54. We Read Dave Ramsey so You Don’t Have To with Gabe Dunn

November 8, 2022

The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn't cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don't personally use or believe in.

The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn’t cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don’t personally use or believe in.

Get in, feminists –– we’re reading Dave Ramsey

If you ever wondered why we’re so staunchly opposed to Dave, this episode is your gateway.

Tori is joined by Bad with Money’s Gabe Dunn as they share their thoughts on Dave’s newest book, Baby Step Millionaires.

In this episode, Tori and Gabe walk you through the various claims and educational pieces in Dave’s newest curriculum –– breaking down what he gets right and what he gets wrong about personal finance, millionaires, and more. 

You’ll learn:

  • Why HFK and many money educators are done with the Ramsey teaching style

  • Why reading self-reported data from millionaires might not be the most accurate

  • Some common phrases used in the personal finance community that are actually racist/classist

  • Alternatives to what Dave teaches and why 

Gabe’s Links:

Listen to Bad with Money
Read Bad with Money
Apocolypse Untreated on Audible

Meet Gabe

Gabe Dunn (they/them) is a New York Times bestselling author, TV writer, director, and journalist living in Los Angeles. Gabe is the host and creator of the podcast, BAD WITH MONEY WITH GABE DUNN. A non-fiction book based on the podcast was published by Simon & Schuster on January 1st, 2019, quickly becoming a bestseller. Gabe co-wrote the novels I Hate Everyone But You, a New York Times bestseller, and the sequel Please Send Help… Gabe published their debut original graphic novel, Bury The Lede, which is currently being adapted for TV. They created, and starred in the Audible Original series Apocalypse Untreated. They are also the co-host of the Just Between Us podcast on the Forever Dog network.


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Tori Dunlap (00:00:00):

Hello, everybody. Hello, financial feminists. Oh, we got a juicy one today. Oh my goodness, it is so good. But before we get into it, a couple housekeeping things. One is that if you aren’t already subscribed, what you doing? Please subscribe. It’ll allow you to make sure that you’re getting alerted when new episodes come out so you don’t miss any, and it also, of course, supports the show and helps us continue to grow if you hit that subscribe button wherever you get your podcasts. We are also doing our book presale, as you all know, and it is getting closer and closer to the day you can actually have the audio book in your ear holes or having a copy in your Kindle or being able to hold a copy, and I’m so excited.


So Financial Feminist, the book, is available wherever you get your books. And we’ve said this on social media before, but it is especially important to purchase that book, if you can, from an independent bookstore. One, because I want to live in a world where Amazon is not completely monopolizing everything and killing independent bookstores, and your support of indie bookstores by purchasing a copy there helps promote that mission. In addition, fun fact is that we are actually more likely as authors to make it on the New York Times bestseller list if you purchase a copy from anywhere except Amazon. So if you only can purchase through Amazon, that’s great. That’s amazing. We appreciate your support. If you can purchase through even a Barnes and Noble, a Books-A-Million, or your independent bookstore, we have all of the links down below. And independent bookstores ship, so if you live in the middle of nowhere, you actually can get an independent bookstore to ship you a copy. Fun fact. And if you can’t afford a $22 copy right now, no worries. Ask for it at your local library. We appreciate your support regardless.


Okay, today’s episode, long awaited from our audience. Me and my friend and fellow finance expert, Gaby Dunn, we join our powers for good to read Dave Ramsey so that you don’t have to. Yes, we actually read one of his books. Technically, you may have already heard this episode if you listen to Bad With Money, which is Gaby’s podcast. We did kind of a crossover episode, and they were kind enough to let us share this interview with our audience as well. It’s that good. You may know Gaby from their hit podcast Bad With Money or from their days on YouTube and Buzzfeed. Gaby Dunn is a writer, journalist, comedian, podcaster, and New York Times bestselling author of Bad With Money: The Imperfect Art of Getting Your Financial Shit Together. Fun fact, obviously Gaby Dunn‘s last name and my last name are very similar, so I have joked to them that our books are going to live side-by-side on bookshelves forever more in the personal finance section.


In this episode, we go through He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s newest book called Baby Step Millionaires, and we break down his advice from the… to the absolutely fucking not, and everything in between. You’re going to love this episode regardless of if you’re an ex-Financial Peace convert or if you’re just curious as to why I disagree with Dave Ramsey on so many things. Or maybe you’re like, “Dave Ramsey is worth my time,” this episode might convince you otherwise. So it’s just a riot. At one point, literally, I just tell Gaby, I’m just like, “I’m so tired, I don’t want to keep doing this,” and it’s one of the most fun episodes we’ve ever done. I think you’ll love it, and I think you’ll love sharing it too, and maybe stirring up some shit with family members or friends, so please enjoy the episode. Let’s go ahead and get into it.

Gaby Dunn (00:03:35):

Hello. Welcome back to another episode of Bad With Money where I torture people I like. My guest today is Tori Dunlap from Financial Feminist. And often, she rails against this man, and so I thought, why not make her read his most recent book? Hello, Tori. Can you tell my audience who you are?

Tori Dunlap (00:03:56):

Against is a very important word in that sentence, rails against him.

Gaby Dunn (00:04:00):

Uh-huh. Yep. Against this man.

Tori Dunlap (00:04:02):

Against. Against. Hello, everybody. My name is Tori. I am the founder of Her First $100K a
nd the author and host of Financial Feminist, which is both a podcast and a book now. And I have a very public vendetta against the man we will speak about today. And I’ve actually never read one of his books because-

Gaby Dunn (00:04:20):


Tori Dunlap (00:04:21):

Never, never touched it. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Yeah, you really popped my Dave Ramsey cherry here today, so thank you for that.

Gaby Dunn (00:04:31):

So why did you start hating him, and what do you hate about Dave Ramsey?

Tori Dunlap (00:04:40):

Okay, how much time do we have? Okay, so I want to first preface this entire conversation. He has helped a lot of people, and I think that in a way, I don’t know if my work, and I don’t want to speak for you, but I don’t know if we could do the work that we do if he didn’t exist, so that’s one thing.


I hate everything else. For me, half of it is the financial advice is either bad or it completely fails to acknowledge systemic oppression. That’s one camp. And then the other camp is how he runs this business. He has fired folks who have gotten pregnant out of wedlock. He is very vocal about being anti-LGBTQ. There’s the way he runs his business. You have to bring your own budget and your own personal finance reality to any job interview if you want to work in his company, and he’s been very, very public about that. So you have to unveil how much money you do or don’t have, which feels like a complete violation of privacy but also maybe vaguely illegal. So for me, it feels like there’s two different camps. One, the advice does not acknowledge systemic oppression and is often bad advice, and then-

Gaby Dunn (00:05:55):

Very bad advice.

Tori Dunlap (00:05:55):

… the way he operates his company is something that I’m just… makes me so angry. Makes me so angry.

Gaby Dunn (00:06:05):

It’s cultish in a way, the way that he runs things, which we will get into because I broke this book down into five categories that I will say for you. My notes are all color-coded. Okay, and I didn’t know this about him, but I suspected and then it really came full force is that he is deeply evangelical Christian, deeply. I thought it was kind of one of those things where all of these guys are pretty Christian, but I did not realize how Jesus-forward this is.

Tori Dunlap (00:06:38):

Yeah. Weaponizes Christianity, and the other thing too is Financial Peace University is his big program and it is often taught in churches. And yeah, my lovely, actually, podcast host Kristen lives in Nashville. And so his headquarters is in Nashville. We’ve talked about this a lot. Yeah, the Financial Peace University in and around Nashville but across the United States is taught by people within church. And I joke that he is the diet pill of personal finance. He calls you fat and then gives you the diet pill for it. And then in addition, he weaponizes Christianity in order to sell his products. The Christianity is the marketing tool. It’s the tactic.

Gaby Dunn (00:07:25):

Yes, which I didn’t realize. Also, I’ll get into this a bit later, but his real estate holdings, a lot of it is, in terms of cultishness, there’s a lot of stuff within his biological family or married into his family in an almost mafioso way, where his son-in-law runs the real estate corporation but then doesn’t put his name on some of the things where he sells Dave Ramsey’s homes. And so it’s kind of this Capital Realty Group, which is, I’ll get into it in a second, but which is a company that is under Dave Ramsey’s purview but he uses to sell and he puts his son-in-law in charge of it, which is… and doesn’t put his name on it, which is lightly illegal in some ways. Definitely unethical. And it all kind of works in the way that the mob puts their houses in their wives’ names, that kind of thing.

Tori Dunlap (00:08:17):

No, that’s a great perspective. He also has what he calls the Dave Ramsey personalities. So he has all of these other people who are under the Ramsey umbrella, including his daughter. And we’ve seen the downfall of a couple of these people. One in particular who was having, I think, various affairs with other women besides his wife, and they tried to cover up said affairs. And then it came out publicly and they were forced to fire him then. So again, all of the Christianity feels like it’s an asterisk where it’s like, oh, we’re Christian and we’re going to use this and the prosperity gospel and all those things, but also student debt forgiveness is a handout, and also we will… You shouldn’t cheat on your wife, but only if you discover that we’ve employed somebody who we know is cheating on their wife.

Gaby Dunn (00:09

Yeah, or, you know, there’s… I watched a couple of his call-in shows, There was definitely one with someone calling in about their spouse transitioning where he was not respectful of the trans person’s pronouns. There was another one where-

Tori Dunlap (00:09:25):

I’m shocked that the… Wow.

Gaby Dunn (00:09:27):

I know. No, no, no. It was someone calling in to be like, “I don’t know what to do. My spouse is transitioning and they’re going to take all my money to be trans.” It was like that. And then the second thing was someone called in and said, “What do I do if I don’t want to leave an inheritance to my kids because their politics are more liberal than mine and they’re leftist?” And he was like, “Don’t leave them an inheritance. Fuck them.”


