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Mortgages, credit card balances, student loans, car loans, and home improvement loans have become a way of life for the majority of us. And debt is putting not only our present at risk as we live paycheck to paycheck, but our futures in jeopardy as shockingly few of us have enough put away for retirement. Personal financial expert Mary Hunt wants readers to embrace the radical but simple truth that they don't need more credit or more stuffthat they can live their lives debt-free.
In her classic book Debt-Proof Living, Mary reveals the secrets to getting out of debt and staying out of debt for the rest of your life. At no time in history has this liberating approach to a no-debt lifestyle been more desperately needed. Those who have been struggling to pay the bills or feel like they just can't make their finances work without taking on debt need this book. It can change their lives.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||8.40(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Mary Hunt is an award-winning and bestselling author, a syndicated columnist, and a sought-after motivational speaker who helps men and women battle the epidemic of consumer debt. She is founder and publisher of the interactive website Debt-Proof Living, which features financial tools, resources, and information for her online members. Her books have sold more than a million copies, and her daily newspaper column, Everyday Cheapskate, is nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of readers. Hunt speaks widely on personal finance and has appeared on shows such as NBC's TODAY and Dr. Phil. She and her husband live in California. Learn more at www.debtproofliving.com.
Table of Contents
1 Debt-Proof Living 17
What It Means, What to Expect
2 Two Kinds of Debt 35
Intelligent Borrowing, Toxic Debt
3 Caught in the Debt Trap 47
Red Flags and Warning Signs
4 A Plan to Debt-Proof Your Life 57
The Only Plan You Will Ever Need
5 Where Does All the Money Go? 69
Tracking Is the Way to Find Out
6 Step Away from the Edge 83
The Contingency Fund
7 Break Out of the Debt Trap 95
The Rapid Debt-Repayment Plan
8 Expect the Unexpected 115
The Freedom Account
9 Create Your Spending Plan 139
It's Not a Budget
10 Debt-Proof Your Attitude 155
Your Most Powerful Tool
11 You Deserve Some Credit 171
Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Credit Repair, and Credit Counseling
12 You Are Worth What You Saved 181
Discover Your Net Worth
13 The Proper Handling of Hazardous Materials 189
Credit Cards, Charge Cards, and Debit Cards
14 Don't Jump from the Frying Pan into the Fire 217
15 A Home of Your Own 225
Mortgages and Home Equity Loans
16 The Overlooked Safety Net 243
17 Student Loans, Student Debt 251
Paying for a College Education
18 Building Wealth on an Ordinary Income 273
Basics of Responsible Investing
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In this life-changing book, Mary Hunt shows you how to live a rich, fulfilling life without any consumer debt. By applying her simple principles and specific methods, you will learn how to effectively manage and maximize the money you have. No more guessing, wondering, or worrying. Just peace and a more abundant life. What have you got to lose? After reading that, I jumped at reading this book. What did I have to lose? Nothing, except debt, maybe. However, since I just finished reading the book, I can’t say I am out of debt already, but I took some of Mary’s eye-opening techniques and have started using them in a day to day spending plan. I haven’t tried all of her ideas. I think with many of these financial books, you take from them what is pertinent to you and leave the rest behind. But, you know what? She’s okay with that. In fact, she says don’t worry about starting this perfectly. Just get started. As long as you are managing your money according to the plan, you will begin to move toward success. It may feel confining at first, which I’ll admit it has, but each day gets better. Mary’s most important point in the book: “Money is not for spending. It is for managing first and then spending.” That was one of the many eye-openers for me. I think our society has trained us to see this the other way around. I myself have been a spend first, manage later kind of gal. So, I thank Mary Hunt for straightening my thinking out. I look forward to living debt-free. A thank you goes to the publisher for providing a copy of the book for my honest opinion.
