What it takes to be financially fit: baby steps

I finished Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover this weekend. In the book, he demonstrates the simple (but not so easy) Total Money Makeover (TMM) plan of getting out of debt and becoming financially fit by using baby steps. It's an inspiring read, except most of the time I felt like I was reading a not-so-subtle ad pitch for his other books, audio cds, etc. It had the feel of the type of ad in the back of a magazine that screams lines like "Find the cure for exhaustion on page 45! Take years off your life by doing this tiny step on page 98!" I didn't actually get to the first financial baby step until page 95 of the 223 page book. At the beginning of the book he's even written a section as if the reader is standing in a bookstore wavering on whether to spend money this book.Use filler copy much? My time is valuable. Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

I admit that I've never listened to his radio show, so perhaps this book is geared toward his avid followers and I just happened to have picked it up from my local library on a family member's recommendation, hence the emotional disconnect. Though anyone can and should follow this very valid advice he offers, I don't feel that I fit his target demographic (and no, a target demographic cannot be everyone). I get the impression that while he believes he's writing to everyone, he's really targeting married couples with kids who can afford the luxury of a stay-at-home spouse and who have somehow managed to get themselves tens of thousands of dollars of negative debt. Basically, people who now live like he used to live. That's not me. This probably puts me ahead of the game in some ways, but that's not my point here. My point is that I didn't relate to most of the anecdotes in the book, though he does have solid financial advice.

Overall I liked it, and I will focus on a couple of baby steps in 2010: save up a 3-6 month emergency fund and put 15% of my income toward retirement. I'd recommend it to anyone who's interested in learning about the TMM plan, but if there were a condensed version of the actual TMM steps without all the testimonials and shameless self/cross promotion then I would recommend that version a whole lot more.

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About Madeline

a digital media pro w/ lots to learn. just the way i like it. i read, write, and do things to make my inner kid proud. host of "a mad vox" podcast. View all posts by Madeline

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