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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth at least 100 times the price
I first read this book almost by accident in September of 1997. I was browsing through a bookstore out of town, and there it was. I thought $7 couldn't hurt. I've tried everything else. Why not this book?
Well, 2 1/2 years later, I've been able to pay off more debt than I care to mention. ($20,000+ comes to mind as a fairly accurate figure). I have often wondered...
Published on May 22 2000 by Michael Mendenhall

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK if not already making progress on debt.
This book would be great if you were just beginning to pay off debt. My husband and I have a large credit card debt. We quit using them 4 months ago and have already planned our expences. We used his theory of not depriving ourselves. We have never been behind in our bills and have always been able to pay slightly more than the minimum on our debts. This book did not...
Published on Nov. 27 2001


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth at least 100 times the price, May 22 2000
By 
Michael Mendenhall "september17th" (Monterey, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous (Mass Market Paperback)
I first read this book almost by accident in September of 1997. I was browsing through a bookstore out of town, and there it was. I thought $7 couldn't hurt. I've tried everything else. Why not this book?
Well, 2 1/2 years later, I've been able to pay off more debt than I care to mention. ($20,000+ comes to mind as a fairly accurate figure). I have often wondered what makes a self-help book really helpful. There are several things about this book that I really liked.
The first is that it is not a book about investments and how to get rich quick. It's not about depriving yourself either. It really doesn't give any specific financial advice which is why I liked it so much. There are other books for stuff like that.
Probably the single most important lesson in this book, and one which has changed my life immensely, is stop borrowing money. Just stop. Do it one day at a time. When I started on my debt repayment plan, I didn't worry so much about paying off my debt as much as not taking on any new debt. If that sounds simplistic, well it is. That's the whole point of this book. It's simple. It's not easy. If you want to heal, stop the bleeding. People who are in the rat race of juggling credit cards are bleeding cash every month. Stop the bleeding first, and then you start to heal.
Another lesson I learned is the monthly spending record. My friends howl when I suggest this. Keep track of every penny, yes every penny, that comes into your life and out of your life. I can say with conviction that that suggestion alone, coupled with not taking on new debt, will make your life so much different, you'll wonder in amazement. The author suggests keeping a weekly spending record and transferring it to a monthly record. I keep just a monthly record. It takes up very little time. It's also very eye opening how much money flows right out the expense column every month. The benefit of this is it allows you to make adjustments and find out where you are bleeding. It's not enough to guess. Until you write down everything, you will never fully understand where your money problems are. You can use a computer spreadsheet or you can do what I do which is write it down on old fashioned paper.
Another lesson this book taught me is that you don't need a credit card. Now there's a revolutionary concept. If you really think about it, how many people in your life including yourself say, "I need a credit card for emergencies." Hogwash! I've had two genuine emergencies in my life where I needed money and needed it fast. Well guess what? I had two choices, I could pay with a credit card or I could pay with cash. I paid with cash. Funny how many people accept cash as a payment these days. If you want to get out of debt, get out of the credit card habit. Use a debit card. I use my Visa debit card for all my amazon.com purchases, and it works beautifully. Same as cash.
One more thing, if you use credit cards and you pay interest every month, do you realize you're making the bank rich? Do you realize you're working for the bank? Whether you like it or not, that's true. Here's another lesson. Look over your credit card balances right now and ask yourself out of all the money you owe, how much stuff do you have to show for it?
Why do I give this book 5 stars? Well, I can divide my life into two time periods. The first time period was everything that happened up until september 14, 1997 which is the day I bought the book, and everything that has happened since then. I have no credit card debt at all since reading that book. I do have a credit card (okay, I cheat) with a $350 limit only to rebuild my credit. I pay it off every month. One word of caution, reading this book can be frustrating at times because you will come to the full realization that your attitude about money is completely wrong and that you are overwhelmed with debt that will take a long time to pay off. Relax. Once you start paying off your debt, it's all downhill. It picks up speed as you go along. I know, I've done it. Thanks Jerrold Mundis for writing this book. I've saved thousands of dollars in interest because of it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope and Help for anyone struggling with debt., Feb. 17 2004
Mundis has been where you are. He's struggled with massive debt, considered bankruptcy, felt despair over low income and climbing credit card balances.