SUMMARY:With personal experience, Mary Hunt explains, encourages and navigates how to get out of debt and continue to live without it. Everyone has payments these days (credit cards, loans, bills, etc) but not everyone knows how to manage them nor do without them each month. Mary Hunt, founder of Debt-Free Living, shares how to get out of debt, why to get out of debt and how to stay out of debt… A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS: Through definitions of the different types of debt, help tackling the reasons and habits of debt, explanations of the consequences associated with debt, and the enjoyment of being financially debt-free, Mary Hunt shares items which make logical sense yet are sometimes so hard to achieve. I truly appreciated the fact that the author has been there, drowning in debt but was able to come clean and make a new financial start for herself. Through tried and true practices, sensible and solid applications, and encouraging and empathetic thoughts, reading this book was like having my own personal financial adviser. RATING: 5 (out of 5) pennies *I received a complimentary copy of Debt-Free Living from Revell Publishing for my honest review*
There are so many books on financial help. This book is by far the most helpful one I have ever read. Not another budget book. This author cuts to the heart of the issues and offers clear and valuable insights and advice.
I first read Debt-Proof Living back in 1999 when it was originally published. I gained tools to not only manage our debt but ultimately it helped our family get completely out of debt. So why would I go back and read a book that I had already read? The simple answer is that our economic times have changed and with it our personal finances. I desperately needed a refresher course on all things related to debt-free living. I was pleasantly surprised by this newly updated version of the original book. Mary didn't just rearrange things and slap on a new cover. She has extensively revised this book to take in the current economic situation in America and presented her time tested strategies in light of these new situations we find ourselves dealing with. Reading the book through this time was a great reminder about things that we had let slip. There were also many areas that didn't really catch my attention the first time because they didn't pertain to our situation. But like many Americans we have entered into a whole new era and find ourselves dealing with things that we have never dealt with before. If you have read this book before, I would encourage you to give it another look. I can almost guarantee that there will be things that still leap off of the page for you. If you have never had the pleasure of reading this book I recommend that you give it a try. It is my opinion that even the most financially sound family will still gain valuable insights into debt-proofing your lives from Mary's vast wealth of knowledge on the subject. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Mary Hunt in her new book, “Debt-Proof Living” published by Revell shows us How to Get Out of Debt & Stay That Way. From the back cover: Mortgages, credit card balances, student loans, car loans, and home improvement loans have become a way of life for the majority of us. And debt is putting not only our present at risk as we live paycheck to paycheck, but our futures in jeopardy as shockingly few of us have enough put away for retirement. Personal financial expert Mary Hunt wants readers to embrace the radical but simple truth that they don’t need more credit or more stuff–that they can live their lives debt-free. In her classic book Debt-Proof Living, Mary reveals the secrets to getting out of debt and staying out of debt for the rest of your life. At no time in history has this liberating approach to a no-debt lifestyle been more desperately needed. Those who have been struggling to pay the bills or feel like they just can’t make their finances work without taking on debt need this book. It can change their lives. Quite a few of us rent our homes from the bank and call the monthly payment a mortgage. College students graduate with ten years of paying back student loans. The credit card companies are constantly dreaming up new ways of enticing us to get and use their cards. It does seem that massive debt is a way of life and forces us to live paycheck to paycheck. Well according to Mary Hunt it only seems that way. There is a way to get out of debt and then stay debt free forever. In eighteen chapters Ms. Hunt looks at income, spending and debt and puts each element in its proper place. Then there is the additional element of tithing our ten percent to The Lord. That is a non-negotiable. Ms. Hunt outlines the plans that we need to implement such as pay off debt, save an emergency fund as well as pay cash and not charge.”Debt-Proof Living” is a must have book. You might want to hold it in a special place on your shelf you might be referring to it again and again. This is also a great book to give as gifts to family and friends. They will think of you every time they put it to use. I recommend it highly. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
While the author admits that this book is actually the 3rd Edition, the world of finance, money, debt and the problems associated with all of the above have so drastically changed that one might well say author Mary Hunt has written the same book – three times over! And I say, “God bless her, for it!” Because the problem of debt has grown to be an enemy of enormous size, and its chief weapons are depression, distress, and despair. Let’s face it – debt is BIG BUSINESS these days. For every book written trying to show the way out of the wilderness, there are ten more books written, ten more voices clamoring that you really DO need that new item, and it really IS ok to whip out that credit card and get it NOW! Mary Hunt is not afraid to stand in the shadow of the giant, and sling her stones of wisdom and practical advice in order to bring him to the ground. And while the book IS somewhat intimidating in terms of size (311 pages) author Mary Hunt brings a readable style honed by years of teaching her methods, and is able to explain and illustrate complexities in such a way that you really DO get it. Mary Hunt is not idealistic when it comes to this subject. She recognizes that she is never going to single-handedly reduce the $851 BILLION United States credit card debt, and the $1 TRILLION dollar student loan debt to a zero amount. However, in her own words, “What matters are individual lives. I measure effectiveness and progress by the mail I receive from people whose lives have been forever changed because they learned how to manage their money by following the debt-proof living principles you will find in this book.” Who knows? You could be her next success story! 5 stars for a book that is not afraid to take on the giants!
