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The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness Hardcover – December 27, 2009
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About the Author
Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. His five New York Times bestselling books—Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership, and Smart Money Smart Kids—have sold more than 7 million copies combined. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8 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.
I can't say enough good things about this book. The examples that he presents are inspiring, witty, and matter of fact. Since reading this book about 3 years ago, about 6 months before I married my wife, we have paid off about $XX,000 in credit card, student loan, car loan, and medical bill debt. We have more money than ever in the bank in case of emergency and peace of mind that is worth a lot more. I'm going to be starting graduate school soon and from the looks of it, I'll graduate debt-free with a Master's degree. We haven't used a credit card for 3 years. Some people are stunned when they find out we don't have credit cards. They ask "but what about emergencies?" We no longer spend more than we make.
I can't read the future, but if I don't fall into my old ways (and it's been 3 years so far), my family and future family have changed their fates.
If you have unlimited self-control (be honest), enjoy gambling with your family's future, and think you're the exception to the trend of the average American consumer, then this is not the book for you.
If you have a weak spot for over-spending and are man/woman enough to admit it, want to enjoy a low-risk 99.5% sure way of living a comfortable life, and you if don't mind a bit of hard work and the occasional bible verse, then get this book.
Most recent customer reviews
There are 7 steps to follow and it all seems very logical.