Rachel Cruze on What She Learned From Having a Money Expert Parent

Rachel Cruze / Rachel Cruze

Rachel Cruze is a personal finance expert and the author of “Know Yourself, Know Your Money.” She is also the host of “The Rachel Cruze Show,” where she shares practical tips to save more money, get out of debt quickly and make progress toward your financial goals.

I had the opportunity to chat with Cruze — recognized by GOBankingRates as one of Money’s Most Influential — about what it was like growing up with the famed financial expert Dave Ramsey as a father.

Many of us learn our spending and saving habits from our parents — for better or for worse. So you might think that for author and financial expert Rachel Cruze growing up with Dave Ramsey as a parent meant that she was learning healthy financial habits from the start.

“I think a lot of people thought we grew up with Roth IRA-themed birthday parties and everything was about saving money, but it wasn’t like that,” she said. “Mom and Dad filed for bankruptcy the year I was born, so a lot of what they taught us was through their own experiences. From the very beginning, my parents gifted me a legacy of how to live debt-free, and that’s one of the best gifts a parent could give their child.”

In addition to learning the importance of living without debt, Cruze said she learned about the value of hard work from an early age.

“My dad is the hardest-working person I know,” she said. “He instilled in us the simple fact that if you work, you get paid. And if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Since I was 5 years old, I was working on commission! I think learning the relationship between work and money from such an early age truly helped shape us.”

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However, Cruze admits that she doesn’t see eye-to-eye with her dad on all financial matters. For one, she’s a big fan of electric cars, while Ramsey doesn’t think they’re worth the money.

“Dad says you would have to drive to the moon and back to make it worth getting a hybrid car,” she said. “Meanwhile, I just got a Tesla!”

Now that Cruze is a parent herself, she is hoping to instill healthy financial habits in her own kids.

“We’re teaching our children the basics like working, giving, saving and spending,” she said. “I’m also a big believer that more is caught than taught. The strongest impact on our children is what they see and hear from their parents on a consistent basis.”

Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

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