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The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness Hardcover – Abridged, February 6, 2007

517 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. His four New York Times best-selling books –Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership – have sold more than 7 million copies combined. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations and iHeartRadio.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 2 edition (February 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785289089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785289081
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (517 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dave Ramsey is America's trusted voice on money and business. He's authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership and Smart Money Smart Kids. And check out his new products: Financial Peace Junior and Junior's Adventures Storytime Book Set! "The Dave Ramsey Show" is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations, "The Dave Ramsey Show" channel on iHeartRadio, and a 24-hour online streaming video channel. Ramsey Solutions offers a suite of products and services to help people get control of their finances and other aspects of their lives. Follow Ramsey on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

153 of 159 people found the following review helpful By Jen C. on July 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although Dave Ramsey is becoming more widely known around the nation, I can still mention his name here in Chicago and get a "Who's that?" response. I first found out about Dave while living in Kentucky through a co-worker. This discovery turned my life around.

Two years ago, my husband and I were a little over $36,000 in debt including credit cards, cars, and student loans. Today, we are completely debt-free, saving an emergency fund like Ramsey strongly advocates in the book, and we will be able to purchase a home on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage (also something he advocates in the book).

The philosophy is incredibly simple, and a few other reviewers have already listed his "baby steps," so I won't rehash that again. "Baby steps" actually came from the Bill Murray flick "What About Bob?", in case you're wondering. Not only are the steps easy to follow, but you'll want to channel Homer Simpson and have a "Doh!" moment when you read it. On his widely syndicated talk radio show, Ramsey uses the opening line, "Teaching you the same advice your grandmother would, only we keep our teeth in." That line is in deference to the fact that he realizes he is teaching people common sense money management.

If you're in love with your FICO score or looking for a financial expert to help you improve your credit, Ramsey's book is the wrong one for you. Be forewarned that he cares NOTHING about a credit score. The only debt that he "allows" you to keep is a mortgage, and he's not crazy about that. If you're looking for a way to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and learn to make the most of your hard-earned wages (possibly become a millionaire in the process), then you need to read this book. It may change your life; it changed mine.
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795 of 934 people found the following review helpful By J.M. Parsons on May 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought Ramsey's book because he has so many raving fans (my daughter among them), and the loyalty they express is often literally evangelical in nature. Offering any criticism of Dave Ramsey's advice can draw fusillades of righteous indignation. Any negative comments about Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace University or any of the many products he sells may be answered by, "You obviously love debt," and "why are you so against living by Biblical principles?"

As a financial professional, I can legitimately claim to be an expert in matters of debt and credit. So I bought his book so I could see just what it was about Dave Ramsey would cause these extreme reactions. After reading it carefully, I have come to some conclusions.

First, I must acknowledge that there is a lot to like about Dave Ramsey. His basic teaching can be boiled down to this:

1. Don't buy stuff on credit that you can't afford
2. Set aside money for emergencies and the future
3. If you are in trouble with debt, stop incurring it (we could also state it as, "When you're deep in a hole, stop digging.")
4. Make a plan to retire your debt systematically

He offers a step-by-step method for getting out of debt and onto a better financial footing. He teaches that you should pay attention to your finances and work from a written budget.

These are all good things.

My first concern is that Mr. Ramsey teaches that All Debt Is Evil (with the possible exception of a 15 year mortgage). Others here have mentioned his assertion that "responsible use of a credit card is not possible." His audience is urged not only to pay off their debt (a Good Thing), but to cut up the cards and close the accounts.
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58 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Gooflee on May 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started to listen to Dave Ramsey's radio show about a month ago. I kept hearing callers calling in saying they were debt free, so I was curious about learning Dave's approach to financial freedom. I was interested in living debt free so I picked up his book. Majority of the book is information that I have heard many times in my life. Dave even warns readers of this. However, his style of writing and humor make this information fun to read again. I have read reviews for this book mentioning that the reviewers could have save money because there are only 5 steps listed in the book, and majority of information has been told before. These reviewers have missed the point. The purpose of the book is to give people a foundation for change, so that they can be masters of their financial life. This book is a tool that people can go back and read for inspiration, if the path gets too difficult.

The book is a very easy and entertaining read. For those of us who dream of living debt-free, it is a very inspiration book to have. The baby steps are very easy to remember, but not necessarily easy to follow through with. The book gives us understanding why we have to go through some pain to become debt free. Just as person overweight struggles to diet and exercise if they want to become fit, a person trying to stop living on credit goes through type of struggle. Reading about people paying off $20,000 of debt in 9 months makes my missed restaurants visits, or not buying the newest video game seem trivial. For those wanting a way to become debt-free, the small investment in this book is a small price to pay. I have read many financial books, and Total Money Makeover is one of the best.
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