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Debt Free Living

37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0802442321
ISBN-10: 0802442323
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Editorial Reviews


(Dave Ramsey on the back cover for sure... and the others if there is room. All of them on the inside pages.)

When Larry Burkett’s Debt-Free Living was first published in 1989, I could have been one of the horror story case studies that opened the book. Coming out of my own bankruptcy at the time, I was on a mission to discover how money really works. Debt-Free Living was a light in my darkness, giving voice to a lifetime of common-sense financial principles that I had largely ignored. Now, twenty years later, I believe there has never been a better time for the time-honored, godly principles of this book to make a comeback.

Dave Ramsey is the best-selling author of The Total Money Makeover, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, and host of The Dave Ramsey Show on the Fox Business Network.

It is a privilege for me to endorse the revised Debt Free Living by the person who impacted his world like no other. Larry's life message is sorely needed today. As he would say, "God's principles of finances are always right, always relevant, and will never change."

Ron Blue is a best-selling author and president of Kingdom Advisors

Sometimes it seemed as though Larry Burkett could see around corners. He certainly saw things long before the rest of us. That's why his warnings about the dangers of debt and the direction of our economy still ring true. Indeed, the turmoil of recent years has given even greater force to his insights. Of course, as Larry would say with genuine humility, "All I do is plagiarize Scripture." He saw his role as simply trying to convey that God's Word is true and that the Lord can be trusted. Indeed, that's what Debt-Free Living is all about.

Austin Pryor is Founder and President,

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Debt has dominated the financial direction of our society over the past sixty years. Credit card offers flow into our mailboxes virtually every day. Countless families give the false impression of being wealthy while drowning in a sea of debt. In fact, nearly 80 percent of divorced couples between the ages of twenty and thirty report that financial problems were the primary cause of their marital breakdown. Many people are not even sure how they got into their financial predicament, let alone how to get out. Understanding the origin of most financial difficulties is the key to escaping the "debt cycle" for good. Debt-Free Living was designed to equip individuals with sound biblical principles and solid practical advice so they can dig out and stay out of debt. Best selling author Larry Burkett skillfully teaches these principles through the real-life experiences of several couples on the brink of financial ruin. As these couples climb out of debt, you will receive helpful advice on a wide variety of financial issues you face every day. In Debt-Free Living you receive answers to questions such as

Is it better to own or to rent?
Is borrowing a sin?
When is bankruptcy a good idea?
What types of credit should I avoid?

Debt-Free Living teaches you what God has to say about debt and assists you in achieving a life that is debt free. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802442323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802442321
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,774,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Larry Burkett 1939~2003, Biographical Information

Widely Known For His Economic Warnings

In The Coming Economic Earthquake (Moody Press, Chicago, I11. * 1991), Burkett delineated growing federal deficits and the ever increasing use of debt by business and households out of control. Burkett points out those severe economic times will appear sometime shortly after the millennium unless current polices are changed. Burkett believed that Keynesian economic policies, with ideals for continuing federal deficits and the implicit preference for higher levels of credit and consumption, reduced saving, and a larger role for government in the economy are a means to disaster. As Burkett states in the book that as interest on the debt consumes a larger and larger portion of the yearly federal budget, and more money is borrowed each year to pay the interest on what was borrowed in previous years, there will be a temptation to "monetize" the debt at an increasing rate leading to a calamity not seen since the Great Depression. Burkett questioned whether or not elected leaders would take action in time to prevent fiscal chaos, and believed they would not. Larry gave no time-line for this prediction, other than a forewarning, foreshadowing current events of the time, with a little common sense added for good measure.

Early Years

Larry Burkett (March 3rd, 1939~July 4th, 2003) was an American author and leading Christian radio personality whose work focused on financial counseling from a Christian point of view. Larry was born in Winter Park, Florida on March 3, 1939, the fifth of eight children. After completing high school in Winter Garden, Florida, he entered the U.S. Air Force where he served with the Strategic Air Command. Upon completion of his military duties, he and his wife Judy returned to central Florida, where he worked in the space program at Cape Canaveral, Florida. He spent the next several years at the space center (NASA) in charge of an experiments test facility that served the Mercury-, Gemini-, and Apollo-manned space programs. While working at the space center, Larry earned degrees in marketing and finance at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. Larry left the space center in 1970 to become Vice President of an electronics manufacturing firm.

