The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

( 339 )


If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.

Build up your money muscles with America?s favorite finance coach.

Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There?s one sure way to whip your finances into shape,...

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If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.

Build up your money muscles with America’s favorite finance coach.

Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There’s one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that’s with The Total Money Makeover.

By now, you’ve heard all the nutty get-rich-quick schemes, the fiscal diet fads that leave you with a lot of kooky ideas but not a penny in your pocket. Hey, if you’re tired of the lies and sick of the false promises, take a look at this—it’s the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it’s based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies. With The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition, you’ll be able to:

•Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt—meaning cars, houses, everything
•Recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths (these will kill you)
•Secure a big, fat nest egg for emergencies and retirement!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Radio talk-show host and bestselling author Ramsay (Financial Peace) is less a financial analyst and more of a preacher, which explains both his popularity and the appeal of this book, which jsut 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. Ramsay 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 Ramsay 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 Ramsay 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. (Sept.) Forecast: Nelson plans an aggressive-and unusual-campaign: a financial makeover contest, promoted through Ramsey's 31-city author tour and broadcasts; the winner will receive $55,000. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781491522226
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/20/2014
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Sales rank: 186,455
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times bestselling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, EntreLeadership, and The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by millions of listeners each week on hundreds of radio stations. Follow Ramsey on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at
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Read an Excerpt


A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
By Dave Ramsey

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2009 Dave Ramsey All right reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-59555-078-1

Chapter One

The Total Money Makeover Challenge

"As lost as a ball in tall weeds!" That is exactly how I felt. Although it was twenty years ago, I can still taste the emotion as if it were yesterday. Out of control, lost, no sense of power, I felt dread creep across the room like the afternoon shadows on a cold winter's day. Sitting again at the kitchen table with too much month left at the end of the money, I was not having fun. This "adult" stuff where a wife looks to you to provide and kids expect to be fed and kept warm was not exactly working. I didn't feel like some powerful adult; instead, there was a little boy inside me who was very afraid-afraid of this month's bills, afraid of this month's mortgage, and absolutely terrified when I considered the future. How was I to send kids to college, retire, enjoy life, and not live at the edge of money worries?

The "Normal" American Family

It seemed every month I sat at that same table with the same worries, fears, and problems. I had too much debt, too little savings, and no sense of control over my life. No matter how hard I worked, it seemed I couldn't win. I was to forever be slave to some banker, to the government, and to the "needs" of my family. When Sharon and I "talked" about money,we ended up in a fight, leaving her feeling afraid and me feeling inadequate. The next car purchase, the next house, the kids' college-our entire future seemed out of reach.

I didn't need a get-rich-quick guy to pump me up or tell me to be positive. I didn't need a secret formula to riches. I wasn't afraid of hard work or sacrifice. I didn't want to "feel" my way into being "positive." I was positive of only one thing: I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was tired of sitting down to "do the bills" and having a heaviness come over me. The hopelessness was overwhelming. I felt like a gerbil in a wheel-run, run, run, no traction, no ground covered; maybe life was just a financial illusion. All the money came in, all the money went out, and only the names were changed to protect the innocent. I owe, I owe, so off to work I go. You know the drill and all the clichés that go with the drill.

Oh, some months everything seemed to work, and I thought maybe we were going to be okay. I could tell myself then, "Oh well, this is how everyone lives." Those times offered enough wiggle room that I could continue to lie to myself that we were making headway, but deep down, I knew we weren't.

I Did It My Way, and My Way Wasn't Working

ENOUGH! THIS STINKS! I finally decided that this nonplan wasn't working. If you have ever had any of those feelings, you are going to love this book, and, more important, you will love your Total Money Makeover.

More than 20 years ago, my wife, Sharon, and I went broke. We lost everything due to my stupidity in handling money, or not handling it, as the case may be. Hitting bottom and hitting it hard was the worst thing that ever happened to me and the best thing that ever happened to me.

We started with nothing, but by the time I was twenty-six years old, we held real estate worth over $4 million. I was good at real estate, but I was better at borrowing money. Even though I had become a millionaire, I had built a house of cards. The short version of the story is that we went through financial hell and lost everything over a three-year period of time. We were sued, foreclosed on, and, finally, with a brand-new baby and a toddler, we were bankrupt. Scared doesn't begin to cover it. Crushed comes close, but we held on to each other and decided we needed a change.

