Million Dollar Diva. The Smart Woman's Guide to Getting Rich Safely by Tristi Pinkston, Brett Kitchen, and Ethan Kap
This book is a fast and easy read with great information. Tristi is a writer friend of mine and when she asked for people willing to review her book, I jumped at the chance. Free book right? What could be better than that? Well, the information in the book is so valuable I really encourage you to check it out. If you do it quickly, you can get the book for free until June 15, 2012, just pay the small shipping fee.
So let me tell you about the book and why it would be a great read.
Tristi and her husband actually put their real figures and their real debts out there for you to see. You can get the specific advice that Brett and Ethan (both financial advisers) give to her. I've heard these get out of debt principals before, but seeing it in the works for a real person helps. See their website here to learn more about Brett and Ethan
First off, start putting money into savings and plan for retirement. With that money out of the way and not thought of as yours, but as your retirement age self, you'll never miss it.
Pay off your smallest debt first as you continue to pay the minimum payments on all other debts. When first debt it paid off, then apply the money you had going to first debt to the other and soon you'll have things paid off completely. Sound advice. Easy right? As long as you remember to keep paying that to the other bills instead of using that "freed up cash" for something else. I've seen it before, but actually seeing the charts in the book showing Tristi's examples and seeing how soon she could have things payed off helped to solidify it for me.
They also talk about how to adjust your spending, looking for ways to cut out unnecessary things. In Tristi's case, they didn't have a whole lot of wiggle room for cutting anything more. They'd already cut plenty. But when they brainstormed and discovered they could adjust their Tax withholdings to free up money to pay off debt instead of giving Uncle Sam an interest free loan they could take control. Also coming up with ideas to use what they have, or getting lower interest credit cards just by asking the bank to help. Also how to think of ways to bring in extra income by doing things you know how to do.
One thing I really liked about the book is they tell you that becoming a Million Dollar Diva happens in 3 steps.
1. Taking ownership.
2. Living the proven wealth process.
3. Having a "Dream Scene" to keep you on track.
You don't have to give up everything. You don't have to live so frugally that your pennies scream cause you hold them so tight. You just need to plan for your expenses. If you want nice clothes, plan for them. Save for them. Don't go into debt to buy them.
As I finished the book, I determined to make some small changes in my spending. We are pretty fortunate and don't have a lot of debt besides the house and the car we are paying off, but I do have a tendency to let the credit card build up. After paying it off completely recently, I vowed to never let it get out of hand again. Just as said I wouldn't buy anything I didn't have cash in hand for, my dishwasher died. So holding true to my promise, I haven't bought a new dishwasher yet. We washed by hand for a couple weeks, but a friend of mine who had just upgraded their dishwasher let me have the old one for free.
We also got the kids on board. They've been saving up their money to buy their Wii game they've been begging for. We also let them know why we don't just buy what we want when we want it. We've explained how the whole money thing works at our house and why paying bills and putting money into savings is so important. So I can say it's possible to be frugal with your money. You just have to make the effort.
A few times as I read the suggestions the financial guys gave, I thought: I'm already doing that. Or That makes total sense, I should do that. Or That will never work for me. Or I don't agree with that. Or the thing I have in effect now works great for me. Nice thing about this book is they give you ideas, brainstorm with a real person and then you get to go to the website and see as Tristi posts updates to show how things are working.
Go to the website here to get your free copy until June 15. You only pay the shipping fee. I think it's totally worth it.
If you happen to read this after June 15 you can go to Amazon HERE to find the book.