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The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

Average Rating 4
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(190)

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(79)

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(38)

2 Star

(17)

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(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

34 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

A Workable Plan

What I liked best about this book is that it doesn't just rattle off a bunch of things that we should be doing - saving for retirement, paying off credit cards, investing - we already knew what we SHOULD be doing. This book gives you a gameplan and tells you what you s...
What I liked best about this book is that it doesn't just rattle off a bunch of things that we should be doing - saving for retirement, paying off credit cards, investing - we already knew what we SHOULD be doing. This book gives you a gameplan and tells you what you should do first and why. For instance, my husband and I want to buy our first home, and we wanted to know if we should pay off our student loans first, or save up for a big down payment. The book prioritizes those types of things. It's easy to read, and it makes perfect sense. Dave tells you how everyone, no matter how bad the debt situation, can get out of debt effectively and move towards building wealth.

posted by Anonymous on January 2, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

14 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

Weak book

If one can follow Ramsey's advice they will certainly get out of debt and do well financially. The problem is that it takes a great deal of personal responsibility to do so. Ramsey argues that credit cards are bad because most people cannot avoid carrying a balance. ...
If one can follow Ramsey's advice they will certainly get out of debt and do well financially. The problem is that it takes a great deal of personal responsibility to do so. Ramsey argues that credit cards are bad because most people cannot avoid carrying a balance. Those same people are those that cannot stick to a budget. If you can follow his advice, you can also manage a credit card. The key is to pay it off every month. Dave does not seem to think his readers can handle that, but they can handle being on a very strict budget for years. Most of the book is cheerleading for itself. The tenets could be written in a paragraph. They will work, but save yourself the money and you will be 15 bucks ahead on your way to financial freedom.

posted by 891769 on January 25, 2009

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Easy-to-follow directions

    I purchased this to try to make sense out of some pretty deep debt (80k). Paying minimum payments on each card would have me dying before paying everything off. Using Dave Ramsey's snowball method, I've calculated that I can be debt free in February 2011. This has certainly given me a new "lease on life" and I do not feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. It is simple, straight forward, and does not require that you eat rice and beans for eternity. The tables are simple and easy to understand. The only down side to the book is that there is a bit too much fluff.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2007

    Good Book

    As a CPA, I wish that all my clients would read this book. I don't agree with everything he says, but if the average person would listen and follow him, they would be much better off financially.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2009

    The Total Money Makeover

    You can read the book in simple terms and understand it

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2005

    Easy principles, really hard work

    The book has really cool principles that can apply to anyone, but mostly to young people that want to start taking care of their money. It really points out that in order to biuld wealth it is necessary to never overspend and always save. The real life stories are boring, repetitive, and pointless. This book is mostly motivational and its main idea is that we must control ourselves and make sacrifices in order achieve our goals.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2005

    Great for First Timers and Teens

    Ramsey's Total Money Makeover is really a souped-up version of his earlier work, Financial Peace. It is a great tool for those new to this kind of thinking. If you are deep in debt and have never read a book on how to be free of debt, this is a good start. Discipline and self-control are key. Ramsey's steps are basic,logical, and doable. In addition, I have purchased copies for my 17-year-old son and nephews to read because I wish I had known these principles when I was a young man. I might be retired now doing nothing but writing books and reviews by now!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Be ready for an intense action plan!

    The book, The Total Money Makeover, is a great book for those who are ready to get rid of debt and need a clear and defined plan of how to do just that. The author is a no nonsense and no excuses kind of person, so this is definitely not for the weak hearted. I liked the stories of others who had become debt free, but felt that there may have been a few too many. I think that the author has some great ideas, however it is definitely against the culture we live in that confused wants with needs. Even those that don't have traditional credit card debt can benefit from this book. The book gives some great advice about emergency funds, maximizing retirement and building wealth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    aptly titled program

    If the title of this book catches your eye, you will most likely benefit from its reading because you are already desirous of financial change in your life.

    It will motivate you first and foremost, then equip you to assess your personal situation, and give you a simple, but effective plan of action. Then it is up to you to do the work.

    If there was a weakness in this book I would say that it is not most efficacious as a stand-alone, but realistically needs to be implemented with the entire program (which is available from Dave Ramsey's website).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Needed By All Americans

    This should be a must read, starting at the high school level. Before people get into the cycle of debt. I wish the our government officals would read his book before they spend our money with reckless abandon.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Great book

    This book was very good. Dave is a smart man who has put down a concrete plan to help with our financial life.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2007

