Author: Cherie Lowe
Length: 247 pages
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (18 Dec. 2014)
“…we owed over $16500 on one major credit card. Again I wish we had something to show for it. But there’s no killer house addition, no walk-in closet filled with stylish clothes, no four-wheelers or vacation photos. We simply nickeled-and-dimed our way into five figures of debt – spent to cover household repairs, groceries…all very boring stuff.”
Most people I know don't accumulate debt because of a once-in-a lifetime fancy holiday they are desperate to go to. Or because they want to throw a party. New gadgets rarely even come into the picture.
Debt don’t always swoop in on the wings of extravagance. It can creep on us via our supposed needs - homes, cars, food, college fees, and such. The later approach applies to Cherie Lowe, who owed over $120,000 on mundane stuff, but had to confront the reality of it spiraling way out of control if she and her husband continued to close their eyes to the situation.
The Power of 2:
Cherie and her husband combine their powers to reduce their debt and live within their means. After three to four years, they reduce the whole debt to $0. Along the way, they also develop a website, “Queen of Free”, where they dispense tips on how to get stuff for free or cheap. From there, they secure a book deal and after a period, Slaying the Debt Dragon is born.
I wish I can say Slaying the Debt Dragon contains fresh gems to learn, but I cannot for there aren’t. It doesn’t mean the instructions in the book are unhelpful or irrelevant. Far from it. At least, it has advice like:
“There is no good time to be paying off debt. There is only today.”
“Make sure change is small, gradual, concrete, and sustainable.”
“A budget is certainly your most effective debt-slaying tool. With your budget, you can chop away at debt while also shielding the dollars you earn from being swallowed up by a black hole every month.”
However, there is nothing new for you to learn here. Slaying the Debt Dragon contains the same stuff you will find in many good financial and self-help books that deal with money management and debt.
Having said that, there is the behavioural and relationship part of debt management that Cherie covers but similar books don’t like to touch. Some of us have problems convincing our spouses to cut coupons with us or ditch the cable. Cherie gave a hint on how this can be done without going to war. She says this of her husband:
“Brian can talk a good game…However, what spoke volumes to me was the way he began to change his own personal habits with money. Again, he did this without coercing or even convincing me to do the same. I began to sit up and take notice.”
One another thing Slaying the Debt Dragon has going for it is its practicality. You can get alternative perspectives on how to save on food, laundry, cars, real estate, etc.
All in all, Slaying the Debt Dragon is straightforward and simple in its approach. This is a useful book, but don’t expect fireworks.
Upsides: Down-to-earth | Deals with the relationship side of debt management
Downsides: Nothing new | A bit preachy and repetitive
Review copy was provided by Tyndale House Publishers