Monday, January 12, 2009

Book Review

I've decided from time to time I'll post a book review. I'm not trying to sell the book-remember, I make no money from dispensing advice in this blog. Since I'm not promoting a book one way or another, I would hope that you, the reader, would take the review as an honest form of advice.

First book review: Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover

I'll start with the bad news first. I've noticed, perusing around the internet, it's difficult to find any critisms of this book. There are plenty of positive reviews, with good reason, but there are no bad reviews, as far as I can tell. I consider this to be bad news because in my oppinion that would mean no one is actually giving a fair review of this book.

The thing that bothers me the most about the book is a facet of the debt snowball in which you work your ass off at any job you can to make as much money as you can to pay off your debt as quickly as you can. While it seems like a good idea in theory, when does that leave time for your spouse or children? If debt is a hot-button issue amongst families, which I know it is, wouldn't having one or both spouses working all the time at jobs they don't care about exasperate the issue? Admittedly, I've never done this step, because of the next critism of the book.

I never got gizelle intense about my debt. Altogether, I think my family is sitting pretty well as far as our debt is concerned. We have pretty good interest rates, and we don't owe that much. We're almost through paying the car, and we have a giant (consolidated) student loan we're not in a huge hurry to pay off. Dave would say I'm in denial over my debt. Maybe I am. But I also pay more than $100 over the minimum payments on our debt every month. I may be in denial, but I'm not stupid.

The book did, however, have its high points. Included were statistics I was not aware of, such as the average American's salary (in 2003) or how much a car dealership stands to profit if you buy a car with a loan versus buying a car with cash.

I also really liked the philosophy of being completely transparent with your spouse about money. Before reading the book, I didn't insist that my husband sit down with me and take a good look at the budget. He assumed I was doing ok and would let him know if something came up. We weren't the kind of couple in which one person did all the money stuff and hid it from the other person. He just didn't have much interest. I made him read the book, and he has a different perspective on the issue now. We still are the kind of couple in which one person does most of the money stuff, but not as much anymore.

In all, I would reccamend the book. Thumbs up- just read with a grain of salt.

What do you think of Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey?

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