Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Review: Debt Free Forever by Gail Vaz-Oxlade

I trust Gail Vaz-Oxlade. I used to watch "Til Debt Do Us Part" whenever I could and I thought she just made a lot of sense. So, when it came time to start getting my own minimal debt under control, She was just the right person to turn to.

She doesn't BS you into believing there is some magic potion that can erase your debt and give you savings *just like that*.  She just serves up reality with a heavy dose of encouragement and shows you that it is reasonable to get yourself out of consumer debt in 36 months.

She gives you the formulas to figure out how much money you need to allot to living and how you can use the rest to pay down your debt.   Her no-nonsense attitude toward money makes it feel like it is almost easy.   Most of all, for me, she made me look at our debt as though it is just overweight and needs a good diet (my words, not hers).   Through a bit of belt tightening and a lot of dedication, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

It wasn't easy to do her math, though.   It was almost painful for me to rifle through the last 3 months of our spending to work out average monthly spending.   It took almost a full day and I hated that I knew it was skewed by Christmas.   It did give us a place to start, though.  Then, I went onto her website and downloaded some of her free budget worksheets to figure out how much we were going to be living on going forward until DF-day (Debt Free Day lol - again, my words, not hers).   It was through her gentle educating that I finally had the saving light bulb go on and I set up my savings account at ING again.  I can't contribute to it quite yet, but soooooon (topic for a different post).

Gail's voice in the book is the same voice she uses on her TV shows.   It might come across as bitchy, but ultimately you know she's just there to help you.   The dose of reality I got from reading this book has made me feel like I actually am in control of my financial future and it has made me want to do whatever I can to make it the strongest I can.  Thank you, Gail Vaz-Oxlade.  I'd say I was forever in your debt, but because of you, I am going to be Debt Free Forever!

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