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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

4.3 (2702 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matthew CoogeeAustralia 06-06-05
    Matthew CoogeeAustralia 06-06-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Doesn't need the religious overtones"

    I wish I'd read a few of the reviews here a little closer. I think that the message here is very relevant for a lot of people, especially in terms of breaking habits, but I really don't need to be quoted scripture and told that I'm doing this because the bible says so. I'm assuming that Dave might think that this encourages middle (i.e. Christian right) America, but it simply grates on this overseas listener.

    I agree with the basic principle though, and look forward to being a happier financial person simply due to the lack of worrying about money!

    4 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David garland, TX, USA 04-10-09
    David garland, TX, USA 04-10-09
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    "not too useful....."

    only few tips are useful, most information are out of date, and useless.... 401k is a money trap, arther was wrong about many "money making tools".

    22 of 64 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Bay Area, CA 11-02-13
    Amazon Customer Bay Area, CA 11-02-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Some good advice..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Maybe... If he/she was in debt and ignorant to the fact that debt is bad, I might recommend this book to them. This is a good book for people that need a reminder on debt and its consequences but it's not for everyone.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not anything from self-acclaimed financial "experts."


    What about Dave Ramsey’s performance did you like?

    He is a radio show host and he read the book like he was doing a radio show. A bit slow for me... I listened at 2x.


    What did you take away from The Total Money Makeover that you can apply to your work?

    I don't have debt and mostly bought this audio book to find useful stuff for my friends that are in debt. It was more a motivational book than sound financial advice.


    Any additional comments?

    Dave Ramsey has obviously done a great job with his target audience, but he needs to realize there is no one universal financial advice that works for everyone, and he should be clear about that. Debt IS bad and that should be common sense but unfortunately it's not, and I'm glad there are people like Mr. Ramsey out there telling people to be careful with credit cards, and other types of debt, but his assumptions about investment is what worries me. It's great to be optimistic but his facts about the mutual fund returns are plain wrong! First of all, the historical average on index funds and mutual funds from 1926 to 2012 has been just about 6.5% (adjusted for 2% inflation)... not to mention the mutual funds fees you might have to pay (usually 0.50 to 2.5%). So his 12% mutual fund return that he repeats over and over are worrisome. It will lead the not so savvy investors to be overly optimistic and miss their retirement goals.

    Everyone should take the advice from this book with a grain of salt. Yes, debt is bad... Yes, you should pay off your debt asap... Yes, you need to have an emergency fund... But you should NOT blindly follow just any investment advice! Do your own research and come up with a plan that fits your life and goals.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mahal La Quinta, CA USA 05-07-12
    Mahal La Quinta, CA USA 05-07-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Veg plan"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    not sure. had some ideas but lacked specific. It assumes you make the median about of american income. What if not. does not go into a plane for those.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Dave Ramsey? Why or why not?

    yes. He has a radio show that is ok.


    What three words best describe Dave Ramsey’s voice?

    for the rich


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Total Money Makeover?

    make him right a chapter for those in lower income field


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NostraThomas Minneapolis, MN, United States 11-04-11
    NostraThomas Minneapolis, MN, United States 11-04-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent money advice, but leave God out"

    I learned a lot about personal finance from this book. I mean, it really had an impact on me. Very well done. But to drag religion into the discussion was unneeded at best. At worst, it was pandering, disingenuous, and yielded mostly "wtf?" moments. Listen to the book, it's great, but ignore the religion. That part is best left to another book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Aberdeen, WA, United States 03-12-11
    Amazon Customer Aberdeen, WA, United States 03-12-11

    Avid Reader

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    "Best Financial Advice ever!"

    The premise is simple:
    Follow seven baby steps to financial Freedom and become rich. Anyone and EVERYONE can do it, no matter what your income level.


    I was surprised reading the negative reviews here. It is VERY obvious that not only did the negative reviewers not listen/read the book, but that they have no desire to follow "sound" and "simple" financial advice. "If you keep doing what you have been doing, you are going to get what you already have". In other words, where you are today, you'll be there when you retire if you don't make a decision to do something different.

    By the way, if the negative reviewers think they are right, then show me the thousands of people who use your plan and have become debt free? Dave Ramsey can easily boast that those who follow this plan have and are becoming debt free. The numbers are in the tens of thousands! (you can easily find this out by listening to his show, searching web, talking to those who have done it!)

    Becoming rich takes focus, dedication and sound financial decisions. This book guides you step by step. Not only is it simple, but is logical. Dave Ramsey gives great examples, thorough information and examples. The one thing I will state is that it is not necessarily easy. Becoming rich is not easy. But it is well worth it.

    Tired of being the slave to your debt? I am, so I have chosen to change, and thank Audible and Dave Ramsey for showing me how I can do this. (Follow this book up by checking out his podcasts / syndicated radio show / website).


