Review: The Total Money Makeover (Classic Edition) by Dave Ramsey #1 Best Seller!

Title: The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness (Classic Edition)
Author: Dave Ramsey
Publication Date: September 10th, 2013
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Finance
Pages: 272
Source: Hardcover from BookLook


Synopsis (from Publisher): 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: Classic Edition."

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!


 I have an unusual way of looking at the world. My wife, Sharon, says I'm weird and truthfully—I am weird. But there's a reason. Starting from nothing, by the time I was 26 I had a net worth of a little over a million dollars. I was making $250,000 a year—that's more than $20,000 a month net taxable income. I was really having fun. But 98% truth is a lie, and that 2% can cause big problems, especially with $4 million in real estate. I had a lot of debt—a lot of short-term debt—and I'm the idiot who signed up for the trip.

The short version of the story is that debt caused us, over the course of two and a half years of fighting it, to lose everything. We didn't tell anyone what was going on, but if we had to do it again, we would learn from the wisdom of others who have been through it. We soon learned that we were not the only ones at the bottom. Barbie and Ken (you know, the couple who appear to be perfect—perfect clothes, perfect car, perfect house) are broke, and I don't take financial advice from broke people anymore.

After losing everything, I went on 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 also realized that if I could learn to manage the character I shaved with every morning, I would win with money.

I went back to my first love, real estate, to eat and to get out of debt. Along the way, I began another path—the path of helping others, literally millions of others, take the same quest to the mirror.

I formed The Lampo Group in 1992 to counsel folks hurting from the results of financial stress. I’ve paid the "stupid tax" (mistakes with dollar signs on the end) so hopefully some of you won't have to. I wrote the book, Financial Peace, based on all that Sharon and I had learned, and I began selling it out of my car. With a friend of mine, I started a local radio call-in show called The Money Game, now nationally syndicated as The Dave Ramsey Show.

Our company history is full of landmarks leading up to the release of our third best-selling book in 2003—The Total Money Makeover—and we're not slowing down. The Lampo Group now has more than 300 team members and a variety of products and services to help you reach your financial goals.

Many companies define success based on the dollars coming in, but at The Lampo Group, we define our success by the number of lives changed: listeners getting out of debt, readers taking their first Baby Step and saving $1,000, FPU graduates investing for their future. We learned early on that if we help enough people, the money will come. Our mission statement isn't just lip service—it's our mantra:

 "The Lampo Group provides biblically based, common-sense education and empowerment that gives HOPE to everyone in every walk of life."

        Debt. It's a dirty, disgusting, embarrassing four-letter word. A lot of us journey through  high school graduation and immediately jump into the Student Loan pool, swim through the waves of credit cards and get caught in the undertow of financial crisis. Then we find ourselves stranded on an island, surrounded by the sea of debt, wondering how and when we got there. The next question is, how do we avoid reenacting Tom Hank's legendary role in Castaway and escape before we grow a foot-long beard and become BFFs with a volleyball? Thank your lucky-stars, because Dave Ramsey has given us his version of Financial Soundness for Dummies. 

         When I discovered that Dave Ramsey was releasing a new edition of his Total Money Makeover, I knew I had to review it. I am a strong believer in this system. I am a student who works full time and has jumped on the Debt Wagon. I was introduced to Dave Ramsey when the leaders of my Life Group gave me his original Total Money Makeover and later enrolled in his Financial Peace University. So far, it has aided in compartmentalizing my debt and establishing a cushion and plan to invest in my future with cold, hard cash.

        Dave lays the foundation of his method with 7 steps he refers to as "baby steps." These steps are:

  1. $1,000 to start an Emergency Fund.
  2. Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball
  3. 3 to 6 months of expenses in savings
  4. Invest 15% of household income into Roth IRAs and pre-tax retirement
  5. College funding for children
  6. Pay off home early
  7. Build wealth and give!
        Some of these steps may seem unattainable or irrelevant. However, they can be adjusted to your lifestyle. There are many who have experienced success due to the simplification of these ideas through Dave's philosophy.

       I think Dave's Total Money Makeover is a GREAT resource. It's the perfect present for newlyweds, a launchpad for college Freshman, and the family recipe that can be passed along for generations. To those who are already well established, it may seem redundant or inconsequential, but it is quite the handy treasure for those searching for the method to the madness. I would recommend referring to DaveRamsey.com for several resources, including budget sheets, webinars, and other great resources to gain more control over your finances and teach your kids to do the same.

       I definitely recommend this book and utilizing what Dave has to offer. You will not regret it!

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