Can I put a little disclaimer out with this one? I think it needs to be known. My husband has been asking me to read this for months, literal months. But because I am notoriously stubborn, and because I continued to come up with my own reasons for not wanting to read it, my continual answer was “no”, “no thank you”, “we can do everything that book says but I am not interested in reading it”. And then I gave myself an incentive in the form of Hagen-Daaz Caramel Cone ice cream if I could finish it by the end of August, and ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you about Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover while enjoying my cool ice cream. [and yet here I am in October finally sharing this with you, where did September go???]
My initial qualm with this book was the dramatic writing I felt was associated with it, but after I got to reading it I decided you know what, some of us probably need a few dramatic statistics in the margins to remind us about the foolish decisions we make with our money as a society. While I was enjoying my victory ice cream Reese so kindly asked me if I had learned anything, and you know what, I’m happy to say I have. I’d recommend reading Total Money Makeover for three reasons:
1. If you are a twenty something (or really age) who has any student loan debt (or really any kind of debt) this book kicks you in the butt, and all those sassy banks and lenders in the butt, and helps you see you can pay off all those loans in LESS THAN the 30 year period they lead you to believe. And all the real life testimonies of this make me want to do high kicks because when you are “debt snowballing” and being “gazelle intense” and running a debt pay-off marathon, you need some success stories and high-fives along the way because, slaying monsters and dealing with banks is a major pain in the behind but, IT CAN BE DONE!
2. Retirement accounts baffle me, absolutely leave me dumbfounded because I just don’t understand. And while if you sat me down and made me explain to you 401ks and IRAs and blah blah blah, I couldn’t really tell you much… yet. But I do believe that some day, I will understand all these things, but you just got to start somewhere. And I’ve started, and its staring to make sense.
3. While I didn’t think, and still don’t think, Reese and I are handling our money poorly, this book helped us create financial goals, dream big dreams and helped us understand how to know where our money is going. Because I don’t want to be found scratching my head at the end of the month wondering where it all went, when I could sit here and tell it where to go.
Essentially, I think it is a good read, its easy to get through, easy to understand, and helps you break cultural norms like credit cards for emergency funds. Because NO, I will not believe that lie anymore. And neither should you, and our new BFF Dave will tell you more about why. And honestly, it works, it may be cray and he may be a bit dramatic, but the people who stick with it even when its hard have success. Just read it, and know that there is no shame in creating an ice cream incentive to get you through it.
P.S. We’re in the thick of paying off student loans, and I’m excited to share the success story one day, and Reese would like to do our “we’re debt free” scream someday, so if you’re there too know you are not alone and we are all slaying dragons together and maybe we can all travel to Nashville and scream together…. if you haven’t listened to Dave’s podcast and you have a long commute my husband would recommend it. Okay, okay, OVER AND OUT HOMIES.