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Debt-Proof Living: The Complete Guide to Living Financially Free (Debt-Proof Living (Paperback)) Paperback – October 1, 2005
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There are plenty of heavily pedigreed personal-finance experts dishing out good advice, but not many who know what it's like to have to eat ramen all month to make a car payment. On the other hand, there's Mary Hunt, a recovered credit card addict whose free-spending ways landed her family in the middle of $100,000 of unsecured debt in the early 1980s. Pulling herself out of that morass gave Hunt the courage to strike out on her own as a writer, motivational speaker, and the brains behind The Cheapskate Monthly, a newsletter and Web site (www.cheapsk8.com) dedicated to promoting the art of living within one's means, a message that grows ever more urgent as the average American family struggles each year to pay $1,200 in interest alone on revolving, unsecured debt.
While Hunt's previous books have echoed some consistent themes--debt bad, saving good--they've addressed a hodgepodge of different areas: building financial confidence in women and kids, doing Christmas without a stack of credit cards, tips for gourmet cooking at low cost. In Mary Hunt's Debt-Proof Living, Hunt finally puts together a financial primer for all--whether retirees trying to decide when to start drawing Social Security or teenagers ready to sign for their first college loans. Security, according to Hunt, is built with simple tools: tithing, saving, paying off debt, creating a contingency fund for emergencies, driving used cars, owning a home, having insurance.
Although Hunt's "been there, spent that" zeal and warmth have turned her into the Ann Landers of personal finance, she's not just an agony aunt for spendthrifts--business experts will find her a savvy marketer who's using her name and story to build, somewhat ironically, a very effective brand. That doesn't negate her sincerity, however, or the fact that her advice is sound, her formulas work, and her Rapid Debt Repayment Plan has kept increasing numbers of families out of bankruptcy. And finally, Mary Hunt's Debt-Proof Living is just a joy to read--its clarity and lack of condescension make it a perfect gift for anyone just starting to understand the basics of money. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
This All-New and Revised edition of Debt-Proof Living reflects changes in the economy and consumer credit industry, while retaining all of the relevant content that has kept this book a bestseller since its original release in 1999.
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I purchased three and all are excellent. Mary's advice is sound and, although she hardly mentions the Bible, her opinions (especially the importance of giving) are biblically-based. She doesn't talk in vague theories, but gets down to the nitty gritty. Her advice is practical, easily-understood, and applicable to anyone. No matter how bad off your financial situation is, you can begin following Mary's steps to financial health immediately, today. You may have to start out very small, but, as your situation improves, you can apply more and more of her principles.
I will say that, having read three of her books, the advice in all of them is essentially the same. This particular book does go into more detail than the rest, and is more comprehensive in the topics covered.
Highly recommended for those who are in financial straits and don't know how to begin to get themselves out, and also for those who are doing ok financially but would like to know how to do better.
I find it more powerful to read someone else's true experiences, rather than some stuffy millionaire wagging their finger at me.
Mary Hunt writes with great humor. She offers some practical, and not-so-difficult strategies to put you on track.
She offers much hope, no matter what your situation.
Possibly the most impactive notion in this book (and it has made a major difference in my life) is to first GIVE 10% away, then pay yourself 10% in the form of savings, and live off the 80%. A radical idea? Maybe. Does it work? Oh, you bet it does.
I have bought numerous copies of this book for gifts (used, from Amazon, of course), and everyone who received one still thanks me.
This book will truly change your view of money, this sense of entitlement we seem to learn from media, and how to realize that the credit industry doesn't give a crap about you...they are just out to club you in any way they can.
In these troubling financial times, this book should be introduced into high school cirriculum.
DPL is my new Bible.
If I could have rated this book higher than 5 stars, I would have.
P.S.--I would also recommend Blaine Harris' "The Four Laws of Debt Free Prosperity".
The author is convinced there's hope, but only if the reader firmly accepts how bad things are without determined action to turn the tide. She constructs a sensible-as-nails approach based on the RDRP (Rapid Debt-Repayment Plan), Contingency Plan, and Freedom Account.
Formerly known as the `Everyday Cheapskate', Hunt has now acquired grativas. She also runs a handy subscription service, the online version of which is rich with tools and links. If you or someone you know is enslaved to debt, Hunt's books are a very good place to start the climb to sanity.