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Nov 27

Black Friday? Don’t Add Debt! The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition By Dave Ramsey

Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

A-Ramsey“A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.” Those words attract me, but also make me ask, “Really?”

In his Introduction Dave Ramsey explains, “Over all these years, The Total Money Makeover has given HOPE to millions of families. This book has given them hope to win, and that hope has caused them to take action and claim ultimate victory over their financial struggles and worries—and to actually win!”

Ramsey declares in big, bold letters:
This Book Is NOT Sophisticated or Complicated
This Book Is NOT Something That Has Never Been Said
This Book Is NOT Going to Mislead You on Investment Returns
This Book Is NOT Just About Math, Statistics, Facts, and Figures
This Book Is NOT Written by Someone with No Academic Credentials
This Book Is NOT Politically Correct
This Book Is NOT Wrong

“I have a PhD in D-U-M-B. So I know what it is like to be scared and scarred. I know what it is like to have my marriage hanging by a thread because of financial stress. I know what it is like to have my hopes and dreams crushed by my own stupid decisions. That qualifies me uniquely to teach and to love hurting people. The other huge qualifier is that I used the principles I teach to personally build wealth. My wife and I have truly lived this book. The things we teach are not theory—they work!”

Quote-worthy & Noteworthy from Chapter 3. Debt Myths: Debt Is (Not) a Tool

MYTH: Debt is a tool and should be used to create prosperity.
TRUTH: Debt adds considerable risk, most often doesn’t bring prosperity, and isn’t used by wealthy people nearly as much as we are led to believe.

MYTH: If I loan money to friends or relatives, I am helping them.
TRUTH: If I loan money to a friend or relative, the relationship will be strained or destroyed. The only relationship that would be enhanced is the kind resulting from one party being the master and the other party a servant.

MYTH: By cosigning a loan, I am helping a friend or relative.
TRUTH: Be ready to repay the loan; the bank wants a cosigner for a reason, which is that they don’t expect the friend or relative to pay.

MYTH: Car payments are a way of life; you’ll always have one.
TRUTH: Staying away from car payments by driving reliable used cars is what the average millionaire does; that is how he or she became a millionaire.

MYTH: You can get a good deal on a new car at 0 percent interest.
TRUTH: A new car loses 60 percent of its value in the first four years; that isn’t 0 percent.

MYTH: You need a credit card to rent a car, check into a hotel, or buy online.
TRUTH: A debit card will do all that.

My Testimony

Despite my fears of addressing my fears about our money challenges my wife and I applied Dave Ramsey’s principles:
– We scrimped and saved $1,000 in an Emergency Fund.
– TMM’s Debt Snowball has worked for us.
– We have reduced our debt-load.
– Rather than live in fear, we have increased our charitable donations.

Total Money Makeover Worksheets Offer Practical Help

The Monthly Cash flow Plan helped us honestly access how we spent our money.

The Allocated Spending Plan helped us strategically think through when we would spend our money.

The Irregular Income Planning helped us, because “Some people’s paychecks all look the same, and some people’s don’t.”

The Debt Snowball form helped to pay down debt more quickly by getting “some quick wins and develop some serious momentum!”

There are seven more forms that we haven’t used yet.

Conclusion: I definitely recommend this book as a resource to help you help yourself to reduce your financial stress, increase hope and have pratical tools to take back some of the power of debt in your life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com […] book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 […] “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Bring on the comments

  1. Hmmm what other forms are there?

  2. Thank you for asking! The additional forms available in The Total Money Makeover are:

    Breakdown of Savings

    “These items are also called sinking funds. These are the safety nets in your plan. After fully funding your emergency fund, start saving for other items, like furniture, cars, home maintenance or a vacation. This sheet will remind you that every dollar in your savings account is already committed to something.”

    Consumer Equity Sheet

    “Your net worth: what you own minus what you owe.
    Use this form to list all of your assets and their value. Then subtract what, if anything, you owe on each one. When you total the columns, the Total equity box at the bottom shows your net worth.”

    Lump Sum Payment Form

    (I think there was a edit-error since it’s got the same explanation as the “Breakdown of Savings” form.)

    Major Components

    “Your financial plan has a lot of moving parts. So you have to know what you need to do and when you need to do it. This form shows you the essential things that absolutely must be part of any successful plan. go line by line and note what action you need to take for each item, then put a deadline on it.”

    Recommended Percentages

    “How much of your money should go where? We’ve got some recommendations based on experience and research. If you find that you spend much more in one category than we recommend, consider adjusting your lifestyle in that area in order to enjoy more freedom and flexibility across the board. These are only suggestions though. For example, if you have a higher income, your percentage for things like food will be lower.”

    Income Sources Recap

    “Money’s fun. if you’ve got some. You’ve got money coming in from somewhere, right? Then write it down. This form documents every single income source you’ve got. There’s no such thing as “found money.” It all counts, and it all goes on the budget!”

    Pro Rata Debt List

    “But I can’t pay the minimum payments!” it’s okay. We have a plan for that. Pro rata means “fair share.” Use this form to figure out what percentage of your income each creditor represents, and then send their payment along with a copy of this form and your budget every month—even if they say they won’t accept it.”

  3. Hi Scott,

    Hope you are doing well. I noticed you recently reviewed Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover for Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program and I wondered if you would be interested in reviewing a similar title, Leaving a Legacy, recently published by ACU Press. Here’s more info about the book:

    For centuries, 70 percent of family wealth has dissipated by the second generation, and 90 percent is lost by the third generation. It has nothing to do with taxes, economies, or cultures. It is the failure of families to transfer leadership and values to succeeding generations. Dan T. Garrett, who for almost 40 years has counseled numerous families and individuals on matters of Christian stewardship, shares how successful families thrive both materially and spiritually in his new book, Leaving a Legacy: Sustaining Family Unity, Faith, and Wealth.

    To view an online press kit for the book, including a press release, sell sheet, and excerpt, click here:

    If you are interested in reviewing Leaving a Legacy on your blog, I would be happy to send you a free copy or anything else you might need. To review the book, you can simply email me at or visit our book blogger review site here:

    Thanks so much for your time. Hope to hear from you soon.

    – Ryan

  4. Ryan, thank you for the invitation.
    I’ll followup with an email.

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