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


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Getting 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

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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 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."