A Turning Point

In 1972 Larry put his trust and faith in Jesus Christ to guide his life, through the influence of his wife Judy and persistence of Dr. Peter Lord, Titusville, Florida--an event that had a profound effect. In 1973 he left the electronics company to join the staff of a nonprofit ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ at the request of Dr. Bill Bright, as a financial counselor. It was during this time that he began an intense study of what the Bible says about handling money, and he started teaching small groups around the country.

Ministry Is Formed

In 1976 Larry Burkett left the campus ministry to form Christian Financial Concepts, a 501C(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching the biblical principles of handling money. CFC was used as a vehicle to produce audio, video and written Work's for helping individuals, the local Church and main-line Denominations World-wide disseminate God's word with regard to Stewardship principles. In May of 1996, Southwest Baptist University conferred on Larry an Honorary Doctorate in Economics.

Radio Broadcasting

In 1979 Larry became a frequent radio guest of Dr. Jim Dobson founder of Focus On the Family with a widely listened to syndicated radio program. This exposure lead Moody Bible Institute Broadcasting division, Chicago, Illinois to help host, than start Larry's own radio ministry. Larry was a long time host of the four radio programs, "Money Matters," "How to Manage Your Money," "MoneyWatch," and "A Money Minute," which were carried on more than 1,100 radio outlets worldwide.

Larry's Publications

Larry published more than 70 books, sales of which now exceed 12 million copies and include several national best-sellers. Publications by Larry include What Ever Happened to the American Dream, The Coming Economic Earthquake, Your Finances in Changing Times, Business by the Book, The Financial Planning Workbook, Women Leaving the Workplace, Investing for the Future, Debt-Free Living, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Hope When It Hurts, Nothing to Fear, in which he gave an update on his experiences with cancer and cancer treatments. Larry also wrote four novels: The Illuminati, The THOR Conspiracy, Solar Flare, and Kingdom Come (with T. Davis Bunn). Larry's final book before his death was The Burkett & Blue Definitive Guide to Securing Wealth to Last, and was written with Ron Blue and Jeremy L. White.

Larry also encouraged his eldest son, (Larry "Allen" Burkett, Jr.) as an author to write and produce thirty-two stewardship books and material "penned" under Larry's name. These Work's were for children, teen and parents under the banner: "Larry Burkett's "Money Matters for Kids", "Money Matters for Teens", "Larry Burkett's Stewardship for the Family ~ Time, Talents & Treasures". Some publications by Allen under Larry's name are Financial Parenting, What If I Owned Everything?, Money Planner for Kids, 50 Money Making Ideas for Kids, Teaching Your Child About Money Matters, Me Wonderfully Made, All About Money, Talent and Time Series, How Things Work Series, Pocket Change Series, Great Smoky Mountains Storybook Series, World's Easiest Pocket Guide Series,

His Legacy

Larry's memory is held dear by all those whose lives he touched: his family, his friends, and his ministry partners. He lived a life of Christian kindness and genuine humility. He was always extraordinarily generous. One of the central principles Larry taught is that we don't really own things; we are simply stewards and managers of what God has entrusted to us. In Larry's case, that included the ministry he founded.

Larry Burkett dedicated his life to teaching people biblical financial principles. He poured his life into serving the Lord through this ministry. He loved the ministry, he loved his staff which he believed was an extenuation of his own family... Caring for family first was foremost to laying a rock-solid foundation to ensuing a genuine love for the people who looked to the ministry for help in their time of need. Larry's compassion was so evident. His Radio Listeners could not see him, but could feel, his concern and even his tears for them.

