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The Power to Prosper: 21 Days to Financial Freedom Paperback – December 27, 2009

105 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In her softcover book The Power to Prosper, award-winning writer Michelle Singletary has a field-tested financial challenge for you. For twenty-one days, you will put away your credit cards and buy only what you need for survival. With Michelle's guidance during this three-week financial fast, you'll discover how to: * Break your spending habit * Handle money with your significant other or your spouse * Break your bondage to debt with the Debt Dash Plan * Make smart investments * Be prepared for any contingency with a Life Happens Fund * Stop worrying about money and find the priceless power of financial peace As you discover practical ways to achieve financial freedom, you'll experience something even more amazing ... your faith and generosity will increase, too. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michelle Singletary writes an award-winning personal finance column for The Washington Post called 'The Color of Money,' which appears in more than one hundred newspapers across the country. The author of two other books, Singletary has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs, including Oprah, The Today Show, The Early Show, The View, Meet the Press, CNN, MSNBC, Nightline, Tavis Smiley, NPR, The Diane Rehm Show, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, and Yolanda Adams Morning Show. Her television program, Singletary Says, can still be seen on TV One. To learn more visit or

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1 edition (December 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310320380
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310320388
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,774 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michelle Singletary is a nationally syndicated columnist for The Washington Post. Her column, "The Color of Money" is an award-winning column, which is now carried in about 100 newspapers across the country including the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, Tampa Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer.

In 2003, she published her first book, "7 Money Mantras For A Richer Life: How To Live Well With The Money You Have (Random House). The paperback was retitled "Spend Well, Live Rich."

Her second book, "Your Money and Your Man: How You and Prince Charming Can Spend Well and Live Rich" was released in January 2006, also published by Random House. The paperback was released in February 2007. Her third book, "The Power to Prosper: 21 Days to Financial Freedom," was released in January 2010 by Zondervan, a HarperCollins company.

In Jan. 2014, an updated and expanded book of "The Power to Prosper" was released. It was retitled "The 21 Day Financial Fast: Your Path to Financial Peace and Freedom." It was also published by Zondervan.

In January 2006, Singletary launched her first national television program "Singletary Says" on TV One, owned Radio One and Comcast. "Singletary Says" is a half hour personal finance reality show in which Singletary visits people in their homes to help resolve various financial issues. The second Season of Singletary Says debuted in November 2006. Following her second season, she hosted a personal finance special for TV One, "Real Estate Realities: When the Boom Goes Bust." The special, which aired in 2008, focused on how the real estate crisis impacted the African-American community.

Singletary was a regular personal finance contributor for National Public Radio's afternoon program "Day To Day." Although NPR eliminated the program for budgetary reasons, you can still hear Singletary on various NPR shows including "All Things Considered," "Talk of the Nation," "Here and Now" and "Marketplace Money." She was an AOL money coach having produced a series of workshops on love and money.

She is frequently asked to appear on local and national radio programs including the "Diane Rehm Show" and the "Yolanda Adams Morning Show." She has appeared on all three major networks, NBC, ABC and CBS. She has prepared personal finance segments for local and national news programs, and for a number of network and nationally syndicated programs, including "Oprah," "NBC's Today Show," "The Early Show on CBS," "Nightline," CNN, "The View," and "Tavis Smiley" on PBS. She has appeared on "Meet The Press" and other national news programs, including CNN. In 2000, she was recruited as a regular contributor to do live financial segments for MSNBC.

For nearly a decade Singletary was also a regular contributor on Howard University's evening news radio program, "Insight." During the 1997-1998 television season, Singletary was a regular correspondent on BET's "Real Business." She has filled in for nationally syndicated radio host Clark Howard on his local program on the top-rated News-Talk 750 WSB in Atlanta.

Singletary also hosted her own radio call-in program on XM 169 The Power in 2007. Radio One programmed the African-American news/talk channel. Her personal finance program along with several others was cancelled after Radio One ended its relationship with XM Satellite Radio for business reasons.

Singletary has written for the flagship "O, The Oprah Magazine." For a brief stint she was the personal finance columnist for "O at Home magazine replacing Suze Orman." The quarterly magazine was a spinoff of the monthly "O, The Oprah Magazine." Due to the recession, the Hearst Company shut down the magazine in late 2008.

In July 2008, she began writing a weekly Q&A column for radio and television host Tavis Smiley on his popular PBS Website.

Singletary is currently the host of a live online chat on the Post's Web site, She also has a widely read electronic newsletter distributed by The Washington Post. Her e-letter is one of the more popular newsletters distributed by The Washington Post. In her column, chats, newsletter, television show and books Singletary delivers advice on personal finance issues that range from lending your honey money (don't do it), to raising money smart kids to the importance of saving and investing.

Singletary is frequently requested to be a keynote speaker. She has given workshops or presentations for Georgetown University, Essence, and Simmons College School of Management in Boston. She has also conducted personal finance workshops for the National Football League's annual Rookie Symposium for incoming freshman players. In the religious community, she has been invited to speak numerous times at her home church, First Baptist Church of Glenarden under the leadership of Pastor John K. Jenkins Sr.

At First Baptist, she has led a major Bible Study session, been the keynote speaker at several Women's Conferences and a frequent workshop presenter. She has given keynote presentations at World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church in Memphis, Tennessee under the leadership of Apostle R. Williams, Senior Pastor and at The Saint Paul's Baptist Church in Richmond, VA., which is under the leadership of Rev. Lance Watson. Saint Paul is one of the largest African American churches in Central Virginia with more than 10,000 members. Other churches she has delivered biblically based personal finance presentations include Christ is King Worship Center in Baltimore, Md. under the leadership of Pastor Lois Bethea Thompson, and Bethel Christian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md. under the leadership of Co-Pastors Jerome and Katina Holmes

In her spare time, Singletary is the director of "Prosperity Partners Ministry," a program she founded at her church, First Baptist Church of Glenarden, in which women and men, who handle their money well, volunteer to mentor others who are having financial challenges. Once a month, Singletary conducts a workshop for the ministry group on topics that range from tithing, to developing a budget to getting out of debt. She also volunteers at prisons teaching inmates about personal finance.

