Do you or someone you know have financial difficulties? I’ve been there…and today’s book recommendation provides the resources that helped me dig my way out.
Many years ago, a variety of crises left me flattened and broke. A long illness left me unable to work on a regular basis for about five years. My now ex-husband lost his job, and his next job was commission-based. As expenses mounted and income diminished, our unsecured debt went from a few thousand to about sixty thousand dollars. At the worst point, we were more than two months behind on our house note, and I feared losing a home in which we had a fair amount of equity.
We got those nasty calls from creditors, and I lost plenty of sleep.
We stopped incurring new debt in 1999, and I have been debt-free since 2004. When I met my current husband, I came into the relationship with zero debt, a substantially improved credit score, and a sound supply of savings and investments. I received multiple promotions in a short time and was even comfortable enough to travel to Europe on my own. Talk about a turnaround!
It turns out that I needed two things: first, I needed a plan. I needed to know how to deal with creditors and to manage money better. I also needed to understand why we had gotten into this mess in the first place. Yes, we had circumstances above and beyond our control, but we also had a precarious financial foundation to start with…and aspects of our personalities that fed the problem.
One book that provided significant help was Money Drunk, Money Sober: 90 Days to Financial Freedom by Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan. MDMS helped me do for my money what The Artist’s Way did for my creativity. It provided straightforward information, compassion, and some tough talk. As I started to understand my money personality (what she calls a “Poverty Drunk”), I gained insights and the tools to change.
At the beginning of last year, Cameron, along with her longtime collaborator Emma Lively, came out with a newer version of the same book with The Prosperous Heart: Creating a Life of “Enough.” I read it, mainly because I want to support Cameron’s work — Julia Cameron is my hero, and I wouldn’t be writing if it weren’t for her. It’s not bad, but MDMS is a far superior book.
BONUS BOOK: Another great resource is How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously by Jerrold Mundis. These two books, taken together, will give you all the info that you need.