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Pay It Down!: Debt-Free on $10 a Day [Kindle Edition]

Jean Chatzky
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $10.95
You Save: $4.05 (27%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Jean Chatzky has been working with viewers of NBC’s Today show for a series on how to get out of debt once and for all. Her method, both on TV and in this book, is simple yet powerful: the key is saving just $10 a day that you currently waste. It doesn’t sound like much—a movie ticket or lunch for two at McDonald’s— but $10 really can take you from debt to wealth in just a few years. And because it doesn’t feel like an impossible goal, people are more likely to stick with Chatzky’s plan than an extreme regimen of spending cutbacks. Chatzky is focusing on debt because it’s the single biggest threat to our financial health. The average American family has sixteen credit cards and high-rate debt of more than $8000, not even counting car loans and mortgages. They pay more than $1000 a year in interest alone. Debt makes people feel depressed and overwhelmed, leaving them without enough money for the truly important things in life—education, retirement, owning a home, feeling secure. Chatzky, one of America’s most popular personal finance experts, writes in down- to- earth, woman-next-door language about how to get started right away, without giving up the things that truly give you pleasure. She offers practical, accessible strategies to help readers find the money to pay off their bills, lower their interest rates, and improve their credit scores. Featuring real-life examples of people featured on her Today show series, Pay It Down can transform debtors into future millionaires.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The number one enemy of the American family's finances is debt, says Chatzky—especially credit card debt. The average American family, she reports, has 16 credit cards carrying a debt load of more than $8,000. In this terrific little book, the Today Show financial editor and author of You Don't Have to Be Rich and other titles offers a tough-minded but workable plan for getting rid of that burden.Chatzky's program builds from one simple premise: that it's possible for most of us to get debt-free by saving $10 a day for three years. Following the wisdom of knowing a problem in order to conquer it, Chatzky advises that readers first get their credit scores; she explains clearly how to do that, what the scores mean and how to improve them. She then recommends that readers learn what, exactly, they are spending their money on, and provides appropriate worktables and steps to accomplish that. A large section of the book is devoted to resourceful ways to find the $10 a day, with Chatzky suggesting that readers make hard choices regarding everything from eliminating the cost of their wireless device (their Palm Pilot, for instance), if they have one, to refinancing a car loan and putting on a garage sale. Instructions follow on how to "pay it down" intelligently, and the book concludes with lucid instructions on how to deal with worst-case debt scenarios and how to maintain and enhance one's debt-free financial status once it's achieved. Throughout, the text is personalized by brief stories of those who have worked their way into, then out of, crushing debt, as well as by glimpses of Chatzky's own story.This is that rare book that has the genuine ability to improve many lives. Its power lies in its simplicity and focus, and in Chatzky's caring and thorough but no-nonsense approach. It seems that even a financial naif can follow Chatzky's advice and turn night into day. If enough people do, this book may become the landmark title it has the potential to be.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Chatzky has a crisp and fast-paced style."
-USA Today

"This is that rare book that has the genuine ability to improve many lives. Its power lies in its simplicity and focus, and Chatzky's caring and thorough but no-nonsense approach."
-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"What I like about this book is its brevity in both size and solution. . . .This book is all about simplicity."
-Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post

"Pay It Down! is a great little book that shows you step by step how to save, how to make more money and how to stay ahead of the curve by bringing down your debt. . . . Chatzky's charm is her non-judgmental, optimistic tone."
-Susan Morris, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"Pay It Down! is much more than a book about reducing credit card debt. It's a how-to book with solid strategies on money management. Invest in a copy-it will be money well spent."
-Chris Stuckenschneider, The Missourian

"Jean Chatzky helps you change the way you think about your money-and shows that getting out of debt is not as hard as it seems."
-David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire

"Managing debt properly is a crucial key to getting rich, and Jean Chatzky is a great source for help."
-Donald Trump

Product Details

  • File Size: 621 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Revised edition (October 7, 2009)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002W83DN4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,624 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
225 of 235 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The facts, just the facts... February 8, 2005
Find an extra ten dollars a day, apply it to your credit card debt, DON'T CHARGE ANY MORE on those cards and in 3 years you'll have paid off a huge chunk of debt....maybe even all of it.
That is the basic info in this book and it simply isn't reason enough to buy it. Like dieters who lost 10 or 20 pounds and then gain it back, those who are in debt are likely to fall back into debt again - unless they change their way of thinking bigtime.
That is why credit card companies love those customers who are paying 10, 12, even 17 percent interest. They might pay it down but odds are they'll also rack up the debt again. Plenty of credit card companies even INCREASE the credit limit for these folks. Why not? From their point of view, it may be quite profitable.
Finally, there is another problem that ISN'T addressed by this book - and that is the belief that there is an extra $10.00 a day to be found in the average budget. Truth is, some people are paying for the necessities of life with credit cards - food, home, medical bills. For them, not only is there no extra money to be found, there is not a single area in the bduget that can be cut. An extra job, better health insurance or some other type of solution might help them but until that comes along they aren't likely to shuck the credit card habit. And they certainly shouldn't spend their hard earned money on this book.
For the average person, buying this book won't hurt a thing...but it won't solve your problems, either, unless you are willing to take a good hard look at your spending patterns and make some PERMANENT changes - stop charging, get an extra job, don't buy a thing that isn't necessary. For those willing to examine every purchase in the light of a new, more spartan outlook, change is possible.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It has the basics November 6, 2006
By Keeley
I agree with some of the criticism that this book is aimed at professionals with a relatively high income, no money management skills, and a high amount of credit debt.