So after losing everything, I went on a quest, a quest to find out how money really works, how I could get control of it, and how I could have confidence in handling it. I read everything I could get my hands on. I interviewed older rich people, people who made money and kept it. That quest led me to a really, really uncomfortable place-my mirror. I came to realize that my money problems, worries, and shortages largely began and ended with the person in my mirror. I realized also that if I could learn to manage the character I shaved with every morning, I could win at money. That quest, the one that ended with me staring at myself in the mirror, led me on a new journey over the last twenty years: the journey of helping others, literally millions of others, take that same quest to the mirror. Live Events, Financial Peace University, The Dave Ramsey Show (talk radio and TV show), and the New York Times best-sellers Financial Peace, More Than Enough, and The Total Money Makeover have enabled me to tell millions of Americans what I have learned-the hard way-about money.

The Big Challenge: Find a Mirror

I have a challenge for you. Are you ready to take on the guy or gal in your mirror? If you are, you are ready to win. I rediscovered God's and Grandma's simple way of handling money. Wealth building isn't rocket science, which is a good thing for me (and probably you). Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge. What to do isn't the problem; doing it is. Most of us know what to do, but we just don't do it. If I can control the guy in the mirror, I can be skinny and rich. We will let other books work on the skinny, and I will help you with the rich part. No, there are no secrets, and yes, this will be very hard. Hey, if it were easy, every moron walking would be wealthy.

So my Total Money Makeover begins with a challenge. The challenge is you. You are the problem with your money. The financial channel or some DVD sets aren't your answer; you are. You are the king of your future, and I have a plan. The Total Money Makeover plan isn't theory. It works every single time. It works because it is simple. It works because it gets to the heart of your money problems: you. It is based on a series of prices that must be paid to win. All winners pay a price to win. Some losers pay a price and never win, and that is usually because they didn't have the benefit of a proven plan for financial fitness.

Ordinary People

Tens of thousands of ordinary people have used the system in this book to get out of debt, regain control, and build wealth. I've scattered their stories throughout the book. If at any point during your makeover you are tempted to quit or you just need a little encouragement, read one of these stories. These people have sacrificed for a short period of time so they will never have to sacrifice again.

If you are looking for a road map to get you home, you've found it. If you are looking for something easy or fast, you have the wrong book. If you are looking for a book to help you pass your CPA exam in the area of financial knowledge, you have the wrong book. If you are looking for a writer who has intricate academic theories (that don't work in the real world), you've got the wrong guy. I have many of the academic pedigrees, but I ended up broke. I have actually twice become a millionaire from nothing. The first time I was in my twenties, the money was in real estate, and I lost that due to my stupidity; the second time I was not yet forty, but I did the money thing right that time, and I am debt-free.

I often hear about broke finance professors who bemoan that I am way too simple, or as an e-mailer told me on The Dave Ramsey Show one day, "You are a one-trick pony." To those of you who say you have great but unexecuted plans, I say, "Prove it. I have." I like the way I've built wealth better than the way you haven't. You will meet people, educated and uneducated, throughout this book who have won, or begun to win, with money for the first time in their lives. The Total Money Makeover works!

The Total Money Makeover Motto

This plan works, but it will cost you. It will teach you to say new words, like "no." In short, your Total Money Makeover will be a personal money makeover where you learn this motto: IF YOU WILL LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE, LATER YOU CAN LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE. This is the motto of your Total Money Makeover. It's my way of reminding you that if you will make the sacrifices now that most people aren't willing to make, later on you will be able to live as those folks will never be able to live. You will notice the motto all through the book, even across the bottom of the pages. I'm sorry there isn't an easier path to feature in the motto, but the good thing about this one is that it works. You can repeat the motto to yourself as you pass up a purchase in order to hit your goals. When you work late and are tired, you can say the motto to yourself. Of course, this isn't a magic formula; I'm not into that. But it does remind you that you will win, and the payoff will be worth the cost.

Some of you are so immature that you are unwilling to delay pleasure for a greater result. I will show you exactly how to get the result you want, so the price you pay will not be in vain. I don't want to walk across hot coals because it is fun, but if I can be shown how a short, painful walk will do away with the lifetime of worry, frustration, stress, and fear that being constantly broke brings me, then bring on the hot coals.

My Promise to You

My promise to you is this: if you will follow the guidelines of this proven system of sacrifice and discipline, you can be debt-free, begin saving, and give as you've never given before. You will build wealth. I will also promise you that it is totally up to you. The Total Money Makeover isn't a magic formula to wealth. This system will not work unless you do, and then only to the degree of your intensity in implementing it. In the following pages, you will meet many individuals and families who have won many money victories, but not one of them won until they won the battle with the guy in the mirror. Your situation isn't your spouse's fault (well, maybe, but we'll talk later), it isn't your parents' fault, it isn't your children's fault, and it isn't your friends' fault. IT IS YOUR FAULT!

