Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Book Review: Debt Proof Your Holidays

Debt Proof your Holidays has a 1998 copyright and equally outdated ideas. How Mary Hunt has managed to parlay her dull advice into a series of books is beyond me.

A sampling of ideas she suggested and I promptly rejected:

Take an old mayonaise jar with a label, paint the inside white, place any spare cash in it. "But why am I painting it white?" you ask in wonder.

Well. According to Mrs. Hunt you're supposed to hide this jar at the back of your freezer.

*blank look*

Last I checked, painting a container won't make you forget you have money inside of it. In fact having to paint the damn thing is much more likely to make you remember it exists! I'd rather risk keeping my money at Wachovia. A white jar may deter criminals but not your Wednesday night, too lazy to get dressed or cook pizza cravings.

If you're wondering where the spare cash in the jar is coming from, Mrs. Hunt has an answer for you. Its money saved from couponning, rebates, moonlighting and months when biweekly paid people receive three checks instead of two.

*blank look redux*

Rebates are borrowing money from yourself. While by the time the check arrives you should have already paid off the original debt, I am still aware the $20 check I received isn't a bonus from the Rebate Fairy. Its a refund. This isn't money found, its money owed.

I've heard the coupon advice quite often and don't like it. Last week Pathmark had triple coupons and I made three trips, each totaling less than $15 for over $40 worth of food. The $45 I spent was over my usual food budget but when compared to the $120 it would have cost; a justifiable expense.

According to the "save coupon money" logic I would have needed to put $85 in a jar somewhere. Needless to say I don't want to penalize myself $85. Money saved isn't money back, its fictitious money that will only trade hands between the coupon company and my grocery store.

2 comments:

AuntGuth said...

I'm very familiar with Mary's books and I don't know what book to which you're referring. Mary's latest holiday book, Debt-Proof The Holidays, released fall '07 and doesn't have anything to do with mayo jars. In addition, I don't think her previous holiday book did, either. Perhaps you need to recheck what book you're reviewing.

Anny said...

The "save your money in a mayo jar" was pretty early in the book. It came under the section with suggestions on how to save money for the holidays. Its not very practical since even the barest savings account will yield some type of interest plus keep you physically further away from "temptation." I didn't read the 07 edition - my library had a much older version so hopefully the new ones are better!