Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

So some of you may be sick of me talking about this book already :p I know some of my family and friends are sick of hearing about it, but dammit! I'm more excited about this book than I've been about anything in a long time. And I can't thank my dear friend, Carl enough for telling me about it. This is the year that I'm giving my debt the finger. I have three main goals this year: Get my LPC (can almost check this one off the list), get rid of my debt (or start to), and buy a house.

I always looked at my debt as something I would just always have. It's horrible. I HATE debt. I've had it since I was 18 and signed up for my first stupid ass credit card. But after reading The Total Money Makeover, I have not just hope, but assurance that I don't have to have debt forever and I can live comfortably on an income that I never thought would allow me to.

The thing about Ramsey's book is, it's all common sense. Things that you slap yourself in the head for not doing already. It's also highly motivational featuring stories from other people who have gone through his plan. The plan is really simple. The basics of it are set aside a $1000 emergency fund, budget yourself using a written system with envelopes involved. Pay off your debt from smallest to largest. Put aside a 6 month emergency fund. Pay off your house. Invest. Spend. Give.

Of course he has a precise method in which to do all of this that makes a ton of sense. You read what I wrote and probably think "if only it were that easy." The thing is...it is. I've only been doing this for a week now and see big changes already. First of all, my credit card is cut up. I've budgeted my money I can spend on food and gas and other things so I am more aware of what I'm doing.

The book is really well written too. There was never a time where I thought "what the hell is this guy talking about." I'm not the brightest when it comes to finance, but I understood AND enjoyed this book a lot! One thing to note is that Dave Ramsey is a Christian and he's a preacher. I know a lot of people (like myself) are wary about books written by preachers, but he DOESN'T preach in this book! There are some bible quotes throughout, but I never thought that I was reading a Christian book or having religion shoved down my throat.

I posted my financial goals a week ago and plan on continuing to post once a month about where my finances stand now....Hopefully if you're not convinced by my review that this can work, the numbers I post can show you :) And trust me...I don't make all that much money. But I can still see how this can work! Needless to say, I highly recommend this one!


DesLily said...

welcome back baby boy... why didn't you (or couldn't you) transfer all your posts back over here???

for some reason this particular theme won't accept my "blogger account" to comment and so I have to sign in with "wordpress" account.. please still always visit my BLOGGER account!

Debi said...

I am so impressed with your resolve. :) And I really do look forward to your monthly updates!

Bookfool said...

You already know I swear by Dave Ramsey. I'm glad you enjoyed this book and are already working to make changes. It's amazing how much of a difference his methods can make in your life.

Chris said...

Like I said in my email, I'm sorry my blog is giving you so many freaking problems :( Stupid computers and websites. I haven't transfered my posts here because I can't figure out how to do it :/ I know you can with regular Wordpress, but with the self hosted word press I just can't figure it out....I'm going to keep investigating though!

Chris said...

Well thank you my dear :D I'm actually sort of nervous about what this first month will look like when it comes to my debt :/ The picture is not looking so great now but it WILL get better!!

Chris said...

I can see why a lot of people swear by Dave!! He seems like an incredibly awesome person too :) I'm really hoping that this all works out!!

Jason Gignac said...

So, I have to admit, my sole thoughts in the past on Dave Ramsey have been that he always looks like he has something in his eye...

Daphne said...

Found you again! I'm interested in this book -- I am generally a very frugal person but I have no real "plan" -- might try this one out.

Kailana said...

This is awesome, Chris! I only have my student loans, so I like to pretend my debts are not that bad... I still am considering this book, though. Is it international or does it centre mainly around the U.S.?

Carl V. said...

Kailana, the book is entirely international (for Western culture anyway) because it doesn't talk about mathematical formulas or dollars and cents so much as it talks about money and "sense".

Chris is right, this is all smack yourself upside the head common sense. Dave's gift is that he puts this common sense into such a practical format that what seems impossible suddenly becomes very possible. The actual plan itself is easy, the hard part of the plan is being willing to make some temporary sacrifices for the goal of being financially free so that you can get to a place in your life where you can get what you want because you have the money to do so. It is all about building financial security by developing a right attitude towards money and changing away from the prevalent attitude that credit cards are a necessity and that it is somehow a wise thing to get into debt.

Dave exposes stupidity for what it is. He pulls no punches and yet his book is filled with compassion and hope.

I know exactly what you are going through Chris. I teased my friends James and Jeff for their constant Dave Ramsey talk before I started on the plan. James was so caught up in it that we nicknamed him "James Ramsey". But you know what, his passion changed my life. Suddenly I decided to quit living under the soul-crushing burden of mounting debt and decided to live within my means. And it meant some early sacrifice. But the changes were so important that my outlook instantly changed and I realized that I could live without some things while still having a kick-butt life.

During the 2.5 years it took us to get out of credit card and student loan debt we actually gave more to church and charities than any other years in our lives. And we each had a budgeted allowance that allowed us to have fun while being wise about it.

I'm going to have to eventually do my own post about it because you have me so excited about your journey.


Jeff S. said...

Good for you Chris! I'm so glad I discovered this book as well as it changed my life too. My wife and I haven't reached debt free status yet but we are working a plan and trying for that goal everyday.

I look forward to reading about your progress.

Anonymous said...

Chris, I am very excited for you!

I cut up all seven (yeah, seven) of my credit cards almost three years ago. It was one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life. I was used to spending more than I made and the credit cards made that real easy.

I am living proof that life without credit cards is possible.

James Ramsey

P.S. Dave actually read my email on the air. It is at the 31 minute point on this mp3 file.


Susan said...

I remember Carl posting about his start on this journey, though if he posted about the book, I missed it. So now that I know which book it is, I;m going to see if I can find it here. As you know I am going through some big life issues right now, and changes, and debt is one of the things my marriage has that we need to do something about. I hate it. Yes, I'll look for this book. I will also look for your coming posts about it as it changes your finances! thanks, Chris! and welcome back to blogger.....you know I'd follow you anywhere....though that sounds kind of stalkerish, doesn't it? lol