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Book Review

 

The Total Money Makeover

A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

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Author: Dave Ramsey

Two Reviews:

1. From Publishers Weekly:

Radio talk-show host and best selling author Ramsey (Financial Peace) is less a financial analyst and more of a preacher, which explains both his popularity and the appeal of this book, which just might gain a wide audience. 

The bedrock of his system is simple: work hard, pay what you owe and stay out of debt.

 His main commandment is "Pay cash." He first exhorts the reader to take "baby steps," which are designed to build on each other: 

  • 1. First, save $1,000 as an emergency fund.

  • 2. Then, pay off all debts from smallest to largest.

  • 3. Save a larger three-to-six-month emergency fund;

  • 4. Save 15% of income in a mutual fund retirement account (Roth or traditional IRA).

  • 5. Finally, start to save for college and/or pay off your home mortgage.

Ramsey understands the difficulty in putting these steps into action, and therefore packs his book with personal testimonials from everyday people who have used his system and have become debt free, with obvious struggles. 

The key is what Ramsey calls "Gazelle intensity," which is to live a financial life the way a gazelle saves itself from an attacking cheetah-"outmaneuver the enemy and run for your life."

 While Ramsey provides some helpful charts and graphs so readers can keep track of their efforts to follow his steps, the strength of this book is that it is a straightforward motivational tool. 

He provides the brutally direct truth about the hard work it takes to become free of debt, and his directness is a great part of the book's charm.
 

-Reed Business Information, Inc. Copyright 2003

2. From Booklist:

"Winning at money is 80 percent behavior and 20 percent head knowledge." So states Ramsey, author and radio show host, offering a comprehensive plan to get out of debt and achieve financial fitness. Our current financial position represents the sum total of the decisions we've made to this point, he tells us, and we must take personal responsibility for our financial problems. His seven-step plan includes paying 

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off all debts except the home mortgage at an accelerated speed, creating a financial safety net that covers three to six months' expenses, investing 15 percent of income in a retirement fund, and saving for children's college expenses. He effectively shows how regular people can rid themselves of debt and grow their wealth using current income. While many of Ramsey's concepts are not new, his simple approach and client testimonials will resonate with a broad range of library patrons. This is important information in a society buried in debt, with unprecedented numbers of people facing bankruptcy.  

-Mary Whaley

Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved. ______________________________________

Our Comments:

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A must-read for almost everyone!

Problem: 49% of Americans do not have enough savings to cover even one month of expenses if they lose their job, and have no retirement savings plan other than Social Security.  The main cause of bankruptcy  in the U.S. is out of control Credit Card debt.

Solution: This may be one of the most important books you ever read, for it is a practical how-to book for organizing and getting both your current and your lifetime finances under control by implementing the Biblical command to: 

"owe no man anything but to love one another."  -Romans 13:8

With testimonies from those who have seen it work in their own lives over the years.

Note: You can get this book from many Public Libraries, and ours even has the audio version on CD!

-The Prayer Foundation Monks ______________________________________

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