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Spend Well, Live Rich (previously published as 7 Money Mantras for a Richer Life): How to Get What You Want with the Money You Have Paperback – December 28, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Sassy and smart. You know instantly you are in sure hands.”
USA Today

“When it comes to advice on money, you can’t beat Big Mama.”
–Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Refreshing in its honesty and reliable in its guidance . . . a charming, inspirational and authoritative primer on money management.”
Better Investing

From the Inside Flap

The best financial planner Michelle Singletary ever knew was Big Mama, her grandmother. Big Mama raised Michelle and her four brothers and sisters on a salary that never reached more than $13,000 a year. Yet at her death, Big Mama owned her own home, had paid off a car loan, and had a beautiful collection of Sunday-go-to-meeting church hats and a savings account that supplemented her Social Security check and small pension. Most important, she had taught Michelle "7 Money Mantras for a Richer Life." Those mantras serve as the inspiration for this straight-talking book of practical personal financial advice that really works.
The 7 Money Mantras are:
1. If it's on your ass, it's not an asset!
2. Is this a need or is it a want?
3. Sweat the small stuff.
4. Cash is better than credit.
5. Keep it simple.
6. Priorities lead to prosperity.
7. Enough is enough.
Michelle Singletary is a syndicated columnist for "The Washington Post whose popular personal finance column appears in more than 120 newspapers. She's also a mother of three children who understands what it's like to live on a budget. In a plainspoken, sassy, no-nonsense voice, Michelle provides answers to the financial issues that confront almost every household: how to teach children the value of money; how to address money issues in a relationship or marriage; household saving tips; getting the best loans; and much more.
"This book is about saving enough money to have choices," she writes. "It's about feeling free to be cheap if you can't afford to buy a ton of gifts at Christmas. It's about eliminating wasteful spend-ing so you can begin to save and invest. It's full of uncommon commonsense lessonsand guidance on the way people should use their money."
With humor and down-home financial wisdom, Michelle Singletary offers practical and realistic advice that will help you live well with the money you have.
Michelle Singletary on . . .
Romance and Money
"It's okay to say: 'Honey, I love you and everything, but if you need money, ask your mama.'"
Credit Cards
"We are minimizing our financial potential by making minimum credit-card payments."
Car Buying
"If you want to save money, keep your car until you're on a first-name basis with the local tow-truck drivers."
Leasing a Car
"You, too, can drive a car you can't afford and then have to give it back. It's crazy."
Gift Giving
"Generosity isn't about how much you spend. It's about how much thought you put into the gift."
Penny Pinching
"I once bought a stick-shift car because it was $1,000 cheaper than the automatic in the same model. There was just one little problem. I couldn't drive a stick-shift. But at least I saved $1,000!"

"From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375759042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375759048
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Walsh on July 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
...the author is just reminding you of things we like to "forget" -- credit cards are bad, being in debt is bad, shopping when you're upset is bad, and more. Yes, Ms. Singletary does offer some basic financial advice and explains some of the more complex money-management ideas in easy-to-understand terms. But mostly, she just seems to be yelling at the reader and repeats herself a lot. I don't need a book to tell me not to co-sign a loan for my unemployed alcoholic cousin, for example. The author does provide a good analysis of America's conspicuous consumerism and the downward spiral of never-ending debt on unnecessary goods and services that should be of great concern to many of us. Some of her mantras absolutely should be taken to heart by the millions of Americans who mindlessly flood the malls every weekend in search of yet another pair of shoes they don't need, another DVD they'll never watch, or another toy to placate the child they didn't spend time with all week -- her call to return to a simpler way of life, and living within one's means, is to be heeded. That being said, however, it is obvious that the author and her family enjoy a high standard of living (although, to her credit, she does not appear to indulge her childrens' every whim or spoil herself with luxury -- but they are comfortable and not in any danger of having their electricity turned off) and some of her suggestions to those trying to dig their way out of debt come off as glib and facile. Ms. Singletary grew up poor and has been taken advantage of by thankless relatives and she does profess a lot of good common sense that may be difficult for some people to hear (and more difficult to practice), but some of her reactions to spending money on fairly modest purchases border on panic.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book so much that I purchased it for all the young people in my family. I wanted them to be able to make sound financial decisions and not become a member of the "working poor". This book has the tools that will help them accomplish that goal. The information is sound, concise and to the point. Told with enough humor to get your attention but serious enough to underscore the fact that it is not "just money".
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By kgam2 on March 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was really upset to find out that this is a repackaged, renamed version of an earlier work that Singletary wrote.

A waste of money if you've bought, "Seven Money Mantras..."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everyone should own a copy of this book! It's a practical, yet entertaining look at how to maintain your finances. It breaks down money matters into easy to understand instructions and common sense solutions. It encourages you to save and prepare for retirement. Must have! Only downside is I think Michelle Singletary needs to do a more updated version, but most of her advice is timeless.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book gives a biblical and practical perspective on how to use money to better your life and the lives of those around you! Michelle's use of humor, honesty, and personal testimonies helped challenge and change my beliefs about money. I strongly recommend this book to ANYONE who has $1.00 or $100,000 to manage. I pray that this book blesses you the way it has blessed me!

Md
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!! Michelle Singletary is great. She writes like shes talking right to you and not down to you. She says what you would want your best friend to tell you. I loved her family stories. Anyone who buys this book will get so much out of it. It has something for everyone. If you use money in any way, be you 10 years old or 80 years old, you will find something in this book for you. There is not a boring or slow part in this book. I will read any thing this woman puts in print!
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The guidance provided is extreme yet doable. I think everyone should read this. Gives a good perspective of how we view things.
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