Thursday, November 22, 2012

Debt-Proof Your Christmas: Celebrating the Holidays Without Breaking the Bank by Mary Hunt, Found of

Goodreads Synopsis:
Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also one of the most stressful--and most expensive. Expectations run high and it's tempting to whip out the credit cards to create the perfect Christmas for your family, with lavish meals, new decorations, and the latest, greatest gadgets and fashions for everyone on your Christmas gift list. But you don't have to overspend or go into debt to have a fabulous holiday. 
Financial expert Mary Hunt shows readers how. She helps readers assess their financial situation, commit to no new debt, and think creatively about their gift list. With Mary's guidance, readers will identify what has caused them to overspend in the past and approach this Christmas with a plan and a new attitude toward holiday spending. This just might be the best gift you can give yourself and your family. This book is an updated edition of "Debt-Proof the Holidays."

My Take:
5-Stars and MORE!
This book is written by Mary Hunt, founder of the website, Debt-Proof Living, (an excellent website to follow I have found!) and also by her many dedicated fans from her website! With this book, she wants to help ALL of you come out of this holiday shopping season WITH ZERO DEBT!
So, to ALL of you Thanksgiving Shoppers out there preparing for Black Friday, this year starting TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT! (And 'some' stores have already started their hours as I write this review!) Then we have Cyber-Monday in a few days, I 'hope' this book review can help you come out debt FREE, like Mary wants! This is starting in a few mere hours away, and if you have an ereader, now is the time to download this book and at least skim over it before you step out that door to do your holiday or bargain shopping! Hopefully you can at least skim through this book quickly enough to get a few ideas to help you STAY OUT OF DEBT THIS YEAR! Or, take your ereader, or whatever device you are using to read this on, and while standing in line, read, read, read!
I find this book is worth a hundred fold MORE than the cost of it. The helpful ideas, suggestions, and even tips from her Followers on her website are VITAL to the holiday season.
If I can share ONE thing that Mary says is vital, it would be this: TAKE CASH, NOT PLASTIC! NO PLASTIC AT ALL! She even advises 'if' you are to use plastic, a credit card offers more protection than does a Debit Card! Please be aware that in 21 days the interest starts immediately, NOT IN 30 DAYS! (You need to always check your credit card's 'small print'! Better yet, leave the plastic AT HOME!
For one, Mary says we allow the overcommercialization of the season to overcome us, and we get caught up in the man-made hype, the 'feeling' of the season, and allow it to almost become a popularity contest. I can so relate to this! My kids 'love' their one aunt to pieces because she buys them 'designer' name items. Coach purses, brand name items, etc. Can "I", mom, keep up with that? No. Do "I" think it is fair? No. I agree with Mary. This can be the most stressful time of year for many of us, if not ALL of us.
As I read this book, I kept reading 'predict and prepare', 'predict and prepare'. Is your plan in writing? How true! Have you done this homework before you step out your door? Do you know what you want your holiday to look like money-wise? Have you made a list and are you dedicated to sticking to it, especially with ALL of those gorgeous holiday displays beckoning your name? It's HARD! I know I can get caught up in the season inside the stores, too. The stores plan this. There is Christmas music playing, the stores are all decorated to the hilt, and have been since the evening of Halloween, getting us all hyped up. The circulars that have been mailed out to us, the television commercials are already playing and have been for the last week. Even Amazon has had 'the week before Black Friday deals' going on.
With all of this, she asks us if we are going to allow our emotions to spark a repeat performance of previous years? Come January when the after-Christmas bills roll in, are you prepared, or are you going to freak out? Are both you AND your significant other on the same page? She talks about 'mindless shopping'. Do you have a plan? Is it in writing? Have you thought this out?
She goes on to talk about and ask us what are we after? It should be the great  "good memories of Christmas", "NOT THE DEBT IN JANUARY MEMORIES!" She talks of wonderful memories and renewed relationships that should be the priority for Christmas, and it is NOT 'our' job to fulfill the deepest desires of every person on our lists. We are not mind readers, nor their dream fulfillers. She also says these people probably don't even remember what we got them last Christmas.
Whoa! That got me! Stopped me dead in my tracks at the realization of that! How true!
Instead she has incredible advice for us to follow. Setting a spending limit for every person on our list, making sure our attitude is not influenced by the surroundings we are shopping in, to stay out of the stores at certain times, to plan ahead and put our plans in writing, and most important of all is to ONLY have CASH on hand so we DON'T GO INTO DEBT. (What a concept!) All of these things I just listed are the most important in the book, and they don't stop here. There are many, many more, but my review would be a lot longer, and 'you' really need to get this book. You are going to find it priceless year after year.
She even asked her Readers to send in suggestions as to how they spend and what they buy for the holiday. This book covers everything. Tipping, giving to coworkers, neighbors, the paperboy, waiters, waitresses, gift cards, charities,  and even your significant other. She also reminds us that the best things of this season are the things that money cannot buy.
She also has her Readers write in and tell her their plans on how they started shopping and making things starting in the summer. She says it's not to late to start now, either. There are recipes in this book to make many handmade items, so many, in fact, it takes up a great portion of the book. The ideas are limitless and incredible! I loved them! What could be any more personal than something you made with your own hands, be it food or a craft meant especially 'for' that one person?
The resources for websites in this book are incredible! I have highlighted almost every website mentioned! I am going to look at all of them before I spend. I'm in NO hurry after reading this book.
I LOVED this book! It is so well worth every penny spent on it. I thought I already knew everything there was to saving money and not over spending for the season, and boy, was I wrong! This is one book I am keeping in my library and will look at even for birthdays when one or both of my kids are begging me for the latest and greatest! At the weak moments in my life, just about when I am ready to give in, I have made a pledge to myself to GRAB THIS BOOK!
I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, Baker Publishing, a Division of Revell Publishing through NetGalley, in exchange to read and write a review about this book. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but, of my own honest opinion. “Free” means I was NOT provided with ANY MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading the book. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255,
Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

