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4 Great Personal Finance Books to Help You Get Out of Debt

By Mark Riddix

books for getting out of debtGetting out of debt is by no means an easy process but it is definitely an achievable goal. Eliminating debt requires discipline, patience, and a solid financial plan. Books can be great resources in helping you construct a financial plan. We spend so much time in front of the television, but reading has so many benefits, including educating ourselves about topics such as personal finance and money management. Consider challenging yourself to read at least one non-fiction book per month. Here are four book suggestions to help educate you about money management and getting out of debt.

Maxed Out: Hard Times in the Age of Easy Credit by James Scurlock

This is one of my favorite books because this book does an excellent job of explaining how the financial system really works. The book chronicles the abusive practices of credit card companies and how credit and lending are pervasive in all aspects of society. Our economy was fueled by lax lending standards and easy credit. A bubble developed with too many Americans living on debt, and the bubble burst when the bill came due. Now we are trying to recover from lifestyles that were fueled by debt. The amazing part is that this book was written before the economic collapse of 2008.

The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan For Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

The Total Money Makeover is a great book for organizing your finances and developing a financial plan. Dave outlines his debt reduction system called “The Baby Steps.” The Baby Steps are not a magic elixir that will get you out debt overnight but with hard work and perseverance, you can be debt free. Dave stresses the importance of living a debt free life and using cash to pay for all purchases. I like the honesty and direct approach that Dave uses in The Total Money Makeover. This book is straightforward and easy to follow.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason

The Richest Man in Babylon is an under appreciated classic. The book is a short read that contains excellent nuggets of wisdom. The Richest Man in Babylon was written from a Babylonian perspective and uses parables and principles to illustrate the importance of financial management. Self control and discipline are critical aspects to reducing spending and money management. My favorite principle is to never spend more than nine tenths of your earnings. If you only spend what you have, you will never go into debt.

Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide To Financial Freedom by Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

Are you already in debt and plagued by calls from debt collectors? Then, you should take a look at Zero Debt. This is a very good book for digging yourself out of a financial hole. Zero Debt contains a practical financial plan that can be put into action right away. The book teaches techniques for dealing with pesky bill collectors and paying off past due debts. The Zero Debt plan teaches you lifestyle changes that will help you conquer debt and stay debt free for life.

Remember that no book will get you out of debt. Think of these books as tools to help you on your debt-free journey. By following the principles taught and putting them into action, you can be debt free!

 What are your favorite financial books for getting out of debt?

(Photo credit: alancleaver_2000)

Mark Riddix
Mark Riddix is the founder and president of an independent investment advisory firm that provides personalized investing and asset management consulting. Mark has written financial columns for Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area newspapers and is the author of the book, Your Financial Playbook.

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  • http://lifedividend.biz/ kt

    the best books on personal finance in my own opinion are robert kiyosaki’s books. while his investment advice is nowhere near credible, he has the uncanny ability of slapping you out of financial complacency and making you realise that there is a whole world full of opportunity and possibilities. that is what i needed when i first started out

  • http://www.moneyfunk.net Money Funk

    Even though most books speak a specific tune to certain people… The Richest Man in Babylon you can never go wrong with. Very easy to follow advice with lots of wisdom behind it. That is why I have a PDF of it available on my sidebar. :)

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    They all sound like fine books, but The Richest Man in Babylon sounds like it’s a step above. Definitely a bit different than the usual financial advice book and the reviews on Amazon are excellent. Looks like I’ll be picking this up on my next trip to the library!

  • Gina

    I personally love Dave Ramsey’s book! For sure, good advice, easy to read, to the point. I would recommend it for anyone who feels overwhelmed with their finances and is looking for an simple way to regain control. I have not read the other books, but will check them out–thanks!

  • Karmella

    Maxed Out and Richest Man In Babylon sound like interesting reading – I plan to check those two out. Thanks!

    • Mark Riddix

      You’re welcome.

  • http://www.yourfinances101.com/blog David/Yourfinances101

    Good list–but I disagree with a lot of the concepts by Mr. Ramsey–especially the debt snowball. To me, that one is just plain bass ackwards.

    • Mark Riddix

      Are you a fan of paying the balance with the highest interest rate first?

  • http://www.jgwentworth.com/Structured-Settlement/Sell-Structured-Settlement.aspx James

    i only read 1 of the 4, Zero Debt. it was a real eye opener for me and i was so clad that my wife bought if for us as a resource.

  • Winston

    Thanks for the list. I have never heard these titles before. I will see if I can pick one up in my next trip to the library. The one that that I find most intriguing is “Maxed Out: Hard Times in the Age of Easy Credit.” I would love to learn more about how the financial system works.

  • http://www.moneymonk.net Moneymonk

    I read all of the books at one point or another. Dave Ramsey book can be iffy b/c he has an all or noting approach.

    Debt is Slavery by Michael Mihalik is also a good short read about Debt.

    • Mark Riddix

      I will have to check that book out.

  • Tony5565

    Take a look at D.E.B.T. Did Everything But Think By Joseph Lorick

  • Tiffany

    I have read The Richest Man in Babylon and found it to be very worth reading and even a book u want to keep for your personal bookshelf to share with others. I have attended Dave Ramsey seminar and participated in the bible study for Financial Freddom and didn’t find it to be a tool that everyone can use. I’m looking now for a financial program/tool to help organize my finances in full depth. Will be looking thru the other books u have listed – thank you for the info :)

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