Best Get Out of Debt Books

by Emily Guy Birken on June 22, 2011

Not all get out of debt advice is created equal. Different systems will work better for different individuals, and the best book for you might not be something that works for your brother-in-law.

So how do you know which book to choose? The following are ten of the best books of advice for getting out of debt. Some are tried-and-true classics and some are still hot off the presses, but each one offers positive solutions to your money problems.

The Truth About MoneyThe Truth About Money – Ric Edelman is an independent financial advisor and he uses this 4th edition of his bestselling title to add investment and retirement advice to his easy-to-understand explanations of all things personal finance. From getting out of debt to buying a house to handling your investments, this book will answer any money question you might have.

Think and Grow Rich – The quintessential self-help book, Napoleon Hill’s classic was published in 1937, at the height of the Great Depression. The 13 steps to success are still as relevant now as they were during our worst economic crisis and focus on the power of positive thinking. This book is geared more towards learning to shift your attitude than providing specific debt-reduction advice.

The 1-2-3 Money Plan – This practical handbook gives you three-step plans for dealing with all kinds of financial decisions. Author Gregory Karp emphasizes focusing on making “good enough” financial decisions so you are not paralyzed by perfection (and make no decision at all). This is an excellent resource for any financial questions you might have, and its advice is easy to understand.

One Year to an Organized Financial LifeOne Year to an Organized Financial Life – Regina Leeds is a professional organizer—the Zen Organizer—who helps individuals bring order from chaos. In this book, she teams up with financial adviser Russell Wild to map out a plan for getting finances in order. The book provides weekly activities throughout a year to help you get on the road to financial control. If you are prone to disorganization in your financial paperwork, this book will help you make sense of the mess.

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke – Suze Orman’s no-nonsense financial advice is world-renowned, and this book is geared toward 20- and 30- somethings who would like to get a handle on their money. With a focus on student debt, saving money on a small salary, debt consolidation, and the financial implications of marriage, this book will help the young with the particular problems they face.

The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey is another superstar in the field of personal finance. His ideas are simple and align with how your grandparents handled money: pay cash, pay off debt, keep an emergency fund, and save up for college. Ramsey’s motivational anecdotes will help keep you on track, and the simple “baby steps” he advocates are easy to do. This is a great introductory book on how to gain control of your finances.

Your Money or Your LifeYour Money or Your Life – This self-help book posits that most people are making a “dying” rather than a living. Instead of toiling away at a hated job for more money, Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez outline nine steps to financial independence. This map to fulfillment will help you to be more frugal and live within your means, even if you do not want to take it to the step of actual early retirement.

dfree: Breaking Free From Financial Slavery – DeForest Soaries is a pastor who believes that debt is not just a problem stemming from lack of financial education, but one that has spiritual and psychological roots, as well. This book shares the four secrets to debt-free living.

The Ultimate Money Guide for Bubbles, Busts, Recession and Depression – Martin Weiss has updated his bestselling book The Ultimate Depression Survival Guide to reflect the new normal that we are dealing with in the post-2008 economy. With advice on how to weather the financial storm and protect your investments and savings, as well as how to deal with slow credit, this book is a clear-eyed look at how to thrive in the current economy.

The 10 Commandments of MoneyThe Ten Commandments of Money – Liz Weston’s book focuses on dealing with money sensibly in the real world. With advice on the smart way to pay off debt and how to make a budget that you will stick to, this book provides a good introduction to money decisions in our current economic climate.

For even more books, see this list of the best personal finance books.

What are your favorite get out of debt books?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy Moran June 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

My favorite is Elizabeth Warren’s All Your Worth. She hears your excuses for your situation and rebuts them. Her approach to money promotes balance and choice: once beyond the necessities, she says you can have nifty clothes, for example, if you are willing to drive an older car. Then she sets aside some money to spend exactly as it pleases you. It seems very attuned to real life and real people.


Jan July 5, 2011 at 6:44 am

I recommend Early Retirement Extreme: a philosophical and practical guide to financial independence by Jacob Lund Fisker.


Nicole Couloute July 10, 2011 at 1:14 am

I loved The Total Money Makeover. It really made me think and change alot of my decisions.


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