    Good Stuff Debt IS Dumb

    As a long time listner to the Dave Ramsey show, I had to pick up the book and read it. Easy read for one who belives in the same stuff as he does. One of the best parts about Dave Ramsey is that he doesn't take credit for 'making up' this strategy. It's well known, and he's just dedicated his life to helping others try and live it. In the way he teaches, it's easy to tell that he practices and believes in what he preaches. Really, how difficult is it to act your wage and stay out of debt? I sold cars for a short time, and quit partly because of the idiocy of the people that would come in already owing thousands and wanting to take on thousands more of debt. If you really think that people understand money, you're what Dave would call 'an idiot'. If that were true, he wouldn't have a job and 3+ million listners per day on his daily raido show. In short, it's a good read and I can see it pumping anyone up to be saving for retirement, getting out of debt, and putting money away for the unexpected. I'm 24 and well on my way to millionaire by 35. Maybe I'll be blessed because I'm doing what I'm supposed to.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2006

    Good for getting out of debt

    I got this book while still in college, and hadn't accumulated too much debt to date. Being I had already lived by most of these principles, this book was a great reminder of how to correctly do things and has been a great tool for starting off on the right foot. If anyone - young or old - wants to start taking care of their money and being proud of what they own (without owing), this book is for them

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    Useful but full of anecdotes.

    We are working the plan of this book. It's helping. There are solid principles in the text. My only issue is all the stories that intersperse them. I love a story every third or fourth chapter but it seemed like I was skipping tons of pages to find the 'meat'. All of that aside, the system is working for us and it's a fantastic way to make changes!

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Check It Out

    A friend recommended this for my daughter, who just started a new job after completing - what seemed like - years of school. This is a no-nonsense practical look at keeping oneself solvent. There are moments when Ramsey sounds somewhat condescending, but my daughter is finding it helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2013

    Straight-forward, common-sense money help.

    Yes, this book does contain alot of common-sense material, but sometimes that takes a back seat to today's "popular" line of thinking. I found this book as a nice refresher and not-so-subtle reminder of where financial priorities lie, or need to lie.

    I have listened to Dave on the radio for some time, and was interested in his "Baby Steps" approach to becoming debt free.

    The book is a very easy read with eye-opening statistics concerning Americans and debt. While acknowledging these statistics may not be current, I don't see how much different they could be from the few years of difference from the latest publishing date to today. There are also personal anecdotes interspersed within each chapter to provide to the reader that their situation may not be totally "unique" to Dave's approach.

    Personally, I am following Dave's approach.

    Overall, a good recommendation to anybody who wishes to become debt free for their lives.

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    This book got repetitive fast. The good thing is it contains ve

    This book got repetitive fast. The good thing is it contains very helpful advice, many that you've probably already heard before, but it's important to get reminded. It's nice that he wrote out an approach, goal, and step by step plan. He does a good job of linking the details to the big picture. I'm not sure how realistic the timeline is for accomplishing a debt-free life especially if you're living in areas like SF or NY. A below average home will set you back 500K. I don't think having an affordable mortgage debt is necessarily a bad thing; it could be you chose the place for the location to set your kids up in a good school system or convenience to work. There's a balance when it comes to quality of life. Also, I don't think credit cards are a bad thing if you pay them off every month, just depends on the person you are. This book seems to be more for the low-income or high debt scenario, but if you're in the middle income range with a moderate lifestyle and only mortgage debt, this book is just a reminder to not increase your lifestyle as you earn more or your savings rate increases. It is one of the better personal finance books I've read, not as extreme as Rich Dad Poor Dad and not as commonplace as some others. There are religious references, but they're not overwhelming. The personal stories were meant to be inspirational, but I thought it got to be distracting after awhile, too many and quite repetitive. Overall, it's easy to read, good reminders for the bigger picture, and more helpful if you're more in debt.

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  • Posted March 10, 2012

    Terrific guide to financial success

    What can I say about Dave Ramsey that hasn't already been said? The man has graduated from the School of Financial Hard Knocks, and he's devoted his life to teaching everyone what he's learned so we don't have to go through the pain he did.

    I read this book mainly because my husband asked me to. He wants us to work on Ramsey's Baby Steps, even though we have no debt besides our house, and we don't believe most of the financial myths discussed in the beginning of the book. But, as Ramsey says, he wants to teach you how to be financially exceptional, not just average (which is what we are.) I'm all for that!

    Along with Ramsey's step-by-step guide to financial success, this book is full of personal success stories - people who have been thousands and thousands of dollars in debt, and by following Ramsey's guide, have pulled themselves out of dire straits. These are very inspiring stories, and they helped drive home the point that, given the chance, it's always better to improve your financial situation rather than just accept your average status quo.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Read it! Plain & Simple!

    Debt and financial stress clearly are effecting most of our everyday lives. Ramsey gives a simple solution: Eliminate Debt from your life! A must read for anyone looking for financial peace!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    great book

    extremely helpful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2010

    Great Ideas

    Very good thinking for these hard economic times. It takes a long time and hard work to get out of debt but well worth it to be financially free.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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