Dave Ramsey’s 4 Walls – How to Handle a Financial Crisis

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4 walls dave ramsey


When you are in a financial crisis, it’s easy to panic and easily make things worse! It’s unfortunately within our human nature to have a flight or fight response when it comes to financial emergencies. Studies showed that 80% of Americans are caught up in the chains of debt. This means that millions have to face financial emergencies and might not be prepared for them. When situations like this happen, Dave Ramsey came up with the 4 walls to help you manage and push through.

When debt collectors start calling, or you are late on your mortgage, it’s very easy to panic and freeze. Instead of freezing, this is the time to pull yourself up and handle the situation. By utilizing the 4 walls Dave Ramsey suggests, you can come out ahead.

In this article, we will go over the 4 walls that Dave Ramsey advocates for when you feel stuck and are drowning in debt. Tackle them in this order and this article will show you how to implement them into your own life and situations.

The 4 Walls by Dave Ramsey

WallDescription
FoodMake sure you and your family have food on the table and are fed is your first wall
ShelterHaving a roof over your head is your second wall.
UtilitiesClean running water, heat, and electricity is your third wall
TransportationThe ability to travel to see the doctor, to work, and your children to school is your fourth wall

Wall 1: Food

The First wall you need to build up is food. When we say food, we mean groceries! This should not be mistaken for restaurants and ordering doordash. When you are building your 4 walls, you are looking to strengthen the basics.

Food is a basic human need that everyone needs. As obvious as this might sound, it’s might be surprising that people may prioritize getting a nice car over having food in the fridge. Before handling any other financial obligation or situation, you need to make sure there’s food on the table.

If you are surrounded by debt collectors, final notices, and receiving threats, put that all aside and make sure your first wall is put up. Make sure you are able to feed yourself and your family. Food is now your number one priority.

Wall 2: Shelter

The second wall that you need to bring up his shelter. Make sure you have paid your mortgage all your rent before handling other financial obligations. Again, these walls are in order of importance. This means that, once you have food to feed your family, securing your shelter becomes your second most important priority.

If you are carrying a second mortgage on your home, put that aside for now as it can’t be foreclosed on. You don’t want to be foreclosed or evicted during a financial crisis. Having a roof over your head it’s something you need to prioritize.

Wall 3: Utilities

The third wall is going to be your utilities. It is just as equally important to make sure you have heat/air conditioning, especially in the United States. Depending on which state you live in, it is life or death not having heat during the winter storms.

It is also just as important to have running water, electricity, and basic Sanitation. Once you have your first two walls secured, having running Utilities in your home becomes your next priority. If you cannot catch up with your utilities, make sure to reach out to them to figure out a payment plan. You can also do minimum payments on your utility bills so that they are not shut off.

Wall 4: Transportation

The fourth and final wall is Transportation. Having transportation means that you have a way to and from work. This also means you have the ability to run critical errands and take your kids to and from school.

We have built a society that is reliant on Transportation. It’s very rare that you live where you work, or go to school next door to your home. You almost always need some form of transportation to go to and from these important places. Being able to go to the grocery store, go to the doctor, continue working, etc. are all very important.

So if you own a car, make sure you budget gas, insurance, and regular maintenance to keep it running. If you don’t, they make sure you budget enough for public transportation, Uber, train passes, etc.

Final thoughts

Once you have built up these four walls, it is much easier to make sound and conscious decisions. When you are panicked and frightened, it’s hard to think straight and rectify your situation. These four walls are you are absolute basics that you will need to prioritize first.

Once these four walls are covered, you can then move on to less pressing issues. Debt payments, medical expenses, and saving goals can be worked on. This can only be done once you have built out these four very important walls.

Whatever happens or whatever situation you are in, always keep your head up and know that it will pass. As long as you sit down, think things through, and prioritize things in your life, you will overcome them.

So what do you think of these four walls? Do you think Dave Ramsey nailed it by coming up with these 4 walls? Let me know in the comments below!

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