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Financial Peace: Restoring Financial Hope to You and Your Family Hardcover – January 1, 1997
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From Library Journal
As a young and gifted businessman during the real estate decade of the Eighties, Ramsey, who has a Christian radio talk show, made millions; however, when the market eventually collapsed, the author found himself driving a Jaguar with no money for gas. Using the anger he felt from this experience as a catalyst to write this book, Ramsey bypasses advice on stock and mutual fund selection typically found in similar books and takes aim at the behavioral aspects of personal money management. Admonishing the reader to avoid the seductiveness of credit cards, among other things, Ramsey illustrates his strategy for dumping debt, which he considers paramount in realizing financial peace. While here and there he incorporates Christian practice, e.g., in the first chapter he uses prayer for gathering his thoughts and later speaks of tithing and charitable contributions, his work is straightforward and written without financial jargon. This is a firm but necessary slap in the face for individuals and married couples just getting out on their own. Highly recommended for public libraries.?Dennis Krieb, St. Charles Cty. Coll., St. Peters, Mo.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The author's own experience with debt and bankruptcy is the backdrop for the story of his journey from financial riches to loss of everything and then to survival when he found new success through his counseling efforts, which are framed by his religious beliefs. Ramsey determined that his personal experience with financial pain was an ideal foundation for a career in assisting consumers in handling debt. The reader learns that it takes considerable sacrifice, discipline, and patience to control money, and Ramsey contends that a huge percentage of Americans, caught in a web of instant gratification, need help in managing their finances. The core of the book reflects on 25 principles, which the author calls "peace puppies," great creatures that are eager to please and love their master but, without discipline, will become wild and mean. These puppies include avoiding the worship of money, giving money away to worthy causes, living substantially below one's income, and laying out written details of a cash-management plan. One caveat: the book concludes with a set of financial worksheets; however, they do provide an excellent introduction to disciplined planning. Mary Whaley
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So much of the world of personal finance is dominated by people and institutions selling financial products. Ramsey calls for people to be cautious about financial products in favor of simply living on less than they earn and paying down debts. When a salesperson approaches us and says "May I help you?" we prepare ourselves to talk to someone who is trying to sell us something. With financial products, especially debt, people are often too eager to be sold. I think it's rare to hear this point of view because a lot of the information we get about personal finance flows from lending institutions. Think of this book as the other side of the story.
This book gives hard-to-find advice about how to deal with financial emergencies. There's a whole other side to the unctuous, friendly-sounding credit card offers that are so common-- they lend money to people who cannot afford it. When people cannot pay, they sell the accounts to bill collectors who try to get people to put their obligations ahead of basic necessities by using lies, obscenities, threats, insults, and any other tricks they can think of. Where else do you read about this?
As other reviews have pointed out, Ramsey has an abrasive personality and right-wing political views. I totally disagree with his right-wing values, but he doesn't spend enough time on them to detract from the valuable personal finance information.
Another criticism is that Ramsey uses his "ministry" as an advertising vehicle for the very financial institutions he's criticizing. He claims that institutions that he endorses operate by his principles. I doubt, however, that he is picky about his endorsements, so follow Ramsey's advice from this book-- be skeptical about financial products, even ones he endorses on the radio.
I highly recommend this book. It can be easily understood by someone without a high school education and no experience with money. It has advice aimed at helping such a person with financial problems. At the same time, it has equally valuable advice for someone with an advanced education and high-paying job. High-income people often feel pressure to live an affluent lifestyle at the expense of other priorities. This book is a good antidote to that pressure.