Although there isn't anything in Matt Bell's book Money Strategies for Tough Times that can't be found in other money management books, his book does contain common sense about common cents. Bell begins with a confession that years ago he was $20,000 in debt to credit cards and had to move in with relatives just to survive. What he learned in coming out of that situation of embarrassment, desperation, and humiliation has formed the basis for this book and a previous text on money management.
Using budgeting charts, cash flow analysis records, and goal setting lists, Bell forces the reader to face the extent of his or her financial crisis and then to take small but continuous steps to turn things around. His book presents some absolutely radical concepts that may make some readers scratch their heads and wonder if Bell is nuts. For example, he thinks that there are many people who should sell their homes and go back to renting efficiency apartments until they get debts eliminated and savings accumulated. He also is in favor of a six month "spending fast," in which you buy nothing (absolutely nothing) except the bare minimum of food, and pay for only the strictest necessities of utilities, insurance, and transportation costs -- no eating out, no movies, no new clothes, not even gifts for loved ones. This not only helps you reduce other debts, but it also proves that you don't need to keep up with all the doo-dads being hyped by advertisers.
Although his book is not heavy handed in its use of Scripture, the tenets shared therein are Bible-based, and biblical stories and verses are used throughout the text. In fact, when dealing with extreme measures, such as filing for bankruptcy, Bell reminds Christians that Jesus can forgive people of anything. However, he is also a strong advocate of paying bills, staying out of debt, and not cheating others.
One aspect of this book that is very contemporary is Bell's caution to assume that you will lose your job or at least have a serious financial setback during the coming years, due to our very fragile economy in America right now. He instructs on how to lay aside adequate emergency funds, how to insure that you have a good credit rating, and how to know how to face a financial setback without panicking.
This is an easy-to-read and easy-to-follow financial manual. There are no great insider tips on how to make a million dollars in the stock market, but there are plenty of sound and rational suggestions on how to stay afloat even during rough financial storms. – Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Matt Bell’s Money Strategies for Tough Times is specially prepared to help you handle (and prevent) the tough times. No guilt trips—just practical, proven, sound money strategies, built on the timeless foundation of God’s Word, that you can put in motion today to weather any financial storm and take charge of your financial life.