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Matt Bell's Money Strategies for Tough Times: Ditch the Debt, Get Past the Crisis, Find Some Breathing Space, Position Yourself for Lasting Success Paperback – April 15, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The anxiety, the helplessness, the frustration of the big financial pinch. Matt Bell's Money Strategies for Tough Times can help you successfully navigate challenging times and get to a better place with your personal finances. In this timely, helpful book, you'll find lots of practical advice, including how to:

• Get out of consumer debt—for good
• Free up hundreds of dollars each month through smarter spending
• Survive unemployment
• Deal with debt collectors and prevent foreclosure
• Choose the best options to pay off medical, education, tax, and other debts
• Understand the pros and cons of tapping home equity or retirement savings
• Position yourself for lasting success
• Find hope and encouragement through your faith

Put these proven, sound money strategies in motion today to help you weather the financial storm and take charge of your financial life.

About the Author

MATT BELL is a personal-finance writer and speaker, director of the Willow Creek Association’s Good Sense financial ministry, and author of Money, Purpose, Joy: The Proven Path to Uncommon Financial Success. He has been quoted in major media such as U.S. News & World Report and the Chicago Tribune.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160006664X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600066641
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,925,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt began his career as a radio journalist, with his work featured on National Public Radio, the NBC Radio Network, and several other networks. His reporting earned national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and United Press International.

Today, Matt is a full-time personal finance writer and speaker. He serves as Associate Editor at Sound Mind Investing, America's best-selling investment newsletter written from a biblical perspective. Matt is the author of three personal finance books published by NavPress: "Money, Purpose, Joy" (September 2008), "Money Strategies for Tough Times" (April 2009), and "Money & Marriage" (March 2011). Matt has been featured in many media outlets, including USA TODAY, U.S. News and World Report, the Chicago Tribune, WGN-TV and several nationally syndicated radio talk shows.

Matt holds a Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from DePaul University, where he wrote a thesis about the emergence of America's consumer culture and its influence on people's beliefs and behaviors.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Matt Bell's Money Strategies for Tough Times is an excellent resource for all of us. Both personally and professionally, many of us find ourselves having to buckle down as jobs are lost and bills are due. With an excellent combination of biblical reflection, market insight and practical helps such as charts and assignments, Bell provides the reader a framework by which to think Christianly and then to act diligently with the money God provides.

Throughout the book, Bell asks simple, but piercing, questions. "Are you in a financial crisis or a financial crunch?" (p. 30). "How did you get here?" (p. 33). These questions set the stage for the reader to honestly reflect on his/her own financial situation and then to heed Bell's clear plans for getting out of debt and for saving. If your wallet is being crunched, read Bell's book. If you feel inadequate to talk about money, you will find Bell's consistent habit of defining his terms helpful ("secured" vs. "unsecured" debt, etc). Additionally, the book contains several sidebars where he lays looks at some specific issues, offering warnings on payday loans, 0% percent loans and other potential pitfalls that offer more hope than they are likely to deliver.

If you are looking to cut back some bills, turn off your lights. If you are looking to get radical with your finances to get out of debt and to give generously, read Matt Bell's Money Strategies for Tough Times
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Format: Paperback
Matt's new book is a breath of fresh air in a world cluttered with financial self-help books. He brings an air of authenticity and gracefulness that provides common-sense solutions for every person who needs some financial help. And that would be most of us!

The strength of the book is the foundation on which Matt provides his practical advice. And that is the fact WE DON'T OWN anything we have. We're all managers of stuff and unless we approach money management from that premise, stuff will always manage us.

If you're in trouble financially, or just want to improve your money management skills then don't delay - get this book! It will help you take control of your money, rather than the other way around.
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Format: Paperback
Money Strategies for Tough Times, is written by Matt Bell, an author and speaker who also serves as director of Willow Creek Associations Good $ense financial ministry. Having experienced times of financial distress in his own life, his passion for leading others to discover freedom in personal finance stems from the lessons he learned along the way, and of the joy that being debt-free has brought to his life, family and ministry.

I found the concepts he presents to be sound and realistic. He gives brief overviews of financial struggles he has helped with through his ministry, and used them to springboard topics of financial interest and concern - whether it be student loans, emergency reserve, credit card debt, medical debt, bankruptcy, etc. He challenges the reader to view their personal responsibility for the incurring financial trouble, gives points and encouragement to overcoming, and then recommendations to protect against repeating the painful journey.

However, this book wouldn't be on the top of my list of personal-finance recommendations. During this time of economic downturn and turmoil, it seems that everyone who can spell is writing a book on finances, and even though what they say may be true - there are, in my opinion, better resources already available.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers. 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."
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book for tough times. Matt has extensive research and links to support the reader. His sharing of personal financial experiences and struggle and those of other's identify opportunities and provide hope that anyone can live financially free. I appreciated Matt getting real and answering difficult questions in dealing with tough times. The book is an easy read. It took just a few hours to read.
Way to go Matt!
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Format: Paperback
Money Strategies for Tough Times is an easy-to-understand but challenging read for anyone wanting a Biblical perspective on money.

Not considering myself to be in a financial "tough time" right now, I didn't think I would get much out of this book. But, even for me, it contained helpful reminders of not only how to handle money practically, but how the handling of money reflects our values, not just our behaviors. While using a combination of scripture and scripture-inspired principals, Bell sets up not a recipe for financial success, but a recipe for God-honoring financial stewardship. He steers away from the twistedness of the Prosperity Gospel for the truth of realizing only the Kingdom of God is what will last.

Bell gives age-old financial advice about budgeting and saving, but with the redeemed perspective of Kingdom values. From simple tips (which websites to go to calculate your social security benefits) to totally retooling the way we think about money, I found Bell casual, but alert to the seriousness of the matter. I loved his simple approach to re-prioritize our handling of money from most people's default of spend, save, and then give to a God-honoring discipline of give, save, and then spend. Simple changes in thinking like this can make all the difference in the lives of families struggling to make ends meet.

My only major critique of the book was Bell not mentioning the importance of understanding interest when deciding when to save and when to pay down debt. He advocated saving, yes, but when he gave instructions on which debt to pay down first, he recommended simply paying off the lowest-balance accounts first.
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