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The Complete Cheapskate: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out, and Break Free from Money Worries Forever Paperback – August 1, 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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  • The Complete Cheapskate: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out, and Break Free from Money Worries Forever
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hunt knows how to live on the cheap, and she's proud of it. Although she's probably doing just fine (after the roaring success of her newsletter, "The Cheapskate Monthly," and her previous books, including Mary Hunt's Debt-Proof Living and Cheapskate Monthly Money Makeover), Hunt has thousands of tips for lowering bills, managing savings, getting out of debt and changing your attitude about money. In a chipper, conversational tone, Hunt explains how she became a cheapskate, what readers need to do in order to become cheapskates themselves, and how following her advice will help them achieve financial freedom. Eschewing heavy financial talk, Hunt focuses on simple methods for getting out of debt-e.g., how to develop a "Freedom Account" to handle irregular expenses, and how to shop more economically for groceries. This is an uncomplicated guide squarely aimed at helping those in tight financial straits.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Praise for Mary Hunt: "Hunt's upbeat attitude doesn't come across as a lecture and she makes it clear she's not denying herself simple pleasures."
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Product Details

  • Series: Debt-Proof Living (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 Sub edition (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312316046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312316044
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was unfamiliar with Mary's work prior to purchasing this book. Her thoughts on debt and money management hit me right between the eyes. We are giving ourselves a money makeover using Mary's ideas to get out of credit card debt.
This is an easy and enjoyable read (despite the subject matter). Mary has conquered a personal debt of $100,000 without declaring bankruptcy and it is nice to hear from someone who has "been there, done that". Her tone is non-judgemental, her ideas practical and her approach non-threatening even for financial novices.
I highly recommend this book!
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Format: Paperback
Thank God for Mary Hunt! She hit me right between the eyes with reality. We started in Spring 1995 with $70,000 in debt. It has taken 3 1/2 years of hard work, but in 4 months we will be completely debt free except for our mortgage, and will be in the black for the first time since 1985. She saved our marriage, gave us back our sanity and ensured that our son will have a great future. Read this book!!!
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Format: Paperback
"The Complete Cheapskate" didn't sound like an answer to debt to me when I first saw the title. But I assure you,Mary Hunt has learned the hard way how to value every penny and invest - not spend - it wisely. I like to read advice from those who've been there, and Mary Hunt made me feel thrifty! Funny, sincere, and to the point. There's hope!
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Format: Paperback
The book should be required reading for anyone who uses credit cards (especially those who don't pay them off each month.) As someone whose "been there" Mary Hunt gives practical suggestions about how to work your way out of debt--and love the person you become as you do. The book has good tips for us all. Bravo!
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Format: Paperback
I found out about this book through a friend of mine. Five years ago, she was in debt, driving a 9 yr old car, and having some problems with finances. Last year, after paying off her new car with cash, she purchased a condo. I asked how she changed so dramatically. She told me about this book.
Last year, I sent this book to my sister who was 20K in debt. She was worrying about her finances every time we talked. Within a week of reading this book, her whole attitude changed and her worry was gone. She started the system in the book. Today, her debt is reduced to 14K and she is very confident in eliminating her debt in the near future. The results I have witnessed have been phenomenal!
I have always been a saver but have always wanted to help my sister who was troubled with her finances. I tried to help her but the only result was more frustration. Sending this book to my sister was the best thing I have done for her. And I won't hesitate to send it to anyone else in my life that needs this type of help.
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Format: Paperback
Simply put: this book changed my life. I couldn't put it down once I started it. I have since begun my money makeover and things are looking better than they have in years. The book is a Godsend for those like me who found money disappearing every month. She uses common sense techniques, but the key is the way that they all work together. Also, don't discount this book if you're not a religious person. Even though she emphasizes God and tithing, you can give your money to ANY charitable organization and still follow her program.
This book is not perfect, and although my complaints are minor, I do have a few.
1. My main complaint was that she ignores past-due debt when doing the money makeover. I had MANY past due bills and they just didn't fit into the makeover anywhere. My solution was to postpone opening my Freedom account for 3 months, and use that money to pay off as many past due accounts as I could. I also started my savings & giving at a lower percentage at first. It will work, just be VERY careful not to let total outgoing money exceed total income. Open your Freedom account as soon as possible, it is wonderful and essential to keeping on track.
2. She recommends dealing with cash. I found that dealing with cash was one of the reasons my money kept disappearing. I am electing to deal with as LITTLE cash as possible, so it's much easier for me to keep track of where I'm spending my money.
Even with complaints, I still rate this book 5 stars because of the radical positive impact it had on my finances when I followed her program. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
The tile of this book is somewhat misleading - The Complete Cheapskate is not really about how to be "cheap" or get the best deal on something. In fact, the book's subtitle describes much more accurately what it is really about: "How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out, and Break Free from Money Worries Forever!" In short, The Complete Cheapskate is a concise and down-to-earth guide to getting out of debt and getting one's finances in order.

Speaking from her personal experience, Mary Hunt describes the struggle with debt that she had gone through. Even though it was a difficult time for her and her family, she was able to overcome it and learned a lot in the process. Since then, she has dedicated her career to helping people in similar situations overcome their dependence on material things and get their financial lives on track. This book outlines her step-by-step process for getting control over one's finances.

It all begins with developing the right attitude towards money and spending, and being committed to this new financial journey. Then comes the hard part: getting a realistic assessment of your debt situation and begin taking some basic steps to get out of it. After that, Mary tackles subjects ranging from Giving, to Saving, to starting a "Freedom Account" (a powerful concept that, once applied, will help you always be prepared for any unexpected expenses, as well as save for some fun things). She then helps you figure out how to live within your means by using some basic budgeting, and offers a long list of money-saving tips in a separate chapter. Once you have committed to getting out of debt and taking control over your finances, Mary's system is easy to apply.
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