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Monday, April 11, 2011

Dave Ramsey and The Total Money Makeover

I've visited a lot of different photographer's blogs and have connected with quite a few of the photographers in my area. While doing this, the name Dave Ramsey kept coming up - people kept telling me about his Total Money Makeover and how they were avid followers of his teachings. I was intrigued.

Like I mentioned before, I am a huge fan of self help books. I have a stack of them dating back to junior high - maybe it's because my mom is a guidance counselor. I used to read more self-help life books, but lately I've been interested in books about finance, investments, and about how to plan for retirement. I requested Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover" from the public library and last week, it was my turn to get to check it out.

I finished this book in 2 days.

This book has taken the nation by storm. It has fired up and triggered tens of thousands of families around the country to dare to get rid of their debt. To, as Dave's slogan says, "to live like no one else so that later, you can live like no one else." The book has a ton of testimonials in it, of people who have taken on Dave's challenge and radically changed their lives. These are people who have decided they'd had enough and wanted their life to be different. They made it happen. On a more local level, these people that I first heard about Dave from, they are big time encouragers and believers about Dave's teachings. After reading this book cover to cover, I am a believer too.

Because I was raised in a family that dealt very responsibly and well with money, I have grown up with a stable and balanced fiscal relationship. I feel very much blessed that Matt was raised in a home with similar values, because we don't fight about money. Our views are very much lined up and has made the finances in our marriage a place of partnership, instead of arguments. My family talked about money openly when I was growing up. Not necessarily how much my parent's made, but more like the importance of saving, finding a balance between being frugal and having fun in life, and about the power of compounding interest in saving for retirement. It made money not a topic of stress or a negative conversation, but of something that was interesting, exciting and powerful. It made me want to learn more.

Matt and I have sacrificed a lot in our 25 years of life and have been rewarded for our hard work. From college scholarships [ohhh how I don't miss those applications and essays!] and Matt's time in the military, to living apart for the first 15 months of our marriage, and dealing with 2 deployments, we have made sacrifices that have helped us knock out the first few steps of Dave's Total Money Makeover. Because of the teachings of our parents, we can sort of skip ahead a bit. We are continuing along the path of the 7 Baby Steps, and are confident in the end result.

If anyone is struggling with debt and feel like there's no way they can get free, you need to read this book. Check it out at the local library. You can check it out and then download the worksheets from Dave's website. If you want to be proactive with your financial future and KNOW that you will be able to retire when you want to, you have to read this book. If you want to work toward living a life Debt-Free, INCLUDING YOUR HOUSE!, you need to read this book. I'm not kidding... it sounds too good to be true. Dave tells you - it's NOT easy, but it is not complicated either. If you are willing to live like no one else now, and to make sacrifices in order to get to where you want to be, you will be able to live like no one else later. The concepts are quite easy. It's actually putting them into practice that takes discipline and is where the challenge lies. Stop keeping up with the Jonses. Because as Dave says, "They're Broke!"

We're ready for our Total Money Makeover! With gazelle-intensity, away we go!

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