Setting Personal Finance Goals – Debt Reduction Book Giveaway

I have a terrible sense of direction.  My wife jokes that I could “get lost going from the front yard to the back.”  You can imagine how thrilled I was, a few years ago, to receive a GPS as a birthday gift.  Now, I can  jump in my car, and safely get from point A to point B, without needless stops at points C, D, and E!

What’s the old saying?  The first step to solving a problem is to admit that you have one.  I had a problem.  I knew that I wanted to be financially independent, but I had no idea how to get from where I was (in debt, broke, and frustrated) to where I wanted to be (free from debt, in control, and at peace).  Admitting my own ignorance was the first step.  Frankly, knowing what you don’t know can be just as empowering as knowing what you do know.

Instead of wallowing in my circumstances and giving in to my frustrations, I set my mind, and determined to do something about my situation.  One of my favorite comedians, the late Jerry Clower, used to say, “There ain’t no shame gettin’ the seven year itch… the shames in keepin’ it.”  There’s no shame in being ignorant, the shame is in staying ignorant.  I started to read everything I could get my hands on about debt and debt reduction.  I read –

Armed with the information gleaned from those books, I sat down with a piece of paper and outlined my goals for for the future.

I started out with a single, ultimate goal – financial independence.  I then broke that goal down into several intermediate goals, and then broke those intermediate goals into several smaller goals.  I then created a financial road map, my personal plan for achieving each of my personal goals.

Over the course of this week, I’ll be writing several articles about goals, goal setting, and creating your own financial road map.  If you have not done so, please consider subscribing to No Credit Needed, via RSS or free daily Email, to keep up with each post in the Setting Personal Finance Goals series.

Debt Reduction Book Giveaway

To get you started, and to keep you motivated, I have also decided to give away five debt reduction books – winner’s choice from the list above.  There are several ways you can be considered for the free book giveaway – Feel free to enter the giveaway in each of the following ways –

Win By Commenting –

Simply leave a comment below, with either a question or comment about goal setting.  On Friday, I’ll randomly select two winners from all commentors.  Those reading via RSS feed or daily Email will need to visit the site to leave a comment.  Feel free to leave as many comments as you wish, but your name will be placed “in the hat” only once.  Comments take a few minutes to appear.  Spam laden comments will be deleted and will not be eligible for the giveaway.

Win By Tweeting –

You will  need to have a Twitter account, follow me Twitter.com/NCN, and then Tweet the following message – copy and then paste it.

Win Free Debt Reduction Books – Follow @NCN and re-tweet – Details: http://tinyurl.com/anbtct

On Friday, I’ll randomly select a winner from all tweets.  Remember to include @NCN in your tweet, so that I can find it.

Win By Subscribing –

Subscribe to No Credit Needed via daily Email.  On Friday, I’ll randomly select a winner from those who have subscribed via daily Email, so be sure to include a valid email address when subscribing.

Win By Blogging –

If you have a blog, simply link to this article, or any article in the Setting Personal Finance Goals series.  On Friday, I’ll randomly select a winner from those bloggers who liked to an article in the series.  After the winner receives the book, he or she is free to give that book away to their own readers, should they choose to do so.

Details –

Entries will be accepted through 10PM Eastern on Friday, March 13th. I will contact the winners via e-mail and/or Twitter.  Note that the winners will receive their books directly from Amazon, so you’ll have to provide me with your U.S. mailing address (no PO boxes, please) so that I can give it to them. Void where prohibited.  Winners will be allowed to select a single book, of their choice, from the above listed debt reduction books.

56 thoughts on “Setting Personal Finance Goals – Debt Reduction Book Giveaway

  1. We’ve been working toward getting out of debt for several years now. Things are moving forward, if slowly- it always seems that the moment we have a little extra to put toward paying something off, something else comes up to eat away at that money- the car breaks down, the fridge dies… so much for an emergency fund!

    The on thing that HAS been helpful is not having a credit card. Living without them has been extremely hard at times, but at least we know that we’re not taking a step back for every one we take forward.

    We’ll get there… eventually!

  2. I have been getting your updates to the NCN site for a couple of months now and have also been reading articles or anything I can get my hands on for my own financial independence. I’ve been struggling with debt off and on for a very long time and am on track to pay off most of my debt in four years. Just want to let you know I enjoy reading your posts and ideas on how to get out of debt.

  3. I have a few ways that I set goals, though the common theme in goals that I’m serious about are 1) writing them down, 2) talking to others about the date I have to hit them by and 3) a visualization.

