Recently, a good friend of mine who knew that I had read this book asked me whether or not I found it helpful This friend has struggled with managing her personal finances and is drowning in credit card debt She was feeling pretty hopeless and was worried that she d never be able to take care of her bills and set enough aside for retirement Rather than go into the ins and outs of the book, I downloaded the audiobook version and we listened together while working on paperwork during the work day Honestly, I just didn t think I could communicate the underlying message of the book without coming across kind of preachy This provided a nice way to share the major concepts of the book with her, while providing a strong reminder for me.As you can imagine, personal finance isn t exactly the most entertaining topic That is especially true when the take away message is to exercise restraint and behave responsibly Nobody wants to face the fact that we are to blame for our own financial situations It is far less painful to blame somebody else for the damage we do to ourselves.That being said, I really like Dave Ramsey s common sense approach He tells some hard truths and forces you to take a long, hard look in the mirror If you re looking for excuses or a pity party, you won t find it here He is brutally honest Sacrifice today for wealth tomorrow is idea There is no get rich quick scheme presented, just old fashioned wisdom Essentially, his advice is to turn back the hands of time and handle money the way my grandparent s generation, and the generations before theirs, did Don t spend money that you don t have Save for future expenditures Quit trying to keep up with the Joneses It s that simple.Of course, he does provide guidance for how to get out of debt if you ve already accumulated it His personal story of bankruptcy and how he was able to turn around his finances was inspirational He made it clear that anyone could do it, but they had to be willing to work hard and make some sacrifices Most importantly, they would have to evaluate their attitudes toward money and be willing to make some changes in their behavior.Although I m not a very religious person, I wasn t bothered by the bible verses that were interspersed throughout the book Some people might be put off by that, but it wasn t an issue for me Clearly, his religious views are an important piece of his identity For people that are spiritual than I am, this might prove to be a great source of inspiration It was neither here nor there for me.All in all, I think that this is a great book It didn t feel gimmicky or too good to be true There were no promises or schemes presented It was just good, sound advice for eliminating debt and living within your means In fact, I ll probably make my children listen to this as they get older I m planning to purchase the book he wrote with his daughter that is geared toward children as well Might as well start early.Check out of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com Listened to the audio version of this book Buy it, live it An amazing system that s not a system just living within one s means Worth the investment many times over I read Financial Peace years ago We tried to live the plan, but looking back we could have done a lot better The Total Money Makeover takes the same plan and breaks it down into detailed babysteps This REALLY works We ve had our 1000 emergency saving account for years now and have hardly had to dip into it because we really think through what an emergency is Most of the time we have been able to wait a few weeks until the extra paycheck, tax return or a bonus comes through instead of using our savings The debt snowball really works I was amazed when I saw how much money is going toward our last debt It will only be a few months to get it paid off Yes, we did stop retirement for the past year it was a simple form to fill out at work and only took a couple minutes The money that was previously in our IRA is still growing, but we re not adding to it right now When that debt is gone and we have our 3 6 month savings we ll start it up again What doesn t make sense is having debt when you retire and using your money from your 401K IRA to pay off the debt.This book is just common sense in a big way There is so much peace in being in control of our money and our marriage is so much better because we have GOALS that we plan together This book is a great gift for college graduations and weddings We buy it on Dave Ramsey s website when it goes on sale for 10 a copy.Update June 2018.I wrote the original post Jan 2008 We still follow this plan We ve been debt free for the past 10 years no credit cards for even longer My husband started his own company debt free and has never borrowed money for it We paid for six vehicles in cash a dave car for my husband, a family can, then a truck to replaced the Dave vehicle, one replaced the worn out family vehicle, the others are the high schoolers and a college car Currently have 4 good running, paid for vehicles We have paid college tuition, missionary support and cash flowed a wedding Our only debt is our house It will get attention after our children are grown We ve been amazed at what we can do by being intentional and planning large purchases, vacations and budgeting I probably should have given this book than three stars, because it s a good start to figuring out a critical piece of the financial puzzle getting out of debt This book is debt centric, so, if you re in debt, then yes, you really should read this book.However, while focusing on getting out of debt is a crucially important step of freeing up your income because if the money you make every month is spent every month, you re not financially fit , there are many aspects of your financial self that are not addressed in this book And, while Mr Ramsey would probably tell you that these aspects of your financial self can wait until you re out of debt, I don t think it s wise to procrastinate an awareness of your financial whole.This is not to say that you should rationalize being in debt and or put off getting out of it and Mr Ramsey has a sure fire way of doing that So, to the person in debt, the book does contain a money makeover plan just not a total money makeover plan.If you want a money makeover that is total, you can combine this book with others or my sister, Taibi, has recommended a book called Making the Most of Your Money, and she says it is a total guide to managing money I m going to read it myself, soon, and I ll let you know how I like it.Other books I would recommend about money Money Harmony by Olivia Mellan, and Secrets of the Millionaire Mind I ll post reviews of those separately. This book is great for those who are in debt because of overspending Unfortunately Dave Ramsey groups everyone in the same category with the undisciplined, regardless of their background He uses unrealistic examples of people having a mortgage of 50,000, or someone paying 250 month for a small apartment while paying off debt He uses examples of young people in their mid twenties making 50,000 a year These are completely unrealistic numbers in most regions of the country.He proudly says that his business is debt free Dave Ramsey is not a dentist or a chiropractor or a manufacturing business owner who would need expensive equipment to