- 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 (4,403 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness Hardcover – Abridged, February 6, 2007
There is a newer edition of this item:
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Who is this book for? Everyone can benefit from it, but it is great for married couples and those in their late 20s, 30s, and early 40s. Young adults could benefit tremendously from it, but I'm worried it might not be exciting or fun enough to hold their attention. It's not really meant for retirees.
--- The Good ---
* He says financial freedom is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge which is so important, and he emphasizes this by pointing out there are a lot of broke finance professors.
* There are many real-life success stories of real people which shows his method works, and they also provide inspiration.
* He lays out his seven Baby Steps and makes them simple to understand. He points out that living right financially is not complicated. It may be difficult, but it's not complicated.
* I really liked the quote, "If you worked for a company called YOU Inc. and you managed money at YOU Inc. the way you manage your own money now, would you fire you?"
* The book includes helpful budget forms and worksheet in the back of the book.
* He isn't all gloom and doom. He wants you to have fun and even approves of buying a $30,000 watch, but only after you reach step seven and can afford it.
--- The Not-So-Good ---
* He doesn't go into a lot of detail on how to increase your income. Dave Ramsey is rich because he is a business owner who can make money from his radio show, books, seminars, programs, etc. It would have been great to get his advice on that, but he probably didn't want to overwhelm the reader with too many topics.
* I feel his previous bad experience with debt (he was over-leveraged with his real estate investments) has made him overly zealous on not having any debt. College loans can be very appropriate for some people, business loans can be great in the right situation, and his statement that you should put money toward paying down debt rather than getting the company 401(k) match seemed too extreme to me.
* The book wasn't super entertaining. I found a few parts to be a little dry and repetitive. While it certainly wasn't boring, I wish more money management books would be like the new personal finance adventure novel, but I guess that isn't this book's purpose. Still, there were a couple parts that made me chuckle and he did have some interesting stories.
* He stressed putting 100% of your investments in stock-related mutual funds. First, I feel ETFs are probably better than mutual funds because they are cheaper and won't underperform the market. Second, recommending a 100% stock portfolio to everyone regardless of age, financial goals, or risk tolerance seems risky to me. Plus you wouldn't experience the diversification benefit of owning non-correlated asset classes.
* He doesn't talk about the benefits of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals or having an accountability partner, which have been shown to greatly help people achieve all kinds of dreams.
--- Conclusion ---
Overall it is a very good book with a lot of good advice and inspirational case studies. You certainly won't regret reading it.
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? You could pay $7 a month toward term insurance and invest the remaining $93. But go with a cash-value policy if you'd rather have someone else earn interest on your investments."
"49% of Americans could cover less than one months' expenses if they lost their income."
"If your mortgage payment is $900 and the interest portion is $830, you will pay that year around $10,000 in interest. What a great tax deduction! Right? Otherwise, you'd pay $3,000 in taxes on that $10,000. But who in their right mind would chose to trade $10,000 for $3,000?"
All of this advice is helpful and eye opening, but what Ramsey really excels at is presenting inspirational tales of those who were once, but are no longer, in financial disarray. Their stories make up at least a third of the book, and the cumulative effect is that of a published pep rally designed to get people pumped up about saving money. And it works.
This is a must-read book for anyone whose looking for a little basic financial information and a whole lot of courage to finally put away the ostrich suit.
--- Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
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.