Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Degunking your Personal Finances

I recently received a review copy of Degunking your Personal Finances by Shannon Plate, and after a brief perusal, I am enthusiastically looking forward to reading the whole book. When I do that, I will provide a full review here, but here are a few tidbits to whet your interest. It seems to be laid out similar to the "Dummies" and "Complete Idiot" book series which have proved so popular...however at first glance it appears there is more here than just the basics. This is a pretty big book...334 pages in all.

The book revolves around a 12 Step process that you should follow in order to fully degunk your personal finances. The steps are:

  1. Get your financial life organized and set aside a place in your home to work on your finances.
  2. Create a clear picture of your current financial situation.
  3. Clean up your credit and debit cards.
  4. Get your consumer debt under control by paying it down.
  5. Fine-tune your home mortgage, and put measures in place to lower your household and other living expenses.
  6. Put a program together to boost your savings and investments.
  7. Clean up your credit report and improve your FICO credit score.
  8. Fine-tune and optimize your budget and improve your spending habits for transportation, groceries and other activities.
  9. Get your taxes, employee benefits, and insurance in better shape.
  10. Find hidden money you didn't know you had.
  11. Put your computer to work to help you automate managing and tracking your finances.
  12. Improve your financial security, avoid identity theft, and put a good back-up recordkeeping system in place.
In the book, there are one or two chapters devoted to each of these 12 steps. If you don't have a lot of time, there are also several quick ways in which you can degunk in 15 minute, 30 minute, one hour, three hour and half day segments.

As mentioned, I'm enthusiastic about this book and look forward to reading and bringing you more about it in the weeks to come.

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