So those are the two things that I’ve seen. And so before that, I only knew his name from that kind of stuff. I lightly looked into him, and then I knew that he was Christian and I knew that you hated him. And I decided… So I decided to read, he has, god, so many books. So I decided that we would read his #1 New York Times best-selling book Baby Steps Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth and How You Can Too. And he’s just… Look at this man. He’s just a dad. He’s just a regular guy.

Tori Dunlap (00:10:28):

I call him Walmart Santa.

Gaby Dunn (00:10:30):

That’s what he is. Regular guy. Okay, so the five categories that I broke this book into are, one, God and Jesus. Two, Excuses and Identity Politics.

Tori Dunlap (00:10:47):

This is great.

Gaby Dunn (00:10:48):

Three, Cult Status, where things that he says or done have reached the status of being eligible to be a cult. Four, Straw Man Arguments, and five, Who Is The Audience For This Book.

Tori Dunlap (00:11:04):

That was my thing too, is I was like, what am I learning? How is this helpful? You did some data, and half the book is the appendix of the survey you ran, which-

Gaby Dunn (00:11:18):

Oh, we’re going to get into it. So those are my five categories. They are color-coded. And I did this with Rich Dad Poor Dad, which is… There’s so much we could have said about Robert Kiyosaki, but-

Tori Dunlap (00:11:31):

Another whole clusterfuck as well.

Gaby Dunn (00:11:34):

Absolutely. But I was like, let’s just focus on the book itself, because I feel like that’s already so much.


So we open with him talking about following God’s way, live and give like no one else, and then he talks about hope and possibility, which comes up a lot because the only way that his books can function is if people have this thing that we’ve talked about a lot on this show, which is people striving for and having the hope and possibility that they one day too could be millionaires and billionaires. And then when they reach that level, they won’t advocate for more taxes so they shouldn’t advocate for them now even though that would help them. So it kind of is a very insidious use of hope, of hope and possibility.


You mentioned Financial Peace University. A lot of the followers of this stuff become Ramsey financial coaches, which I thought was quite culty, very MLM. My partner once was targeted by an ADHD executive coaching group that said, “A lot of our…” They said, “Actually, a lot of our people that got coached, they went on to become coaches within our program,” and they said that as a selling point. And I think that that is a red flag. So none of these people are actually financial experts. They just went through Dave Ramsey’s particular program. Red flag.

Tori Dunlap (00:13:05):

They learned the curriculum and maybe vaguely how to teach it.

Gaby Dunn (00:13:10):

It’s almost like a virus spreading, is how I picture i
t. You know what I mean? The little arms are getting bigger and bigger.

Tori Dunlap (00:13:12):

Is Dave Ramsey COVID? We’re not saying he is. However, if the…

Gaby Dunn (00:13:20):

I would say he’s a virus. I would say he’s not the virus. He’s a virus. Okay, then I really was… mind blown, because I was shocked by how quickly we got to Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life.

Tori Dunlap (00:13:36):

By sentence two, dude. Sentence two.

Gaby Dunn (00:13:40):

Incredibly fast. I am simply a steward of the blessings God has given me.

Tori Dunlap (00:13:46):


Gaby Dunn (00:13:47):


Tori Dunlap (00:13:50):

I don’t… Part of me is like, if Christianity works for you, great. Amazing. Fine. I am not going to judge you. I grew up Catholic. I went to 18 straight years of Catholic school. That was my reality for a very long time. I don’t know if I’m… I’m not an atheist. I actually don’t identify, but definitely am disillusioned with religion in general. But it’s not that you are religious. It is not that you believe that everything you do is in service of God’s plan. I have no beef with that. If you are a good person who is using Christianity as a way to become a good person, I have no issue with that. Great. Christianity, Judaism, any religion, whatever. It’s, again, the use as a marketing tactic with the prosperity gospel of, if I did it, you can do it too, and it is God’s plan for you to be wealthy and successful and all of these things. That, I have issues with.

Gaby Dunn (00:14:53):

Can you give a short definition of the prosperity gospel?

Tori Dunlap (00:14:56):

Basically the idea that you are destined for wealth or success, because, again, God has set this plan for you. You could probably actually give a better definition than I can. But literally Chapter 1, I just wrote in the margins, “Dave Ramsey equals God’s plan.” That’s what it feels like from jump.

Gaby Dunn (00:15:16):

What’s insidious to me as well is, well, it’s the idea that if people are wealthy, it’s because they’re good people who deserve this. But what’s insidious to me as well is, and he does this later on, the twisting of Christianity to be about gaining wealth when… and he goes way out of his way to explain how wealth is actually good, which we will get into. But it’s the twisting of religion to not advocating for social services, not advocating for the poor, not doing… Look, I’m not… I don’t know Jesus, but I’m just saying not doing things that Jesus would particularly do, but rather self-serving and making yourself wealthy. And we’re going to get into this even heavier because in terms of giving and tithing and charity, there is a really insidious undertone to all of that as well.

Tori Dunlap (00:16:04):

And all of it is bootstraps narrative. The whole thing is, if I can do it, you can do it too. And in addition, if this hasn’t worked for you, it’s because you did not work hard enough. If this didn’t work for you, it’s because you didn’t sacrifice enough. The words gazelle-like intensity, which what the fuck is that supposed to mean, shows up so many times. And this shows up in his podcast and his work too, right? He says gazelle-like intensity. I’m like, this is my other… This is my big beef with his advice, and my perspective is diets don’t work. We know they don’t work, because if the more you tell me I can’t have fried chicken, the more I want fried chicken. And that’s not a willpower thing. That is a human psychology, human brain thing. It also, again, completely fails to acknowledge any systemic issues that may be at play regardless of how hard you’re working. And again, what is gazelle-like intensity. I don’t know. He doesn’t really tell us. He just says sacrifice and scrimp and basically hate your life in order to get out of debt.

Gaby Dunn (00:17:10):

Yeah, there’s… Right, so what you say is there’s no… What you’re referencing is this quote. “There is no situation too unique or too difficult for the baby steps. They work every time.” I also put this under cult because the buzzwords are God’s ways, heroes. He calls people who have gone through his program heroes.

Tori Dunlap (00:17:29):

Oh, but he’s not a hero. Did you read that part? He goes, “I’m not a hero. I’m not a hero, but everybody else? Everybody else is heroes. I’m not a hero
though, but I’m going to write this entire book and then I’m going to brag about how I’m a New York Times bestseller.” Which, sure, brag about it. When I do it, I will brag about it. But like, oh boy. Oh, I’m not a hero. Everybody else is a hero, but I’m not a hero.

Gaby Dunn (00:17:47):

Well, yeah, or, okay, the other one is debt-free screams, where he has people scream once they’ve reached being debt-free. All of this, in my mind, I just kept going, this is The Vow. This is NXIVM. This is The Vow. And the problem here is that with cult status as my marker here, it’s the only listen-to-me element of this. So there’s a quote where he says, “Someone might say, ‘I don’t come from the right family or neighborhood.’ It’s also family, friends, neighbors, admissions counselors, business and government leaders, talking heads in the media. Anyone who tells you the only way to become wealthy is to inherit it, be a person of privilege, or graduate from a prestigious school. It’s today’s toxic money culture telling you all this crap. Only listen to me. I’m the only one who knows.”

Tori Dunlap (00:18:35):

Right. Right. And if you don’t, then it didn’t work, right? Again, it’s like a diet, right? It’s like, we’re going to sell you this thing, and if you don’t lose weight, oh, it’s not our fault. It’s not our fault. You just didn’t work hard enough. You didn’t starve yourself enough. You didn’t run 10 miles every day. It’s your fault.

Gaby Dunn (00:18:56):

You must have had someone in your ear telling you that that privilege is how people get rich.

Tori Dunlap (00:19:02):


Gaby Dunn (00:19:02):

That must have been the problem.

Tori Dunlap (00:19:03):

Crazy. It’s just from the get-go too. I want to read this, so this is Chapter 1. This is literally page one. So he gives all of these stories about people who have done it, which I think in a way is probably one of the most redeeming parts of the book, of, I’m giving you stories from people because we know stories connect with people, but also who are these people? I don’t know who these people are. You don’t tell me how much they make. You don’t tell me what, again, systemic issues they’re up against because they don’t matter to Dave Ramsey.

Gaby Dunn (00:19:32):

You do, but in a very sneaky and insidious way.

Tori Dunlap (00:19:37):

So he’s talking about Tiffany. Tiffany is this person who he mentioned. This is how it starts. She’s recently divorced. She’s figuring out how to be a single mom. She’s 27. Oh, he does say she’s working a job that pays $30,000 a year. Staggering amount of debt. “Tiffany had always believed God had a purpose and a plan for her, but because her life was so chaotic, she couldn’t figure out what that plan was or how to get it together. So she started researching ways to get out of debt and build wealth and found the Ramsey baby steps. At first, Tiffany tried to do the plan baby-steps-ish, doing some of it the way it’s taught by us at Ramsey and some of it the way she preferred. But she soon realized that to make progress as fast as she could, she needed to go all in. She couldn’t count on child support and she didn’t have anything of value to sell to speed up the process, but she worked extra hours, made tons of sacrifices.” That tells me nothing by the way. “And finally saved up enough for her emergency fund. Slowly but surely, she clawed her way out of $60,000 of debt,” which, and then at the end, she’s a hero and now she’s, oh, she’s a financial coach. She’s a Dave Ramsey financial coach.

Gaby Dunn (00:20:37):

And now she works for Ramsey Solutions. Exactly, exactly.

Tori Dunlap (00:20:42):

So what I wrote in the margins is I’m like, “You can’t a-la-carte it,” because to your point, if it didn’t work…

Gaby Dunn (00:20:51):

If one thing sticks out to you as wrong, or if one thing sits wrong in your gut about this, then you’re not doing it. Then you’re not doing it all in, and you’re not doing it right, and it’s you.

Tori Dunlap (00:21:02):

It’s you, which is, to your point, full cult. If, oh, if you haven’t given yourself over fully, that’s why. Yeah, the same thing with NXIVM, right? If it’s like, oh, you’re not seeing the strides in your life, it’s because you didn’t show up to this extra training or you didn’t join the women’s group.


And then the next story i
s the one that really got me because it’s just victim blame the entire time. So it’s talking about a couple, John and Maddie. Maddie’s prior marriage had been abusive and controlling. When she was angry, stressed, or in an argument with John, she would self-medicate by going on spending sprees. And then he basically shames her for this, as opposed to, let’s address the root of the issue, which is that she is completely normally trying to fill a void in her life that came from trauma and abuse by spending money. And so then it was like, oh, this person invited Maddie to a total money makeover live event, and Dave Ramsey is the reason, right? “Sitting in her seat that day, she came to a hard but powerful realization. Money wasn’t the problem. The problem for Maddie was the person in the mirror.” No, it was her abuser. It’s not the person in the mirror. It’s her abuser.

Gaby Dunn (00:22:10):


Tori Dunlap (00:22:10):

Can’t do it.

Gaby Dunn (00:22:10):

There’s a lot, I wrote this too, that there’s a lot in here about heterosexual marriage. And a lot of this is-

Tori Dunlap (00:22:17):

Yes, because he doesn’t believe in anything but.

Gaby Dunn (00:22:19):

Well, a lot of it ties the money to marriage and the marriage to happiness. So marriages are more likely to last if you’re in Ramsey solutions. You avoid bankruptcy and divorce. All of that is sort of tied together in this really insidious way of, there’s no… I keep saying insidious, but it is. It’s very… where it’s like, this is the reason that your marriage isn’t working. The reason that you know are getting divorced is all of this stuff that is tied to being unhealthy with money. And promises, making promises like if you come to me, your relationship will be happy. Not only will you be out of debt, but you won’t get divorced, and Lord knows being divorced is the worst thing you could do.

Tori Dunlap (00:23:06):

Yeah, I mean he’s said that this is what you should want, and then anybody who wants anything outside of that is crazy.

Gaby Dunn (00:23:16):

So here is where we get into the straw man arguments, and this comes up a lot. And this is what I figured out. He will present an argument that either no one is making, or that he has couched things together and equated things together that don’t go together in order to hide the one that is wrong. So he says, “What exactly is a millionaire? It’s not a political statement. It’s not a theological discussion. It’s not your feelings or emotions. It’s not the amount of money you make, and it’s not your mother’s opinion.” So what he does here and what he does a lot in this book is he puts things together that are… and hides the real thing he’s trying to say, right? He wants to just say it’s not a political statement, but he couches it in all these other things that are sort of true, like, oh yeah, I guess it isn’t really about feelings or emotions and, yeah, my mom’s opinion on what a millionaire is. That is true. But it’s all just to get political in there and hide it.

Tori Dunlap (00:24:19):


Gaby Dunn (00:24:20):

There’s another one that comes up that’s like, “You may think all rich people are evil or they’re all virtuous. In either case you’d be wrong.” And so he’s saying instead of the nuance of, you know, I think that rich people maybe could pay more taxes or maybe there are some areas in which there is a lot of wealth inequality, he gives you the argument, you think they’re all evil, you think they’re all virtuous, and you’re wrong. I don’t know if I’m explaining it correctly, but he kind of puts things…

Tori Dunlap (00:24:49):

It’s black and white. There’s no gray area and there’s no nuance, because both of those statements I actually agree with. And this is one of the only times I actually circled and I was like, I agree, is when he’s talking about what a millionaire is versus what a millionaire isn’t. He said, “A million dollars isn’t what it used to be.” That’s what he says some people say, and then other people are like, “A million dollars is not enough.” And I see this in my TikTok comments every single day as somebody’s like… I talk about investing and using compound interest to grow your wealth, and people are like, “Oh, but $5 million is going to be nothing,” and then other people are like, “$5 million, that’s a crazy amount of money.” And so you do have a lot of that. And I always joke that I want to build wealth not because I want a stack of government-issued paper. That doesn’t get me anything. I want what money can buy or what money can do in the world.


So I think both of the statements that you read ring true to me, where I think a lot of people do think, okay, rich people are either super virtuous or very evil. It’s wrong. It isn’t either of those things. But he isn’t allowing the nuance of that statement to be like, okay, let’s break down, why do we think rich people are virtuous? Or wh
y do we think rich people are evil? Well, maybe it’s because rich people are fucking the environment over or preventing us from having universal healthcare. Let’s talk about that. And we think they’re virtuous because we have all of these tech bros who orgasm when Elon Musk sneezes. So there’s no nuance to any of these things. It’s either it’s black, it’s white, it’s either this or that.


And he doesn’t allow for conversations, because, this is not defending him, but because if we do, which you and I do, I’m on a branch clearly, but you and I do this. It’s very hard to talk about money, and I’ve heard you discuss this, where I want to give actionable resources around money, but also everything has an asterisk, which is like, this doesn’t work if you’re poor. This doesn’t work if you’re in poverty. That’s a very complicated thing to say, especially when you’re branding yourself as the God-given expert. I struggle with this all of the time. 80% of personal finance, even maybe 90%, is circumstantial. I’m just trying to guide people in the 10% to 20% of what they can control and then using that money to go out and change everything else. But that’s way more complicated and way more nuanced and takes my ego out of it in a way that Dave Ramsey refuses to do.

Gaby Dunn (00:27:32):

Yes, he argues a lot against things that aren’t really being said. And I wrote that he hides accurate criticisms with outlandish ones. So he puts whining, he talks about whining, and it’s this thing of if you have complaints, you’re just jealous. If you criticize me, you’re just jealous. You’re not giving yourself the benefit of hope and possibility. And so he kind of, and this happens often, and there’s another example in Chapter 3, but he will say there’s false equivalency between these two things. And this is an example of one. “The number of broke people writing money blogs while living in their parents’ basement boggles the mind. You can choose what you want to do.” And I wrote, “There’s a false equivalency here between living with your parents and not knowing money, between liberal politics and poverty and choice.”


And that’s a kind of through line that happens, where he’s saying… He’s almost giving, if you already have a tendency towards the way Dave Ramsey thinks and you pick up his book, he’s giving you this is what the other side is saying, whether that’s accurate or not. And then you can go, oh, that is what they’re thinking. Well, they’re stupid. And you’re right. Providing the nuance does not sell books. It doesn’t. There’s a reason this man has an empire that I don’t have.

Tori Dunlap (00:29:00):

Yeah, me neither. Yeah, because it’s, at the end of the day… So when I was writing my book, the introduction took a year and a half to write because I was like, I don’t know how to… Again, asterisk everything I’m about to say in the next 80,000 words with, this doesn’t matter if you’re poor. None of what I’m about to say matters if you’re poor. I’m like, how do I communicate that while also knowing that what I have to say is valuable, or else I wouldn’t say it? But all of that nuance is lost here, because again, this man does not acknowledge systemic issues, does not acknowledge anything else other than hard work. No privilege acknowledgement. No if you are any sort of minority, this is going to be more difficult for you. Does not acknowledge that we need policy change in addition to habit change. Doesn’t acknowledge any of it.

Gaby Dunn (00:29:57):

Yes. Well, we’ll get into that. So, okay. So the first three steps are 1K starter emergency fund, which turns a crisis into an inconvenience. Okay. Step two, scorched earth, no room for fun budget to pay off all your debt. Fine. Baby step three, save three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund. Now, I wrote “cult count” because here’s what he… Number one, he says, “Family and friends will make fun of you and think you’re crazy,” which the common theme here is other money media and other people are inferior for not getting it. So hey, cut off everyone in your life that doesn’t also agree with this. Two, extreme sacrifice, almost monk-like sacrifice to achieve nirvana, which only Dave Ramsey can provide. Cult. Three, he just starts quoting Hebrews 12.

Tori Dunlap (00:30:50):


Gaby Dunn (00:30:52):

And then talks about a harvest of righteousness, so we’ve just tipped straight over into Jim Jones territory, everyone.

Tori Dunlap (00:31:00):

If I took a shot for every Bible quote in this book, I would be dead. I want to break this down though from a… I want to put my financial educator hat on and break down this advice. Regardless of how he presents it, I want to break down this advice because it’s bad advice. So again, regardless of how he presents it, which is wrong, let’s talk about how bad this advice is.


Number one, baby step number one is a $1000 emergency fund. I want to be clear. A thousand dollars in an emergency fund is way better than having nothing in an emergency fund. Don’t get me wrong. $1000 saved is a huge accomplishment. However, the average one-month rent in a major US city is not $1000. It’s something like $1,300, $1,400, $1,600. So if this is an actual emergency where you lose your job, yet alone pay for daycare or insurance or groceries or your car or your student loans, that $1000 is not even going to cover your rent. Bad advice. Baby step three, which is three to six months of living expenses should be baby step one. For me, what I call the financial
game plan, that’s my baby step equivalent. That is number one, is at least a three-month living expenses emergency fund.


The second thing is that he says pay off all debt except the house. If you have any money above your $1000 emergency fund that is not in a retirement plan, cash it out and use it on baby step two. This is such bad advice. I literally have this circled. Bad advice. And then again, bad, exclamation point, advice. If you have debt that is under 7% to 8% interest, like most student loans, it is way more advantageous for you to actually invest that money instead because you’re making more money in the stock market than it’s costing you by being in debt. Credit cards, sure. Pay them off because 25% interest, 18% interest, that’s way more expensive. But the stock market right now is averaging 7% to 8%. So if you have a mortgage or a car loan or student loan that’s something like 3% to 4%, that is costing you less money and you could be making more money elsewhere.


