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The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness Hardcover – December 27, 2009

1,638 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Radio talk-show host and bestselling author Ramsey (Financial Peace) is less a financial analyst and more of a preacher, which explains both his popularity and the appeal of this book, which just might gain a wide audience. The bedrock of his system is simple: work hard, pay what you owe and stay out of debt. His main commandment is "Pay cash." He first exhorts the reader to take "baby steps," which are designed to build on each other: first, save $1,000 as an emergency fund; then, pay off all debts from smallest to largest; save a larger three-to-six-month emergency fund; finally, start to save for college and pay off your home mortgage. Ramsey understands the difficulty in putting these steps into action, and therefore packs his book with personal testimonials from everyday people who have used his system and have become debt free, with obvious struggles. The key is what Ramsey calls "Gazelle intensity," which is to live a financial life the way a gazelle saves itself from an attacking cheetah-"outmaneuver the enemy and run for your life." While Ramsey provides some helpful charts and graphs so readers can keep track of their efforts to follow his steps, the strength of this book is that it is a straightforward motivational tool. He provides the brutally direct truth about the hard work it takes to become free of debt, and his directness is a great part of the book's charm.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge." So states Ramsey, author and radio show host, offering a comprehensive plan to get out of debt and achieve financial fitness. Our current financial position represents the sum total of the decisions we've made to this point, he tells us, and we must take personal responsibility for our financial problems. His seven-step plan includes paying off all debts except the home mortgage at an accelerated speed, creating a financial safety net that covers three to six months' expenses, investing 15 percent of income in a retirement fund, and saving for children's college expenses. He effectively shows how regular people can rid themselves of debt and grow their wealth using current income. While many of Ramsey's concepts are not new, his simple approach and client testimonials will resonate with a broad range of library patrons. This is important information in a society buried in debt, with unprecedented numbers of people facing bankruptcy. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Total Money Makeover A Proven Plan For Financial Fitness
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 3 edition (December 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159555078X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595550781
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,638 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,125 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. "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 daveramsey.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

490 of 521 people found the following review helpful By FaithfulReader.com on February 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy discussions about my finances about as much as I enjoy talking about my weight. I certainly need to work on both, but I'd prefer to avoid the topics if at all possible, thank you very much. Can I get an "amen"?
Dave Ramsey, radio talk show host, author and all-around financial guru, is no stranger to this ostrich routine. After his own bankruptcy he came to the conclusion that the key to financial (and physical) fitness isn't knowing all the tricks of the money trade; it's being honest with yourself. "If I can control the guy in the mirror, I can be skinny and rich," he says in his new book THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER.
In other words, you have to get your head out of the sand. Okay, I have to get my head out of the sand.
Leaving the skinny to other books, Ramsey is a prophet to those who want to be rich but would settle for being financially stable. It's clear that this is a large group, given the popularity of Ramsey's radio show and books. After reading THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER, I can see why they flock to him for advice.
Ramsey's principles are simple and straightforward. Pay cash. Pay off debts from smallest to largest. Create an emergency fund. He provides easy-to-understand answers to many seemingly complex questions about budgeting, retirement funds, saving for college education, and more.
Large pullout quotes scattered throughout the book offer bite-sized financial advice and factoids in Ramsey's typically direct manner:
"A new $28,000 car will lose about $17,000 of value in the first four years you own it. To get the same result, you could toss a $100 bill out the window once a week during your commute."
"Looking to spend $100 per month on life insurance?
Read more ›
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734 of 792 people found the following review helpful By T. Scarillo VINE VOICE on February 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey, is the 3rd Edition of his popular book outlining personal finance advice and his "Baby Steps" method of righting your financial ship. I'm assuming that if you actively searched here under his name, you already know who Ramsey is - he and Suze Orman are probably the two most prominent personal-finance show hosts in the US. They have somewhat different styles - both can be pretty blunt to their callers when needed, but Ramsey tends to lean toward advising people to take more-drastic measures to get their debt down (`beans and rice, rice and beans' and his mantra of `Live like no one else, so you can someday Live like no one else') as opposed to Orman's "People first, then money, then things". She's a bit more empathic, but maybe he's a bit more hard-line because, at least from what I've seen (and I've watched both for several years), his audience generally seems to get themselves into bigger financial messes in the first place. If you think you've got it bad, tune into his show (on Fox Business Channel on cable) and you'll hear some REALLY bad stories of situations people have gotten themselves into, that will probably make you feel better about your own finances. Many of the `true stories' contained in the book are of people who got themselves in trouble by: 1) getting married/divorced too young, to/from someone who was as equally inept at handling money; 2) having lots of kids at a very early age (they're expensive, big surprise); and 3) appearing to have no education beyond high school, or majoring in something that is unlikely to yield a living income.Read more ›
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195 of 221 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you're thinking about passing on this latest book from financial guru Dave Ramsey because you've already read his first New York Times bestseller Financial Peace, think again. Financial Peace is "what to do." Total Money Makeover is a step-by-step, nuts and bolts "how to do" kind of book. Dave takes the seven key principles of a healthy financial plan from Financial Peave and gives them a shot of adrenaline and a ton of muscle! He walks with you through each of the seven "baby steps" and shows you exactly how to accomplish each one. Along the way Dave shares dozens of stories from people who are working on or have completed their own Total Money Makeover. The result is a book that could replace all others on personal finance. Reader beware: If you're looking for the next "get rich quick" book from a guy with a calculator and no experience, this is not the book for you. But if you want an uplifting and encouraging book that will show you exactly how to build true wealth and will give you loads of stories from people who have done just that, pick this book up today! Dave knocks it out of the park with Total Money Makeover, and your personal finances could be doing the same very soon.
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133 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Lux on August 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Finally, a book that speaks to everyone, from those who are complete financial disasters to those who pay their bills on time, but overpend and need to reduce their debt load. Too many books about debt focus only on paying your bills on time and reducing your interest rates, while ignoring the people who have too much debt and are too smart about it, never paying a late fee and keeping it all at low interest.

I have never heard Ramsey's radio show, but this book was a huge wake-up call for me. It is motivational and it will get you pumped to get intense about reducing your debt load and living only with the cash you have today. The strategies are excellent, the advice is solid, and people have turned their lives around under Ramsey's guidance. There are a lot of testimonials in this book, perhaps a few too many, but I enjoyed seeing the success stories and seeing the different kinds of people who turned to Ramsey's method.

This book has wide appeal and everyone should check it out once to give their finances a good sanity check.
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