I have recently finished reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I have been reading various financial blogs for a while now and this book is mentioned over and over again so I thought it was about time I picked it up.
The more of this book I read the more I realised how many of these financial based posts I have been reading have some basis from this book. There are also some great quotes and a lot of myth busting about peoples approaches to finances.
There are a fair few references to the bible but it’s not an overriding factor of the book so don’t let that put you off. The book is also American so there are some references that don’t apply over here in the UK but the basic ideas are sound.
I’m not going to go into great detail about the processes laid out in the book but here’s a few quotes and my overall thoughts.
To get a taste of the book here are a few quotes:
I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.
I love this one it makes me think of dwarves being forced into work to pay off their credit cards… Luckily we’re debt free so I had the option to leave my 9–5 job behind.
It is human nature to want it and want it now; it is also a sign of immaturity. Being willing to delay pleasure for a greater result is a sign of maturity.
90% of people in our culture buy things they can’t afford.
These two quotes show how much of an issue debt is nowadays. People insist on having things that should really be out of their reach…
I can relate to this as I always used to feel that I needed a new computer, game or some other gadget. Over the years I began to realise that not all gadgets were being used so now I tend to be a bit more patient before purchasing and make sure that it is really something that will benefit me.
Luckily over time computers have reached a stage where the regular improvements in technology do not make that much difference anyway, from a user’s point of view. It used to be that every couple of years tasks could be done in half the time, which really made a difference. Recently the extra speed and power may shave fractions of a second off certain tasks but that’s not worth splashing the cash over…
And lastly here is his advice on this subject:
Don’t even consider keeping up with the Joneses. They’re broke!
To help get you in the right frame of mind the start of the book tries to explain a lot of myths around finance. Here’s one that made me stop and think for a while:
Myth: If I loan money to friends or relatives, I am helping them.
Truth: If I loan money to a friend or relative, the relationship will be strained or destroyed.
This is another book with an American bias and some of the details don’t always apply over here in the UK. The basics are very clear though and the main focus of the book is a series of steps you need to follow to get your finances sorted, The 7 baby steps.
There are a lot of real life stories scattered throughout the book from people that have followed these principles with great success. I can see that these could be inspiring if you are in a dark place with your finances.
Probably due to the financial blog posts I had been reading Shirley & I have already got a good start on the steps but the added clarity should help us going forward.
I really enjoyed reading The Total Money Makeover and I feel energised about our finances because of it. The plan now is to put everything into saving towards a new house…