Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

My Take on Dave Ramsey’s Book The Total Money Makeover

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MNSU chapter.

     For a while now I have been slightly obsessed with all things Dave Ramsey. About a year ago I started listening to his podcast on my daily walks at the beginning of quarantine. My sister also started her journey to being debt free with the help of Dave. She always raved about his books and the things he was teaching her and her husband about what to do to make their future more comfortable for them and their children. 


     This is when my interest in debt, savings, and all things money really sparked. I have always known that I wanted to be debt free or as close to debt free my whole life. I mean, who doesn’t? But since COVID has hit and my job as a server was cut to not many hours, I have really learned that the money that I earned needed to go somewhere useful and not be spent on unnecessary things. Now, I still treat myself and spend money on some ‘fun’ things but I definitely take my thought into how I am spending my money. For example, as of recently I had not had my own car yet. I put off buying one because I did not have the funds to completely purchase one with cash and did not want to pull out a loan. One thing that Dave talks about in his book is not purchase anything if you cannot pay for it in full. Now for me that is really not realistic. As a 21 year old college student, I personally cannot buy a $10,000 car and still have the funds to pay rent, utilities, buy food, and live with some extra cash or an emergency fund with the limited income I have throughout the year. 


     I do think that the Dave Ramsey approach is one that is abdaintable for an adult, but for me as a college student I am not sure if it is. I am already on a very strict budget because of the lack of income I have as a student. My full time job is a student and for me, I have not worked while being in college. I realize that that is a personal choice and I could probably fit in time to work, but I like to prioritize my studies since that is what I am at college to do. 


     So the lack of income throughout the year and my debt to income ratio makes it impossible for me to pay off the amount of debt that some people that were in his book did. Some couples would pay off 10’s of thousands of dollars in less than a year and I don’t make near anything close to what these couples are making a year. Hearing the stories from the couples is something that I really liked about the book. It showed that it is possible to pay off your debts in a timely manner so that you can live like no one else in the future. My sister is a prime example that you can use Dave Ramsey’s methods to paying off debt. She is a two income family and is about to have her fourth child but is still making it a priority for her and her husband to pay off their debt so they can save money for themselves and their children. 


     This book was a very easy read and has given me many tips to think about as I move into my 20’s. It has made me rethink if I really need to buy new clothes when I already have a closet that is overflowing, or if that is probably not the best choice. I try my best to now prioritize my needs over my wants and will take this book into my adult life with me. But again, I do not think that this is something that is realistic for someone like me that is college and not established yet in terms of money.


hi i am shannon! i am a senior at minnesota state university, mankato majoring in communication sciences and disorders. i am excited to have joined her campus in hopes of making new friends, memories, and join the beautiful community of women we have.