The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

Happy Monday, book friends!

I almost always read the books suggested to me. My boyfriend’s cousin knows I love to read, and he suggested The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey to me. He even had a copy he lent me so I would read it. This book falls into a “self-help” book genre and normally I find those super hard to review. Although the book is about money, I didn’t feel like it was overwhelming. Dave write in a way that a “simple” man would understand. Not only that, but if you took out all the personal story letters from this book, it would actually be a really quick read. I finished it in less than a day as is, but it could easily be read quicker.

Basically, the idea of this book is to get yourself out of debt in 7 “small” steps.

  • Start with saving $1,000 for emergencies only
  • Pay every single debt off
    • Start with the smallest debts… while paying minimum payments on all other debts, throw all extra income at the smallest debt. Once that is paid off, compound the money to the next smallest debt. Keep that activity up until all debts are paid. (Note, he says do not worry about home at this point)
  • Build a 3-6 month emergency fund
  • Invest 15% towards retirement
  • Start a college fund
  • Pay off home
  • Build savings, give donations

 

Note how I put quotes around small before that list. These are no small tasks. This method is meant to take years! I do understand that debt is not something that is gotten out of easily, and of course it will take time! Some of his suggestions are a bit crazy to me. He suggests to sell anything and everything that you can to get out of debt. Sell the car, sell the furniture, sell the kids (only partly joking there.) He suggests to get multiple jobs, and to do things that you’ve never done before to rid yourself of these payments. I can see all of this being beneficial, but I would be so concerned for the psyche of the person who does this. You have to be 100% obsessed with saving money 100% of the time for this method to work. One single day of struggle mentally, and I can see a person getting discouraged.

Not only that, but when you cut yourself off for years at a time, it’s very likely you could become depressed. Not to say that you need debt to be happy, but when you don’t even have a quarter to pay to park to see down town, or 5 dollars to go out to even the cheapest of dinners, would you not feel melancholy for the life you now have to live without? Just my thoughts on the matter.

I do love the suggestion for how to get out of debt. If you can do it, you should. After reading this book I’ve decided to try to start budgeting better. It also inspired me to cut up my one and only credit card! It was an interesting read, for sure. Even with a banking background (I worked in an actual bank for 3 years, and have now work in a bursar office for a school for 2 years), it changed the way I feel about debt and money. It was worth the read for sure!

Hope you all have a great week!

LK

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