The author's own experience with debt and bankruptcy is the backdrop for the story of his journey from financial riches to loss of everything and then to survival when he found new success through his counseling efforts, which are framed by his religious beliefs. Ramsey determined that his personal experience with financial pain was an ideal foundation for a career in assisting consumers in handling debt. The reader learns that it takes considerable sacrifice, discipline, and patience to control money, and Ramsey contends that a huge percentage of Americans, caught in a web of instant gratification, need help in managing their finances. The core of the book reflects on 25 principles, which the author calls "peace puppies," great creatures that are eager to please and love their master but, without discipline, will become wild and mean. These puppies include avoiding the worship of money, giving money away to worthy causes, living substantially below one's income, and laying out written details of a cash-management plan. One caveat: the book concludes with a set of financial worksheets; however, they do provide an excellent introduction to disciplined planning.