Are you debt-free? I know many of you just laughed at your computer.

The economy is not in good shape. We have been hearing this time and time again over the past few years, and recent months have been no exception. This is one of the many reasons we chose Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover for our book suggestion this week. Many of our team members have read this book, and it has changed many of our financial outlooks.

Debt is part of American culture. But it does not have to be part of your American culture. According to CNN Money, the average American has $10,700 in credit card debt. This statistic is likely one of many that would make Dave Ramsey’s blood pressure go up.

Total Money Makeover is based on one basic principle: “To live like no one else, you have to live like no one else.” Translation: Getting to a debt-free life is not going to be easy. In fact, getting there is going to be really, really hard. It requires sacrifice, hard work, and determination. Fact of the matter is that this penny-pinching living is not a way (most) Americans are willing to live. But living in a penny-pinching state will allow you to master money, and one day live like no one else can. No payments to make or worries about not being able to make the car payment because of a layoff.

While this path is not easy, I encourage each of you to read the book. There are many important principles that will help you financially and many stories of success that will encourage you.