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The Total Money Makeover

A Proven Plan for Finance Fitness

By Dave Ramsey
  • Read in 15 minutes
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  • Contains 9 key ideas
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The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

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.

Key idea 1 of 9

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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