In addition, this whole, again, scorched earth, quote, scorched earth, no room for fun budget, gazelle-like intensity doesn’t work. We know it doesn’t work, and it’s only going to make you miserable. And I can’t tell you the amount of people who have come to me and said, “I did the baby steps thing, it worked for a while, but I have all of this financial trauma and I don’t feel like I can spend money on anything because I feel guilty.” And that is the direct result of shit like this.

Gaby Dunn (00:33:40):

Yeah. Yeah. You absolutely bounce back immediately into your old habits.

Tori Dunlap (00:33:46):

Or you shame yourself for spending money at all because you’ve been told by him that any sort of seemingly small luxury, like a $5 coffee, is the reason again that you’re not rich.

Gaby Dunn (00:33:59):

Also, pay off everything but your house. These people have houses? These people have houses? So… Wild. So there’s also a lot of subtle things in the book that this is our first who is this book for, where he talks about an athlete who has an unable-to-pronounce African name.

Tori Dunlap (00:34:21):

I just put, “Is this racist?”

Gaby Dunn (00:34:24):

Yeah, it’s a subtle example of the book being for white people, because he’s like, “Obviously none of us can pronounce these African athletes’ names.”

Tori Dunlap (00:34:31):

Well [inaudible 00:34:32], on the other hand, you don’t need to be able to pronounce his name to know. And I’m like, yeah, I literally put, “Is this racist?” This feels racist.

Gaby Dunn (00:34:39):

Yeah, it is. So then we get into baby step six, which is pay off the house. And this is the false idea of the modest millionaire. And Dave Ramsey has a net worth of $200 million. This is where I got into this conspiracy, it’s not even a conspiracy, where I dug into Capital Realty Group, which is his son-in-law, Winston, the principal broker for that group. And there’s one other broker that works there and that broker lists Dave Ramsey’s homes under his name. And the website says there’s $125 million of homes under the management of Capital Realty Group. And then Winston openly works for Dave in the property management real estate division. So there’s all kinds of stuff if you go to… I’ll put the link below if you go… There’s a thread on Reddit, r/DaveRamsey, that goes into this.

Tori Dunlap (00:35:27):

Also, it makes perfect sense because all he does is I think he actually, and maybe Kristen can pop on too because she knows in Nashville, I think he literally brokers real estate deals. And so it’s like, of course go to my son. And in addition, right, all of the narrative is around buying property. There’s no renting is all right for some people, maybe. There’s no conversation about that. And to your point earlier of we’re just assuming people have houses. We’re just assuming people have houses. That’s just the default assumption.

Gaby Dunn (00:35:59):

Yes. I’m going to put more links in the description. It’s basically about how he sells homes in Nashville. A lot of these people that I’ve started reading these books, and a lot of these people really comes down to real estate and to real estate investment trusts, which basically buy up and gentrify entire cities under the purview of one very wealthy person. It’s also this interesting thing of the modest millionaire, everyone sort of being… He goes out of his way, and we’ll get to this later, to say that millionaires are average people. But then if you look at a picture of this goddamn house in Nashville, it is… It’s so big. I’m on mansionglobal.com, which I have never visited in my life.

Tori Dunlap (00:36:55):

I didn’t now that was a website.

Gaby Dunn (00:36:57):

Neither did I. But it’s basically-

Tori Dunlap (00:37:00):

Is this the one he just tried to sell?

Gaby Dunn (00:37:01):


Tori Dunlap (00:37:02):

Because he tried to sell one and I don’t know if anybody actually bought it.

Gaby Dunn (00:37:05):

$15.45 million Nashville home. Yeah, he tried to sell it last year. It’s massive. I would argue it has a grounds. It’s very big, and I guess he was also trying to sell other homes. They have properties in all… kind of all over the place.

Tori Dunlap (00:37:32):

Well, and I think this is probably… We’ve talked many times, and I think this is one of the places that you and I have a bit of disagreement. Because for me, I don’t love capitalism. You and I have talked about this so many times. You and I don’t… I don’t love capitalism, but for me this is the system that currently exists and you have to pay your rent and you have to do it. So I want to navigate the system to the best of my ability. I can’t win capitalism, because I don’t want to win capitalism. That means exploiting people. But if I lose capitalism, that means deep suffering for myself and for my community and for my family. So for me, how do I navigate the system to the best of my ability, do what I can, and then when I have money, when I’m stable, fuck the system up from within? I would love to live in a really nice house someday. That is a goal for myself. However, if I’ve-

Gaby Dunn (00:38:28):

If he has no interest… He has no interest in helping people, is the other thing.

Tori Dunlap (00:38:31):

If I’ve exploited somebody to get there, I have done that wrong. I have done that incorrectly, for me, morally incorrect. And…

Gaby Dunn (00:38:41):

It’s also this thing where he encourages other people to live modestly, and then he’s like, I need this massive house, which I understand, but what you’re talking about, Tori, is I become stable and then I use the money in these ways that helps other people. And what has happened here, and whether or not this was his intention from the jump, is that he’s like, “Now I have this massive house, and now I get to… I’ve reached this level. I get to continue selling my classes to these other people, and I don’t have to really care what happens to them.” It’s worse in these other ways, which I don’t want to be the people who are like, “He has a big house,” because whatever. We get it.

Tori Dunlap (00:39:20):


Gaby Dunn (00:39:20):


Tori Dunlap (00:39:20):

Because I don’t want people in five years to be like, “She a big house too,” because I want a big house someday. But it’s also, again, if I’ve exploited people, and I have less issue with his big house and more with how he got the big house. Right?

Gaby Dunn (00:39:35):


Tori Dunlap (00:39:35):

That’s my issue.

Gaby Dunn (00:39:36):

Well, so here. Here’s some other thing. So baby step seven is build wealth and be generous. And this is the story about leaving a note on a car. And this is also under a huge straw man argument. Basically, he tells people to drive a beater car until they have gotten out of debt. And someone had a sticker that said, “Dave Ramsey makes me drive this.” Very cultish. And then these other people see that and they spontaneously leave cash and a keep going note on the car in order to be like, “Hey, we did it and we succeeded and we want to help you.” Whatever, right?


But then advocating for equality is portrayed as some kind of pipe dream. And I think the subtext here that I came to realize and that I’ve come to realize from a lot of these books is it’s not about helping all people. It’s about helping people like you. It’s about helping people that you agree with. They don’t want to pay taxes because, and I said this in Rich Dad Poor Dad, God forbid the taxes go to an atheist. God forbid the taxes go to someone who is Black who you don’t agree with. Maybe a gay person might succeed because of a social service, God forbid.

Tori Dunlap (00:40:57):

Or somebody who maybe is what they would deem lazy, right? And I think the other thing too is it’s not just helping people like themselves, but helping people because it makes them feel better. That is the other thing too. And we all help people to make ourselves feel better. That is a natural conclusion. Again, that’s how our brains work, is we get dopamine and we get excited when we help somebody. But that seems to be the default thing is, oh, I’m helping people because it makes me feel good when I help them, not like how do I actually help them.

Gaby Dunn (00:41:35):

It’s about control and it’s about punishment. It’s about punishing the people who don’t follow Dave Ramsey and withholding from the people who don’t follow Dave Ramsey. And it’s about control, because if you pay taxes, you don’t control who gets the money. So he doesn’t want taxes and he doesn’t want equality. He wants success for people like him who follow him.

Tori Dunlap (00:42:02):

Because he, again, has told you that if you work hard, everything will work out for you. And so he’s wanting to benefit the people who have quote-unquote worked hard because the people who haven’t quote-unquote worked hard shouldn’t be privy to that money.

Gaby Dunn (00:42:19):

Yeah, we’re not even into my big problems. So Chapter 4, he talks about a millionaire is not a billionaire, and he presents another straw man argument that there’s a mistaken idea of what all rich people look like, and that we need to normalize the concept of being a millionaire and show that being a billionaire is hugely different.


In some aspects of this, I feel as though this is put in the book in order to take the onus and consequences off millionaires. Millionaires are just nice, average people. He talks about how millionaires probably live just down the block from you in a normal residential neighborhood. They probably cut their own grass. They read prices on menus. They use coupons. They use shopping lists. They paid for their home and maybe a beach condo. For those of us who didn’t grow up wealthy, we tend to emotionally put billionaire and millionaire close together on the spectrum, which makes wealth feel unattainable. And I wrote, “He’s really trying to avoid the guillotine here because almost no one does this anymore.” People have a very clear idea of the difference between millionaire and billionaire, and it is far, but it doesn’t that you don’t have to… It doesn’t mean that if you’re a millionaire, you don’t have any reproach. He’s like, “Look at those billionaires over there. Don’t look at me.”

Tori Dunlap (00:43:36):

Oh, and he cites billionaires multiple times and not in a negative way. So it’s like the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire, but then a story of self-made Jeff Bezos and all of… yeah. My other big thing with this book is he tries to play the everyman so often.

Gaby Dunn (00:43:54):

That’s the thing. Yes.

Tori Dunlap (00:43:55):

And so about the house thing that you brought up earlier, that’s where I get pissed off, is this if you want to grow wealth and if you have more wealth than other people, I know I have more wealth than the average person my age, but I’m not out here being like, “Yeah, because I’m so normal. I’m just like you.” I know that I’m slightly… I’m in a different socioeconomic class now. And again, not acknowledging privilege at all and then tries to play the everyman in order… It’s like the Rachel Hollis thing of, like, “Of course I’m different because I have a house cleaner. Somebody cleans my toilets. I want to be different.” It’s just… Don’t play the everyman in order to get people to like you.

Gaby Dunn (00:44:38):

I mean, we’re going to get into that a little bit, because I think I get there at a certain point, which we talk about his depiction of himself as a hillbilly. Don’t worry, I have a lot to say about that. Okay, so he says, “It might surprise you to know that 70% of the Forbes 400 are self-made, meaning their wealth was not inherited. Even Bezos grew Amazon into the e-commerce giant it is today from the humble beginnings of his garage in Seattle.” This is simply not true. And if he does think it’s true, it’s very, very willfully ignorant.