After years of struggle, he found the way out. His method is based on the principles of Debtor's Anonymous, and the keys to the method are these three steps:
1) One day at a time, you don't incur any new debt.
2) You keep an accurate daily spending record.
3) You stick to your spending plan.
Notice I didn't say "three EASY steps." People struggling with debt often find the steps difficult, maybe even impossible, to implement. Why? Lots of reasons, it turns out. The good news is, Mundis helps you understand what those reasons are, and then he shows you ways to find the resolve to stick with the steps.
He offers hope and then some practical help. Truly, I think this is one of the best books I've read on beating debt. I think it will feel like a Godsend to anyone who knows the hopelessness that accompanies crushing debt.
Mundis also has a website. Get the book first, though. If you're a debtor/spender this book is a WORTHWHILE place to spend a bit of cash.
Reviewer: Linda Painchaud
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK if not already making progress on debt., Nov. 27 2001
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous (Mass Market Paperback)
This book would be great if you were just beginning to pay off debt. My husband and I have a large credit card debt. We quit using them 4 months ago and have already planned our expences. We used his theory of not depriving ourselves. We have never been behind in our bills and have always been able to pay slightly more than the minimum on our debts. This book did not give us any new advise on how to reduce our debt quicker. However, it would have been good when we first started out, or if we had been behind on bills.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed, I cried...no, really, I did!!, June 20 2003
In deep debt and in the dark about what to do? Buy this tape! I've just begun my climb out of the mire of debt but I feel rejuvinated, hopeful and confident that this -- my third time -- will be the last time I let my debt quietly creep up to unmanageable amounts. If you're ready to "surrender" to the fact that you have a problem and want help, the narrator provides it in a way that is non-judgemental and without condemnation. I was genuinely touched by the sincerity, clarity and compassion of the narrative. I was emotionally moved by the fact that the guidance I really needed had arrived. On the other hand, the author, at times, is hilarious as he takes you down a very entertaining and extremely helpful path toward solvency. Thanks to this tape, I'm on my way out, and done with debt for good!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, April 6 2002
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous (Mass Market Paperback)
I majored in accounting in college, so I should know better, but I managed to graduate with a ton of credit card debt and then financed a new car. This book gave me the practical advice I needed to make a debt-reduction plan and stick with it. It also gave me some great ideas about how to stop being tempted to use my credit card all the time. I had all the credit card debt and car debt paid off in about 2 years and have never carried a credit card balance since then.
I have recommended this book to lots of people who are having debt problems but don't know where to start for help in fixing them. I have also recommended it to people who have their heads in the sand about their debt problems.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great book!, Dec 8 2003
By 
J. shaw (Virginia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is great. It gives you a chance to look at your spending humerously. and it helps you realize that you really don't have to be in debt if you don't want to be. I was encouraged and as a back up im going to attend my first debtors anonymous meeting. I have been hiding away all of my bills and late payment notices for months Yesterday i finally had the courage to calculate how much i owe. (normally this would through me into a state of depression) and i owed 36,000 more than what i kept telling my self i owed. And believe it or not im not depressed. If i had not read this book i would be at work this weekend trying to make overtime and crying the next week because i didn't have enough money. If you have bill collectors calling you and you are tired of waking up in the middle of the night trying to figure out how to pay your bills get this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is a must have to stop the madness!, Dec 8 2003
By 
J. shaw (Virginia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous (Mass Market Paperback)
this book is a must have if you are tired of passing out all of your money to everyone else but you. If you have bill collectors calling your home and job you need this book. If the student loan people are calling your relatives cause you refuse to answer your phone.... you need this book. If you toss all of your bills and "pink" bills into a corner and never open them you need this book. If you are tired of living paycheck to paycheck get this book. If you keep asking yourself where did my money go? get this book. if you find yourself at the bank right before opening to deposit a check to cover for a check you wrote that might bounce. getting this book is a good idea. oh and one more if you have relatives that never seem to have enough money and you think to your self hey these are my parents i should be borrowing from them not visa versa... get them this book. I liked it so much im going to a debtors anonymous meeting today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book was not very useful., Sept. 2 1999
By A Customer
Ce commentaire est de: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous (Mass Market Paperback)
This book did not provide much "meat"...it spent too much time prepping the reader for the right mentality. ("Take a deep breath", "you can do it", etc.) I would have liked to have seen more explicit suggestions and useful recommendations. Those offered could have been condensed into 1-2 chapters. ("Stop charging", and "leave the credit cards at home" are very basic recommendations).
