Total Money Makeover

By Dave Ramsey

A Review By Tom Kennedy

Dave Ramsey is well-known Christian financial adviser who wants you to get out of debt as soon as possible.  His book was #7 this month down from #4 last month on the Bestseller List.*  He provides a radical guidance that has worked for thousands of those drowning in debt.  What you need to add to his principles is a zealous commitment to follow the plan. If so, soon you too can call his radio program and shout out to the listeners, “I am debt free!”

Statements I like from this book:

  • This Book is NOT Getting Any Complaints or Criticism…from people who do it. P. xix
  • If I can control the guy in the mirror, I can be skinny and rich. 3
  • Taking a car payment is one of the dumbest things people do to destroy their chances of building wealth. P. 30
  • …living right is not complicated; it may be difficult, but it is not complicated. P. 50
  • …the mismanagement of plastic (credit cards) is robbing you every month. 67
  • Budgeting was the best and the hardest part of the whole process. 91
  • …3 percent who had written their goals achieved more financially than the other 97 percent combined! P. 93
  • The first major Baby Step to your Total Money Makeover is to begin the emergency fund. P. 100
  • An obvious step to working the Debt Snowball is to stop borrowing. P. 114
  • …the definition of “Creative Financing” is “Too Broke to Buy a House.” 138
  • The average student paid $5,000 more to live and eat off-campus that to live in the dorm and eat cafeteria food. P. 155
  • If you walk your way up these Baby Steps, you can send your kids to school (college) without debt. P. 164.
  • Paying cash for a home is possible, very possible. What’s hard to find is people willing to pay the price in sacrificed lifestyle. P. 177
  • …I can find only three good uses for money. Money is good for FUN.  Money is good to INVEST.  And money is good to GIVE.  182


Some concerns I have:

  • Ramsey’s financial style is for people who are overwhelmed with their money management and under tons of debt. I would consider this approach best for those people.  In my opinion, those who are more disciplined from the beginning can have two or three credit cards, but only if they charge very little and pay off all the debt at the end of the month. But Ramsey is right, it is a temptation to charge too much.
  • I would like to see a chapter on how the local church can help in money management. Many churches have his video program and have helped thousands of people through horrendous debt.


Recommendations: I give this book 4 ½ stars out of 5.  God wants you to control your finances. Debt is an evil enemy.  Following Ramsey’s advice will lead to peace of heart for you and your family.


*Evangelical Book Publishers Association: top 50 Christian Bestsellers, September 2018.


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