How to be Rich and Successful: 3 Steps to Follow

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is the Dave Ramsey motto? How does the motto set you up for success during the Total Money Makeover?

The Dave Ramsey motto is to live differently today so you can live differently in the future. You’re putting in the work on your financial health now to relax later.

Read on to better understand the Dave Ramsey motto.

Total Money Makeover: Dave Ramsey Motto

The Dave Ramsey motto in Total Money Makeover is: live differently from everyone else in the present so you can live differently from everyone else in the future. This means that to live a better life than most people, you need to do what most people won’t do—make sacrifices now in return for the payoff of financial security later.

The fix for your financial situation isn’t a bigger salary, a windfall, or a better job, but acknowledging that your poor financial decisions are your fault and changing your behavior. This book lays out what you need to do, but only you can do it.

Myths About Debt and Money

People who get into financial trouble do so in part because they believe a host of societal myths about debt and money that encourage taking on debt and spending foolishly in order to buy things they can’t afford.

One of the biggest myths is that debt is normal. Debt has become so ingrained in our culture that most people can’t imagine living without it. We don’t know how to get a car, buy a home, or go to college without debt, and most people can’t imagine living without a credit card. Further, financial institutions, stores, and other lenders aggressively push you to borrow because they benefit when you owe them money. 

You must reject the view that debt is normal before you can get control of your finances. The central tenet of the Total Money Makeover program is living debt-free and buying only what you can afford (what you can pay for immediately).

The Dave Ramsey Motto Behind Total Money

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Total Money Makeover summary:

  • The 7 steps to achieving financial stability (you'll love #7)
  • A fool-proof plan for becoming debt-free
  • How myths about debt and money are crippling your financial health

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

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