This book is a concrete plan with a cheerleader and coach. After reading the book I realized that tracking spending is not something that most people do. I didn't realize that just knowing where your money goes is one of the biggest things you can do to stay out of debt. She also had some surprising tips for staying out of debt including making giving and saving priorities, even before you are out of debt. She recommends living off 80% of your income and using 10% towards savings and 10% for giving away. To some that might seem crazy to give money away if you owe it to others but she said that giving money to a charitable cause helps you to get a better perspective on your money and not just to use it all up. She says that saving 10% of your income is necessary even before you are out of debt to insure against unforeseen future expenses instead of just relying on credit cards or loans. This book does give a concrete plan for getting out of debt but also a whole new way to look at finances. Since the only debt we carry is our mortgage, I didn't get as much out of it as I'd hoped. Some of the advice she gave was counter to what I do (like using credit cards to earn points but paying the balance off each month-she says that using those cards will encourage you to spend more than you make), but for those who have been caught in the consumer credit trap that's probably sound advice. Overall I thought it was a good book for someone who needs the steps to help get and stay out of debt. The new version also has updated information and she reverses her suggestions on some issues because of the change in times.
I absolutely loved this book. Mary Hunt begins her book by differentiating between two types of debt. She calls the first type, the “toxic debt” of unpaid credit cards and the second she names “intelligent borrowing”, which includes secured debt such as a mortgage that is back by a collateral. Then she moves into how to eliminate the debt trap, creating a spending plan, creating a contingency fund (the money you put aside to pay for the unexpected, irregular and intermittent expenses such as a new roof) and creating a freedom fund (money set aside for ordinary, predictable, irregular and necessary expenses such as Christmas gifts, car insurance and vacations.) And she concludes by addressing disability insurance, student loans and building wealth. The book was laid out in a logical and easy to understand format. There was a wealth of common sense information and practical application. She doesn’t claim to know everything but gives the reader a strong foundation to becoming debt free and maintaining that life style. These principles are applicable to anyone regardless of income. I thought the book would be perfect for young people on the brink of starting their careers, encouraging everyone to live within their income, while also saving for their future. I actually liked the book so much I bought a copy to give to each of my children, both of whom are starting careers. But I would also recommend it to anyone living on the edge or beyond his or her means and with outstanding toxic debt. The author has a website with additional helpful information: http://www.debtproofliving.com I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books in exchange for an honest review.
Mortgages, credit card balances, student loans, car loans, and home improvement loans have become a way of life for the majority of us. And debt is putting not only our present at risk as we live paycheck to paycheck, but our futures in jeopardy as shockingly few of us have enough put away for retirement. Personal financial expert Mary Hunt wants readers to embrace the radical but simple truth that they don't need more credit or more stuff--that they can live their lives debt-free. In her classic book DEBT-PROOF LIVING, Mary reveals the secrets to getting out of debt and staying out of debt for the rest of your life. At no time in history has this liberating approach to a no-debt lifestyle been more desperately needed. Those who have been struggling to pay the bills or feel like they just can't make their finances work without taking on debt need this book. It can change their lives. Previously published in 1999, DEBT-PROOF LIVING is a classic that all singles and couples need to read in today’s debt-ridden economy. Ms. Hunt is a master at getting out of debt as she managed to pay off her out-standing debt and move on to a much better way of life. Most of the money-saving tips in this book are really common sense to anyone with any financial knowledge at all. There is nothing new about what the author says and most of her suggestions fall into the basic financial planning category. Most of the same information was also covered by Larry Burkett and the current financial guru, Dave Ramsey in his Financial Peace courses that are so popular right now. Summary: Good advice. Common sense. Heard it all before. But if you are in debt and are serious about climbing out, DEBT-PROOF LIVING or any of the above mentioned author’s books will help. Spend less than you make is the key advice.