My financial life began turning around when I took responsibility for it. People all across America have used these steps to become free, regain a sense of confidence and control, and build a future for their families. Please join me on a journey away from the young man I was, the one I described earlier who was racked with worry, fear, and guilt over money. Take this journey with me to your own Total Money Makeover, but remember, the first part of the quest is confronting the man in the mirror. That man in the mirror is your Total Money Makeover Challenge.

Chapter Two

Denial: I'm Not That Out of Shape

Several years ago I realized I had let my body dissolve into flab. I had worked so hard for so many years that I had abandoned the care of my physical condition. The first step to getting into shape was to realize I needed to change my ways, but the second and equally important step was to identify the obstacles to getting there. What would stop me from getting into shape? Once I understood those obstacles, I began a process to lose weight, grow muscle, and become more fit. Your Total Money Makeover is the same. You need to realize there's a problem, but you must also see what could hinder your move toward financial fitness. The next few chapters will identify some major obstacles to YOUR Total Money Makeover.

Look in the mirror. Take a long look. What do you see? Suck in that gut; hold up your chest, and really look at yourself. It doesn't matter how many angles or poses you take, the mirror is cruel. "Well, I'm really not that fat, maybe just a little flabby." My dad used to say that 90 percent of solving a problem is realizing there is one. Focused intensity, life-or-death intensity, is required for you to reset your money-spending patterns, and one of your biggest obstacles is DENIAL. The sad thing is that you can be financially mediocre in this country, financially flabby, and still be average. And if the truth be known, being average, normal, and financially flabby is pretty much okay by most folks' standards. This, however, is not a book for the wimpy among us. This is a book about winning, about really having something.

Don't Wait to Have Denial Knocked Out of You

For several years I have spoken multiple times a year to live audiences of two thousand to twelve thousand people, teaching them the ideas this book. After one live event where I spoke to four thousand people, Sara told me that her Total Money Makeover came only after life placed a call to her. She said she had heard me quote the Wall Street Journal as reporting that 70 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, but she honestly thought she was in the 30 percent who were fine. She had financially struck a pose, and the pose was denial.

With two sons from her previous marriage, Sara had just remarried and was happy and secure in her job, as was her husband, John. Their new life together seemed awesome. Their household combined income was about $75,000 per year, with the "normal" debts of a small student loan, a car loan, and "only" $5,000 on a credit card. With life under control and even going well, Sara and John decided their new family needed a new home, so the builder was selected and construction began. Somewhere deep inside there may have been uneasiness, but it was very deep. Finally the day came when the new home was complete. Everything was going to be fine now, the new family in the new home, the way it is "supposed" to be. In May they moved into the new home, complete with big new payments.

In September Sara's boss asked to see her in his office. She was excelling at work and braced herself for a big "atta, girl" followed by a nice bonus or raise. Instead, the boss explained her job was being eliminated. "Downsizing, you know," he said. Her life's work was cut from her-and $45,000 of their $75,000 income-with the boss's chilling words. Not only was her pride hurt and her career path cut short, a creeping terror grew deep down inside as she drove home to tell John. That night there were tears, fears, and the sudden stark realization that she and John were financially fat. Suddenly, Sara and her family were facing foreclosure on the house and repossession of the car. The basics of life had become precious.

Sara and John had listened to The Dave Ramsey Show on the radio, but they always thought someone else needed a Total Money Makeover. After all, they always held their stomachs in when standing in front of the mirror. The night after her layoff was the first night they looked in the financial mirror and saw fat people. The sight wasn't pretty-big house payments, fat car payments, large student loans, bloated credit cards, anorexic savings, and no budget. They saw fat people.

When you are physically fat, it is hard to be in denial, because there is the ever-widening belt line. When you are financially fat, however, you can fake it and look good for a while. Your friends and family will participate in your fantasy/denial, which makes you believe you are doing just fine. One of the four major factors that keep people from winning in money by getting a Total Money Makeover is not realizing they need one. Sadly, some of the most dramatic makeovers I've seen have been by people who had life smack them so hard they got the denial knocked out of them, like Sara. If life isn't smacking you around at the moment, you are actually in greater danger than Sara and John the night of the layoff. You are a real candidate for financial mediocrity or even a major crisis brought on by denial, and you have to see the need to make dramatic changes. If you are apathetic because everything seems "just fine," then you will be unwilling to make the huge changes needed to get huge results.

