The Mrs. from One Fabulous Mom!
You are my fabulous winner of my Dave Giveaway! The signed copy of Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover will be on its way to your doorstep along with a free 3-month subscription to his online resources at http://www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com/! Thanks to all of you who entered - I really loved reading about what all you'd do if you were debt free.
I wish I had a copy for all of you! I mean this book should be shelved in the This-Will-Change-Your-Life section at Barnes & Noble. I hope you will go out and grab it and give it a go. Now y'all have heard me rave about Dave over and over again and I'm sure you're over it. You have to understand that when something changes your life so much for the better, you want to tell everyone. You want everyone to know the joy, freedom, and peace you now know. You want to tell the world. We get this a lot from friends: "Well, that's great for you guys, but it's just not for us." Ugh, if they only knew. So enough from me... take a quick read of this review I found on Amazon for Dave's book. I couldn't say it any better...
I have to admit, I thought Dave Ramsey was below my level. I thought I wouldn't get much of anything out of this campy book, that I haven't already heard i.e.: always buy a used car, invest in your 401k, pay you credit card in full every month, ect, ect. If I had read this book and wrote a review 3 years ago, I probably would have even panned it for being "to simple" or used MBA jargon and some slick equations I learned from college to explain how returns from investment can outpace debt, so make the minimum on your house payment, take the tax write off, embrace a value investment strategy in secular growth stocks that provide a high dividend yield to offset the payments, debt is a tool, use your cash flow to build credit... Blah, blah. Just trying to prove I am more sophisticated than the audience to which books like this are written for.
I read this book, and I feel like a total tool.
It's not that I have debt problems. I don't. I have a nearly paid off loan for a 2007 ford escape I bought at CarMax and a mortgage for a small house in Texas with a good rate that I could potentially pay off in less than 2 years, or today just by selling one of my two profitable rental properties (also mortgaged) that have held their value over the recession. I even have a solid job, which pays very well and a couple of nice big investment portfolios.
My problem is that I am tired of playing the game. It's never been that case that I buy things I can't afford to impress people I don't like... It's that I go out, work my a$$ off and budget and invest accordingly, to pay a substantial amount of interest to financial institutions I don't like. After watching things unfold over the last few years, and my experience with the banks, these banks that suck up my money and make poor investments with it, I can't wait to be completely debt free. Dave made me realize that I, like many others, had a culturally accepted notion that debt is part of life. It's not. He also made me realize how much of my hard earned money I am giving away towards items I thought were "investments", that only continue to keep me in financial servitude and stress me out. His plan is solid regardless if people think his one-sized approach is too simplistic (my own campy Ramseyism: There's only one right way to do things, and hundreds of wrong ways).
In fact I would say anyone who writes a bad review is either living in denial, doesn't have enough experience (possibly an aspiring B-school student or alum), or is trying to prove their genius in the same sort of way the financial institutions did right before the taxpayers had to bail them out... This book is full of truth, and I recommend it to EVERYONE. I did not expect to gain much of anything by reading it, but it's completely changed my perception on how much better off my life could be, and how much easier it would be to build wealth, if I didn't have any financial obligations holding me back.
by "Previously Ignorant"
(gave the book 5 out of 5 stars, duh)