Dave Ramsey: Americans getting ‘hammered’ at gas pumps, grocery stores emptied ’emotional’ tanks


Best-selling author and personal finance expert Dave Ramsey is raising awareness about the correlation between financial wellness and mental health, arguing that “devastating” inflation and consumer prices are emptying Americans’ “emotional gas tanks,” even after the pandemic, on “Mornings with Maria” Tuesday.

“The math is devastating, particularly at the gas pump, or if you’re trying to buy a used car, that’s where people are getting just absolutely hammered. We’re noticing it at the grocery store,” Ramsey told FOX Business’ Jackie DeAngelis in response to a question about what Americans are most worried about financially.

“The fact that we were all just completely stressed out and our emotional gas tanks got empty, we were depleted during this whole pandemic process, and then we get hit again with inflation. It’s hard to keep our head up and hard to keep fighting through ,” I added.

Ramsey, joined by mental health expert Dr. John Delony, noted how inflation’s further emotional impact can cloud Americans’ financial decisions.


“The stats that 70% of Americans are stressed, anxiety rates are going up, the depression rates are going up,” Delony pointed out, “none of that surprises me when I look at the ecosystem that we’re living in.”

“When you owe somebody money, you don’t control your tomorrow – the bank does. When you are struggling to pay bills, to put gas in your car to buy basic groceries, your body will sound the anxiety alarms, the depression alarms, because you’re not safe, right?” Delony clarified. “And over the last couple of years, we’ve been cut off from one another, so our bodies again are sounding the alarms.”

Dave Ramsey discussed how to optimize your money and mental wellness on FOX Business. (iStock)

The experts explained how successful personal finance consists of 80% behavior and just 20% head knowledge, and encouraged changes in everyday thoughts and actions.

“There are three pillars to psychological well-being: It’s connections and relationships with others, safety and autonomy, the ability to control your destiny,” Delony listed.

“Save for a positive force,” Ramsey advised, “the future idea that I’m going to build wealth and pleasure, and that’s a much better motivator for saving.”

Ramsey and Delony pointed out Americans have a hard time with saving, primarily due to our psychology.

“We don’t have the ability to delay pleasure,” Ramsey said. “It’s emotional maturity… the idea that there’s something about growing up that’s tied to the ability to put off pleasure.”

“We live in an ecosystem that sets us up to be scared and frightened and on alert at all times,” Delony continued. “And when our brain goes on alert and we get scared, it actually trades accuracy for speed. It trades the quote-unquote ‘right decision’ for the easiest, quickest one.”


So next time you see an ad for a potential purchase that catches your eye, you might want to think twice, Delony cautioned.

“We’re chasing safety, we’re chasing fear in all the wrong places, and we look up and we have a pile of debt, a pile of shiny toys in our house that we don’t even want or need, and we find ourselves in a mess,” he said.