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Back to the Black: How to become debt-free and stay that way (Telling Experience Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I think it's a good idea for everyone to read books like this now and again, to nip bad financial management habits in the bud, and to realise how easy it is to slip into deep debt. I'd put the advice in this book on a par with the wonderful Alvin Hall's books and broadcasts on personal financial management, but with a more British angle and with the added advantage of being written from the perspective of someone who has himself been to the edge of bankruptcy and back.
Michael J MacMahon wrote his book after recovering from a disastrous financial position years ago. He has clearly done an enormous amount of research on the solutions. What makes his advice especially digestible is that it's very personal and humane. MacMahon does his best to abolish the shame that one might feel if near bankrupt. He offers fellow-feeling and empathy rather than admonition and punishment.
In between dispensing serious guidance on recovery from debt, he shares numerous case studies demonstrating how easy it is to get into debt, with many of these examples showing that it's not necessarily the debtor's fault. This attitude deflects the focus from the reader's feelings of shame and guilt, and clears the way for them to get on with the important process of recovery. He also adds lots of entertaining and memorable quotes from people in all walks of life about the value and role of money, adding some welcome comic relief and wry humour.
Another benefit of this book is that it isn't a one-size-fits-all prescription. Instead the author presents three different broad plans of action and helps the reader to decide which one suits their own personality. He also shares many details of his own recovery and talks about what suited him, without insisting that it's the only way.
This is a deeply practical book, including lots of useful contact details plus templates for letters to be used at different stages of the recovery process.
The author has clearly remained in sound financial shape and retained the good habits that he had to learn the hard way. That he is apparently happier and more fulfilled in his current state may be taken as proof of the wisdom and genuineness of his advice.
For such a thorough, personal and practical book, I reckon this is excellent value. No matter what your level of debt is, I'd recommend it as a justifiable investment in your recovery. If you're in debt, it's likely to become your bible to help you get Back to the Black - and if you're not in debt,read it all the same, to help you stay there!
Let's hope you never need the advice in this book. However, whether you're already there or not, it is well worth while gaining the knowledge to be found here to help you.
Michael's advice is straighforward and many lightbulbs went on in my head when I read his no nonsense approach to disposable income. After years of having my head in the sand, I sat down, took a look at my finances and really thought about my outgoings. Where could I cut down? By thinking carefully about how I choose to spend my money and being mindful of where it all goes, I am moving closer to being in the black. This is definitely due to buying Michael's book and following his advice.
I am going to work my way through the book again soon, as I really want to be debt free by December 2015 (big birthday coming up). I know I can do it and can already imagine how good it will feel. I would defnitely recommend this book, it is full of practical advice. You might think £6,500 is a large debt, you may think it is a small debt. Either way, if you are wondering how on earth to halt the downward spiral, the steps Michael outlines could really help you. It's working for me!
The author is able to write at first hand experience about this problem as he was himself in debt some years ago, so he fully understands the stress and difficulties involved. In fact, some of the first advice in the book deals with how to deal with that stress before you start to tackle the issues of what to do about the debts. He offers a number of options to help you decide what course to take - eg. to go bankrupt or not to go bankrupt, or how to negotiate a deal for yourself. He includes a number of case studies to help illustrate the situations and sums up each chapter with a brief resume of the points covered. At the end of the book he has provided a list of useful resources that people may wish to call on for help - government bodies, websites, organisations and charities.
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It is very touching – Michael has been through a very hard situation, and he is open about it.Read more
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