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We’re celebrating 25 years of The Dave Ramsey Show this year, but long before Dave was even on the airwaves, he was counseling people with his tried-and-true money principles. Seeing the need for a relatable and proven plan for getting your money in shape, he wrote The Total Money Makeover. It skyrocketed to #1 on the New York Times best-seller list in its first week, and has gone on to spend more than 200 weeks on their list.
Today, more than 5 million copies of the book have sold worldwide, giving people the hope and strategy they need to take on their own money makeover.
What’s in The Total Money Makeover?
The Seven Baby Steps
In The Total Money Makeover, Dave breaks down the Seven Baby Steps and walks you through each stage of the journey. Whether you are trying to save money for retirement, invest, or find a plan to pay off debt that actually works—you’ll find it here in the Baby Steps.
Baby Step 1: Save $1,000 in a Beginner Emergency Fund
Baby Step 2: Get Out of Debt Using the Debt Snowball
Baby Step 3: Fully Funded Emergency Fund of 3 to 6 Months of Expenses
Baby Step 4: Save 15% of Your Income for Retirement
Baby Step 5: Save for Your Children’s College
Baby Step 6: Pay Off the Home
Baby Step 7: Build Wealth and Give
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Commonsense Advice Your Grandma Would Give You
The Total Money Makeover doesn’t list sophisticated and hypothetical tips that are hard to understand. These are literally the same nuggets of advice your grandparents followed. Do live within your means. Don’t mess around with credit. Do save for a rainy day. Don’t keep up with the Joneses. It may be simple and straightforward, but they stand the test of time.
Still, don’t mistake common sense for a lack of structure. The principles Dave outlines in the book are proven and trusted. It’s financial advice for anyone! Not just those who wear three-piece suits and sit in corner offices with a skyline view.
Success Stories From Real People Who Have Been There
One of the most powerful parts of the book itself comes from the real-life stories of those who have been there, followed the plan, and completed their own total money makeover.
As you flip through the pages, you’ll find tale after tale of everyday families and individuals who have worked their way through the Baby Steps with dedication. These people chipped away at mountains of debt, paid off their homes in record time, and are on the path to becoming millionaires. Each personal story is proof these principles actually work. They have been effective for millions of people, and if you apply them to your life, they can work for you too!
It’s sad but true: Most of us have accepted money myths as gospel truth and use them as a standard for making financial decisions. Some myths we just grew up with, and some are societal norms we’ve bought into—hook, line and sinker.
Below are a few of the myths in The Total Money Makeover that Dave calls out:
Myth: I’ll always have a car payment.
Truth: "Taking on a car payment is one of the dumbest things people do to destroy their chances of building wealth," Dave said. "It steals more money from the income than virtually anything else."
Myth: A credit score is the only way to show how great I am with managing money.
Truth: "Bankers, car dealers, and unknowledgeable mortgage lenders have told America for years to ‘build your credit,’" Dave said. "[The FICO score] is not a score that says you are winning with money or that you have a million dollars; it mathematically says you LOVE DEBT."
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Myth: Having a credit card will help me build wealth.
Truth: "When you play with snakes, you get bitten. I’ve heard all the bait out there to lure the unsuspecting into the pit," Dave said. "Broke people use credit cards; rich people don’t."
Myth: Debt is a tool.
Truth: "Debt adds considerable risk, most often doesn’t bring prosperity, and isn’t used by wealthy people nearly as much as we are led to believe," Dave said.
Dave has a way of shooting straight when he talks on the radio, and you’ll find the same voice as you read through The Total Money Makeover. You’ll find phrases like, "financial goobers," "amputate your lifestyle," and "get with the program, people!"—the likes of which you’d be hard-pressed to find in any other financial advice book.
Dave has no problem telling you like it is. Why? Because he’s been there too.
Dave fought his way out of debt and bankruptcy using this exact plan. He’s not telling you to do anything he hasn’t already done himself. After all, it was his own experience that laid the groundwork for writing The Total Money Makeover.
This book has helped millions of people completely turn their lives around. Are you ready to join the revolution? Grab a copy of The Total Money Makeover and start your journey today!