debt

A Financial Plan That Actually Works: The Total Money Makeover

5 Minute Read

Long before The Dave Ramsey Show joined the talk radio airwaves, Dave 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. The book skyrocketed to #1 on The New York Times best-seller list in its first week, and has continued to spend more than 200 weeks on their list.

Today, more than 5 million copies of the book have been 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 his Baby Steps plan and walks you through each stage of the journey. Dave fought his way out of debt and bankruptcy using this exact plan. He wouldn’t tell you to do anything he hasn’t already done himself! Whether you’re trying to save money for retirement, invest, or find a plan to pay off debt that actually works—you’ll find how to do 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

Commonsense Advice Your Grandma Would Give You

The Total Money Makeover doesn’t list sophisticated or hypothetical tips that are hard to understand. These are simply 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 try to keep up with the Joneses. These may be simple and straightforward tips, 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! It’s not just for those who wear three-piece suits and sit in corner offices.

Success Stories From Real People Who Have Been There

One of the book’s most powerful parts comes from the real-life stories of those who have been in debt, followed the plan, and completed their own total money makeover.

As you flip through the pages, you’ll follow the journeys of everyday families and individuals who have worked their way through the Baby Steps with dedication.

David and Tayelor used credit cards as their income and lived paycheck to paycheck. After reading and applying the values Dave teaches in The Total Money Makeover, they cut up their credit cards, became debt-free, and now live their lives without worrying about an uncertain future.

You’ll also see Autumn’s story of being a single parent while living off of $400 a month and drowning in $100,000 of credit card debt. She no longer has a car payment, is continuing to pay down her debt, and owns her company!

In The Total Money Makeover, you’ll read these stories and more about people who 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!

Busting the Myths

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 Dave calls out in The Total Money Makeover:

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."

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’s Voice

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. After all, it was his own experience that laid the groundwork for writing The Total Money Makeover.

This book has helped millions of people turn their lives around. Are you ready to join the revolution? Grab a copy of The Total Money Makeover from Dave’s $10 sale and give the gift of life-change this Christmas!

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