So as you alluded to, at the end of this book, there is a Ramsey millionaire survey that makes up a large chunk of this book, and it’s a, I would say, wildly useless survey that he did of people who became millionaires through the Ramsey method. And he says that 93% of those Ramsey millionaires also described themself as self-made. And I said, okay, so they didn’t get wealt
h through inheritance, but did they have an inheritance? Not that they didn’t get wealthy through it, but the nuanced words of, did they actually have an inheritance whether or not that contributed to their wealth? Also, what qualifies as inherited? Land? Did they get a home? Money? Did they gain access in some way from their parent having a job that they could then get that job? What are we qualifying as an inheritance? It’s never said.

Tori Dunlap (00:45:57):

My beef with the word self-made is either everybody is self-made or nobody is self-made.

Gaby Dunn (00:46:03):


Tori Dunlap (00:46:04):

Everybody is self-made or nobody is self-made, because everybody has some sort of help from somebody, whether that’s financial help, whether that’s emotional help, whether that’s, hey, I know a guy who you should talk to, whether… Everybody has some sort of help or assistance beyond you. So either everybody is self-made or nobody is self-made.

Gaby Dunn (00:46:28):

Yes. He also gives you this thing where he briefly says racism is real, sexism is real. Okay.

Tori Dunlap (00:46:35):

Does he? When was that? I missed that.

Gaby Dunn (00:46:38):

I think I have it on page 51, where I wrote down that he vaguely acknowledges it. Hold on.

Tori Dunlap (00:46:44):

Oh. “Lots of people seem to have an unfair headstart on their wealth building journey. That’s because everyone has a different starting line.” Wow. Sexism is real. Wow. I don’t even want to give him a cookie because this is bare minimum shit, but I’m shocked this came out of his mouth.

Gaby Dunn (00:46:58):

It is shocking. But then here’s the next thing. “They are not all middle-aged white guys coming from privileged homes. That premise is a lie because it steals hope and spreads hopelessness. It is evil.” So now we’re back to the thing where any sort of questioning of the backgrounds of people with wealth is actually evil, Tori.

Tori Dunlap (00:47:16):


Gaby Dunn (00:47:17):

It’s not just bad. It’s evil. He also talks about, “Any money they may have received from their families was not enough to establish a million-dollar net worth.” Bing, bing, bing. What did I say about inheritance? And then, “Millionaires in this study downplayed the role of inheritance and of luck.” I said, why is luck tied to inheritances and nothing else? The thing about this survey is that if you are self-reporting your answers, we’ve met rich people. How often do rich people go, “Well, I didn’t have a lot of help from my family,” or, “It wasn’t luck, I worked really hard”? What fucking rich person do you know that is going to self-report, “Yeah, I did jack shit and here I am”? They don’t.

Tori Dunlap (00:48:00):

So in research for my book, when two individuals were in a heteronormative relationship and the woman made more than the man, when the census data was collected, the man would lie and say he made more and the woman would lie and said she made less.

Gaby Dunn (00:48:21):

Yes, exactly.

Tori Dunlap (00:48:22):

That’s just a quote-unquote average, normal person who already has probably-

Gaby Dunn (00:48:26):

Yeah, the self-reported data.

Tori Dunlap (00:48:27):

Complete bullshit. And also, their own issues with money and gender norms and what’s expected of them, right? Women, play small. Men, play big. If that’s one piece of data as small… like, they’re lying on the census, then what is this appendix good for? Knowing that some of them drive Toyotas?

Gaby Dunn (

Oh, we’re going to get into the appendix.

Tori Dunlap (00:48:49):

Yeah. Okay.

Gaby Dunn (00:48:51):

We also talk about the you of the book where he mentions people have four-year degrees. He also mentions 40% of millionaires were involved in cheerleading or sports as their most common extracurricular activity, which tells us to me that they are able-bodied and popular. But there’s no reference to that. There’s no… Okay. Cool. You also went to a school where those were things that were offered. Incredible.

Tori Dunlap (00:49:26):

Able-bodied and popular.

Gaby Dunn (00:49:26):


Tori Dunlap (00:49:27):

Put it on a shirt, Gaby.

Gaby Dunn (00:49:29):

Yeah, the worst person in the world wearing that shirt.

Tori Dunlap (00:49:33):

Where’s that bumper sticker that says able-bodied and popular?

Gaby Dunn (00:49:36):

So stupid. It’s like a Real Housewives tagline. She’s like, “I’m Lorraine from Texas and I’m able-bodied and popular.”

Tori Dunlap (00:49:42):

Able-bodied and popular. Deal with us.

Gaby Dunn (00:49:45):

So stupid. Okay, Chapter 5, we get into Jackie. Jackie is black. We did it. Racism is dead. Racism found dead. Racism found dead in a ditch. Jackie is Black. She is poor. She has six kids in her family. She had a single-parent home with a dad, and the dad has a sixth-grade education. Her dad was a proud man who didn’t receive food stamps, welfare, or any other form of public assistance for his family except for having his kids take part in the school’s free lunch program, AKA he’s a terrible father because he didn’t get anything for the kids that they needed.


There’s also this thing which I dubbed in my notes exceptional strong blackness. I don’t make that up, I don’t think, but maybe I did. But it’s basically this thing of the deck was stacked against her, she read a study that said that a Black single mom is one of the most likely demographics to be in poverty, and Jackie was determined to make sure she and her daughter didn’t become that statistic and that they would leave poverty in the rear view. Obviously cannot judge Jackie, but I just want to point out, when you don’t become that statistic, someone else is. And when you leave poverty in your rear view, who’s behind you?

Tori Dunlap (00:50:55):

Say it again, Gaby. Say it again. The other thing too is, it’s token minority. This whole thing is token minority.

Gaby Dunn (00:51:00):


Tori Dunlap (00:51:01):

Whole thing.

Gaby Dunn (00:51:03):

Oh, there’s so… There’s more. You wanted token minority? Tori, there’s more where that comes from.


Okay, so Jackie becomes a millionaire by age 49. He does acknowledge that there is systemic racism, but he kind of says that has nothing to do with anything other than individual willingness.

Tori Dunlap (00:51:30):

I’m giving him an oatmeal raisin cookie. I’m giving him the worst kind.

Gaby Dunn (00:51:33):

For what?

Tori Dunlap (00:51:34):


Gaby Dunn (00:51:34):

Oh, because he said racism exists?

Tori Dunlap (00:51:37):

Yeah. I don’t want to give him a cookie, but I feel like this for him is a big step. But I’m not giving you a chocolate chip cookie. I’m giving you a fucking oatmeal raisin cookie. Taste the goddamn [inaudible 00:51:47].

Gaby Dunn (00:51:46):

Then, in the first of some insane cameos, we have Condoleezza Rice, baby. So Condoleezza’s parents didn’t allow her to focus on the violence and barriers of race, gender, economics, and education. They taught her there are no victims even in an unfair climate. It’s not your situation. It’s your response to your situation. The minute you think of yourself as a victim, you’ve given control of your life to somebody else. And you might not be able to control your circumstances, but you can control your response to your circumstances so you don’t ever think of yourself as a victim. Now I wrote, “What if someone in Condoleezza’s same circumstances, what if their response is not to grow up and become a Republican, but to grow up and become a socialist?” What if taking control of your circumstances, Tori, was not shoving everyone away and rising to the cream of the crop and being the only Black person in the Bush administration? What if it was to then go, “You know what, I went through a lot of hard stuff, I should probably help other people”? What about that?

Tori Dunlap (00:52:47):

Again, what he’s saying on paper is correct, which is you can’t always control your circumstances, but the only thing you can control is your reaction to those circumstances. However, there needs to be the second sentence that is, sometimes your circumstances suck and they’re not your fault. So how again do we, yes, work to rise above potentially our circumstances, or how do we work hard and how do we make the best of it? And then, how do we change the circumstances for others? There is nothing there about that. It is just bootstraps. It’s just bootstraps. And then it’s shame to acknowledge that anything might not be related to bootstraps, right?

Gaby Dunn (00:53:36):


Tori Dunlap (00:53:37):

Yep. Also, fun fact, she is the only, to my knowledge, the only woman member at Augusta National Golf Course. She plays golf.

Gaby Dunn (00:53:47):

Jackie is?

Tori Dunlap (00:53:48):

No, Condoleezza Rice.

Gaby Dunn (00:53:51):

Oh, Condoleezza Rice.

Tori Dunlap (00:53:55):

Condoleezza Rice. No, they have let in a couple women, and I think, yeah, she is either the only woman or the only Black woman. There’s like, five women.

Gaby Dunn (00:54:03):

How they looking on Jews over there? Oh, don’t worry. We’ll get to the Jews. So, okay, there’s this other straw man argument that he does where something that is true is compiled in a group with things that aren’t. So for instance, he says, “Here are some excuses. I can’t do this. The deck is stacked against me. I have nothing, not even my parents. I can’t afford rent, let alone college. It’s too much. There’s no reason to even try.” The one that is true and unrelated to the others is the deck is stacked against me.


So what happens here is that you see them as a group, and this is a great argument. If he was in a debate club, this is a great tactic, and most people won’t notice it. Most people will not notice because they’ll say, “Well, the other ones are just excuses, so this one being on the list of excuses makes sense.” But this happens constantly throughout this book, where I go, one of these things is not like the other, but you’re trying to spoonfeed it to me like it is. And I’m fucking onto you. I’m onto you. We get into immigration, because why not? There’s a lot of model minority stuff.

Tori Dunlap (00:55:14):

Again, this is the part where I just pause us and I go, what have we learned?

Gaby Dunn (


Tori Dunlap (00:55:19):

What have we learned that we can directly apply to our own lives? What have we learned?

Gaby Dunn (00:55:25):

Stop your bitching?

