Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
This updated version is worth the listen even if you have the first edition because it is filled with real life examples of people who went through with the steps in the first book and were successful.
I wish there would've been some people who didn't make it and why. I feel like a lot of people wouldn't have been successful due to family responsibility. There isn't much advice for people who are married and have children. Tim is obviously single at the time of writing and able to focus on things without family responsibility.
This book makes you want to get up and do something...but sometimes reality hits if your spouse isn't going along with your ideas.
Excellent read and resources...
Even if you might not adhere to Dave's plan exactly, the idea of slavery to debt and freedom from it are very motivational. I feel like the examples he uses are real life people and he doesn't use terms or language that is reserved for finance professionals. It really is a good, practical plan for getting out of debt via hard work and perseverance. Even though his plan is not the best "mathematically", the point of getting some quick wins by paying off the lowest balance without regard to interest rate is a legitimate point. Honestly, you can hear most of the content of this book in his daily podcasts. I do recommend this book to people.
I have business degrees from Wharton (BS) and Stanford (MBA), but like most Americans from middle class backgrounds, I never got much training in personal finance and always felt bewildered by it. I recently listed to The Total Money Makeover for the third time and it clicked. The first two times, I was still in school and had no income, so felt powerless to act on its lessons. Now, with a steady income (and some monstrous student loans) the lessons are relevant, actionable, and empowering.
Before, I always felt at a loss when it came to budgeting. After re-listening to The Total Money Makeover, I got a second savings account to hold my emergency fund and long-term savings, making it easier to separate between current accounts and short-term savings. Now, I have an Excel spreadsheet with a separate column for each upcoming pay check. I know how much of each paycheck will get immediately transferred into long-term savings (e.g. for a wedding in the fall), how much will go to short-term savings (e.g. for next month's rent), and how much disposable income I have in my current checking account.
Furthermore, I have a better plan for paying down my debts. If I were to approach this according to the pure net present value financial principles taught in school, I would start with my big student loan (highest interest rate), then my smaller student loan, then my car loan (lowest interest rate). After listening to Ramsey, I'm going to do it in the opposite order. Although that will cost me some in NPV, it means I can pay off my car loan in a few months (freeing up $250 per month in cash flow), and can pay off my smaller student loan in a few years. My larger student loan is the size and duration of a mortgage, and I'll treat it like it's one. If I tried to pay it off first, I wouldn't see any impact on my cash flow for probably 14 years, making it discouraging to try to find extra dollars to put towards paying down debt. Trying this the Ramsey way, I already feel like I'm making progress and am motivated to do more.
Dave Ramsey is an inspiring speaker. Although his message may come across as simple, in my opinion it does a far better job taking into account human nature than any of the sophisticated financial and economic models I spent so much money learning. I can't recommend this book enough.