Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review- "Good Debt, Bad Debt"

I have decided to read one non-fiction book a month (besides my Bible- I spend time with God each morning reading a chapter a day). Continued education doesn't require paying an institution in order to learn your entire life. Thank Goodness- I did enough of that. :-)
I read a book in January called, "The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant." Very simple and quick read with 12 basic principals for successful living.I highly recommend it.

Right now my focus is on eliminating debt and spending wisely, so what a better way to start than reading a book called, "Good Debt, Bad Debt" by Jon Hanson. (Thanks to my FPU buddy Josh Moreland- he is my personal finance education library!)

Each time I read a new book I would like to review it, briefly, and tell you what I learned and why you should (or should not) read this book. Though I doubt I will read many that I do not recommend, I probably wouldn't finish a bad book. 

This book talks about Good debt- debt that increases your net worth and value, and can be sold for a profit verses Bad debt that decreases your net value and is preventing you from taking control of your finances. Within the eleven chapters he talks about the effects of debt, spending verses income to determine wealth, delayed gratification in finances, retirement, insurance, real estate, why car debt kills, writing down your goals, why you and your spouse have to be on the same page financially and MANY other topics. 

These are some of the terms I learned courtesy of Jon Hanson and his book: 
Burn rate, Consumerati, Debtabetes, Econowise, McSpending, Reality income, and Wealth metrics. Sorry- you'll have to read the book to learn more about what they actually mean... hope those terms make you WANT to read the book. 

This is yet another book I wish I would have read in my high school years (it was published in 2007- so unfortunately I couldn't but I am sure there was something like it around back in high school). Here are a few things I learned: 

-A new car depreciates at a rate of $250 a month for the first 2-4 years. Buy used cars and get over thinking that your car defines you! 

-People spend on average 40% more when they use credit cards instead of cash. 

-2/3 of American's dream of retirement, yet only 1/3 actually take steps to move in that direction. (I wonder what the other 1/3 are doing).

-The 4 Effects of Debt = Loss of Freedom, Loss of Cash Flow, Loss of Time, Loss of Opportunities.

Some of my favorite Quotes: 

"There are more people with poor spending habits than we have poor people." Jon Hanson

"Debt robs a man of his self respect and makes him almost despise himself." - P.T. Barnum

"When we think we need to do as others do, many of us are afraid to stand alone." Regarding finances and spending recklessly to impress others.- Jon Hanson

"Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit." Hosea Ballou.

This book was very helpful and encouraging. There was even some humor- including cartoon funnies to change it up every now and then. I need books like this to help remind me why we are sacrificing (even though some times it doesn't feel real hard). If you would like more information about this book please check out Jon Hanson's link:

Click here for the Good Debt, Bad Debt Website

Next on the list is, "The Richest Man in Babylon," by George S. Clason.

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