The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

The success stories speak for themselves in this book from money maestro Dave Ramsey. Instead of promising the normal dose of quick fixes, Ramsey offers a bold, no-nonsense approach to money matters, providing not only the how-to but also a grounded and uplifting hope for getting out of debt and achieving total financial health.

Ramsey debunks the many myths of money (expos

Ramsey debunks the many myths of money (exposing the dangers of cash advance, rent-to-own, debt consolidation) and attacks the illusions and downright deceptions of the American dream, which encourages nothing but overspending and massive amounts of debt. “Don’t even consider keeping up with the Joneses,” Ramsey declares in his typically candid style. “They’re broke!”

The Total Money Makeover isn’t theory. It works every single time. It works because it is simple. It works because it gets to the heart of the money problems: you.
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    Chad Warner

    Ramsey presents some sound financial principles in the book, but it came across as a sales pitch because he mentions his other books and live events, and practically every other page contains a lengthy testimonial from people gushing about their Total Money Makeover. I skipped all of these since I’m looking for practical financial advice, not feel-good stories.

    I didn’t like Ramsey’s strict no-debt stance. The only exception he allows for is a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. Although I agree that mo

    I didn’t like Ramsey’s strict no-debt stance. The only exception he allows for is a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. Although I agree that most people are better off avoiding credit cards because they can’t resist the temptation to abuse them, I like to use cash-back and other rewards cards to pay for the things I’d be purchasing anyway. I don’t think I spend more money simply because I charge purchases rather than dropping cash or using my debit card. For example, I paid my college tuition on my credit card and earned 1% cash back on thousands of dollars. I also charge all my gas purchases, and make 5% cash back. Did I spend more on tuition or drive more than necessary because I had charged those purchases instead of paying cash? I didn’t perform a scientific experiment to determine that, but I’d guess not.

    I’ve also reviewed the abridged audio version.

    The Steps of the Total Money Makeover

    1. Set up a $1000 emergency cash fund
    Sacrifice, work extra hours, and sell stuff to get the money.
    Keep as paper bills or in a savings account.
    Don’t put it in checking or any other account or investment.

    2. Pay off your debt snowball
    List your debts, smallest to largest.
    Pay them off.

    3. Finish the emergency fund
    Must cover 3 – 6 months of living expenses. 3 months if you have a truly steady job, otherwise 6 months.
    $5,000 – $25,000
    Put in Money Market with no penalties and check-writing abilities

    4. Invest 15% of gross income in retirement
    Don’t count any company-matched funds.
    Don’t count on Social Security.
    Use these accounts, in this order:
    1. 401K if company matches.
    2. Roth IRA.
    3. growth-stock mutual funds:
    25% large cap
    25% mid cap
    25% international
    25% small/emerging

    5. Save for college for your kids
    Use these accounts, in this order:
    1. Educational Savings Account (ESA) in a growth-stock mutual fund
    2. If you want to save more, use a flexible 529 that allows you to choose your funds
    3. Scholarships

    6. Pay off the house mortgage
    Spend every extra dollar you have left after setting aside for living, retirement, college, and mortgage.
    Don’t keep a low-rate mortgage just so you can invest at a higher rate. After you pay taxes on your investment returns, and factor in the additional risk that the mortgage debt brings, it’s not worth it. In the long term, you’ll come out ahead by being debt-free.

    7. Build wealth
    At this point, you’re completely debt-free.
    The next step is the Pinnacle Point: when your money makes more than you do.
    There are 3 good uses for money:
    1. Fun
    Guilt-free enjoyment, if you can afford it.
    2. Investing
    Think long-term.
    Don’t try to time the market.
    Choose simple mutual funds and debt-free real estate.
    3. Giving
    Giving it away can be the most fun you have with your money.

    Additional advice
    Winning at money is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge.
    “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”
    Debt brings risk, not prosperity. You can’t leverage debt to build wealth.
    You don’t need to build credit because you won’t use it if you follow the Total Money Makeover.
    Credit card rewards aren’t worth it. You end up spending more in unnecessary purchases and interest payments than you make back in rewards. No one ever became rich from credit card rewards.

