Book Review: Mary Hunt’s Debt-Proof Living

Hi y’all! Thought I’d try something different and offer you a PF book review. I read it and wanted to give my input. πŸ™‚

I finally had a chance to read Mary Hunt’s book called, Debt-Proof Living. This is the 10-10-80 plan that I read about recently in my Woman’s Day magazine. This is the orginal plan that I began to implement with my family’s personal finance. So, I was glad to get a chance to finally read the book (which I might add, frugally checked it out at the library).

Unfortunately… the book did not grab my attention like I hoped.

There is alot of information in this book. And Mary Hunt does state that it may be overwhelming at first. She was right. I was a bit overwhelmed and intimidated. How to surmount this much information into my brain.

Let’s look at the Debt-Proof Living Principle. (I gathered the points I wanted to give input or thought were the most important):

  • Never Keep it All – give away 10%
  • Never Spend it All – save 10%
  • There are 5 things you can do with money: give it, save it, invest it, lend it, and spend it. Note: spend is last because, “it should never be the first thing you do with you money”
  • God is the source – the book connoted a Christain perspective. I remain unbiased.

What I do like, “It’s not how much money you make but what you do with it.”

So lets look at the plan:

  • 10-10-80: you give away 10% to charity or notable cause (like church); you save 10% (contingency fund); you live on 80% of your income
  • Within this 80% is building a Freedom Fund for variable expenses like auto tune-ups, christmas, kids school clothing, etc… Kind of like the bank’s Christmas Account. Having money ahead of time for those types of expenses

In the beginning, I did create a Freedom Fund. But to me, it became complicated to follow all these ‘accounts’, keeping multiple balances, and keep track w/out incurring any more ‘freedom funds’ to which I could allocate. I think that it definitely takes some practice and was just a bit too time consuming for me. Now this is not to say it will not work for you.

The book also offers a Rapid Debt Repayment Plan – helpful for figuring out how to effectively pay off all that consumer debt, mortgage, student loans, etc…
It’s as follows:

  • 1. No new debt
  • 2. Pay the same each month until paid
  • 3. Shortest pay off 1st – doesn’t say why, but I am assuming it is to allow for a bit of self gratification & seeing the progress quicker than if you were to pay the longest pay off first.
  • 4. As one debt is paid, take payment and redirect it to the next in line

I do agree with the Rapid Debt Repayment Plan. It’s just as similar, if not identical to Dave Ramsey’s plan for Snowballing debt.

One chapter I did really like was Chapter 9: Debt-Proof Your Attitude. And Mary Hunt put it straight on, “…your choice of attitude. It’s the difference between letting life happen to you or taking control and making it happen”. Couldn’t be said any better than that!

And she also reminds us to look at things in a different way. Mary’s family downgraded from 2 cars to one. In the beginning, she despised the fact she felt it to be a lack of control and having to depend on her husband to get her to work. Until she started to think of being driven to work as a chauffer drives a client to work. She did not need to fill the gas or have the car serviced. She didn’t need to have these responsibilities to worry about because her husband would now be doing them. She found solitude in being driven to work. Look at things differently.

Well, then comes chapter 10 thru 24 of the book. I lost interest. It went on to talk about home loans, auto loans, health insurance, kid’s college, etc… It was just so much information that I thought it could be put into another corresponding book. I was lost. Truthfully, I skimmed thru it and closed the book. I was done.

So, the book had its ups and downs. But, I think just reading Mary Hunt’s 10-10-80 plan in the Woman’s Day article was much easier to read than this book. But, please don’t knock it based on my thoughts. What doesn’t work for me may beautifully work for you.

You’ve read my input. Now read the book and make your decision. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Or I’d even enjoy knowing: what works for you? Or do you have a great book that moved you forward to take control of you personal finances?

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Mary Hunt’s Debt-Proof Living

  1. Budget Mama

    Thanks for the breakdown. I probably should start reading some financial/debt books.

    I definitely like the 80-10-10 rule. Right now, I’m still wrapping my head around my new budget so I haven’t figured out what is getting allocated where.

    Debt snowballing is a great technique for me.

  2. Shtinkykat

    Oh gosh. I feel really horrible that my charity contributionsright now is only about 0.01%. But I’m going to try to aim for the 10% once I pay off my stupid student loan debts!

  3. Money Funk

    budget mama: budgeting really does take time & patience in the beginning. But I am noticing that things are beginning to role smoothly and becoming easier.

    And reading PF books always give me inspiration when I need it most. πŸ™‚

    shtinkykat: Don't feel bad. I don't give 10% of my paycheck to charity at this time either.

    But, I do give my time towards charity causes like Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer. So, I don’t think it has to be deemed as financial.

  4. samparkerforfinance

    I m a hard core book lover. I read lots of books related to finance and specially debt problems. I have read few books on credit and debt including Check your debt by C.Freeman, Mary Hunt’s debt Proof living, one of my favorite books till date and many others. I also read books on debt consolidation to understand what it is exactly. I understood the real meaning of debt consolidation from wikipedia site. I just want to add that you have really worked hard on this post and I really liked it. What a great review, thank you for sharing!
    Also Check this book by Kevin Trudeau for debt cures.

  5. Christine

    samparker: thank you for kind words. I like reading different finance books, too. Every author has some valuable tidbit for great personal gain, even if I don’t completely agree with them. And I will check out the other books you recommended. πŸ™‚

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