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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
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From the Back Cover
• 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
Top customer reviews
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."
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
This book is published by NavPress and Matt Bell. Bell is a part of the Good $ense financial ministry at Willow Creek. This book is very, very good. The first chapter is all about walking with God through life and how our finances are a part of that. Financial books happen to be an interest of mine. I enjoy budgeting and talking about finances when people are in debt and want to get back on track. This book is great because this book is not geared towards men or women but both. I have been disappointed in several books I've read about budgeting, but this one really gives a good perspective on how to do that. He talks about debt--unsecured and secured as well as how to get out of debt. None of his ideas are crazy or even extreme--to me. He's very realistic. In the end, he talks about saving--the if savings (6 months of bills), when savings (for when things you know are going to happen do), and why savings (for your dreams). I thought that was a great way of identifying what to save for.
This book is biblical and grounded--not extreme and not a "seeker-sensitive" type of book that waters down the need for accountability. The one tiny point that I disagree with is that when he encourages accountability--and he really does encourage it, he encourages a person to ask another to give them encouragement and support but not advice. I think that there is a time for advice, but I understand the caution on that because sometimes the person you go to only gives advice instead of listening and encouraging.
My very favorite part of this book is a quote that I will likely relate to many of my friends. Bell talks about how we have gotten so messed up by the consumer culture we live in--when what we really need to remember is that our worth is not based on what we own. Owning more does not make us more. We need to "learn how to be children of God again."
I think every newly married couple should read this book--before they find themselves needing it. I also think every newly graduated college senior should read it as well. This book is a really well rounded honest book about finances and what budgeting is all about--and the need to be realistic about it. There are a lot of people I want to buy this book for!