I just finished reading How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, And Live Prosperously by Jerrold Mundis. I love this book! I have read quite a few finance books in the past. I was a big fan of Dave Ramsey for awhile. My husband and I even completed the Financial Peace University course a few years ago. Here we are, present day, in even more debt than ever before. Why didn’t Dave Ramsey work for us? Why does this book make me want to kill my debt more than the others did? Let me tell you…
The book is divided into four parts. The first part is entitled ‘The Debt Spiral.’ Mundis explains what debt is, warning signs, and personality categories into which we all can fit when it comes to living perpetually in a cycle of debt. Believe me, I fit into quite a few categories! The second section is devoted to stopping the debt cycle. Mundis really explains that the world will not end if you are unable to pay your bills. This really helped me to put things in perspective. My husband and I sat down this week and came up with a reasonable budget, including a small amount for entertainment (and I do mean small – $8.99 per month for Netflix). We also set aside $800 per month for groceries, which in my opinion, is reasonable for a family with 3 kids at home – 2 of whom are very tall growing teenagers!
This is where things are different this time around. In the past, I always made a point of paying all of our bills on time. Even if it was just the minimum payment on a credit card, that bill was paid. Unfortunately, that is what is causing our debt spiral. I paid the bills first, and whatever else was left over is what we had for groceries, gas, etc. Of course, it was never enough and we always ended up using credit cards for these essentials, digging us deeper into debt every month. We did this for years. Yes, years. My husband and I now have almost $40k in credit card debt right now. I won’t even mention our student loans (that’s another future post!) As I mentioned previously, we do not even have enough for even the minimum payments on our credit cards, but we do have enough to support our family in every other way. It feels great knowing that we finally have our priorities straight.
Part three of the book discusses how important it is to take action. I am actively searching for a job, applying to at least 3 positions every day. It’s only a matter of time before the extra cash comes. Real money this time – not borrowed! I also really enjoyed reading the fourth section of the book entitled ‘Freedom, Prosperity, & Abundance.’ I loved the section on receiving. I have always had trouble receiving anything – be it help, or compliments. Mundis mentions that reluctance to accept positive things can actually prevent you from gaining things in life. The last chapters of the book sum it up nicely. I absolutely love the idea of just taking it one day at a time.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman have fantastic ideas as well. I still listen to their radio programs and watch their shows on TV. This book in particular really changed the way I see myself – both personally and financially. If you are having issues with debt – read this book. (Get it at your local library!) You won’t be disappointed. Tell me about other great books on getting out of debt that you recommend!