Listen to the Money Talk: a book review

My church just offered David Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course (for the second time). My work schedule didn’t allow me to participate, but I have been curious about what insights Ramsey has and why people have found his materials so helpful. Church friends and family members have suggested my wife and I take his course (because of our mountain of student loans). So I was excited  to review Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition

Ramsey offers a plan for becoming debt-free, financially secure. This enables you to use your financial resources for the kingdom.  His ‘total money makeover’ counters several myths about debts and making money and suggests  ‘baby steps’ to bring your finances into order. These baby steps include:

  1. creating an $1000 emergency fund
  2. making a dept-snowball by paying off your debts lowest to highest.
  3. finishing your emergency fund (increasing it from $1000-$25,000)
  4. maximizing retirement investment
  5. putting aside money for the kid’s college fund
  6. paying off the mortgage
  7. building wealth like crazy!

Each of these steps are filled out by Ramsey’s practical insights. He is someone who has made a lot of money, and spent beyond his means and has learned to be a better steward of his resources as a resuilt. Sometimes his approach dovetails with popular approaches to financial planning. For example, he says what just about every smart money guy says about saving for retirement (do it, especially while you are young). In other places, Ramsey’s views stand in opposition to the prevailing wisdom: He does not advocate buying on credit at all, borrowing or going in to debt for any reason, he does not not believe it is good to have a mortgage for tax breaks or to keep low interest student debt, He does not advocate using credit (at all). Yet his approach has helped thousands overcome bad habits, grow wealth, and become financially secure.  The book is full of testimonials of families that Ramsey has helped get out of debt..

I appreciate Ramsey’s approach, especially because I feel financially strapped with major student debt. Ramsey gives practical, actionable steps which I am making plans to implement more fully in my life.  I give this book four stars and recommend to anyone struggling with their finances (or who wish to manage their money better). This book has inspired me to be more mindful about spending, saving and budgeting.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of this book through Book Sneeze. I was not asked to write a favorable review, just an honest one.


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