Mmm ... Frog Legs

Years ago, in a motivational seminar by the master, Zig Ziglar, I heard a story about how mediocrity will sneak up on you. The story goes that if you drop a frog into boiling water, he will sense the pain and immediately jump out. However, if you put a frog in room-temperature water, he will swim around happily, and as you gradually turn the water up to boiling, the frog will not sense the change. The frog is lured to his death by gradual change. We can lose our health, our fitness, and our wealth gradually, one day at a time. It might be a cliché, but that's because it is true: The enemy of "the best" is not "the worst." The enemy of "the best" is "just fine."


Excerpted from The TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER by Dave Ramsey Copyright © 2009 by Dave Ramsey. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     ix
What This Book Is Not     xiii
Meet The Winners of The Total Money Makeover Challenge     xix
The Total Money Makeover Challenge     1
Denial: I'm not That Out of Shape     9
Debt Myths: Debt is (Not) a Tool     17
Money Myths: The (Non) Secrets of the Rich     52
Two More Hurdles: Ignorance and Keeping Up with the Joneses     77
Save {dollar}1,000 Fast: Walk Before You Run     93
The Debt Snowball: Lose Weight Fast, Really     109
Finish the Emergency Fund: Kick Murphy Out     133
Maximize Retirement Investing: Be Financially Healthy for Life     151
College Funding: Make Sure the Kids Are Fit Too     168
Pay Off the Home Mortgage: Be Ultrafit     183
Build Wealth Like Crazy: Arnold Schwarzedollar, Mr. Universe of Money     203
Live Like No One Else     219
Budgeting Forms     225
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 339 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 341 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    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 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.

    35 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2009

    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. 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.

    14 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2004

    Not Exhastive

    I'm facing bankruptcy. This book has lots of scenarios, most very general, and useless to my financial situation. I'm one of the millions working poor buying books to support multi-million dollar authors and this habit has become a financial burden. This is one that will go back to the stores. For those facing hard financial choices highly recommend Surviving Financial Disasters (for the cut throat truth about a way out), The Autmatic Millions (for hope) and The richest man in Babylon (for a good read).

    14 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

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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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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Do You Want To Change Your Financial Life Or Not

    Dave Ramsey is a nationally syndicated radio and television host, husband, father, teacher, Christian, and so much more. In the Total Money Make Over, you will learn everything you need to know about getting control of your money, get out of debt, what to do with all the leftover money, and love the people around you. THIS IS HARDCORE TEACHING! SO BE PREPAIRED TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND GET FIRED UP!!! If you follow his teaching and principles you will understand that money good or bad is just the tip of the iceberg. As my personal coaches (Mike & Lisa - the couple that gave me this book) keep saying to me, "GOD's economy or man's economy?" It is an understatement to say that this book has revolutionized my existences.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Things I wish I knew 20 years ago

    If you don't have the money to pay for something, then don't buy it. Sounds simple but how many of us really live this way. Credit cards when not used wisley can lead to personal financial crisis. Until I read this book, I thought I'd be paying off debt for the rest of my life. It wasn't until I read this book that I truly understood that I would have to change the way I live and view money before I could start climbing out of debt.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2007

    Ramsey's Simple Approach Is Brilliant

    I purchased this book several years ago. What an immediate impact it made on me however, after several months 'eerrr, okay, years' of coaxing my wife, she is finally on board. The results are astounding. We have paid off over $100,000 in non-secured debt and are well on our way to being debt free including our $250,000 home. Dave, your consistency in delivering a strong message about debt is appreciated.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    Amazing !!!

    Loved this book and it inspired me to get going with a debt free plan!!! We do not need government bailout/stimulus....we need to help ourselves and be responsible for our lives and finances!!! Great Book, I'm on Baby Step 2, right now and I can't wait for the Debt Free end result. This book will change the way you do things and it will change the way you think.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    Take our money back!

    Love Dave Ramsey. I listen to him on the radio and decided to read his book. I thought that I would fall asleep reading a financial book but what it did was wake me up. I read this book from cover to cover in a day and now our family is on Step 2. Thanks Dave Ramsey! I 'm telling everyone I know about your book.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    Excellent Read/Good & Helpful Information

    This book was VERY helpful and easy to understand. It definitely motivated me to move forward with the plan he explained!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2007

    This book smacks you right between the eyes!

    For anyone who has listened to Dave Ramsey on the radio or in person this book may not teach you anything he hasn't already told you. However it's nice to have it all in one place for you to look up any time. For anyone who has debt and has no idea who Dave Ramsey is YOU NEED THIS BOOK! As he explains how to turn your debt into wealth you think to yourself this is so simple. Yet so many people choose to stay in debt. Dave Ramsey teaches you how to pay off your debt, build an emergency fund, and save for college all at the same time. Oh, and possibly pay off your home 10 to 20 years early. He does all this using a process that doesn't overwhelm you, in fact it is done in a way that will keep you motivated throughout the process.

