How to Make Total Money Makeover

Who it’s for: Anyone who has debt and is looking for both the motivation and the system they need to get it paid off.

Readability: HIGH. Ramsey’s writing style, the book’s clear objectives and organization, larger font size and the success stories it contains make it an easy read, despite clocking in at 200 pages.

What I liked about it: Ramsey’s TTMM offers a no-nonsense approach for household money management. His instructions are clear, as is the rationale for his recommendations. Dave takes the reader through his plan, baby step by baby step, from denial all the way to financial security, debunking money myths along the way. I also like that the advice he covers in this book is supported by a daily radio show that takes caller questions and shares success stories from families who have successfully become debt-free as a result of his program.

What I didn’t like about it: The book is preachy in all senses of the word* (though he does offer a warning about that fact right up front) and includes tenets that few would appreciate, such as renouncing the use of credit cards, dismissing the value of a credit score and a strong focus on home ownership. I also dislike the lack of information about fee-only advisors and the strong focus on mutual funds vs. lower cost options, not to mention the stated belief that a steady 12% return is a realistic return for most investors, or even as a total market return, making it possible to live off 8% of the total investment base annually!