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The Total Money Makeover

A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Written by: Dave Ramsey
Narrated by: Dave Ramsey
Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (384 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Okay, folks, do you want to turn those fat and flabby expenses into a well-toned budget? Do you want to transform your sad and skinny little bank account into a bulked-up cash machine? Then get with the program, people. There's one sure way to whip your finances into shape, and that's with The Total Money Makeover. It's the simplest, most straight-forward game plan for completely making over your money habits. And it's based on results, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.

Where Financial Peace gave you the solid saving and investing principles, this book puts those principles into practice. You'll be exercising your financial strength every day and quickly freeing yourself of worry, stress, and debt. And that's a beautiful feeling.

©2003 Dave Ramsey (P)2003 Thomas Nelson Publishers

What the critics say

"The strength of this book is that it is a straightforward motivational tool. He provides the brutally direct truth about the hard work it takes to become free of debt, and his directness is a great part of the book's charm." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Changed my life

First read book 3 years ago. Eversince i have paid off car and credit cards worth 60K ... After also emegency funds savings and investing i will be paying off my mortgage in 4 years.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great! funny! and brutally honest

I love dave. he is very brutally honest but not in an offensive way. makes total sense and easy to follow plan.

I'm excited to get started on my money makeover.

I've done it for years paying of debt. then life happens and end up back where I started

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Buy the BOOK!

I never have time for reading so I ended up buying this book on audio. The problem with this is that it does not come with a PDF of the extra pages. It is a REALLY GOOD LISTEN, and has fantastic advice! But I ended up buying the book as well so I could have the extra pages that you don't get when listening to this book.

May I suggest to the audio team to add a pdf to this download? Please?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great content but Ramsay is a TERRIBLE reader.

Ramsay yells in ALL CAPS at all times. What he has to say is worth listening to, but you have to suffer through being yelled at relentlessly. Wish he would hire a professional reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great teaching, highly recommended.

I wish I could have received these teachings 30 years ago. But I thank God I got them now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

This audio book Is a game changer

This is a great audio book and it is very real and motivating. it gives you a plan with a light at the end of the tunnel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good behavior modifications based on biblical prin

worth to buy it.. will never regret but will be thankful to God and Dave.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not a fan!

I bought the hard copy of this book years ago and I absolutely loved it. I read it several times and took notes and implemented a lot of the ideas and it has absolutely made a difference in my financial life - mind you I’m not rich.. but that’s on me and my lack of dedication to the ideas he teaches. But the fact that I currently have no debt outside of my mortgage and I have savings put away is because of this book. And now to the reason why I rated it one star.. I listened for about 30 minutes and I can’t stand the way he narrates the book. The second it started the audio quality was poor and I find he’s far to animated. One second he’s speaking quietly and next he’s yelling. One sentence is slow and the next is super fast. He places unusual pauses where they don’t belong. And the worst part is the snotty tone he brought out quite a few times within the short time that I listened. I’m super disappointed by THIS version of the book. It’s unfortunate because I love his message and there is so much value in what he teaches.... If you happen to buy the audio version and you feel the same as I do in my review, I strongly recommend you buy the hard copy or even the kindle and give it a second chance.

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lifestyle challenge

if you want to live a life that impacts others be sure to read. Hopefully I can implement the plan

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Simple Effective Plan

His arrogance rubs me the wrong way, but his plan is simple to follow and well thought out. I am very much looking forward to putting it into action.

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  • Alexandra
  • 2014-02-11

This guy makes sense

I have business degrees from Wharton (BS) and Stanford (MBA), but like most Americans from middle class backgrounds, I never got much training in personal finance and always felt bewildered by it. I recently listed to The Total Money Makeover for the third time and it clicked. The first two times, I was still in school and had no income, so felt powerless to act on its lessons. Now, with a steady income (and some monstrous student loans) the lessons are relevant, actionable, and empowering.

Before, I always felt at a loss when it came to budgeting. After re-listening to The Total Money Makeover, I got a second savings account to hold my emergency fund and long-term savings, making it easier to separate between current accounts and short-term savings. Now, I have an Excel spreadsheet with a separate column for each upcoming pay check. I know how much of each paycheck will get immediately transferred into long-term savings (e.g. for a wedding in the fall), how much will go to short-term savings (e.g. for next month's rent), and how much disposable income I have in my current checking account.

Furthermore, I have a better plan for paying down my debts. If I were to approach this according to the pure net present value financial principles taught in school, I would start with my big student loan (highest interest rate), then my smaller student loan, then my car loan (lowest interest rate). After listening to Ramsey, I'm going to do it in the opposite order. Although that will cost me some in NPV, it means I can pay off my car loan in a few months (freeing up $250 per month in cash flow), and can pay off my smaller student loan in a few years. My larger student loan is the size and duration of a mortgage, and I'll treat it like it's one. If I tried to pay it off first, I wouldn't see any impact on my cash flow for probably 14 years, making it discouraging to try to find extra dollars to put towards paying down debt. Trying this the Ramsey way, I already feel like I'm making progress and am motivated to do more.

Dave Ramsey is an inspiring speaker. Although his message may come across as simple, in my opinion it does a far better job taking into account human nature than any of the sophisticated financial and economic models I spent so much money learning. I can't recommend this book enough.

