CNLP 220: Rachel Cruze with the Back Story on How Dave Ramsey Taught Her About Money, How to Teach Your Kids About Money, and The Top Financial Issues People Struggle With

Rachel Cruze talks about what motivates her as a public speaker and writer, what her dad, Dave Ramsey, has taught her, why going on commission is a much better system for your kids than allowance, how to help your kids through college without going into debt, and the top financial issues leaders and the people they serve struggle with.

Welcome to Episode 220 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Facebook | InstagramTwitter | The Rachel Cruze Show

Links from this Episode

Your response to my latest book, Didn’t See It Coming, has been amazing! I love hearing your stories. If you haven’t already, you can learn more and get your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here.

Save an average of 34% annually on healthcare at Receive a free quote and buying guide just for checking them out.

Is your church missing out on a mobile strategy? Visit and discover how your church can increase giving.

3 Insights from this Episode

1. Leaders need to be aware of financial stress impacting those around them

Leaders, odds are that if you aren’t personally experiencing financial hardship, many people on your team or connected to your organization are struggling. It’s important to keep in mind some of the financial stress that may be contributing to the emotional health of your staff and within your community.

Rachel is constantly communicating with people who are struggling financially. She shares the top three problems she sees when people come to her seeking help.

Problem #1: Living without a Budget. 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and 4 out of 10 Americans don’t have enough money to cover a $400 emergency.

The Solution: Be intentional with finances. Creating a budget will reveal if there is an INCOME problem or an OUTCOME problem. Go to and take the time to sit down and intentionally assign each dollar a home. Problems can go away quickly when you know what’s going on with your account. Planning puts you back in control.

Problem #2: Carrying a Spirit of Discontentment. The desire to keep up with people who seem to always have more than you is a big problem. And never being satisfied with what you have by always wanting the newest, biggest, fastest…well, that’s not how God called us to live either.

The Solution: Open up scripture. The Bible makes more references to money than to heaven and hell combined. Rachel’s book Love Your Life Not Theirs is also another great resource.

Problem # 3: Living Deep in Debt. Debt has been around for decades, but it continues to climb. Instead of having patience and saving for things, people are using credit to get instant gratification. (Discontentment can play into this problem, too.)

The Solution: Create a budget and get help. Short term sacrifices lead to long term gains. When you are no longer a slave to a lender, you’ll experience an instant lift of emotional stress. There’s more freedom in life when money is not the constant issue.

2. Parents can establish smart money practices as early as the preschool years to build strong money muscle memory in their kids

Establishing a responsible money routine where children can learn to save, give, and spend doesn’t have to wait until they’re old enough to balance a checkbook. Children as young as 3 can begin practicing healthy habits that lead to a lifetime of financial freedom. Rachel and her father, Dave Ramsey, provide an excellent guide for parents in their book Smart Money, Smart Kids.

Here’s a great system to get your family started:

Young children (3 to 5 years old) – Find age appropriate chores and pay for them instantly, so that preschoolers quickly see the return in their efforts. Allowing the children to enjoy the satisfaction of buying something within a few weeks is a great way for them to understand the pattern of associating work and money.

Older children (6 to 13 years old) – Add age appropriate structure and responsibility to the chore chart, but don’t offer payment for every chore. Providing a short list of optional chores children can chose from will teach them the benefit of earning money for the work they do. Make this a priority in your home everyone can be intentional about and pay for chores once a week.

Teenagers – Open a student checking account and create a monthly budget with your teen. Living off a set amount of money each month teaches teens how to live within the means of a monthly budget and that money is finite.

3. Parents (and students) should avoid school loans at all costs

Student loans may seem like an easy solution to secure higher education at first, but once that degree is in hand and the real world of work and responsibility is in front of the graduate, the overwhelming amount of debt shows it’s true colors.

At times, parents are the ones who feel the most pressure to provide a college education for their children, but there’s no need to feel guilty if you can’t. It certainly doesn’t make you a bad parent. Honestly, even if it were an easy cost to take-on, it’s probably still better for the student to be responsible for that achievement.

Rachel offers great insight into how parents (and students) can avoid signing their lives away to student loans while still offering support and guidance for a child in pursuit of a degree. Here are her top 3 tips:

1. Apply to in-state schools or attend a local community college for one to two years before transferring.

2. Apply for every grant and scholarship possible.

3. Encourage the idea of working through school. It’s totally doable. Even better, working at the school is a great way to stay close to classes and get some kick-backs towards housing costs.

Quotes from This Episode

Personal finance is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge. @rachelCruze Click To Tweet

Money is a magnifying glass. It's makes you more of what you already are. @rachelCruze Click To Tweet

With parenting, more is caught than taught. Your kids are watching your habits and how you interact with money. @rachelCruze Click To Tweet

It's a disservice to kids when they are handed everything they ask for. Giving boundaries and limits is a gift within itself. @rachelCruze Click To Tweet

You're not a bad parent if you can't pay for college. College is a blessing, not an entitlement. @rachelCruze Click To Tweet

Didn’t See It Coming is available everywhere!

If you want practical help overcoming a some of the biggest challenges leaders face, my new book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences  tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and the emptiness of success and provides strategies on how to combat each.

I wrote the book because no 18 year old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35. Yet it happens all the time.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here’s what top leaders are saying about Didn’t See It Coming:

“Seriously, this may be the most important book you read this year.” Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor, Central Church

“Powerful, personal, and highly readable. ” Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong

“Whatever challenge you’re facing, whatever obstacle you’re hoping to overcome, whatever future you dream or imagine, there is something powerful for you here.” Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries

“Uncommonly perceptive and generous…You have to read this book.” Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author

“Masterful.” Reggie Joiner, CEO Orange

“Deep biblical insight, straightforward truth, and practical wisdom to help you grow.” Craig Groeschel, Pastor and NYT bestselling author

“This book is sure to help you.” Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author

Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author

“Nieuwhof’s book provides expert guidance…with an accuracy that pierces the heart.” Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc.

“A refreshingly transparent guide for all leaders in a wide variety of industries.” Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO, BELAY

You can learn more and get your copy of Didn’t See It Coming here.

Subscribing to the Podcast is Free

Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Ravi Zacharias, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus, Brian Houston, Greg McKeown, Jon Acuff and many others.

Subscribe via

Apple Podcasts


Google Play



Appreciate This? Rate the Podcast.

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Max Lucado

Max Lucado has published over 120 books. Yes, you read that right. And in this episode, he talks about how he writes and leads a large ministry, his unusual editing process, how to stay fresh in leadership over the long haul, and he tells the story of how a book he forgot he had to write became his favorite book (and chances are, one of your favorites, too).

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 221.

Read the Transcript for this Episode

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.