run his business.He fails to understand that many people grow up in poverty and are always just barely keeping up with their bills They may have a mentally ill spouse or child People face unfair lawsuits, unemployment, death, and other tragedies in life His self righteous response is that you should have had your emergency fund in place before these things happened.Many of us are college educated, frugal, and self disciplined We don t pay for manicures, we cut everybody s hair in the family, we don t buy meat, our vacations are mini vacations within an hour s drive from our home, we drive 15 year old cars, and we live in a small condo.Perhaps his most arrogant statement is that there is no excuse to retire without financial dignity in the United States today If you are educated, hard working, disciplined, and understand how money works, you will waste your money on this book You can learn a lot about money and compassion from Suze Orman than from Dave Ramsey Buy a book by Suze Orman instead. From my blog My friend Amanda was nice enough to buy me Dave Ramsey s book It must mean it s pretty good if someone else is willing to shell out 25.00 to buy you a book on money management This book was really repetitive, but I thought it was a fantastic planning tool for those of us who aren t making a gobzillion dollars doingwhatever Paris Hilton does, for example I have a small bit of debt mostly due to 2007 The Year of Dental Nightmares and literally no savings I had quite a bit saved up for a while, but my bills started to eat into my nice little nest egg and the next thing I knew it was gone Anyway, I think Ramsey has some great ideas for getting back on the right track with your money.One thing he does say, over and over again, is that it is not hard to follow his plan, but it s very difficult to actually pull it off It s not complicated, but it takes determination and focus if you want to get out of debt and start controlling your money, instead of the other way around He sets out baby steps for a Total Money Makeover, beginning with scrimping and saving until you have a 1,000 emergency fund Ramsey notes that things like Christmas are not emergencies Christmas is not an emergency it does not sneak up on you Christmas is always in December, they don t move it, and therefore it s not an emergency Heh Baby step two is to pay off all your debts using a Debt Snowball Basically you list your debts from smallest to largest, and pay the minimum payments on all but the smallest, to which you devote as much money as you can possibly can Then, instead of just moving on to the next debt when the first is paid off, you roll over the amount you were paying for the first debt in addition to the minimum payment for the second debt And so on It snowballs so that you are paying debts off faster Seems easy, not sure how the life application will be The third baby step is to increase the emergency fund to where it could sustain you for three to six months Baby step four is to invest, which I do a little of right now, and probably won t stop, even though he recommends it It s too much of a hassle when I m pretty sure I can climb out of my mini hole relatively quickly The next two steps are to save for college done and done, thank you Grandma , and to pay off the mortgage which I don t have But I m sure they are helpful for parents who own a home.Seriously, though The people in this book really did some drastic things to get out of debt they sold cars, houses, first borns, etc I m not nearly in that kind of trouble, but I think using a watered down version of his money makeover, I can get my credit card and dental bills paid off a lot sooner than I would have without having read this book I want to be completely credit card free by the new year, and to the point where I am saving some money AND to where I am able to pay for my Scotland trip with cash I am also going to attempt to budget October, so we ll see how that goes It terrifies me to think how much I spend eating out Yikes.Ramsey is a Christian, but I wouldn t expect anyone who isn t to be turned off by anything he has to say Basically he quotes a few Proverbs and the people in their testimonies thank God That s about it I think the book is totally reasonable if you re not a Christian it s not preachy at all.I also checked out Ramsey s website, and was able to answer a few of my questions that weren t answered in the book, such as whether or not I should continue tithing while trying to get rid of the debt answer although he won t beat you up if you stop, he highly encourages tithing if you can t live on 90%, you can t live on 100% So that was cool, and I think I ll find info on there about other things should they come up. This guy s claim is basically that the key to accumulating a lot of money is to 1 become debt free, 2 save a sizeable nest egg 3 10k for the big emergencies that typically send people into debt in the first place, and 3 put the rest of your savings in mutual funds He s particularly insistent that you suck it up and drive old cars that you ve paid cash for rather than make payments on a new car Good advice, but it would help if he offered insights on how to follow it, especially since he seems to think that even those deeply in debt can achieve steps 1 and 2 in a year or two He uses a lot of catch phrases like live like no one else and save with gazelle like intensity but some details would go a long way. The Success Stories Speak For Themselves In This Book From Money Maestro Dave Ramsey Instead Of Promising The Normal Dose Of Quick Fixes, Ramsey Offers A Bold, No Nonsense Approach To Money Matters, Providing Not Only The How To But Also A Grounded And Uplifting Hope For Getting Out Of Debt And Achieving Total Financial HealthRamsey Debunks The Many Myths Of Money Exposing The Dangers Of Cash Advance, Rent To Own, Debt Consolidation And Attacks The Illusions And Downright Deceptions Of The American Dream, Which Encourages Nothing But Overspending And Massive Amounts Of Debt Don T Even Consider Keeping Up With The Joneses, Ramsey Declares In His Typically Candid Style They Re Broke The Total Money Makeover Isn T Theory It Works Every Single Time It Works Because It Is Simple It Works Because It Gets To The Heart Of The Money Problems You This book is a great step by step plan to help you get control of your finances by walking you through the 7 baby steps.1 Small Emergency Fund of 10002 Pay off all debt except house with debt snowball3 Fully Fund Emergency Fund to 3 6x of living expenses4 Invest 15% of income for retirement5 Fund kids college fund6 Pay off mortgage7 Have fun, give and investDefinitely a must read and the companion website www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com is hands down the best most practical website I ve ever seen from making a budget to tracking all your goals to forums and plenty.
Dave Ramsey, the nationally syndicated radio host of The Money Game and bestselling author, has helped thousands through Financial Peace University a 12 week financial planning program He presents seminars in churches and corporations throughout the country He holds a degree in finance and real estate and lives with his family in Nashville Tennessee.
- 223 pages
- The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
- Dave Ramsey
- 04 February 2019 Dave Ramsey