• The Total Money Makeover

  • A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
  • By: Dave Ramsey
  • Narrated by: Dave Ramsey
  • Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (44,647 ratings)

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The Total Money Makeover  By  cover art

The Total Money Makeover

By: Dave Ramsey
Narrated by: Dave Ramsey
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Publisher's summary

READ BY THE AUTHOR.

Do you want to build a budget that actually works for you? Are you ready to transform your relationship with money? This New York Times bestseller has already helped millions of people just like you learn how to develop everyday money-saving habits with the help of America's favorite finance coach, Dave Ramsey.

By now, you've already heard all of the nutty get-rich-quick schemes and the fiscal diet fads that leave you with a lot of quirky ideas but not a penny in your pocket. If you're tired of the lies and sick of the false promises, Dave is here to provide practical, long-term help. The Total Money Makeover is the simplest, most straightforward game plan for completely changing your finances. And, best of all, these principles are based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies. This is the financial reset you've been looking for.

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition will give you the tools and the encouragement you need to:

  • Design a sure-fire plan for paying off all debt--from your cars to your home and everything in between using the debt snowball method
  • Break bad habits and make lasting changes when it comes to your relationship with money
  • Recognize the 10 most dangerous money myths
  • Secure a healthy nest egg for emergencies and set yourself up for retirement
  • Become financially healthy for life
  • Live like no one else, so later you can LIVE (and GIVE) like no one else!
©2003 Dave Ramsey (P)2003 Thomas Nelson Publishers

Critic reviews

"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)

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What listeners say about The Total Money Makeover

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    37,138
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  • 3 Stars
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Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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541 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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

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161 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Brash

Content is simple. The author be-littles other advice books and authors, talks to you like you are a child, and tries to bully you into saving money. He sounds like a guy full of rage, stuck in traffic. If his advice was great, would he really need the attitude and tone to help sell you on it?
Don't spend money now, and you'll have a great life later. That's the story.
Take the $14 and put it in the bank instead of buying this book. That will be a great start to your "Money makeover".

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147 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

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127 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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!

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117 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brash? Yes. Honest? Absolutely.

Some people have remarked that they don't like the tone of this book. If the author seems a bit "brash", it's only because he's attempting to highlight the level of insanity with which most people approach personal finance. Take a look around you. The guy you work with who just bought a new Hummer. Your sisters' friend who just moved into a $800,000 home. They must be doing great, right? WRONG.

The truth is, they're most likely broke. They're high-income, low-net-worth people who are teetering on the edge of complete financial ruin. Rich people, don't do these things!! Well, that is unless they're really really rich.

This book will change the way you think about money. When I see the guy in the new Mercedes now, I think, "Man, that guy has nothing in the bank". This book will make you proud of your old jalopy. After all, it's better to ACTUALLY BE RICH.

Most Americans WISH for financial security and DO everything they can to make sure it NEVER happens. I think this is a level of insanity that warrants a brash tone.

If your ready to get real about your finances, this is the only book you need to read.

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113 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Information available online

Total Money Makeover doesn't give any information that isn't already available on Ramsey's website. it just adds anecdotes about people succeeding with the method.

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108 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

mixed emotions

A GREAT BOOK TO GET OUT OF DEBT! Dave nails it and provides a means to get out of debt FAST and take financial control of ones life. What is dissapointing is that Dave still believes in the Fed and Wallstreet. He bashes Gold, Silver, insurance and Foreign Investments when these investments have proven to be more safe and profitable than US Stocks in the last decade. The True financial problem is right at home in Wallstreet. The debt part and Mortgage part is Great! The rest I believe does not apply for a Post 2010 Era.

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83 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Don't Bother

This is a complte waste of time for anyone who isn't wasting money like a drunken sailor.

I also am not interested in the Christian lectures.

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75 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Irritating and unenlightening

If Dave Ramsey is going to tell me that I'm an idiot, he ought to at least have something remotely intelligent to teach me. He doesn't. He babbles on-and-on about nonesense and, when he finally gets to the meat of his ideas, they're trite and unenlightening (get out of debt, save money). Save the $14 and put it toward your next credit card bill. You'll be better off financially and less irritated intellectually.

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74 people found this helpful