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The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness | [Dave Ramsey]

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

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. It's the simplest, most straight-forward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it's based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.
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Publisher's Summary

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. It's the simplest, most straight-forward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it's based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.

Where Financial Peace gave you the solid saving and investing principles, this book puts those principles into practice. You'll be exercising your financial strength every day and quickly freeing yourself of worry, stress, and debt. And that's a beautiful feeling.

©2003 Dave Ramsey; (P)2003 Thomas Nelson Publishers

What the Critics Say

"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." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Alexandra 02-11-14
    Alexandra 02-11-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This guy makes sense"

    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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noel Zurich, N/A, Switzerland 11-08-05
    Noel Zurich, N/A, Switzerland 11-08-05
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    "12% Mutual Funds?"

    Mr. Ramsey makes quite a bold statement when he says you should invest in a 12% "Growth Stock" Mutual Fund rather then take the 7% Prepay option (when it comes to financing college). He fails to inform the listener about 2 threats to your investment. In first line, a Mutual Fund comes with a range of various expenses that will dramatically impact your real rate of return, referred to as the Expense Ratio. Second, there is absolutely no guaruantee that you will receive 12% in any given year, not to mention, 4 years in a row (average college duration)! If you are already stuggling financially, pick the guaranteed 7% saved by paying for college in advance.

    Overall the audible is decent; focuses on the -mentality- of money management but lacks the -technical/factual information- needed for effective longer term plans.

    29 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 12-30-11
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 12-30-11 Member Since 2010

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Motivational..."

    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.

    18 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Springville, UT, United States 08-30-08
    Cynthia Springville, UT, United States 08-30-08 Member Since 2012
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    "Recommended read, not listen"

    The narration/reading of this book made me wonder if it was written in all capitals and italics. While I appreciated the information/ideas shared by the author, I didn't appreciate him yelling at me. I understand he's trying to motivate, but the intensity of his voice was just too much.

    67 of 93 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gladis houston, TX, United States 03-06-12
    Gladis houston, TX, United States 03-06-12

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome advise"

    Great book! He gives you clear instructions on how to get out of debt. Good motivation for people who don't know where to start. Well worth the credit!

    28 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph Montreal, Quebec Canada 10-23-08
    Ralph Montreal, Quebec Canada 10-23-08
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    "Recommended if you are in deep financial trouble"

    this book is really targeted at people with lots of debt and financial problems. Although there are some good tips for everyone, the main focus is on how to get out of debt.

    38 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-29-09 Member Since 2014
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    "This is a Really Tough Listen"

    The content seems good but I am only 31 minutes in and already tearing the earplugs out! Don't Preach at me. Just tell me. He goes over every point relentlessly and in such a condescending manner. I don't know if I can keep listening!

    76 of 113 people found this review helpful
  •  
    muhamed hamad town, Bahrain 08-21-12
    muhamed hamad town, Bahrain 08-21-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Total money makeover review"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would review it for my friend, where most of people share the same problems with debts and credit cards. and the total money makeover is a global plan that suite almost all countries in the world.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Total Money Makeover?

    The most memorable moments is the emergency plan strategy that any one have to prepare a plan the guaranteeing for him 3 month to 6 month of backup salary if any thing happen such as a down-term in the economy and the turnover in jobs.


    Which character – as performed by Dave Ramsey – was your favorite?

    if it about the narration I like Dave ramsy and his style in reading


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not at all, because some parts I needed to stop and think in what I listened and the solution that Dave Ramsy has Provided.


    Any additional comments?

    NO :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan 07-16-12
    Amazon Customer Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan 07-16-12 Member Since 2015

    Fear is the mind Killer, so Face Your Fear

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    "maybe the best self help book ever"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have. I am a financial advisor and every high school kid, anyone who wants to be out of debt, and anyone without 6 months savings should read this book. It teaches real money mangement.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The step by step process to financial stability.


    What about Dave Ramsey’s performance did you like?

    He is truly passionate about what he does and is a motivating leader. I do not always agree with him, but he is right when it comes to managing money.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    this is a must read and top ten book of all time for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Eustis, FL, United States 07-15-12
    Robert Eustis, FL, United States 07-15-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Short and Easy Steps"
    Where does The Total Money Makeover rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would give a B-. Gets to the point, gives good metaphors and easy to follow.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Total Money Makeover?

    Metaphors used to describe steps or missteps are very memorable and applicable to most people.


    What about Dave Ramsey’s performance did you like?

    Voice and diction were probably best compared to what I have listened. Would expect good performance from professional speaker. Have heard some "funny" start/stops or paragraph breaks on other books. Probably start of new session or after break. Did not hear in Ramsey's performance, however this book is shorter than most. 3+ hours


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No crying, definitely a few laughs. Mostly found myself quoting excerpts to others.


    Any additional comments?

    Religious overtones and bible quotes throughout book. However quotes in nature of "Saving" money and neither borrowing or lending; giving money OK. People describe me as Agnostic and this did not bother me. All in all good book, great performance. Enjoy

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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