Monday, October 6, 2008

Book Review: The Total Money Makeover

If there is one thing I avoid it is paying for something I can get for free--especially when it comes to advice. My theory is that the only person that gains from self-help books is usually the author. But I've been curious about all the money management books out on the market, and this is one genre that I'd rather read the latest edition than the library copy. So I recently picked up The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

First, I'll admit my ignorance. I don't watch much TV, so I had never heard of him. I picked the book because it was on the New York Times best seller list. But my ignorance also allowed me to read the book without any prejudgement.

So what's my humble opinion?

The Total Money Makeover is a great book filled with basic good sense. The writing style is easy and you can fly through this book if you just want to read it. But it's not meant to just be read. It's full of quizzes and scenarios that attempt to get you thinking about your own situation. It also includes worksheets to encourage you to start doing the work on your money makeover.

I thought the quizzes were unnecessary, but they were designed to give you some background/history/statistics on the particular topic. After reading a few through I began skipping them. They seemed to take away from the meat of the book, but that's just me.

I like the real life scenarios. I always enjoy these examples of how people whether real or created handle their money. Most of the examples in this book were different from other books I read and were believable, so I'd guess that they were actual examples.

My favorite part of the book was getting to the baby steps where you actually have to work through creating a budget, saving $1,000, tackling debt and saving money. The worksheets are thorough and will take you beyond an ordinary budget. Ramsey's Debt Snowball method of tackling debt varies from my own personal method, but it's a good one. I especially like the example of the woman who posted her debt snowball chart on the fridge and celebrated crossing items off the list--I think I'll do the same.

You can pick up the paperback version on Amazon for around $12. But you can also read Ramsey's makeover method on his website. The site also includes versions of the worksheets, though it appears they may not be as thorough. Ramsey also has The Total Money Makeover Workbook which I did not look at since the first book has so many worksheets included.

The bottom line on this book is it that it's an easy read that will motivate you into action. Ramsey has a straight forward style that is never condescending. It may be worth a purchase, but checking out the website first will give you the information you need to start working on your own makeover.

No comments:

Post a Comment