This year I set myself the goal of reading one new book that would improve my life or my knowledge on a subject every month. In February that book was The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. This book explains in-depth Dave Ramsey’s plan for getting out of debt quickly and how to excel in life once you’re debt-free. The book itself spent more than 500 weeks on The Wallstreet Journal bestsellers list, that’s nearly a full decade! Dave Ramsey has gone on to write a total of 10 books and he has a radio show on more than 500 radio stations in the United States and Canada. In fact, this was how I got my introduction to Dave Ramsey. You can find clips from his radio show for free on Youtube. It was after more than a year of listening to his show that I finally decided to give The Total Money Makeover a read to see if it had anything more to add to the conversation. So please keep in mind that this review is coming from someone who has listened to Dave Ramsey for a while.
The Total Money Makeover is incredibly easy to read. Everything is laid out in very simple plain English that anyone can understand. It covers common money and debt myths before jumping straight into Dave’s 7 step plan called the baby steps. Each chapter of the baby steps explains not only what you should do but also how to achieve it, and why.
The Dave Ramsey Baby Steps assume that you are starting from rock bottom. That you’re in debt and living paycheck to paycheck. Of course, you can join the baby steps at any point in your journey. If you’re fortunate enough to not have any debt, Dave explains what you should be doing with your money every step of the way as you work on becoming an everyday millionaire. He’s also a firm believer that anyone can be a millionaire. This method has worked for millions of people across America, so knowing that you have to say that yeah, his method works.
If you’ve never listed to Dave Ramsey’s radio show or you only have a little bit of experience with it then The Total Money Makeover is the place for you to start. You’ll get everything you need to know from this one book. However, you can also find a lot of the information online for free. On Dave Ramsey’s Youtube channel he has a number of videos that say everything that is said in the book. As someone who has listened to a lot of Dave Ramsey, I found that from the entire book there was only one thing I had never heard talked about elsewhere. That was if you should get a mortgage or not if you don’t already have one. Dave’s answer to that is no by the way, in case you’re wondering.
I don’t want any of that to make it seem like I think The Total Money Makeover is a bad book, it isn’t. This book is a great introduction to Dave’s methods which makes it great for anyone just starting out on their journey to become debt-free. But, for someone like me who has been listening to Dave for a long time, there isn’t really anything new. It’s a book for beginners while I’m at an intermediate level. Maybe in the future, I’ll add another one of Dave Ramsey’s books my pile of books to read.
In a future blog post, I’ll talk more about the Dave Ramsey financial plan, as well as my own experiences with it. So be sure to keep an eye out for that.