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The debt-free spending plan : an amazingly simple way to take control of your finances once and for all
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Author Notes
Joanneh Nagler is a former fundraiser and grantwriter who, spiraling in debt herself, was unable to find a simple, workable solution. She developed her own system-a five-minute-a-day approach that really works. She now coaches individuals and couples, using The Debt-Free Spending Plan to help them revolutionize their relationship with money. She lives in Burlingame, California.
First Chapter or Excerpt
INTRODUCTION Debt is a killer. It's a drag on our hearts and minds, an energy hog, and a full-time guilt-making machine. It leads us in only one direction: Down, into lives of worry, fear, and desperation. Even a little bit of debt can cause us enough grief to agonize over, our heads swirling in sleeplessness when we should be resting, our stomachs tied in knots whenever we think about our finances. We know--as anyone who has ever been in debt knows--the downside of being in over our heads financially. It's uncomfortable. It's painful. We can feel it right now, in our gut, and we don't even have to conjure up the details of it. Most likely it's caused us to stay up nights, grind our teeth, sweat bullets, overeat, have indigestion, break out in hives, or some other version of physical or spiritual discomfort. We know what it's doing to us. But the worst part about debting is that it's not just exacting psychological and physical payments for what we've done in the past. The horrendous worry comes from the fact that we are still doing it.We are in debt, we keep debting, and we don't see a way out. Our expenses are greater than our income, we say. So what else can we do? We can even argue that we feel okay about it--"it's just a board game," "what's the big deal?" "I front myself money, then I pay it back later. . . ." But we all know that being in debt does not produce feelings of peace and well-being. If we've dug ourselves a hole, debting against our home-equity line, running up credit cards or project debting (as I did), these rationalizations just make our guilt and self-loathing worse. We can get philosophical and argue that the debting machine of credit produces income for our economy--that it's "just the way things get done" in our cultural timeline, and we're just a cog in the wheel. We have to use credit cards. We have to be part of the machine. And even while we vent such justifications, we take no pleasure in being in debt, and we surely do not feel industrious for having accrued it. And most of the time, we have no idea how we're going to pay all that money back. So instead of feeling engaged and a part of our lives, we find ourselves yearning for the proverbial "one day" when we might (1) make twice as much money as we're making now, (2) get bailed out by an inheritance, (3) get a big pay-off from a "minor" car accident, (4) find a bag of cash by the side of the road, or, depending on the magnitude of the amount we owe, (5) escape to Bogotá for a lifelong visit. "One day" makes us feel trapped today, and a lot of the joy we could be experiencing in daily life vaporizes into worry over debt. We may have tried credit consolidators, borrowing from parents or friends, or getting an extra job to pay off creditors, and even when we have been able to zero those balances out, a year, two years, four years later we're in debt again. "How did this happen?" we lament. This is how it happened. We got ourselves into debt for one simple reason: We have no spending plan. We have no idea how much it really costs us to live, what we're able to live on, and what "wants" and "needs" we can afford. We think budgets are constricting and want no part of them, but our lack of spending clarity causes us even greater grief. We're afraid that if we look deeply into our finances we'll never have another luxury or fulfilled want for the rest of our lives. The Debt-Free Spending Plan will help you end all of that. It will help you take simple steps to stop running up debt, live within your means, and start building something that's meaningful to you. It will offer you guideposts to funding what you want, as well as what you need. It's easy to use and specifically designed for people who tune out when it comes to their money. It does not require that you learn a special computer program. It does not require that you live on noodles and toast. It does not require any special skills besides the use of a calculator and basic addition and subtraction. And it doesn't matter whether you make $14,000 or $14 million. If you can add, you can use the Debt-Free Spending Plan to live free from debt for the rest of your life. I'm not kidding. If you've had enough of the pain that comes from living in debt, then read on. If you want to live free of worry over money and start choosing where you spend your cash, then read on. This book is for everyone, everywhere, who has believed that money wisdom belongs to a special class of people with a special class of skills. It doesn't. It's yours for the taking right here in The Debt- Free Spending Plan. Excerpted from The Debt-Free Spending Plan: An Amazingly Simple Way to Take Control of Your Finances Once and for All by JoAnneh Nagler All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
Fiction/Biography Profile
Personal finance
Financial problems
Problem solving
- United States
Time Period
2012 -- 21st century