About the Author:

From Amazon:
Debt-Proof Living founder Mary Hunt has authored 18 books on money management and becoming debt-free. Her nationally-syndicated newspaper column, "Everyday Cheapskate," appears in newspapers across the country and is also distributed electronically to opted-in subscribers every weekday. She is the money editor at Woman's Day magazine and is a regular guest on national radio and television shows.

Debt-Proof Your Christmas: Celebrating the Holidays without Breaking the Bank by Mary Hunt

Print Book: $10.39
Ebook:        $ 9.39


  1. I have her older books. This is such a great review. I had to add it to my collection and TBR pile. Thanks.

    1. Hi Jackie!
      Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment! Thanks for the compliment about this book's review being great! Just shows how much I LOVE this book! Yes, I noticed when posting my review at Amazon how many other books she has written! Wow! This woman is a WEALTH of information! Amazing! I guess over time we 'do' learn a LOT! GREAT idea to write it all down! She had reader's of her blog write in with ideas, too, which she includes in this one, I don't know about the other books or not?
      Thanks again! Always glad to see you come by!

  2. Hi Zmalik!
    Yes, this book is GREAT! It's a keeper for me! Especially in the back of the book with ALL the recipes to make hand crafted, home cooked/crafted gifts, too! GREAT ideas to save on wrapping paper and so much more! Yes, NO PLASTIC! BEST advice possible!
    Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy this book, too!


I LOVE Comments so please leave one! After I review the comments and make sure they are NOT SPAM - I HAVE BEEN BOMBARDED WITH SPAM - YOUR COMMENTS WILL BE PUBLISHED HERE! Thanks SO MUCH for your patience and for leaving a comment!!! Comments are ALWAYS welcomed, YET THEY WILL NOT LINK TO GOOGLE+ EITHER DUE TO THE AMOUNT OF SPAM!!! When I say this blog is experiencing SPAM, we are talking 30+ comments PER DAY that are spam! Please understand!! Again, thank you!!