Tori Dunlap (00:55:27):

Stop your bitching. Pay off all of your debt because it’s evil. They don’t tell you how. They just say gazelle-like intensity. And then just a bunch of, like, stop, yeah, stop whining. Stop bitching. I’ve learned nothing. I don’t know. I’ve learned nothing.

Gaby Dunn (00:55:44):

Yeah. He talks about the difference between legal immigrants. He mentions that people that got to be millionaires were not doctors or lawyers, but teachers and police officers. And I wrote, “What is the motivation behind telling the reader this?” Because these are professions held by good ethical stock of people. Christian, white, non-Jewish, which leads into non-American, right? I mean, that’s the small, subtle thing. And then that leads into his discussion of non-Americans where he says, “Another big distinction is the undeniable financial success legal immigrants have as compared to native-born Americans. For instance, 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.” And then I wrote, “They have belief where Americans don’t.” Fine. Let’s not take into account that these people were raised in countries that maybe had different circumstances. Let’s not take into account that there’s this whole America’s the land of opportunity, the way that these children are pushed in school and academically in a way that other people aren’t. I think that-

Tori Dunlap (00:56:48):

The stakes…

Gaby Dunn (00:56:50):

The stakes are higher. If they fail, they really fail. Now, that’s a whole aspect that doesn’t get delved into at all. He also talks about your situation is your fault. He says, “Right now, your situation reflects your desires and choices. If you’re stuck, you have what you want.”

Tori Dunlap (00:57:07):

I’m tired. I want to nap. I’m tired.

Gaby Dunn (00:57:11):

I know. Okay. At a certain point I do write I am tired in my notes.


All right, here. You talked about this a little bit. Here’s another straw man argument. He says that radio executives look down on him for… and I wrote, “Dot, dot, dot, being from Tennessee?” And then this is what I wrote. “White people love to use being a hillbilly to relate to other systemic barriers.” He wrote, “All of us have had bad things done to us, said about us, happen to us. Everyone has an ism or stereotype that they bust through. Everyone has some unfair advantage standing in their way. Bill Gates is smarter than me. Steve Jobs knows more about computers than me. George Clooney is prettier than me. So what?” And I wrote, “He is couching economic privilege by hiding it behind someone being better looking, which is not comparable.”

Tori Dunlap (00:58:02):

Also, George Clooney is better looking than you, Dave Ramsey. I will say that to you. Of course. Yes. Of course.

Gaby Dunn (00:58:11):

I think it’s this thing where he wants to seem like he understands barriers. And that comes from being-

Tori Dunlap (00:58:21):

It’s classic. It’s classic people who’ve refused to acknowledge privilege. We see this so often. Again, it’s like, “I’m just like you and I’ve had my own struggles and that’s my way I’m going to relate to you,” because whether we like it or not, the world revolves around how we brand ourselves and the stories we tell. So if you are a rich person, it’s a lot easier to seem relatable if you’re like, “I came from nothing and I built this business in a garage and I dropped out of the university and I made this big risk,” right? It’s a lot easier for us to root for somebody rather than being like, “Yep, I have a ton of privilege,” or “I was a trust fund kid,” or whatever. It’s a lot easier to root for somebody who seemingly came from nothing.

Gaby Dunn (00:59:10):

He almost understands class, which happens again, later. Almost. So close. Okay, so I wrote here, “He has a fundamental misunderstanding of social justice work.” And then this is the quote. “However,
some people spend so much time focusing on the big barriers and problems of our culture that they become convinced regular folks cannot overcome their barriers, so they peddle hopelessness. Selling hopelessness to move a social agenda is evil because it robs regular folks of their belief that they can win.” And then I wrote, “The hope of social justice work is in change for everyone. The hope is in protesting and unionizing. The hope is in making the world safe and equitable for everyone. This is a singular focus on self. This also protects Ramsey, so what he does is he builds arguments that look like empowerment, but are actually designed to keep people from criticizing or thinking poorly of the rich.”

Tori Dunlap (01:00:02):

And again, none of this has nuance, right? It’s like…

Gaby Dunn (01:00:05):

I should write a second book.

Tori Dunlap (01:00:07):

Do it. You’re writing it right now. You’re writing it right now, and it’s great and I’ll buy it. I think, yeah, it’s the thing of, again, all of this is true. We have to do our best to overcome these things, but there’s no acknowledgement of the thing itself or what we can do to change it. And it’s just like-

Gaby Dunn (01:00:28):

He says things are true. He says things that are true, but he comes to the wrong conclusion.

Tori Dunlap (01:00:33):

Yes, yes, or doesn’t give you the step two of it. It’s just like, overcome the ism. And I’m like, would you like me to singlehandedly overcome sexism? Would you like me to singlehandedly do that? How do you suppose I do that?

Gaby Dunn (01:00:47):

The overcome… See, and he assumes that everyone defines win the same way. The win for me would be helping a business unionize, helping workers unionize. The win would not be what he believes the win is. He thinks that if you try to push a social agenda, you’re causing yourself to lose, and that’s such a cynical and sad way of looking at things. He says, “If you can believe that what happens in your house is more important for your quality of life over the next several decades than what happens in the White House or your neighbor’s house or your enemy’s house, for that matter, you can bust through the hopelessness and the barriers and embrace belief once and for all.” And I wrote, “Straw man, once again, couching politics as the same as jealousy. The White House is not the same as your neighbor’s house or your enemy’s house, but he sneaks that in there in order to hide a political statement under something about a commonplace jealousy.”

Tori Dunlap (01:01:45):

And also, he’s tweeted this before, the be more concerned about your own house than the White House. It’s like, again, such a place of privilege to not have to worry what’s going on in the White House and how it affects you. He’s like, don’t worry about it.

Gaby Dunn (01:01:58):

They’re unrelated. It’s like, don’t be concerned about what’s happening to your neighbor’s dog. Be concerned about the seagull on the beach. They’re not related. What are you talking about? He says, “Believing that there’s still a chance, still an opportunity, still an abundance available for you will keep you from a victim mentality, from paralysis and resignation, from envy and jealousy, from greed and entitlement.” None of those things… Okay, so then I wrote, “What if the person took not being a victim and instead decided to work for social justice and social change? What if they stood up and said, ‘Abundance is a lie because scarcity is real’? Social programs aren’t entitlement and criticizing the rich isn’t envy.” What then, Dave Ramsey?

Tori Dunlap (01:02:42):

We have to talk too about the whole section called Equal Is Not Fair. Do you remember this one?

Gaby Dunn (01:02:50):

Oh, buddy. Oh yeah. What page is that on?

Tori Dunlap (01:02:55):

91. I flagged it. I’m sure you did. There’s no way you get past this and not… There’s no way. There’s no way.

Gaby Dunn (01:03:03):

You’re going to read directly. Do you have a part you’d like to read? Because I wrote here, “Oh my god, I am over this. Fuck, I get it.” And then I wrote, “Read directly.”

Tori Dunlap (01:03:14):

No, if you have, go for it. If you got it, go for it, and I want you to take it down.

Gaby Dunn (01:03:19):


Tori Dunlap (01:03:20):

Also, he evokes Guy Fieri. Don’t you dare fucking bring my king Guy Fieri to your trash party. Leave him out of it. He is my surrogate father. He is the love of my life. He is… I love Guy Fieri, and don’t you dare fucking evoke the name of my one true lord and savior Guy Fieri in your book.

Gaby Dunn (01:03:50):

You keep saying his name with such Italian flair.

Tori Dunlap (01:03:53):

Oh, well, it’s not Fieri. It is pronounced Fieri with a D, and that’s a peeve of mine. Lovely mutual friend Zach Kornfeld, Try Guys just got a show on the Food Network, and he keeps saying Guy Fieri, and it’s taking me everything I have not to slide in his DMs and be like, “It’s Fieri.” That’s a whole other thing.

Gaby Dunn (01:04:14):

Italians do care.

Tori Dunlap (01:04:17):

They do. They do, they do.

Gaby Dunn (01:04:18):

Okay, so here’s what happened. We’re on Chapter 8. We’re going to skip ahead. We’ll go back. Dave Ramsey got out of bankruptcy by following Biblical principles, and also God blessed him. Then God smiled upon him when he bought a Jaguar, and then he says, “You’re just a manager of what God owns, and yes, you have the right to enjoy the blessings and benefits of the wealth he entrusts to you.” Okay, then-

Tori Dunlap (01:04:40):

Did God print the money? He owns it?

Gaby Dunn (01:04:43):

I don’t know. Then he says, “We’re surrounded by loud voices in our culture today who constantly beat the drum that wealth is bad.” I’ve never heard those people. Who are they? Those people are not very loud, and they’re mostly just like, I think, left in-

Tori Dunlap (01:04:57):

He would put you and I in that category, right?

Gaby Dunn (01:05:00):

Well, that’s going to fuck up his whole thing about how Jews are brilliant. So anyway, okay. So he says, “I listen to their arguments. I’ve noticed they’re never based in fact.” Okay. Okay, so I’m just going to read this. Okay. “Well, here’s a fact for you. Unequal is more fair than equal. Or to put it another way, equal is unfair. Why? Because effort is not equal. Talent is not equal. Intelligence is not equal. Here’s a different kind of example. If one college student goofs off in class, doesn’t do his homework, and makes an F on the test, should he get an A in the class just like the student who pays attention, turns in his homework, and aces the test? Of course not. That would be unfair. There was a different level of effort and a different level of intelligence. The results should not be equal.


The same goes for wealth. It would be unfair if we all had equal income or wealth. That’s because we don’t all bring the same level of economic service to the marketplace. That’s not the same thing as your value as a human being. You have great value as a human being when you all have equal value before God, but don’t confuse your value as a human with the value you bring to the marketplace. Your pay is not a reflection of your value as a person, and it shouldn’t be. Your pay is a reflection of the service you bring to the marketplace, and that’s what generates wealth. The restaurant owner who runs his business well serves the marketplace in a larger capacity than the host or cook or dishwasher who works there, so the owner’s income is higher. If he opens more restaurants, hires more employees, and serves the marketplace at an even greater capacity, his income should reflect that.”