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5.0 out of 5 stars If debt is creating a crisis for you- get this book!, Feb. 13 2002
By 
L J Fox (Falls Church, Virginia USA) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous (Mass Market Paperback)
This book made a huge difference in my life. I had problems with debt for 20 years and was heading into serious trouble when I found a copy of this book. I remember finding the book in a bookstore (before Amazon.com existed) and I was embarrassed to buy it- that was the shame of being in debt. I was very scared because I was getting deeper into debt and not able to make even the minimum payments on my credit cards. I was borrowing (getting cash advances at ridiculous rates) from one card to pay the other. I sat down and read this book and it was tremendously comforting. I also found a local Debtor's Anonymous meeting and attended the meeting the same week. This book and DA changed my life and after 5 years I have nearly tripled my annual salary and have eliminated my unsecured debt. Jerrold Mundis teaches you that those who work this program obtain a great deal of "abundance" in their lives. Mundis writes about the "miracles" that occur when you work this program and I have experienced them first hand. It is not a Debtor's Anonymous sanctioned book, but everyone in DA has heard of it. I would have to say though that this book is not for everyone. The principles you learn in this book regarding the concept of not carrying any unsecured debt are excellent and everyone with a credit card should learn them. But this book was written for those who are in a crisis due to their debting. It will benefit problem debtors the most or anyone who is going down the road to deeper debt. Mundis is adamant about not giving up on yourself and not declaring bankruptcy. He guides you through all the consequences you may face due to your debting, such as judgments and court appearances. It is very comforting to learn about all these issues and how to deal with them, rather than live in fear of having collection agencies phoning day and night.
I've read some other reviews here that were critical of this book. As I stated before, this book is for those who are in a crisis due to their debt. This book was written in the 1980's and has not been revised so the writing style may seem dated, but the principles are rock solid. There are excellent books available on subjects relating to investing and personal finance, but this book is a special book for debtors in crisis.
I am still using the principles that Mundis lays out in his book such as the spending record. I know exactly where every cent of my money is going and where I have a tendency to over spend. Even though I no longer debt I still have a tendency to be a spendthrift and the techniques I learned from this book help to keep me in check. I also have a spending plan- not a budget- that I update every six months and follow consistently. As Mundis points out, it is not about doing without and sacrificing. You will learn that you can take the vacation you want and pay cash for it. You can have everything you truly desire and not go into debt. You will develop an incredible sense of freedom that will enable you to live fully and successfully because you won't be burdened by debt anymore. I'm sure all this sounds too good to be true, or even magical in a way, but it isn't. If being in debt is causing a problem for you, you should get this book and read it and then follow the advice closely. Mundis walks you through all the difficult tasks you must face, such as totaling up how much you owe, contacting creditors to work out a payment plan, and not going one cent further into debt. I felt like I was the only one going through the hell of being seriously in debt, but he made me realize I was not alone and I could one day be debt free, too.
This book will teach you so much and it will also restore your confidence in yourself. It gives you the courage to face up to dealing with the mess you've made of your finances and it gives you hope that you can one day truly be debt free and living prosperously.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book- Should Be A First Read for many in debt., Sept. 26 2001
By 
Edward Crawford "Beatles Fan" (Randolph, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous (Mass Market Paperback)
Ok, I have to confess. I just recently got out of debt. I still need this book though. Why? To prevent it from happening again. This book gives simple reasons, that many of us never actually reflect upon, of why we get in debt. It gives psychological reasons without putting all sorts of jargon in your face. It also helps that this author was in debt. Perhaps he is one of the few who actually admit this. Many financial books I read, though very good, come from where it is an "expert" or author who never states if they ever were in debt. It's good to think this comes from someone who had been in my shoes and vice versa. I got the book from the library, but also want to buy a copy for my own personal library. It also seems timeless enough where he would have to do very little updating. Don't beleive any negative reviews (only one so far, so that should probably tell you something) and invest in this book. The change is within you, but sometimes you need help to bring it to the outside. Good luck on your journey. Use this book as a tool, on that first step. You won't look back.
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