Medicated Money

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Book This - The Total Money Makeover

For our first book review, we wanted to start with the book that started it all for us! I found Dave Ramsey by mistake, but it probably was one of the best mistakes of my life. After listening to his radio show, I purchased The Total Money Makeover. I read it from cover to cover in 6 hours. Not to hard of a read and that is what makes it a great book. Dave Ramsey does a great job of breaking down personal finance, which is probably not a top priority for 99% of Americans, into a simple, basic plan that is easy to understand and just as easy to carry out.

The Total Money Makeover preaches that personal finance is easy if you understand a few simple ideas. First, take everything that is discussed in personal finance forums, credit card reward articles, and the search for low interest rates discussions and throw it out the window. Next, you need to learn to understand that financial discipline is 90% action, 10% reason. Dave Ramsey believes (and we believe it) that most Americans will continue any action if they see positive results. The Total Money Makeover teaches the reader to perform simple actions that will show quick results. Thus from these positive experiences, the reader will continue to perform the same actions over and over.

The Total Money Makeover talks about financial denial, the myths of debt, the importance of starting a small emergency fund, paying down debt with the debt snowball, maximizing retirement investing, and paying off the home mortgage. What is interesting is that Ramsey throws in many personal experiences and experiences of his listeners to help the reader understand that if they can do it, so can you.

What I love about The Total Money Makeover is the fact that it is the quick and dirty entrance key into the world of personal finance. If one reads the book, they will have a written game plan that shows results immediately and does not confuse the reader. Dave Ramsey stays away from the complexity of finances that in my opinion bring many people down. Granted, most readers reading this and personal finance bloggers will find that The Total Money Makeover is too simplistic. The Ramsey's theories of becoming free from all debt, basic investing strategies, and funding retirement are not all mathematically correct and go against many personal finance theories. However, The Total Money Makeover shows the average American, who is more interested in discussing who is the next American Idol then their finances, the path to financial security is obtainable with financial discipline, living below your means, and becoming/staying debt free. For this, we give the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey 4 stars out of 5 for personal finance information and knowledge.


  • Haven't read the book, but I listen to the show. It's becoming a habit, and that's not a bad thing. There's a bit of a religious/Christian overtone to some of Dave's comments on the radio, and I presume in the book as well, which I could do without. Those aside, the advice is plain-spoken, not overly sophisticated, and seems to get results.

    By Blogger michael kimsal, at 9:31 AM, May 25, 2006  

  • Thanks for reading, Michael.

    The book does not have the same overtone as his radio program concerning religion. I at times get tired of the 'Dave ranting' as well. If you are a regular listener of the radio show, the book is very much the same ideas, and may not be worth the read.

    By Blogger Medicated Money, at 11:07 PM, May 25, 2006  

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