Book Review: The Total Money Makeover

By NickNo Comments

This book offers the simplest and most down to earth approach to financial success I have ever read. 

Having been reading financial books for nearly a decade, I had continually struggled to find one who’s philosophy would be accepted by my wife.  I exposed her to various experts, even took her to a couple of conferences.  Nothing every stuck, until we started watching the Dave Ramsey show.  She was impressed by his common sense, tough love, and simple ideas delivered with a Christian perspective. 

Seeing that we’ve finally stumbled on something that she was able to embrace, we picked up the Total Money Makeover.  

Having lived life where he had to deal with apparent success, a long and painful collapse, immense financial stress, and eventually bankruptcy, I feel a kinship with Dave Ramsey.  So do many who have had to endure or are enduring financial hardship and now sing his praises.  Through the simple 7 step formula outlined in his book The Total Money Makeover, he has created a path that has led hundreds of thousands of people onto the road to financial success.

As married devotees of Dave Ramsey come to understand, as I have, when life partners do not have a common set of financial goals or objectives, financial success is elusive for both of them.  Each partner follows his or her own heart and most often they work against each other—usually not by malice or deliberate contrarianism, but just because two people joined at the hip, moving in different directions, makes sure that neither party goes anywhere.

There are 2 distinct differences to the Ramsey approach that differentiate it from all the others I have examined.  First, Dave’s approach does not bank on speculation what-so-ever.  He works with financials that exist today.  He does not advocate gambling on getting involved with speculative ventures or starting businesses except those that are small enough that encompass low overhead and making money quickly.  He doesn’t believe in starting businesses that you must subsidize for a lengthy period of time for them to get off the ground. 

The second distinctive aspect of his philosophy pertains to his opinion of debt.  Having gone bankrupt, he believes that no debt is worth taking on.  On his radio show, he is fond of saying that of the homes that have gone through foreclosure, 100% of them had a mortgage on it.  He believes in a life without debt.  While other experts advocate borrowing money to put it toward money making ventures or investments, Ramsey rejects this.  Although, leveraged returns on investments appear to be more profitable, he contends that once you account for risk of the investments falling and the potential to be on the hook for the borrowed funds, those returns are much less lucrative then they appear. 

After my own experiences with leveraged investments failing I am inclined to agree with him.

Dave Ramsey’s unapologetically Christian approach to personal finance and investing is also quite refreshing.  In a field that for too long has been dominated by secularists and by those whose ethical choices have worsened by the decade, Ramsey provides learning and education about money in a way that is without moral ambiguity.  He fearlessly makes value judgments all the time.  His readers and listeners love him because he is right. 

Dave Ramsey’s program is a blessing to those who chose to follow his wise advice.  The Total Money Makeover is the step-by-step instruction booklet to financial freedom.  The steps he lays out are simple.  Notice I did not say they were easy.  But it is true, that a family that follows his recipe for success will achieve it.  And the sooner you start it, the sooner you will become a success. 

Total Money Makeover


 Book Review: The Total Money Makeover
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