321 of 336 people found this review helpful

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  • Nurse Rob
  • 2012-07-15

Short and Easy Steps

Where does The Total Money Makeover rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would give a B-. Gets to the point, gives good metaphors and easy to follow.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Total Money Makeover?

Metaphors used to describe steps or missteps are very memorable and applicable to most people.

What about Dave Ramsey’s performance did you like?

Voice and diction were probably best compared to what I have listened. Would expect good performance from professional speaker. Have heard some "funny" start/stops or paragraph breaks on other books. Probably start of new session or after break. Did not hear in Ramsey's performance, however this book is shorter than most. 3+ hours

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No crying, definitely a few laughs. Mostly found myself quoting excerpts to others.

Any additional comments?

Religious overtones and bible quotes throughout book. However quotes in nature of "Saving" money and neither borrowing or lending; giving money OK. People describe me as Agnostic and this did not bother me. All in all good book, great performance. Enjoy

105 of 112 people found this review helpful

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  • BushidoBryan
  • Houston, TX
  • 2012-07-16

maybe the best self help book ever

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have. I am a financial advisor and every high school kid, anyone who wants to be out of debt, and anyone without 6 months savings should read this book. It teaches real money mangement.

What did you like best about this story?

The step by step process to financial stability.

What about Dave Ramsey’s performance did you like?

He is truly passionate about what he does and is a motivating leader. I do not always agree with him, but he is right when it comes to managing money.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

this is a must read and top ten book of all time for me.

38 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Leala
  • 2017-04-02

Information available online

Total Money Makeover doesn't give any information that isn't already available on Ramsey's website. it just adds anecdotes about people succeeding with the method.

37 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2012-04-23

Thank you

What made the experience of listening to The Total Money Makeover the most enjoyable?

I appreciate the insight offered in this book. The steps outlined are easy to understand. The scenarios offered were helpful.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 2005-03-25

Brash? Yes. Honest? Absolutely.

Some people have remarked that they don't like the tone of this book. If the author seems a bit "brash", it's only because he's attempting to highlight the level of insanity with which most people approach personal finance. Take a look around you. The guy you work with who just bought a new Hummer. Your sisters' friend who just moved into a $800,000 home. They must be doing great, right? WRONG.

The truth is, they're most likely broke. They're high-income, low-net-worth people who are teetering on the edge of complete financial ruin. Rich people, don't do these things!! Well, that is unless they're really really rich.

This book will change the way you think about money. When I see the guy in the new Mercedes now, I think, "Man, that guy has nothing in the bank". This book will make you proud of your old jalopy. After all, it's better to ACTUALLY BE RICH.

Most Americans WISH for financial security and DO everything they can to make sure it NEVER happens. I think this is a level of insanity that warrants a brash tone.

If your ready to get real about your finances, this is the only book you need to read.

79 of 96 people found this review helpful

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  • avoidthelloyd
  • Poteau, OK
  • 2011-12-30

Very Motivational...

Even if you might not adhere to Dave's plan exactly, the idea of slavery to debt and freedom from it are very motivational. I feel like the examples he uses are real life people and he doesn't use terms or language that is reserved for finance professionals. It really is a good, practical plan for getting out of debt via hard work and perseverance. Even though his plan is not the best "mathematically", the point of getting some quick wins by paying off the lowest balance without regard to interest rate is a legitimate point. Honestly, you can hear most of the content of this book in his daily podcasts. I do recommend this book to people.

39 of 48 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher Collett
  • 2009-05-23

Very good, wish it was available unabridged.

This book is for those who realize that there is no "magic" in getting on top of finances. It is very practical in its approach. I'm done with the books, theories, and thinking that suggest that there are quick fixes to wealth. God, and much less, "the Universe" will not save you from your financial woes. Only hard work, serious budgeting, and self-control will.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • riri
  • 2019-06-21

I couldn't get into it

I could not get into the book, I think it had a lot to do with his narration, very exaggerated. I lost interest pretty quickly, the narration plays such an important part.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Laphippa
  • 2012-03-20

Great Financial Motivator!

What made the experience of listening to The Total Money Makeover the most enjoyable?

I have always made sure to payoff credit cards monthly or stop spending to not build up debt. I picked up this book to see how I can advance myself financially. Reading this book I realized I was already doing many things right. The confirmation felt really good. The step-by-step instructions were helpful to ensure you don't loose focus. This book has greatly motivated me to take control of my 'financial fitness'. I plan to teach this to my nieces once they are old enough.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

The baby steps to achieving financial fitness.

Any additional comments?

The book is targeted towards people with high debt. I understood that some points had to be drastically emphasized in order to make them effective at all, but at times I found the emphasis a bit insulting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ayanful Fred Kwame
  • 2018-03-08

Pas complet

Pour des raisons que j’ignore ce livre est la version super allégée du livre u même titre.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • jina
  • 2018-05-26

Excellent

Excellent livre.Je recommande à toute personne qui souhaite sortir des problèmes financiers. vous ne regretterez pas votre achat.

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  • Jalil H.
  • 2018-05-07

Helps clearing/ understanding money problems

Helps clearing/ understanding money problems
You should give it a read .
Dave is good guy ! You can trust him (15 words done )

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  • dyanna7
  • 2017-09-15

Très bon livre

Narré par Dave lui même ! Excellent guide sur comment gérer une vie financière, quoi faire avec l'argent et comment vivre une vie financière en paix !