The Total Money Makeover Book Summary - The Total Money Makeover Book explained in key points
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The Total Money Makeover summary

Dave Ramsey

A Proven Plan for Finance Fitness

4.2 (312 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is a personal finance book that provides a step-by-step plan to get out of debt and build wealth. It focuses on changing spending habits and creating a budget for financial success.

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    The Total Money Makeover
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    Your financial security is an illusion, and it’s time for you to take action.

    Would you say you’re financially comfortable? Many of us feel secure enough in our finances, even though we all could use a few extra dollars. You probably have a job, and perhaps a car and house, and financial difficulties therefore seem far, far away.

    But no matter how secure you may feel at this moment, financial insecurity may be closer than you think.

    Imagine you suddenly lose your job: What would you do? Would you be able to pay your bills? Unlikely. Financial security is often more illusory than we think.

    Take the author’s client Sarah, for example. After her marriage she and her husband calculated their joint annual income to be over $75,000, and they had only a few debt obligations between the two of them. Feeling comfortable with their earnings and their debt, they proceeded to take out a large mortgage on their house.

    But that’s okay, right? They could afford it. Or could they?

    One day Sarah discovered that she was losing her $45,000-per-year job. Suddenly, they faced foreclosure on the house.   

    As in Sarah’s case, sudden financial setbacks can put us quickly in dire straits. What can we do? One way to avoid unpleasant surprises is by taking action before it’s too late. Change things now.

    It’s easy not to feel this sense of urgency, to think instead that you can simply carry on until things turn sour, and then change. But this is totally irresponsible. Financial difficulties sometimes creep up on you, and before you know it, you’re in trouble.

    It’s like the proverbial frog in the pot of water: As the water slowly heats up, the frog doesn’t realize that it’s being boiled alive and will let itself die.

    This is what is happening to you right now. Your financial security could be slowly collapsing around you, and you have no idea.

    It’s time to make a change.

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    What is The Total Money Makeover about?

    The Total Money Makeover (2013) is a step-by-step guide to turning your financial situation around, no matter how nasty it seems. By following these seven simple steps, you can put financial security back into your life and begin planning for a comfortable, contented retirement.

    The Total Money Makeover Review

    The Total Money Makeover (2003) is an essential read for anyone who wants to take control of their finances and achieve lasting financial freedom. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its practical strategies and actionable steps, it empowers readers to eliminate debt, build wealth, and secure their financial future.
    • By combining personal anecdotes, success stories, and proven financial principles, the book provides a clear roadmap to financial success.
    • Its engaging, no-nonsense approach makes it an enjoyable read, ensuring that readers won't find the topic of money boring.

    Best quote from The Total Money Makeover

    Fact: The typical millionaire lives in a middle-class home, drives a car thats paid off and is at least two years old and buys jeans at Wal-Mart.

    —Dave Ramsey
    example alt text

    Who should read The Total Money Makeover?

    • Anyone looking to improve their financial situation
    • People who want to avoid or get out of debt
    • Anyone who wants to be better prepared for the future, whether it be their retirement or their children’s education

    About the Author

    Dave Ramsey is an American author, radio host, television personality and motivational speaker who focuses on finance and debt freedom. He is best known for his radio show, The Dave Ramsey Show, on which he offers financial advice to callers from all across the United States.

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    The Total Money Makeover FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Total Money Makeover?

    The main message of The Total Money Makeover is transforming your financial situation through practical steps and discipline.

    How long does it take to read The Total Money Makeover?

    The reading time for The Total Money Makeover varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Total Money Makeover a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Total Money Makeover is worth reading as it provides actionable advice to improve your finances. It offers practical steps to achieve financial freedom.

    Who is the author of The Total Money Makeover?

    The author of The Total Money Makeover is Dave Ramsey.

    What to read after The Total Money Makeover?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Total Money Makeover, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Index Card by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack
    • The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage
    • Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide To Money by Dave Ramsey
    • Baby Steps Millionaires by Dave Ramsey
    • Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Cruze
    • The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham and comments by Jason Zweig
    • I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
    • The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks
    • Outlive by Peter Attia
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey