Debt is an ugly thing that most people like to keep swept under the rug where it is nice and hidden from the neighbors. What many of us don’t realize is that the neighbors have debt too. In fact, the majority of Americans have some form of debt. It’s the norm of our consumerist society.
My husband and I have been in debt for years. It’s an embarrassing confession, but a truthful one. We each made irresponsible decisions when we were younger, we mismanaged money, and we got in over our heads. We have slowly been paying things off over the last several years, penny by penny, but sometimes it takes so long to make real progress that we get discouraged.
A friend of mine once told me about Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, but I had never actually picked it up to read for myself. I listened to him occasionally on the radio and I knew some basics (Debt Snowball, Emergency Fund, etc.), but I had always been curious to get a better understanding of his plan and how it works.
Now that I’ve read this book, I can see why so many people rave about it and the principles taught within its covers. It is common sense in a book jacket, given in a straight forward, no holds barred way. Dave Ramsey will step on your toes, but if you’ve made poor financial decisions, that may be just what you need in order to convince you to get yourself in gear and pull yourself out of debt!
The book first dispels many common money myths such as debt is a necessary part of adult life or a tool for building credit. Then it moves into explaining many money myths as well (retirement will be worked out, even if you aren’t saving now). Finally Dave moves into explaining in detail the seven Baby Steps he recommends taking to rid yourself of debt and provide yourself with a debt free future.
The Baby Steps are:
- Save $1000 fast
- The Debt Snowball
- Finish the Emergency Fund
- Maximize Retirement Investing
- College Funding
- Pay Off the Home Mortgage
- Build Wealth like Crazy