I received a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Out of Debt* by Ken Clark for review. I’d like to give away this copy to a reader who can benefit from the book’s contents.
This 300+ page volume contains a broad overview of debt, types of debt, and how to pay it off once and for all. Without making you feel guilty for your financial situation, the book has sections explaining long-term debt, short-term debt, how interest rates work…addressing denial and then putting a plan into action.
The author starts out explaining his financial story. He’s a financial planner, and yet he and his wife maxed out their credit cards twice in a decade. Yikes! He was trying to save money by using a credit card to earn airline miles. He writes:
“Within a couple of years, a few extra dinners out, an occasional treat at the department store, and a blown transmission added up to a $10,000 credit card balance. We spent a lot of time that year pointing fingers and placing blame, which didn’t do a whole lot to actually pay off the card.
“With a $10,000 balance, we reached what I like to call the ‘screw it’ point. We’d say things to ourselves like, ‘We’re already $10,000 in debt, we might as well go out and have a nice dinner!’ Our $10,000 balance mushroomed quickly from there.” (page 5).
The ‘screw it’ place is a dangerous place to be. It’s important to take any and all debt seriously and formulate a plan to get it out of here for good.
The book gives you a general overview of cash flow, creating a spending plan (budget), and specific strategies to help you pay things off quickly.
The author points out several methods of debt repayment: paying off the highest-interest debts first, since that’s what mathematically makes sense, or paying off the smallest balances first so you’ll be more motivated to keep going.
Or, you could tackle the largest balance first, the debt that affects your credit score the most, the debt that stresses you out the most, or the debts with the nondeductible interest.
Really, the best method is the one you will stick to and see through to the end. One method might make more sense on paper, but you’ve got to pick the one you’ll actually do.
The last part of the book addresses life after debt. Are you really through with it? It dispels some myths about debt and offers suggestions for avoiding problems in the future.
This book might be for you if…
- You are in debt and have no idea how to get out of it
- Don’t respond well to tough love (a la Dave Ramsey)
- Prefer a “just the facts, ma’am” approach to obtaining information
- Would like a variety of ideas on how to pay off debts and improve your financial situation
Please enter this giveaway if you think you would personally benefit from having this book. Obviously, I don’t know your financial situation — so I’ll trust you to make that judgement yourself. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, since I’m shipping the book at my expense and I want to send it Media Mail.
Giveaway open until midnight, October 6, 2010. I won’t use your email address for anything other than to contact you for your mailing address, if you won. Winner will be randomly selected from the entries.
*Amazon affiliate link