    To get encouragement, you really deserve to listen to his radio show, especially "Debt Free Friday's" on his program. People from all walks of life call in and tell how they became debt free each Friday on his show (podcast or radio). Listen to them, and their struggles, yet how they persevered to become debt free an

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Salt Lake City, UT, United States 02-28-11
    Greg Salt Lake City, UT, United States 02-28-11
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    "Great listen."

    I see a lot of negative reviews of this audio book. I disagree with them. I think people generally don't understand how they waste their hard earned money by living outside of their financial means, and yet they feel like it's not their fault. This book demonstrates how we mislead ourselves. His approach is definitely direct and simple, but his style in unconventional. Yes, saving money is a simple formula, but this walks you through the essentials. Very solid. Highly recommend.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Frisco, TX, United States 01-18-11
    Mark Frisco, TX, United States 01-18-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Simple, straight-forward, and no-holds-barred"

    Dave Ramsey's advice is simple - so simple it is apparently mind-boggling to many of the reviewers who attack it. To succeed with money you must spend less than what you bring home. Period. To spend less than you make, you must plan your budget each month and name every dollar. Period. Borrowing money other than for your house is stupid because the interest you pay destroys your ability to build wealth.

    Dave tells you like it is. He won't get you rich quick, he won't offer a secret recipe for lifetime fulfillment. He just tells you to get up off your butt and take care of your money with the same passion that you might cheer for your favorite sports team! If you can't handle some straight, in-your-face advice, his book isn't for you. If you are ready to deal with the real problem with your finances - you - he is well worth your time.

    I also highly recommend his 13-week class - even more than this book, quite honestly. But if you aren't sure you are ready for his class, the book is a great start.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billy 01-10-11
    Billy 01-10-11 Listener Since 2007
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    "TMO changed my life"

    This audiobook changed my life. It completely changed how I look at money and helped me set goals that will help us get to where I want to be: financially independent. Now me and my wife are debt free, thanks to Dave, and we share his hatred for it. We are now so much better off than we were and now we're using all the money we were paying on debt to build wealth. Amazing. It is simplistic. But it isn't easy. "Debt gives the illusion that you are winning."

    Regards,

    A college educated man who wants to actually be wealthy instead of pretending to be so.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Newport, MI, United States 01-06-11
    Ken Newport, MI, United States 01-06-11
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    "The Total Money Makeover"

    Great read. Main discussion is all about NEVER using credit and he talks about how to do this very well. The only question that I had thought was he states for 30 seconds to not file for bankruptcy and does not give reasons why (I know it wrecks your credit). My main confession is that if we are never to use credit.....then why is filing for bankruptcy so bad. Wish he would have discussed more on that topic.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Sifisosami
    wokinghamUnited Kingdom
    1/27/11
    Overall
    "Thank you Dave Ramsey"

    This is a quick update to those in need of hope. I wrote a review back in June last year and now wish i could give this book more than 5 stars!!! We are now debt free, thanks to Dave's principles layed out clearly in this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    YEOVIL, United Kingdom
    8/5/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant book!"
    Would you listen to The Total Money Makeover again? Why?

    It took me a while to get over the slightly aggressive American tone - I guess passion would be a better word than agressive. But the concept is simple and makes perfect sense.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • florence
    READING, United Kingdom
    7/24/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Helped us get in shape"

    I found out about Dave Ramsey about seven months ago (December 2012) and from the first podcast I downloaded for his radio talk show, I knew this guy was different. He is genuine, honest, informed and tells it like it is. My husband and I had debt of about $28,000 which we werent too concerned about but had tried to pay off and somehow no matter what we did it just never seemed to go away. We enrolled for FPU online around March 2013 and wow, what a class!!! We decided to pay off all our debt but for some reason stalled. I then went ahead and bought this book (audio) about a month after we'd completed FPU, something about the way he explained debt and just how restrictive it was clicked deeper. I was on a coach on the way to work, by the time we arrived I had a tear in my eye and knew that I knew that I knew that we were paying our debt off that day. Fortunately we had the money to clear all our debt and just went ahead and did it. I cannot describe the feeling. Walking around debt free is totally liberating. I would never have done it if it werent for FPU or this book. For some reason we thought earning 0.5% in a savings account would beat the 7-10% interest rates we were paying on the debt. We just hadnt done the Maths. We have now changed our habits and are already living like no one lese so later we get to live like no else.

    Thank you Dave Ramsey and may God bless and your wonderful family for the wonderful work you are doing to enlighten those of us who had somehow gotten degrees in D.U.M.B.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Raphy
    upholland, United Kingdom
    10/20/11
    Overall
    "Just Buy it"

    gr8 book, lot of things you already know but arranged in 'baby steps' for secure debt free future.would highly recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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