And then he talks about wealth redistribution. He says, “Everyone’s a philosopher until they start writing the checks, right? Sounds like those goodhearted young folks turned into some old greedy rich people, doesn’t it?” I wrote, “What the fuck? Jesus.” He also talks about Guy Fieri and he says, “He’s a better TV host than me. That’s why he gets paid $80 million.” And I said, “Why does that have value?”

Tori Dunlap (01:06:52):

Again, to your point, the argument of, oh, the restaurant owner should make more has nothing to do with the previous statement, nothing to do.

Gaby Dunn (01:07:01):

Also, the character of the college student who does worse if he has some sort of, I don’t know, systemic barrier, death in the family, disability, he does get assurance, he does get extra time. He does get extra… Okay. I’m sorry, okay. Then he says-

Tori Dunlap (01:07:22):

He’s trying to make an equity-based argument. He just doesn’t know it. He’s so close. He’s so close. He’s so close, but yet just doesn’t get there. And also, yeah, I just… If you can’t see me, I put two middle fingers so far in the air just like…

Gaby Dunn (01:07:41):

This is where he’s mad at me in particular. “The gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider, and that’s not right, they’ll say, or the system is rigged in favor of the rich and big business. It’s unfair. There’s a lot of emotion in what they’re saying, but very little fact, and that’s not truly shocking. After all, they hear the same messages I do, that greedy rich people are what’s wrong with the world. And we all know that’s not based in fact. What’s really happening is that those folks are operating with a scarcity mindset. A scarcity mindset says there’s only so much wealth to go around, and because I have more than you do, I’ve taken away your opportunity to have more. They’re picturing it like a pie, and they’re fighting to get what’s left after the greedy rich people have taken a huge piece for themselves. They believe that for the world to be fair, wealth and income must be equal.” Resources are finite, my dude. There is only so much water and food and housing.

Tori Dunlap (01:08:25):

The latter half of that is accurate. Scarcity mindsets, pitting people against each other, that 100% happens, right? We’ve been told as women, if you’re a person of color, if you’re a member of a minority, there’s one seat at the table, so we fight each other. That’s how the patriarchy wins, is we fight each other for that one seat at the table as opposed to building another table. That is accurate. But again, he couches that. He equates that to like, oh, but we don’t have a problem with filthy rich people. They’re not the problem. It’s you that has a scarcity mindset.

Gaby Dunn (01:08:54):

Also, income and wealth are two different things. Him talking about income with regards to, oh, of course the chef should not get paid the same as the owner of the restaurant, but then he fails to address wealth. He puts wealth with income to hide it.

Tori Dunlap (01:09:10):


Gaby Dunn (01:09:10):

Wow. Well, let me just go through-

Tori Dunlap (01:09:13):

It’s, again, not about the stack of government-issued paper. It’s about what you do with it. And if you are the Zuckerberg Bezos out here that’s ruining democracy, you need to be held accountable for that, versus… I don’t know if we can pick. There’s some billionaires that I think can stay. I’ll keep Rihanna. I will keep Rihanna and Sara Blakely. Those, a couple, maybe Oprah… Oprah can stay, right? There’s three billionaires that I’m like, they can stay, right? Because it’s, again, what you do with the money, what you do with your success, what you do with your influence.


And so again, he’s saying, again, if you’re not rich, you didn’t work hard enough and you blamed other people for your problems. There’s no nuance to that statement. There’s no, hey, maybe the problems that I’m facing have nothing actually to do with me. Also, I know that there’s some things I can control. But there’s no acknowledgement that actually these problems are, again, systemic and way beyond us as individuals and what we individually can control.

Gaby Dunn (01:10:28):

Yes. I’m going to breeze through some stuff. He almost understands class at the end of Chapter 5 where he says, “Science suggests you emulate those around you. Your income will be influenced by the incomes represented in your social network.” Again, class. He means class. I feel pressured to keep up with my friends and family when it comes to money implies economic class. And this is another thing where he has the right information, wrong conclusion, where he talks about body positivity and he says, “Your perception of acceptable body size and behavior will adjust accordingly if the circles of friends around you are obese.” And he uses that as a bad example, and I am like, this exactly proves what I say all the time, which is it turns out representation matters.

Tori Dunlap (01:11:11):

With a little sprinkle of fatphobia. Little sprinkle in there.

Gaby Dunn (01:11:16):

Yes, your perception of acceptable body size and behavior will actually… Did you know that if you meet more fat people and if you meet more trans people and if you meet more Black people, you will actually have more of an idea… No, in
stead, join my capitalist cult.

Tori Dunlap (01:11:34):

We haven’t even gotten to the paragraph of… The whole thing is I want you to get a good Bible. Do you remember that one?

Gaby Dunn (01:11:40):

Where’s that, Chapter 6?

Tori Dunlap (01:11:41):

Oh, it’s… I think I’m breezing ahead. At this point, I’m like… I think it’s at the very end. I’m just so tired, Gaby. I’m like, is this [inaudible 01:11:48]?

Gaby Dunn (01:11:48):

No, I understand.

Tori Dunlap (01:11:49):

It’s not anything to do with either of us. He is exhausting.

Gaby Dunn (01:11:52):

No, I understand.

Tori Dunlap (01:11:52):

It’s just so… He says, “A couple things you can do to continue learning. I want you to get a good Bible. There’s a whole bunch of different translations to choose from. Get one that works for you and begin to study. Begin to learn what God’s love letter says to us. It’ll change your life. Also, find a good church. You’re not going to find a perfect one. There are people in them.” Oh, a joke. Oh, so funny. “But find one where the worship style and preaching style fits your style.” That’s great. Okay, good advice. But again, assumes, one, you are Christian, two, you go to church, three… “Find one where you can ask questions and learn.” Oh, yes, because we all know that Christian organizations love when you ask critical questions. They love it. 10 out of 10. “Find one”-

Gaby Dunn (01:12:44):

All religions do. All religions love it.

Tori Dunlap (01:12:45):

“Find one where you don’t feel like the people are looking down on you and ask them to teach you about baptism. And then as you learn and grow, ask them to baptize you.” Cue Baptize Me from the Book of Mormon. I’m like, oh my god.

Gaby Dunn (01:13:06):

Wow. Wow, yeah, I’ll jump ahead to one thing, which is I did not expect to just go so hard left into the Jews on page 94. I knew this man was a certain way, but I really didn’t… I gasped at that.

Tori Dunlap (01:13:31):

What page are we on?

Gaby Dunn (01:13:33):

94. He jumps into a rabbi who’s a friend of his, and he says, “Why would an evangelical Christian like me be interested in what Jewish people believe about wealth?” And then he says, “Jewish people, who are a minority in America, consistently have a disproportionate amount of wealth. First and foremost is that Jewish tradition views a person’s quest for profit and wealth to be inherently moral. Inherently moral is the opposite of evil. Then he talks about the havdalah ceremony, which I grew up incredibly Jewish, and I’d slap havdalah out of your goddamn mouth.

Tori Dunlap (01:14:09):

I love how you feel about that is how I feel about Guy Fieri. You’re like, Jewish tradition, and I’m like, Food Network star.

Gaby Dunn (01:14:20):

I cannot believe that we have gotten into the Jews love money so fast. I really gasped out loud. This is a book that came out this last year, this year. And somebody let it go to print. Somebody said-

Tori Dunlap (01:14:38):

No, because he prints his own books. It’s his own publishing company. We haven’t even talked about that. Because why go to Harper Collins or Penguin Random House when you can just publish your own book? Which honestly, girl boss, #girlboss. You fucking get that publishing. You set up a publishing company where you don’t have to pay royalties to somebody else. Like, you do it. You do it, girl. [inaudible 01:14:57]-

Gaby Dunn (01:14:56):

Yeah, I’ve been
joking that with my friend who’s a farmer, who’s a guy who’s a farmer, I’ve been saying that he’s a #boyboss. [inaudible 01:15:03].

Tori Dunlap (01:15:03):

It’s great. I’m literally looking… When was this? When did that come out? 2022. March 17th, 2022. 2022.

Gaby Dunn (01:15:12):

Well, it’s good because there’s hasn’t been a huge resurgence of antisemitism, so I’m glad we’re still here. Anyway, a quick note from Chapter 7. He does bring up the COVID, no one wants to work anymore, handouts bullshit. He misunderstands social services and only wants people to give to their churches. If you do have this book or you see it somewhere and you want to absolutely lose your mind, page 79 to 82 is some of the worst shit I’ve ever seen. I wrote, “Worst shit in this book.” There’s also a part where he talks about making your kids work for money, doing fast food or mowing lawns. And I wrote, “Oh, fast food and mowing lawns are just stepping stones for these type of people. Those are not seen as jobs.”

Tori Dunlap (01:15:57):

No. No.

Gaby Dunn (01:15:58):

Which is where we’re going to get into Miguel. So Miguel is a young man who works at the country club, and he does his job really, really well, I guess. And Dave Ramsey talks about how he works really hard and talks about how all these millionaires that he knows are extremely generous. And I’m just going to talk about Miguel for a second.

Tori Dunlap (01:16:30):

I’m trying to find… Where is Miguel so I can follow along?

Gaby Dunn (01:16:33):

This is page 99.

Tori Dunlap (01:16:34):

Okay, thank you. Oh, also the quote. “Normally…” I just want to read this quote. “Normally, I feel like a wiener in a steakhouse in a place like this.” Tattoo that on my forehead.

Gaby Dunn (01:16:45):

He’s folksy. He’s folksy.

Tori Dunlap (01:16:46):

Yeah, everyman, but a wiener in a steakhouse. Is that a title of a porno or is that a quote from a Dave Ramsey book? You tell me.

