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The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness Hardcover – Dec 29 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 3 edition (Dec 29 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159555078X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595550781
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #101,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ken Francis on Jan. 15 2012
Format: Hardcover
I must admit, I was pretty cautious when I first picked up Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover. It's not a particularly threatening book - it's just that the cover has a similar effect to receiving an unsolicited sales email. There is a picture of him staring into the camera with an all-knowing gaze. Everything is green and red and gold ' money, money, money. The caption, all-caps: "Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people have become debt-free ' here's how you can too." It's not exactly subtle.

Upon digging into the information, it's pretty useful stuff. It's not so much a technical manual for places to cut costs as it is a motivational book to refer to when times get tough. Dave writes in a refreshing, conversational manner, and begins by bringing the low-down on various "Money Myths." He discusses the reasons that playing the Lotto won't make you rich ("Lotto and Power Ball are a tax on the poor and people who can't do math"), why pre-paying anything isn't really worth it, and why bankruptcy is hardly ever a good option.

From here, Dave takes the reader through the extremely simple "Baby Steps" which make up the meat of the book:

Create a $1000 emergency fund while paying the minimums on every debt. Make sure it's liquid. Budget hard.
List all your debts ' every last one. Pay them off in order of smallest to largest, regardless of interest rates. This is to keep you motivated as you gather "small wins" on the road to being debt-free. Any mortgage shouldn't be listed here, but student loans should, according to Dave.
Finish your emergency fund. Bump that sucker up to three to six months (or more) of living costs. Ramsey says this value is $10,000 +-, depending on if your income is steady .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristie on Sept. 19 2003
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Ramsey has 'mixed it up a bit'. The straight forward way he presents this book keeps even the shortest of attention spans enthralled. Even the "Stupid Math" and "Myths" get you 'pumped up'. The greatest advantage to this book in contrast to the Revisited is that it offers REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE. This in-turn, give more REAL HOPE FOR LIFE! This isn't a book that just sits on the shelf. It's marked up, loaned out, and unlike most financial books READ!!! For some, you have to beat them over the head with the simplest of concepts. That is why he is on the air day after day, yes, after day. He is giving the same information but some still don't get it. There is always that one chance that one person will pick up this particular book or turn on the show....for the first time. You've just got to be brave enough to take that first step, "live like no one else..."
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Format: Hardcover
Occasionally for work, I travel around the city and have the opportunity to hear the Dave Ramsey Show on the radio. I have always appreciated his no-nonsense, sometimes very blunt and straight-forward responses to people who call in to his show with money questions, so I thought that I would purchase his book. I am so glad that I did. I should mention at the outset that this book is essential for the married couple who may occasionally or regularly argue about money and finances. My wife and I both read this and while we have read many personal finance books, this one really moved us to create a budget and start looking at our debts, and even though we don't have that much debt, the process to get rid of it is very helpful.

As Ramsey says, none of the ideas in his book are new and revolutionary, much of it is common sense, but it is compiled with many, many real life personal examples and illustrations which drive points home. As expected, he is against credit card usage in any way, and part of the getting out of debt plan is to have a means of forced savings and also creating a budget. None of this is new. However, the way he puts all this together in an easy to follow plan with timelines, is extremely helpful for those who understand the principles but are not sure where to begin. As a result of this book, my wife and I are able to discuss finances much more openly and collaboratively and we have implemented Ramsey's plan and I can tell you, it is like night and day, once you start following the plan.

Further, his discussions about cars and how to buy cars / avoiding leasing, etc., as well as his chapters on college tuition and retirement are helpful, interspersed with regular steps on avoiding getting into debt in the process.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow! What a life-changing book. Dave Ramsey hit the nail right on the head. Getting out of debt and building wealth requires more than knowledge of what we need to do with our money, it requires agreement between husband and wife, and the determination to change.
If you have not purchased this book, I would suggest you buy it first in the audio form. My wife and I listened to it while driving the 45 mile trip to Lewiston, Idaho to purchase groceries. Not only was it good entertainment, but it brought us to agreement for the first time in over thirty years of marriage on how to handle our money. Yes, even preachers and their wives can argue over money, only that we call it intense fellowship rather than an argument.
Although I have immense respect for the late Larry Burkett, Dave Ramsey is a whole lot easier to listen to. Dave provides the motivation and the empathy that Mr. Burkett did not. I almost laughed until tears came welling out of my eyes as Dave told of his desperate attempts to keep his Jaguar despite going bankrupt. Dave mantra-If you live like nobody else, you will get to live like nobody else, got me to thinking about our spending decisions. It was sobering. My wife and I now write a monthly budget and are planning to be completely out of consumer debt within eighteen months. It will not be easy but we are determined that we are going to achieve the freedom that Christ desires for us. How in the world, can anybody be truly free in Christ, when they owe money to VISA and GMAC?
Any complaints? Yeah, I got one. I have yet to be convinced of his argument that a Debit Card is just as safe as a credit card. I often listen to consumer advocate Clark Howard on the radio, and he warns his audience almost daily on the dangers of these fake Visa Cards.
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