using cash for all your purchases. If don’t want to use cash, Cruze suggests a debit card. With a debit card you are drawing money directly from your checking account. She says that’ll help to keep you aware of what your spending versus how much you have.

However, it is worth noting that there is nothing inherently wrong with credit cards and not all financial experts take this hard-line stance. It is possible to use credit cards responsibly and to reap the rewards attached to them.

A Brief Bio of Rachel Cruze

Rachel Cruze: Financial Expert Profile

Rachel Cruze was born in 1988. As we mentioned previously, her father is financial expert Dave Ramsey, so she heard a lot about money growing up. When Cruze was 6 months old, her parents filed for bankruptcy. Her father had a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio, but he also had a lot of debt. The debt led to his bankruptcy and Cruze was able to see him regrow his wealth firsthand.

She began speaking onstage with her father when she was 15 years old. Since then, Cruze has continued to help at her father’s media company. She has traveled the country for talks and live events and has appeared on TV and radio shows. Her first book, which she co-wrote with her father, was published when she was in her mid-20s. In 2014, she started a video blog and published her second book in 2016.

Financial Focus and Philosophy

As the daughter of Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze largely echoes her dad’s philosophy. She talks extensively about staying out of debt and living within your means. However she differs from her father by speaking specifically to young professionals. Her first book dealt with teaching kids about money. Cruze has talked about college finances – ways to plan for college, how to create a college budget and ways to handle your money after graduation. She also offers money-saving advice for new mothers. She recently had her second child and often shares her experiences – both good and bad – through her video blog.

Where You Can Find Rachel Cruze

Rachel Cruze has an official website where you’ll find ticket information to her live events and articles on financial topics like debt-free living and planning for college. You can follow Cruze on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She also maintains a video blog on YouTube.

Current Projects

Cruze released her second book, “Love Your Life Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want,” in October 2016. The book discusses how you can use seven habits in your life so that you can reach your financial goals. As mentioned above, Cruze has a video blog on YouTube. The blog covers all aspects of finance and particularly focuses on advice for young professionals and new mothers.

Takeaway

Rachel Cruze: Financial Expert Profile

Rachel Cruze has been learning about money for her whole life. She is the daughter of Dave Ramsey and her basic financial advice is similar to her father’s. She is also an engaging speaker in her own right, with a personable and conversational tone that particularly appeals to young professionals. If you watch her video blog, you’ll hear plenty of jokes, asides and stories that make her easy to connect with. Recent college graduates and young mothers may particularly benefit from her money-saving tips.

Tips to Help You Take Control of Your Finances

  • Working with a financial advisor can help you take control of your finances. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Rachel Cruze recommends budgeting to keep you on track financially. One budgeting idea that has been around for a years is the 50/20/30 rule. According to this rule, your first priority is to budget 50% of your money to essentials like food, rent/mortgage payments and transportation to and from work. Your next priority is putting 20% of your money toward your future. This includes your savings, your retirement and your emergency fund. Then you have 30% of your money that you can put toward your lifestyle. This includes fun things like eating out but also important things like your cell phone bill. The exact percentages of your budget will vary, but the 50/20/30 rule is a good guide.
  • Cruze says to opt for a debit card instead of a credit card. It is absolutely true that you can rack up debt if you use a credit card irresponsibly. However, if you know that you can use a card responsibly, you could save money some money with one of this year’s best rewards credit cards. If you cannot use a card responsibly (or if you’re unsure whether you could) your best bet is to follow Cruze’s advice. You can avoid putting yourself in a bad position by using cash or a debit card.
  • Cruze is a women working in a field (finance) made up largely of men. If you’re a woman who finds herself struggling with finances, you may also want to check out the female-focused advice of Amanda Steinberg.

Photo credit: Photos of Rachel Cruze courtesy of Ramsey Solutions, Last image is a screenshot from RachelCruze.com

Derek Silva, CEPF® Derek Silva is determined to make personal finance accessible to everyone. He writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SmartAsset, serving as a retirement and credit card expert. Derek is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®). He has a degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has spent time as an English language teacher in the Portuguese autonomous region of the Azores. The message Derek hopes people take away from his writing is, “Don’t forget that money is just a tool to help you reach your goals and live the lifestyle you want.”
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