Gaby Dunn (01:16:55):

So he gets to know Miguel, who’s a golf attendant who… smile on his face because he’s a little servant boy who likes to smile. “He couldn’t wait to serve me. He told me he listens to me on the radio and would be honored to care for me during my day with him. Miguel is always like that, smiling, caring, serving. He takes pride in his work. Miguel and I snapped a picture together and I was honored to do it.” Later, he wants him to sign the picture.”After Miguel leaves, one of my new friends tells us Miguel is about to graduate with his master’s degree in engineering. I’m loving him more every minute, but that’s not all. My new friend shares with our group that Steve, a friend of my friend that I never got to meet, is paying Miguel’s tuition. None of the other guys in the group had any idea he was paying for Miguel’s schooling. We all smile, because we understand. Steve didn’t do it to show off or win some generosity award. First generation millionaires, baby steps millionaires, are some of the most generous people you’ll ever meet, but you’ll never know this side of heaven just how generous they are because they don’t do it for the attention.”Before I left, I talked to Miguel again. He trotted out to save me from the hassle of having to carry my own bag to my car. I told you, Miguel’s a prize. I shared with him that I learned he was getting his master’s in engineering, and if it’s possible, he lit up even more and I think I saw his chest stick out a little as he said, ‘I came to this country with nothing in my backpack but dreams. Someday I will belong to a club like this.’ I have no doubt Miguel will do exactly that. And when he does, he will be compelled by the unwritten playbook of generosity like his friend Steve, and he will pay it forward to give someone else like him a shot.”


I said, “You naive fuck,” because he doesn’t understand-

Tori Dunlap (01:18:28):

But why support student loan forgiveness when you can just-

Gaby Dunn (01:18:31):

Why support student loan forgiveness? He wants to choose who deserves his charity. He says, “Evil doesn’t pay for people’s groceries or gift people college tuition or donate used cars.” But evil does give to only those who follow yours and your god’s principles, and that’s it.

Tori Dunlap (01:18:47):


Gaby Dunn (01:18:47):

What if it wasn’t on individuals to do things like pay for each other’s groceries? What if it wasn’t just the people that you, Dave Ramsey, deem worthy? What about that?

Tori Dunlap (01:18:56):

And what if you didn’t also applaud those people and basically make them the point of the story of like, oh, he was the secret benefactor and he does it because he is really nice. And that’s what everyday Dave Ramsey baby step millionaires do for the people around us. It is such a dichotomy and calling the kettle black when he says things like this, directly compared to the, no one wants to work, everybody wants a handout, student loan forgiveness is bullshit. It’s just so obviously a contradiction, but he fails to realize it.

Gaby Dunn (01:19:31):

Yes. So for the last three minutes, I want to just dive into the survey itself and if you had any thoughts on the survey itself.

Tori Dunlap (01:19:43):

Cool. Data, but again, data from a particular source of people who, again, self-reported, I guess… Data-

Gaby Dunn (01:19:53):

Self-reported, and self-reported in hindsight. And I wrote, “Rich people tend not to brag on their advantages or paint themselves as undeserving. They have an inflated sense of the hardness of their jobs and lack of honesty about the ways they exploit others.” That’s me. I wrote that.

Tori Dunlap (01:20:08):

Also for me, I’ve always dreamed of running a survey like this for our community, Her First $100K, but am I going to put all of this in my book and make other people read it? No, I’m going to release it and hopefully get some press about it and that’s it. I’m not going to put it in a book. Are you trying to play socioeconomic grad student?

Gaby Dunn (01:20:29):


Tori Dunlap (01:20:30):

What are we doing with this?

Gaby Dunn (01:20:31):

So here’s my takeaway. The average person that he interviews is 63 years old, and Ramsey concludes that the millionaires are that old because they have more time to make money and they don’t have student debt. Now I’m thinking, could it be that it’s not time, but rather generational problems? And he says if they’re diligent over time, the young generation can become millionaires too. But to me, this is not true because there have been different experiences, different economies of these generations. Studying their attitudes this way is essentially useless. Rich is a different stratosphere for every generation.


And then he says, “Likewise, the millionaires did not place as much value on inheritance, while the general population felt it was very important. Non-millionaires also indicated luck was relatively important, while the millionaires ranked it lower on the list. In general, the responses indicate that millionaires tend to focus more on elements within an individual’s control, while non-millionaires believe financial independence depends on elements outside of an individual’s control.” There’s no context for politics or world events.


He says, “Along with this apparent skepticism about what millionaires did to build their wealth, younger generations demonstrated a more negative attitude towards millionaires in general. The study comes to the conclusion that we are more cynical and that older generations have more experience in building wealth and have discovered that these beliefs are not necessarily accurate, the idea that as you get older, you become more conservative.”

Tori Dunlap (01:21:54):

I wonder why we’re cynical. I wonder. Crazy.

Gaby Dunn (01:21:58):

I don’t think it has to do with generation. I think it has to do with the fact that this study is of boomers, because those are the only long-term subjects you can study. And it’s too early for this study to be of anyone but boomers. So to act like this is an accurate picture of millionaires or of the ways in which younger people could achieve this is simply scientifically incorrect.

Tori Dunlap (01:22:20):

Also, they’re Dave Ramsey followers, so they’re going to think a certain way. They’re already going to believe a certain thing. And hopefully he’s actually helped some of them, so the data is going to skew towards people having more money, hopefully, in theory, because I guess his thing works or they’re going to prove his thing works. So yeah, this is from a sample size of people that have already been cut in a very distinct fashion. It’s not the general public.

Gaby Dunn (01:22:52):

For my thing, I want to just end on, and then I’ll get your closing thoughts, is that I thought about this and I was like, okay, so all of this research is done. He writes this whole book. But I realized that he’s coming at the research from the place of believing the millionaires and not believing the general population about their experiences. So the people who actually need your help are telling you what they believe and what they need, and you are saying no from a gilded tower while you listen to other people in the tower. So that’s actually not the purpose of… You’ve taken the data you collected and used it for a purpose that is actually opposite of what it should be used for, and that’s science.


Do you have any closing… Tell me your whole rant. Tell me all your closing thoughts.

Tori Dunlap (01:23:36):

Again, I’m just tired. Just tired. My first thing is this is a New York Times bestseller. Buy Bad With Money and Financial Feminist instead for yourself and for your loved ones.


Two, I’ve said this before. I mean, what hasn’t been said? I don’t know. For me, I always come back to there are other voices in personal finance that give just as good if not better advice, who acknowledge all of the things that need to be acknowledged. And I hear from a lot of people. They go, “Well, Dave Ramsey helped me get out of debt,” or “Dave Ramsey’s plan works and I don’t need to care about his politics,” or whatever. Who you give your money to matters, who you give your attention to matters, and the way people make you feel matters. So if you are seeking advice from someone who does not share your values, who does not work to understand you, even if they don’t share the political leanings that you do or the background that you do, if they don’t work to understand you or systemic issues or to think critically, they are not deserving of your time, attention, energy, money.

Gaby Dunn (01:24:58):

I agree. Also, the advice is bad and the science is incorrect, and that I cannot abide.

Tori Dunlap (01:25:04):


Gaby Dunn (01:25:05):

Wow. Well, thank you so much for joining me. I’m glad we are both baby step millionaires now.

Tori Dunlap (01:25:10):

We did it.

Gaby Dunn (01:25:12):

Where can people find you and more about you? And also, I apologize for everything that I’ve put you through today.

Tori Dunlap (01:25:18):

I really apologize to you as well, because I imagine… I mean, yeah, this is hard enough for me as a cisgendered straight white woman. I imagine for you it feels like a little knife every single time. One of these… Yeah, it’s just, it’s so much bullshit. You can find me at @HerFirst100K, H-E-R-F-I-R-S-T-1-0-0-K. We also have a podcast and a book called Financial Feminist. But again, really just be critical of whose content you consume and who you support. And if somebody makes you feel like shit, just don’t do it. Don’t do it.

Gaby Dunn (01:25:49):

Thank you so much.

Tori Dunlap (01:25:50):

Thank you.


Thank you once again to Gaby and their team for inviting me on Bad With Money and letting us share this hysterical and necessary episode with our audience at Financial Feminist. You can follow Gaby on social, subscribe to their podcast Bad With Money, or check out their book of the same name. As always, we’ll have links to these resources in the show notes. Thank you again for joining us for another beautiful week of Financial Feminist.


Should we dee
p dive into another financial author next, maybe Rich Dad Poor Dad guy who is also problematic? Let us know, leave us a review, send us a voicemail of who you might want to have us cover next. Thank you for being here, Financial Feminists. Thank you as always for your support, and we’ll catch you later.


Thank you for listening to Financial Feminist, a Her First $100K podcast. Financial Feminist is hosted by me, Tori Dunlap, produced by Kristen Fields, marketing and administration by Karina Patel, Olivia Coning, Cherise Wade, Alena Helzer, Paulina Isaac, Sophia Cohen, Valerie Oresko, Jack Coning, and Ana Alexandra. Research by Ariel Johnson. Audio engineering by Austin Fields. Promotional graphics by Mary Stratton. Photography by Sarah Wolfe. And theme music by Jonah Cohen Sound. A huge thanks to the entire Her First $100K team and community for supporting the show. For more information about Financial Feminist, Her First $100K, our guests, episode show notes, and our upcoming book also titled Financial Feminist, visit herfirst100k.com.


Tori Dunlap

Tori Dunlap is an internationally-recognized money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.

Tori’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times, BBC, TIME, PEOPLE, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

With a dedicated following of almost 250,000 on Instagram and more than 1.6 million on TikTok —and multiple instances of her story going viral—Tori’s unique take on financial advice has made her the go-to voice for ambitious millennial women. CNBC called Tori “the voice of financial confidence for women.”

An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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