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How to share financial advice without bragging

Be careful: relying on credit when things go wrong is a really bad idea. It’s a trap, writes Dave Ramsey (Photograph by Martin Meissner/AP)

Dear Dave,I’m debt-free except for my home, and it is all because I started following your plan four years ago. I’m even on track to pay off my mortgage in eight years. With all the scary economic news out there, I’d love to talk to my family about following your advice, too. Do you have any suggestions for doing this without sounding like a know-it-all or that I am bragging?LaceyDear Lacey,It’s been my experience that when it comes to family, words don’t always do the trick. There’s an old saying that goes: “Those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.” Some people have been brainwashed into believing credit cards and debt are an unavoidable part of life. They’re stuck in their ways, and nothing anyone can say or do is going to change that. I’ve been fortunate enough to help millions of people change their lives, get out of debt, and take control of their finances. But there are millions more who will never listen. They’ll just keep going deeper and deeper into debt, and never realise the real problem is the person they see in the mirror every morning.The truth is, you can make irrefutable arguments against credit cards. People who use them spend more than those who use cash or debit cards. Research has proven this. You don’t need one to rent a car, get a hotel room, or buy airline tickets. A debit card will do all those things without piling up debt. For an emergency fund, you can simply save up cash. It takes some discipline and hard work, but relying on credit when things go wrong is a really bad idea. It’s a trap.If they won’t listen to all these truths, try telling them your story. Let them know you understand from experience how hard breaking old habits can be. Emphasise how amazing your life has been since you made the decision to actively control your money, instead allowing a lack of money to control you.Congratulations, Lacey. I’m proud of you for working so hard and being disciplined. I hope you can be an influence on others in your family, and help lead them to a place of financial peace, too!— DaveDave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven bestselling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.