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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
224 pages
Jan 2005
Bethany House

The Debt Diet: An Easy-to-Follow Plan to Shed Debt and Trim Spending

by Ellie Kay

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


At first glance, The Debt Diet by Ellie Kay would seem to fall into the same category as umpteen zillion previous books on a Christian approach to money management and debt reduction. Indeed, it has sections on setting up a budget, reducing credit cards and the carryover debts they maintain, learning to shop more wisely, and remembering to tithe and present an offering to God. And there is nothing wrong with including all this information, since, indeed, it is part of financial recovery and eventual prosperity.

However, what I found most valuable about this book is that it has some new ideas about understanding money itself, and it offers different insights on what can be meant by such terms as "sacrificial giving" and "long range planning."

Here's one example: the author says that tithing can be done on anything. Why not purposefully clean out your attic, basement, garage, closets, and desks and give away everything that can yet be used by someone and is not being used by you? Why not give a tithe of encouraging words (10% of all your spoken words), or your car use (drive others to church or to shopping or on errands), or your appliances (let someone use your washer and dryer on days you aren't using them), or even your books (become a lending library for friends and neighbors). How about 10% of all the flowers and vegetables you grow in your home gardens, and 10% of all the hugs you have to share, and 10% of all the time you possess (to do free nursery work at church or babysitting or volunteer helping). Isn't that a clever concept? Wow…radical, unlimited tithing! A great idea!

I also liked Kay's suggestions on investing now for a benefit that will pay off for someone else far, far into the future. For example, you can buy zero coupon bonds that will mature when your grandchild needs to go to college 20 years from now. Similarly, grandparents can invest in a 529 plan and can enjoy tax benefits now and have a grandchild enjoy tuition payments many years later -- a win/win situation. All this is explained in detail in Chapter 11 (excuse the terrible pun -- not to be confused with the IRS term for bankruptcy).

One overall value to this book is its insistence that all family members need to learn about discipline, saving, goal setting, planning, and cooperation no matter what an adult or child's age might be. The author talks about allowance, specific chore lists, and skill development. Instead of rearing another generation of credit card addicted spendthrifts, why not raise a group of logical, focused, money-savvy savers and investors?

This book is clever, easy to read, and very contemporary in its insights. -- Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Timely Help From America’s Family Financial Expert®

Are you...

  • Floating bills? Paying minimums?
  • Toting around sizeable debt?
  • Would you rather baby-sit teething triplets than discuss finances with your mate?

It's not too late! Whether you need to lose a few pounds of debt, or a truckload,
take heart! With her humorous can-do style, Ellie Kay delivers a "Debt Diet" you can stick to as you lose the debt and become financially fit!

Hands-On Exercises and Worksheets Make It Easy:

  • Stepping on the Scales—assess your debt "weight" problem.
  • Evaluate Your "Money Moves" and leave poor spending habits in the dust.
  • Beauty or The Beast—does your credit card "work out" more than you do?
  • The One-Hour Money Workout—practical ways to argue less and save more.
  • Fiscal Report Card—age-appropriate ways to teach your children a strong work ethic, delayed gratification, responsibility, and more!