However, I do think that it has some great basic information about paying bills, transferring credit card balances, understanding and improving your credit score, and creating a monthly budget. These are tips anyone can use.

I consider myself to be pretty fiscally responsible, but I picked up some good organizational tips and some interesting facts about transferring debts. The book is a quick read and written in a conversational tone.

Oh, and I did get the book from the library. I suggest borrowing it or buying it at a reduced cost, reading the chapters that pertain to your situation, and taking a few notes. No need to own this one.
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed! January 16, 2005
By Missy
I have to agree with the very first poster. There wasn't anything here particularly insightful to me. If I had an extra $10 a day I wouldn't be in debt. I've already done the suggestions on cutting back years ago so this wasn't helpful. I found Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover much more helful and doable.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too lean to be useful January 8, 2006
There's useful stuff here but only ion the most rudimentary way. I might give this book to a newly wed couple if they haven't the faintest idea about how to manage money but anyone else would already be beyond the elementary concepts of the book.

I think Chatzky is simplistic in her approach, too. Her idea is to save at least 10.00 daily by reducing discretionary spending - coffee, eating out, etc. - and using that money to reduce debt but I doubt that the average family can scrape up an extra 300.00 per month by washing their own car. There's just not enough here to make the book a worthwhile buy.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars great advice... 20 years ago February 13, 2005
Cancel the cable, pack a lunch, learn to do your own nails, skip the morning bagels and take the bus to work, blah, blah, blah. Chatzky's advice is identical to every single financial guru out there who has preached to the American middle class over the past two decades. Pay It Down is loaded with all the standard financial advice clichés and has the appeal of a warmed-over latte (oh yeah, you're supposed to skip those, too). The only relief this book provides is comedic, and that's when the author comes off sounding like the Queen of England dispensing advice on having a successful garage sale. The painfully dated suggestions within just don't address the problems of REAL American families who are already struggling to balance their checkbooks and make time for husbands and/or kids. When it comes down to the real bottom line, an extra hour spent commuting on the bus or time with loved ones, I choose my family. Furthermore, if you MUST read this book, don't buy it. Take the author's advice on page 137, USE THE LIBRARY. I did.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars UN-informative January 31, 2006
There is very little information included in this book that is not included on the cover. I was very glad I borrowed it from my library rather than buying it. For some good reading on the same subject, check out something by Mary Hunt, or another true expert who will give some real, in-depth advice and actually set your mind to working.

Pay It Down is fluff reading.
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290 of 344 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Play it down September 12, 2004
Yep! If you are overpaid and fritter away your cash on extravaganzas at Starbucks and on two exotic vacations a year, leaving yourself floundering in a pool of fiscal red ink, then this is the tome for you! But, you may be too dumb for it to do any good anyhow.

However, if you are one of the average working Americans who has cut his budget to the bone and to the bone again, you will not find much here. Oh, you can send send your PDA, whatever that is, back to the store and only take ONE swell vaction a year. Well, duh...

I was particularily distressed by the health care discussion. The author has no conception how difficult it is for the average person to obtain and pay for adequate health care. Could you image how much more difficult it would be if you or your child had even the most minor health imperfection?

Frankly, I think the author makes far too much money to competently advise the common folk. Spend less. Save more. It has all been said before!

But, you can save your first ten dollars a day by checking this book out of your library and paying off your debts with the savings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Thank You
Published 1 month ago by SG
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
decent book
Published 3 months ago by fodraks
3.0 out of 5 stars Jean Chatzky Presented the Housing Market Crisis as Forthcoming in...
She said right in the book that the housing market was looking bad, back in 2004. She knew something was up, but she reassured us that Fannie May was taking on the extra debt for... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Travis Heinze
5.0 out of 5 stars Jean Chatzky
The Queen of finance with so much great strategy and common sense. Such a great book with doable financial advice,
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to get... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Marv
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is a joke
I should have saved money and not bought this book. Most of the advice assumes you are currently being rather careless with your finances and doesn't offer anything beyond common... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cardriver
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU CAN PAY IT DOWN
YOU CAN DO THIS TOO! This book was very very helpful providing ideas and solutions to get out of debt.
Published 9 months ago by Tiffani Code
5.0 out of 5 stars Pay It Down! :From Debt to Wealth on $10 a Day
Good information. Very helpful info. Everyone should read this book to learn valuable information. I would recommend it to all.
Published 16 months ago by B Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars help me
t is helpin me with my financial, i need this information and it did not cost much. i love it
Published 16 months ago by KIMBLEY MCPHEE
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice for everyone
I just reread this book just as a check up. The updated info is very useful to ensure that you are making good decisions on which bills to pay first. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Tammy Mannarino
2.0 out of 5 stars Outdated
Jean Chatzky is a very nice person with a pleasant, upbeat writing style. Unfortunately, her advice is out of touch with modern economic reality for myself and most of the people I... Read more
Published on September 25, 2012 by Paper or Kindle
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