How Dave Ramsey Helped Me Pay Off My Debt

Dave Ramsey's Total Money MakeoverLate last December I came across a post on Bargaineering about Dave Ramsey’s book, “The Total Money Makeover.” Prior to this, I had never heard of Dave or his somewhat controversial teachings (e.g., he recommends folks pay off their debts from smallest to largest, regardless of interest rates, he quotes Bible verses – though mostly to share common sense financial wisdom, etc.).

Somewhat intrigued, I picked up a copy of the book and read it in about 24 hours. The writing style was engaging and the book really spoke to me. It caused me to sit down and take a long, hard look at where I was financially, a decade plus out of college… The picture wasn’t pretty; a good retirement account, almost no savings, credit card debt, a car loan that was underwater, and incredibly poor spending habits. Today, 11 months later, I am debt free (other than the house) and feel fantastic. If I can change my ways and eliminate more than $25k in debt in less than a year…anyone can.

So how did I do it?

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Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover Review

Dave Ramsey's Total Money MakeoverDave Ramsey is a polarizing figure. Some people love him and swear by his advice and others think he’s a hack. Which one is he? Unfortunately that’s a question only you can answer but hopefully I will provide you with enough information about his flagship book to make your own decision.

The problem with personal finance is that there are multiple solutions to any one problem. If you think it’s simply about math, you’re wrong. Someone in credit card debt understands that when you use your credit card and don’t pay your entire bill, you’ll go into debt. They aren’t stupid, they know how interest works, but there is a non-math reason why they’re in debt.

If you had to boil down the book into a single sentence, then I’d say that Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover is a book that gives you a good framework to get yourself out of debt and back on solid financial footing.

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