Should You Still Be Following The Baby Steps? – EP 375

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As the personal finance podcast industry grows every year, you might find yourself overwhelmed or confused by the contradictory and countless pieces of advice you hear. Frugal friends create a space for you to find the radical middle—discovering what is going to make sense for you and holding on to the tension of all the advice you receive. In this episode, Jen and Jill take us back to controversial financial advice coined as the “baby steps” or “blueprint” aligning the current status of our economy.

Every milestone on your journey should be focused on with intention


  • 1992. The year that brought us the first Thinkpad, the first laptop with a trackpoint and when CD sales surpassed audio cassette tapes for the first time. While the Thinkpad isn’t the best laptop on the market anymore, we needed that technology to get where we are today.

    The same goes for savings accounts that offer less than 4% APY. If you don’t have at least one HYSA it’s time to take advantage of what advances in technology have given us and protect it against something else technology has helped give us, inflation. Head to to see our favorite fee-free HYSA.

Why Everyone Needs Dave Ramsey and Why You Should Ignore Him

This article by Choose FI highlights Dave Ramsey’s popular “baby steps” or “blueprint” in what we do with our finances, which might be outdated and no longer serve you in 2024.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Jill suggests updating the starter emergency fund (Baby Step #1) recommendation from $1,000 to around $2,000, considering the changes in income and the cost of goods over the past 30 years. Jen advocates for the debt snowball method in Baby Step #2, emphasizing its focus on behavioral psychology and the importance of building confidence with upfront wins.

Jen and Jill also discuss steps, highlighting the significance of intentional financial planning, critiquing Dave Ramsey’s investment advice for actively managed funds, and recommending a 529 plan for funding children’s education. They also express personal preferences for steps like paying off the house (Baby Step #6) and endorse the wealth-building and giving aspects of Baby Step #7.

A Defense of Dave Ramsey

This article by Campfire Homesteading stands out as one of the few online articles defending Dave Ramsey that hasn’t been published by Ramsey Solutions.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Frugal Friends wants to give both sides and quoting this article is not meant to promote approaches or strategies Jen and Jill don’t agree with. There is no need to completely vilify a person for the things that don’t work for us. Jill highlights key critiques of Dave Ramsey, including accusations of being outdated, not considering diverse financial situations, and using harsh motivational methods. Finding other resources you can relate to, rejecting shame, and favoring kindness for positive change. 

Jen notes Ramsey’s use of strategies perceived as angry and shame-inducing, contrasting it with her preference for encouragement, flexibility, grace, and community. Finding other resources you can relate to, rejecting shame, and favoring kindness for positive change. Frugal Friends prioritize psychological well-being in their approach, acknowledging that while Dave’s methods may be efficient, they can also be unhealthy. They advocate for a path that may take longer but results in fewer emotional scars.

Some of the most helpful advice we’ve received in ‘thinking for ourselves’ on our financial journey

Jill realized her own circumstances were different from the people she used to hear personal finance advice from, so she sought out other resources, and they taught her permission for freedom, which is the opposite of shame. Same as Jen, who discovered podcasts such as Choose FI and Stacking Benjamins that have helped her in the beginning of learning more about personal finance in a deeper aspect.

Bill of The Week

Thank you Kate for sharing your bill of the week about your first mortgage payment and ability to pay 10% down payment! Congrats!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening. We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one from:

Aussie fan

These ladies are so funny! They even make me want to move to Florida all the way from Melbourne, Australia 🤔 I hope you guys keep up the amazing podcasts, you have a lifetime listener from down under!

Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this show, please take a minute to leave a rating and review, it helps potential new listeners know what our show is all about!

And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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