In 2009, she was selected to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award from The Johns Hopkins University. She also received the 2009 Matrix Award for Professional Achievements from The Association for Women in Communications.

Singletary's book, "Your Money and Your Man" was a finalist in 2006 for "Books for a Better Life," which honors the best self-improvement books. This highly regarded award promotes the importance of one of the largest and fastest-growing segments in the book publishing business.

Just a year after starting her column, The Washington Post nominated it for a Pulitzer Prize. Most recently, her column won a prestigious award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She won Best in Business for a series of columns that ran in 2007. The judges wrote: "Michelle Singletary's work illustrates a range of writing that's both approachable and explanatory."
"The Color of Money" has placed first in the major newspaper category of the ICI Education Foundation/American University awards for Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting. The column also earned a first place for business writing from the National Association of Black Journalists.

Prior to becoming a columnist for The Washington Post, Singletary covered local and national banking for the Post. She joined the paper in 1992 and was assigned to cover bankruptcy. In 1994, she was awarded a fellowship by NABJ to write about small women-owned businesses in West Africa. While in Africa, she helped cover the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela, and shared the lead story on Election Day with the Post's foreign correspondent, writing about a Soweto family's day at the polls.

Before going to the Post, Singletary was a business reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun, where she also covered police, religion, politics, and zoning. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, and The Johns Hopkins University, where she earned a master's degree in business and management. Singletary and her husband reside in Maryland with their three children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

131 of 135 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Newell VINE VOICE on January 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Reviewing this book was difficult, and required an important decision: should the book be reviewed for the benefit of a general audience, or for a fundamentalist Christian audience?

Answering this question was not easy. The book presents, by its own description, a means to achieve financial freedom, to get control over your spending, and to improve your financial situation. The book's introduction says that you don't have to belong to any particular religion or have any particular set of beliefs to benefit from it. Yet the book clearly states that the plan contained in it cannot possibly succeed without prayer and Divine help, and the book quotes Christian scripture in a circular-logic fashion to support its points. The book contains chapters that involve purely religious activities and deep religious explorations.

I finally concluded that if you are a fundamentalist Christian, the book will have great appeal and enormous utility, so no review is really necessary. Therefore, I decided to review the book from the standpoint of a general reader (such as myself, as I am not a fundamentalist Christian by any means).

That out of the way, let's state up front that the book presents remarkable insights and advice about getting and keeping your finances under control, and I learned a great deal from reading it. Very early in the book, there is a discussion about using credit cards which is so simple and so logical that you will instinctively see the truth of it and wonder why you never looked at things this way before.

The basic premise of the book is that you are to do a 21-day "financial fast" in which you never use anything but cash, only spend on absolute essentials, don't go shopping except for necessities, and so on.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I first got THE POWER OF PROSPERITY 21 DAYS TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM, I was very skeptical. Sometimes these type of books promise a lot of things to people who already have things so I never have been very impressed.

This book, however, does have some principles in it that do work. The premise of the book is that God wants you to prosper. That statement alone will turn off a host of people.

If you can make it past that statement, here are some other things that this book proclaims.

You have to go on a financial fast from credit cards to begin the process
It is not easy
To Better Serve God, you have to have some finances to do things

The basic set up of the book is this:
PART 1: God's Power to Prosper You (you have to settle this in your mind to make this work)

PART 2: Prepare Yourself To Prosper (addressing attitudes, and actions to support this new lifestyle)

PART 3: Prudence Begets Prosperity (how to get rid of greed debt and credit)

PART 4: Testimonials of those who have done this and how it changed their lives.


This book is not claiming to solve all of your problems. There is some action that you have to take, but there is also a process of God filling in the blanks as you begin to do what you can to meet Him halfway.


Michelle Singletary suggests many plans of action such as journaling through your fast, keeping strict records and ways of saving.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By guitarchick24 VINE VOICE on January 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Being part of the millions of Americans carrying some sort of debt, I was looking forward to reading Michelle Singletary's "The Power to Prosper." I've read a lot of debt/financial advice, from both Christian and non-Christian authors. "The Power to Prosper" has good ideas, but nothing amazing or new if you've participated in things like Crown Ministries or read Dave Ramsey's or Liz Pulliam Weston's financial books/columns.

One thing that struck me with "The Power to Prosper" is it seems very targeted at a certain type of person, namely the shopaholic. Singletary seems to assume that her readers are out-of-control spenders who find comfort in retail therapy. That's a very select group of readers, since I would hazard that a lot of people with debt right now are in those situations due to job loss and the poor economy of the last few years.

The other thing about this book is that, if you're going to do the fast, it has to be at a stable point in your life. As I was reading this book, I was also preparing for a cross-country move. Ironically, I had 21 days before moving day, but I also knew it would be stupid for me to do the fast right when I needed to use my credit card for moving expenses, gas, hotel, food and other incidentals.

I agree with her basic premises, such as curbing unnecessary spending and identifying wants vs. needs. And fasting is a great way to grow in your relationship with God. But I think there needs to be a balance between completely throwing everything out for 21 days (and a lot of other financial gurus advise dropping your credit cards and going cash only, so she's not saying anything new) and learning principles that will help you permanently get out of debt.
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