Saturday, May 1, 2010

Book Review: The Money Answer Book by Dave Ramsey

Recently, I received the book The Money Answer Book to read and review. Now, like many, Dave Ramsey is not a stranger to me. My husband and I first turned to Dave for advice 6 years ago when I became a stay at home mom and we went from D.I.N.Ks (Double Income No Kids) to "good golly are we eating spaghetti again". It was Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover that led us, step by step, out of our financial pickle. I also became a listener of his national talk radio program and even worked up the nerve to call in when we became debt free.

When this book, The Money Answer Book, showed up in the mail my first thought was, "does the man really need to write a new book?". I know. It sounds cruel. It's not that I'm sick of Dave Ramsey. I love the guy. I wondered though, if Dave had anything new to write. Dave's principals on becoming debt free and building financial wealth are simple, straight forward, and grounded. Truly, if you've read Dave Ramsey there isn't much "new" in this book...and I'm good with that. In fact, I'm slightly relieved.

What Dave Ramsey does do in The Money Answer Book is repackage his plan for financial peace into an easy to read and slightly entertaining book. The book is organized into a question and answer format much like his talk radio show. This is what captured my peanut sized attention span. You can eat this book in small question per page. Or you can chew away at a chapter which organizes a number of questions around one financial topic. While you're entertained by the questions and *gasp* drama in the lives of strangers, your own financial questions are answered and you come away motivated to manage your money. It's a win win.

Throughout the book, The Money Answer Book also includes profound quotes and Biblical scripture grounding it's concepts and providing a bit of a thoughtful reading break. You also gain a few easy, stress-free, financial work pages to create your own money action plan. Very practical.

The book's opening chapter begins with a inspiring "No matter what I don't" list, which just endears the man more to me, and then goes on to explain, what Dave calls, The Basics. If you're at all familiar with Dave Ramsey, you'll recognize these as the baby steps:
1. $1,000 in an emergency fund
2. Pay off all debt(except the house) utilizing the "Debt Snowball"
3. 3 to 6 months expenses in savings for emergencies
4. Fully fund 15% into pre-tax retirement plans and ROTH IRA, if eligible.
5. College funding
6. Pay off home early
7. Build wealth! (Mutual funds and real estate)

Overall, I recommend the book to anyone who has, needs, wants, and is out of money. That's everyone right? Dave's advice is relevant for a person drowning in debt to a person swimming in cash. If you've never read or heard Dave Ramsey, this book is a gentle introduction that gives you a well rounded knowledge of Dave's program. It also wets your appetite to learn more and put your plans into action. If you're like me and you've already been "Ramsified" as I like to call it, and this book serves as an entertaining refresher course that will walk you back into your baby steps if you've strayed a bit.

I'll end with my favorite quote included in the book....

"If at first you don't succeed...try hard work." - William Feather

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Sandy said...

I must say, I totally HEART Dave Ramsey! Not arguing about money is totally a blessing to any marriage and family. And, when you're not a slave to the bank and the almighty mortgage/credit card payment, if FREES you to really spend your time and money on things God wants you to. I haven't read this book, but if its anything like the (countless) others, its good.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the great review here. Sounds like a really wonderful book... might have to take a look! :)

the deKorne family said...

we've read this book over and over... :) and passed it on, mostly to people who think we are wackos. great book!