Book Review: “The total money makeover, a proven plan for financial fitness” by Dave Ramsey

By MOe Carpenter

Reviewer’s Thoughts:

A true classic in the debt payoff section of personal finance, “The Total Money Makeover” has been around for over 20 years and was our May/June book selection for the Tuesdays Turning Pages Book Brunch calls. Dave Ramsey walks you through his way of building wealth starting with his baby steps and maintains a very authoritative tone throughout the book. The NLS Bard copy of the book is not read by the author, although you can get this copy on Amazon or through the Ramsey Solutions website.

This book offers some great basic information. The principles Dave teaches through the baby steps are an excellent way to get started. He walks you through giving every dollar a name, saving different levels of emergency funds, and paying off debt. He finishes the steps with guidance on building wealth and ensuring we are giving.

As we discussed frequently in the book brunches, there is always this feeling that Dave is yelling at you about all his advice. Given that this book was written a long time ago, I think today we have much better books that are a little more up-to-date and kinder in their presentation. Dave also seems to focus on stories that prove his teachings and not so much on those that are a little more outside the norm. For example, there are very few stories of disabled people, and when they are mentioned, they are usually medically suddenly disabled. There are no examples of people living on SSI or SSDI and making it on his system.

Something I noticed in this read of the book that I hadn’t noticed before is that Dave really focuses on the items he prioritizes and finds important, which are items I and others in the chats did not find so important. This can leave you with a feeling that this book isn’t really for you.

Something else I love about this book is the discussion on money myths. There is a whole chapter dedicated to these, and they pop up again and again. We may not always agree with what he says is the truth about the myth, but they are great conversations to have.

After all is said and done, this book is truly a classic when it comes to personal finance. There are many stories shared that support the idea that the system can work. However, if you want a book that is more encouraging and less blaming you for where you are and where you want to be, this book is not for you. We also found that listening to the radio show is better at updating some of the info in this book, making it more relatable to today.

BARD Information:

Title: The total money makeover: a proven plan for financial fitness

Author: Dave Ramsey
Find on NLS BARD:

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