    Choose high deductibles for auto and home insurance.
    Make a will.
    Choose a term policy, not Whole Life or Universal Life insurance.
    Don’t prepay your kids’ college expenses. You’ll make higher returns by putting this money in mutual funds.
    Buy a house for 100% down, or if that’s absolutely not possible, get a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage.

    You don’t have to wait until retirement to do what you love. Get a job that you enjoy.
    A college education improves the quality of your adult life and career. But, it doesn’t ensure a job or success.
    If you have cash or a scholarship, go to college. But pay cash; avoid student loans.

    Don’t get a 30-year mortgage with the intention of paying it off in 15 years. You’ll find other things to spend your money on. Having a 15-year mortgage forces you to pay off your home in 15 years.
    Don’t pay points on your mortgage, since you’re just paying interest up front.
    Your house payment should be less than 25% of your take-home pay.

    Don’t lend to friends. If you must give your friends money, give it as a gift. Loans ruin friendships.
    “Wealth will make you more of what you are”, whether you’re a jerk or a generous person.
    “The love of money, not money, is the root of all evil.” You have a duty to possess wealth to ensure that it’s used properly.

    Recommended percentages for allocating your money
    Charitable Giving 10-15
    Saving 5-10
    Housing 25-35
    Utilities 5-10
    Food 5-15
    Transportation 10-15
    Clothing 2-7
    Medical/Health 5-10
    Personal 5-10
    Recreation 5-10
    Debts 5-10
    …more

    Candace

    Recently, a good friend of mine who knew that I had read this book asked me whether or not I found it helpful. This friend has struggled with managing her personal finances and is drowning in credit card debt. She was feeling pretty hopeless and was worried that she’d never be able to take care of her bills and set enough aside for retirement.

    Rather than go into the ins and outs of the book, I downloaded the audiobook version and we listened together while working on paperwork during the work d

    Rather than go into the ins and outs of the book, I downloaded the audiobook version and we listened together while working on paperwork during the work day. Honestly, I just didn’t think I could communicate the underlying message of the book without coming across kind of “preachy”. This provided a nice way to share the major concepts of the book with her, while providing a strong reminder for me.

    As you can imagine, personal finance isn’t exactly the most entertaining topic. That is especially true when the take away message is to exercise restraint and behave responsibly. Nobody wants to face the fact that we are to blame for our own financial situations. It is far less painful to blame somebody else for the damage we do to ourselves.

    That being said, I really like Dave Ramsey’s common sense approach. He tells some hard truths and forces you to take a long, hard look in the mirror. If you’re looking for excuses or a pity party, you won’t find it here. He is brutally honest.

    Sacrifice today for wealth tomorrow is idea. There is no get rich quick scheme presented, just old-fashioned wisdom. Essentially, his advice is to turn back the hands of time and handle money the way my grandparent’s generation, and the generations before theirs, did. Don’t spend money that you don’t have. Save for future expenditures. Quit trying to keep up with the Joneses. It’s that simple.

    Of course, he does provide guidance for how to get out of debt if you’ve already accumulated it. His personal story of bankruptcy and how he was able to turn around his finances was inspirational. He made it clear that anyone could do it, but they had to be willing to work hard and make some sacrifices. Most importantly, they would have to evaluate their attitudes toward money and be willing to make some changes in their behavior.

    Although I’m not a very religious person, I wasn’t bothered by the bible verses that were interspersed throughout the book. Some people might be put off by that, but it wasn’t an issue for me. Clearly, his religious views are an important piece of his identity. For people that are more spiritual than I am, this might prove to be a great source of inspiration. It was neither here nor there for me.

    All in all, I think that this is a great book. It didn’t feel gimmicky or too good to be true. There were no promises or schemes presented. It was just good, sound advice for eliminating debt and living within your means.

    In fact, I’ll probably make my children listen to this as they get older. I’m planning to purchase the book he wrote with his daughter that is geared toward children as well. Might as well start early.

    Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com
    …more

    Laura

    Sep 07, 2007

    rated it
    it was amazing

    Recommends it for:
    Everyone who’s ever been in debt!

    Buy it, live it! An amazing system that’s not a system–just living within one’s means. Worth the investment many times over!