    6 out of 8 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2006

    What an eye opener!!

    I stumbled across this book in the book store before I had ever even hear of Dave Ramsey. I had told everyone I knew about it. This book made me face reality and stop listening to friends and family who had me convinced that debt was just a part of life. This book has done more than put me on the road to financial freedom. It has helped me to not define myself by money. It is just an uplifting book (which is nice when the reality of your debt is getting you down.) This book just gives you direction when you have no idea where to start.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Life changing audio book

    I have owned the hardback of this book for quite awhile but found it difficult to make time to read it with a very persuasive three year old daughter always wanting my attention. So, I decided since my work has me on the road driving long distances I decided to buy the audio book. What a great idea that was! This book has opened my eyes to the dangers I (we, my wife and I both) was in with my spending habits and lack of saving. Actually, I already knew that I was in danger, I just didn't know how to do anything about it. I thought (because I have been repeatedly told my entire adulthood) that credit was a way of life and that I would always be in debt to somebody.

    Well, I learned that it does not have to be that way and I already feel so free! It has done so much for my well being already! My wife and I no longer argue about money, we have a plan now and we are on our way to being debt free. Please! Listen to this audio book (or read the actual book)! It will save you financially and you will be able to "live like no one else" and retire wealthy!

    I personally liked listening to the audio book over reading it. The audio book is narrated by the author Dave Ramsey and when you hear it from him, in his own words, it makes his message all the more powerful! I have listened to it in the car commuting three times in a row!

    The one thing I did like about the actual book over the audio book was that in the back it includes all sorts of the budget and other forms that will be very helpful to you when you plan your total money makeover.

    I am 32 years old and I feel like I found this book at just the right time in my life. However, sometimes I wish I knew some of this when I was younger so I would already be that much closer on the road to financial freedom. Also though, Dave Ramsey lays this book out in a way that works for all ages, even for people in their 50's who are very close to retirement. So, I believe this book is great for all ages! It is never too late to get back on the saddle.

    Anyway, as you can probably tell, I am not much of a review writer; I just wanted to tell everybody how much this book has helped me and if you are looking at books to help you financially then please for your sake, give this one a try. I know that it will help you too!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2008


    If you truly want to get out of debt this is the book to read, this man has changed my life and in a year I found financial freedom. If I did it anyone can do it, it wasnt easy but I was tired of being a slaved of credit card company's. This book is a MUST.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    Fantastic book.

    I don't write reviews. No really I don't. This would be my first book review and I do this for a reason. It really touched me.

    If you don't want to spend any money, all 7 steps to this book are freely available on Dave Ramsey's website. But this book is more then just the 7 steps. It goes into detail WHY those steps to financial freedom work. The book explains away many myths about credit, fico score, debt, student/car loans etc. It explains why you need an emergency fund and why you really don't need a single credit card.

    This book is more than just a 7 step process to financial freedom, it's a total remake of your life.

    I can't recommend this book enough.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    Extremely motivating! We've already started eliminating our debt.

    This book is totally worth reading and following if you want to get on a budget and get your debt paid off. He puts things into perspective and makes you really motivated to getting your finances in order. We've really stopped blowing our money and we actually know where it goes now instead of looking at the bills and receipts trying to figure out where it went after we spent it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    Excellent explanation that you don't need credit

    It's funny how we learn that you need to have credit no matter what. I've worked in the financial industry for 12 years and I truly see how the game works now. I'm well on my way with the snowball and can't wait to get to the last stage of the plan!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2006

    A gift from my son (this book) changed my life.

    My 32 year old son gave me this book and it has changed my life. I believed that being in debt and never really paying for anything made sense. I was nearly five hundred thousand dollars in debt (not counting mortgages) and never paid a bill. Now, I am only five thousand dollars in debt and never eat out, never buy coffee, buy used clothes (including undergarments), haven't bought a gift for anyone in years and I am happier than I've ever been. Ramsey's ideas on reading old newspapers, taking an occasional cigarette butt from an ashtray for a 'short smoke,' and taking the bus or hitchhiking are small sacrifices to make to be where I am today. Thank you, Mr. Ramsey. And, thank you to to my son, Reston, for showing me the way.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2004

    Everyone Needs this book

    This book is amazing! Get it! Read it! Get started on your TMMO today! A common sense guide to getting out of debt forever & making your money work for you.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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