Prior to his death, Larry founded the Larry Burkett Foundation®. The Larry Burkett Foundation® accepts donations to help needy individuals through and promoting organizations such as The National Christian Foundation®, Atlanta, Georgia and Helping Hands Ministries, Inc, Tallulah Falls, Georgia,. Please send your tax-exempt donation to:

Larry Burkett Foundation® 
1330 Old Woodbine Rd NE 
Atlanta, GA 30319-1040

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Aaron on April 15, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. It is a classic book for those who are interested in managing their finances according to Biblical principles, and for those who have landed themselves into debt. Larry Burkett teaches biblical principles of debt-management by telling stories... stories collected over years of counseling thousands of struggling individuals and couples. Some of the previous reviewers have said that these stories are just anecdotal scare-tactics, but the intriguing thing is that I see highly-educated people around me making the same "anecdotal" mistakes with their finances (and reaping the consequences). Americans (in general) have no clue how much house they can afford, etc. and regard debt as a necessary evil... or even as a good thing. This book helps you to see debt in a more balanced light, and is highly recommended to anyone who struggles in this area.

As you can see by some of the other reviews, if you're not a Christian, you'll probably get hung up on some of the biblical principles: such things like keeping your word even when it costs you money, family leadership principles, living within your means, and the husband-wife relationship. So if you're not a Christian, I would suggest taking a serious look at the Bible (by studying what it says) and then compare it to the principles in this book. I think you'll find that the Bible is reliable and timeless in its guidelines for finances just as it is for every other area of life.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By C. Whitmore on April 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
A blessing, a blessing, a blessing!!! This book truly blessed me in more ways than one. It made me take a true look at my issues of debt. Larry Burkett has the great ability to show you where scripture applies to debt and that there is a way out! He also confirms that the Bible is a "living" word and applies to things of the past, present and future. I praise God for this book and the author. I'm buying the workbook now!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
Debt-FREE Living is not so much a "how-to-get-out-of-debt" manual as it is a "change-your-mindset-about-money" type of book. The book basically takes you through the stories of several couples' struggles with debt from the reasons they got into debt to how they eventually got out. It is written from a Christian perspective, so much of the advice is based upon the author's interpretation of key scriptural texts regarding money and debt.
While much of the information is good so far as it goes, it is often too general in nature to be of great use to those who are really seeking (and needing) specific advice. From the subtitle of the book, "How to get out of debt and stay out" some prospective buyers may get the impression that this is a "how-to" book--that is, that it will run through an exhaustive list of specific things they can do to get out of debt. Unfortunately, that is not the focus of the book. It does, however, have very good information on personal bankruptcy should you be contemplating that particular option, and it also comes with SnapShot Gold debt management software which should make the book/CD ROM combo worth the price.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is a masterpiece that should be required reading. It is written simply and makes its point clearly. If this book doesn't motivate you to get out of debt, nothing ever will. But more importanly, this book will get you started toward that goal.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is written from a Biblical perspective and non believers will find it hard to follow Larry Burkett's advice to tithe (give away 10% of your income to church or charity), one of the most important secrets for achieving financial independence. It also has a wealth (!) of information for people who are close to caling it quits before deciding on bankruptcy. And to the reviewers who found the stories corny, I can only say that any of these scenarios could easily happen to anybody who is less than savvy about their finances (80% of the general population?). I didn't give this book 5* because I wished there had been more information on how to whittle away at credit debt, and some of the optimal housing costs recommended totally ignore the reality for people living on the Northeast coast of the US (The West Coast proably, too!).
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a great book on how to handle the debt you've accumulated and avoid falling into the same traps that led you there in the first place. It is great for those experiencing the marital stress that can be caused by "not making enough money." The solution is clear. More money will not solve the problem, only self-discipline and wise money management can help.
It is a good book to scare you into using the principles and guidlines Burkett offers in "The Complete Financial Guide for Young Couples" which despite it's name is great for the single and the married, and it is certainly not only for the young.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chris Long on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was the best financial planning book I have ever read. It had real life situations that helped out alot. I didn't realize how much in debt I was until I read this. I didn't have a problem with making payments and even paying extra on them. But I never planned for a disaster or loss of a job. If you spend a couple of years paying off your debt, that is years of happiness just knowing you don't others money. This book helped me realize this. Thank You Larry Burkett for this and all of your other books, God was really with you during your writting.
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