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Drawing on personal experience with debt, Nagler offers practical strategies for people who find their debts troubling or overwhelming, but who continue to buy on credit. Her "foolproof tools" are designed for those trying to take control of their money and lives, without donning a hair shirt of penurious sacrifice. Commonsensical rules such as drawing up lists of monthly bills and daily needs yield to surprises such as: "Don't skip the Entertainment category in your Daily Needs list." Nagler persuasively hammers home the larger objective of these exercises: "What do we love? That's where our extra cash should be going." The first step to financial independence is the simple principle of not spending money we don't have. Total spending must be constrained, but the elements must also be in proportion and money must be allocated for flat tires, doctor visits, and other inevitable setbacks. Those concerned with tackling debt in the immediate present would do well to work toward Nagler's goals. Agent: Herb Schaffner, Schaffner Media Partners. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Anyone suffering under the crushing weight of debt knows how impossible it can seem to find a way out. It's overwhelming--and the more complicated the proposed solution, the harder it is to stick with it.</p> </p> That's why The Debt-Free Spending Plan is SIMPLE. It doesn't require sifting through chapters of high-minded financial advice or digging up your past spend ing history. It assumes you need help RIGHT NOW, and gives it to you. You will learn to:</p> </p> * Downsize expenses without feeling deprived</p> * Allocate money as it comes in and put together an easy-to-manage bill-paying plan</p> * Adjust for inevitable overspending</p> * Pay off debt without gouging expenses and (believe it or not) start saving</p> </p> The plan is clear, easy, and takes just five minutes a day--and it doesn't matter if you make $14,000 or $14 million. With straightforward daily spending strategies and effortless expense tracking tools, you will soon find yourself on the road to financial freedom--all before the next billing cycle.</p>
Table of Contents
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xv
Chapter 1The Heart of Our Debting Issuesp. 1
The Debt-Free Spending Plan Is Not a Budgetp. 2
What This Book Will Do for Youp. 4
How Did I Get into This Mess?p. 6
So, What Have I Been Spending, Anyway?p. 12
Stop Debting, One Day at a Timep. 16
Pick Your Poison: What Going to Stop You?p. 20
Chapter 2In with Structure, Out with Stringency: The Simple Tools of the Debt-Free Spending Planp. 23
First Things First: Determine Your Incomep. 24
Introducing the Debt-Free Spending Planp. 27
Step One: Your Monthly Billsp. 31
Step Two: Your Daily Needsp. 33
Step Three: Add It Upp. 35
The One, Hard-and-Fast Rulep. 39
Chapter 3Make It Work Every Day: Your Personal Debt-Free Spending Plan in Actionp. 41
A Typical Debt-Free Spending Planp. 41
A Quick Emotional Read on the Numbersp. 44
Do Your Plan Once a Month, Every Monthp. 45
The Magic Little Notebookp. 46
Your Personal Tracking Recordp. 50
Your Bill-Paying Planp. 55
What to Do if You're Behindp. 59
How to Catch Upp. 61
What to Do if You're Aheadp. 62
"Payday Debting": Consultants, Home Office Professionals, Entrepreneurs, and Artistsp. 63
Debit Cards versus Cashp. 65
Putting It All Togetherp. 68
Begin Todayp. 73
Chapter 4Deprivation Will Never Get You Debt-Free: A Plan for Everything We Need, Want, and Dream ofp. 75
Why Have a "Healthy Reserve" Account?p. 76
You Also Need Short-Term Savingsp. 77
Fun Money and Special Projects Accountsp. 79
Weddings, Vacations, and Special-Event Debtingp. 82
Simple, But Not Always Easyp. 87
Learn to Live Well Firstp. 88
Chapter 5To Cut or Not to Cut: Taking a Reasonable Look at What You Can and Can't Affordp. 91
Cutting Means Financial Freedomp. 92
Making Cuts in Your Daily Needs Categoriesp. 94
Making Cuts in Your Monthly Bills Categoriesp. 113
Start Simply and Incrementallyp. 122
Chapter 6Nailing Down the Octopus Arms: How to Pay Back Your Debts without Gouging Your Living Expensesp. 123
The Value of a Debt-Repayment Planp. 125
Easy-Does-It Payback Plansp. 128
Credit Ratings and Less Than Minimum Monthly Paymentsp. 130
How to Talk to Creditorsp. 131
A Note About "Forgotten" Debtsp. 134
Making Your Peace with the Payback Timelinep. 135
Chapter 7Our Aphrodisiac Spending Plan: A Loving Approach to Approaching the One You Love About Debt Problemsp. 137
Lay the Unresolved Issue on the Tablep. 139
A Debt-Free Spending Plan for Twop. 142
Victoria and Mark's Spending Plansp. 149
Nobody Wants to Be Told What to Dop. 154
The Aphrodisiac Quality of a Debt-Free Spending Planp. 154
Lawyers, Guns, and Moneyp. 156
Hope, Backed by Actionp. 159
Chapter 8"Mom, Can I Borrow...?": How to Stop Asking for Money and Start Paying It Backp. 161
How Much Do You Owe?p. 162
You Pay What You Canp. 163
How to Make Money Amendsp. 164
Loans, Gifts, and Debt Forgivenessp. 166
The One-Third Windfall Money Rulep. 167
Chapter 9Creativity, Not Credit Cards: Learning from the Spending Plans of the Newly Debt-Freep. 169
Downsizing Means Things Are Looking Upp. 171
Five Real-World Examplesp. 174
Alanna's Debt-Free Spending Planp. 175
Pete's Debt-Free Spending Planp. 186
Michaela's Debt-Free Spending Planp. 195
Jake and Anna's Debt-Free Spending Planp. 199
David and Ellie's Debt-Free Spending Planp. 210
Chapter 10Keeping on Track and Keeping It Real: Using the Tools That Help You Stay on the Planp. 223
Tech Toolsp. 224
Bottom-Line Toolsp. 230
Coaching and Other Support Toolsp. 238
No Excusesp. 240
Chapter 11To File or Not to File: Bankruptcy and Our Future Financial Healthp. 243
Do I File for Bankruptcy?p. 243
Attorneys and Agenciesp. 245
Ethical Issuesp. 245
Be Honestp. 246
The Fallout of Filingp. 246
The Devil in Disguisep. 247
Chapter 12Building a Life of Financial Integrityp. 249
Success Is Going to Look Different Nowp. 250
The Real Jackpotp. 252
The Happy Lifep. 253
This Book Is for Youp. 253
Indexp. 255
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