    My favorite “visualization” so far is my debt-free chain. Dave Ramsey has that thing where he’s got chains wrapped around him as he talks about the chains of debt. So I made a paper chain, with each loop being a $1,000 that I have to pay off. When I made it, the chain hung from a high shelf to the floor. Now, it’s nearly gone. Each time another $1,000 is gone, I get to rip a chain off. Feels good!

  4. I really enjoy all your posts. After you mentioned that Dave Ramsey’s book had been one that had changed your life, I read it. We are in month 2 of budgeting and are slowly paying off our
    debt. Thank you.

  5. I have already read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and felt it really inspired me. Now I would love to get my hands on some of the other books mentioned! I check out this website everyday for my daily dose of inspiration to get out of debt. I need all of the help I can get!

  6. That’s for putting the information out there and inspiring me to pay more attention to my financial life.

  7. Getting out of debt feels fantastic. After getting a 17K student debt monkey off my back years ago, I’ve never gone back to those debt days. Looking forward to your debt story. (no need to enter me into your giveaway… 🙂 )

  8. I am in the process of setting realistic and attainable debt free goals. I never thought i would be in such a deep and dark hole with moeny. Now i am so scared and worried about our families future. I was really inspired by all of your posts on becoming debt free and i look forward to reading new posts each day. I would love to be and to feel secure about issues surrounding money and with your help (and maybe an inspirational book) hopefully this will become a reality. I was really happy today when i gave up a really silly monthly expenditure (Netflix). I just smile every time i think about how i just saved $10 dollars a month. That little bit really adds up. Thank you for your help.

  9. How do you readjust your goals as life changes–how often do you re-evaluate? i.e. goal to pay off xxxx amount of debt by a certain date, then income decreases or is irregular

  10. Oh, yeah! Sign me up! I’ve read some of Dave Ramsey’s work, and some of Mary Hunt’s work, from books taken out of the library. Life altering, isn’t it? I’ve been working on my debt reduction for about a year now, and this year one of my goals is to actively involve my husband. As a matter of fact, one of our 2009 goals is to read “Total Money Makeover” together. It would be wonderful to win the book here. Thanks, NCN!

  11. I love your website and the links. It has pushed me to see where I am financially and where I am going. It has made me keep track of every penny I spend and to really tighten up on spending. I could sure use the help of the book. Thanks.

  12. I’m the kind of person that always reads up on a subject/purchase/idea before moving forward with it. I was reading personal finance books for over a year before I got serious about tackling my own debt and future retirement. I think it’s great that you are making these books available.

  13. All great books! Breaking down the goals into smaller goals is key. 2 debt left and I’ll be free.
    Thanks NCN

  14. All GREAT books. Now that we are down to just the house, I’ll put the book to good use by donating it to our church library!

  15. I’ve only read Dave Ramsey, but I borrowed it from the library, so it would be great to own a copy! I have found that breaking things down into smaller goals is so important for me. I would tend to get caught up in the big picture and get overwhelmed. Focusing on the smaller goals let me keep focused and moving forward!

  16. I really like Dave Ramsey and I can tell you that as you focus on attacking/eliminating one debt, you will continue to add more and more money to pay the debt off. Only two more really large payments on the car and I am finished! Knowing that the less I spend on other things, allows me to pay off my debt even sooner, keeps me motivated. I continually adjust the date forward to when I will be debt free based on my ability to keep paying things off sooner than I thought.

  17. I’m very much looking forward to this series on goal-setting. I have so much trouble connecting today to the future.

  18. Yay! NCN rocks. I actually hadn’t heard of a couple of these books either, something to look into sometime.

  19. Woohoo, I don’t have these books and some I haven’t read in a long time… if ever.
    I will be tweeting at well… thanks for the chance.

  20. I can’t wait to read this series and would love to have one of those books. I recently got a library card and have been reading Suze Orman and several other financial books. The Dave Ramsey book is always checked out! We’ve been setting goals, but nothing too specific yet- other than get rid of the debt!

  21. I get very motivated, but start to lose steam when I have to “work” towards finding info, breaking down steps, actually writing out goals. Any suggestions?

  22. Breaking larger goals into smaller ones makes things concrete and specific. Good advice. Great list of books as well!

  23. Dave Ramsey is one of my heroes. I have a long daily commute so I bought The Total Money Makeover on audio. It is read by Dave, and is definitely a keeper for anyone’s personal finance library. I also ordered some CDs from his Debt Free University. Getting these materials was the start of my long journey to financial independence. I have only two more credit cards to pay off (one will be finished before the summer). I’ve also very much enjoyed Robert Kiyosaki’s books and CDs. They have different ways of getting there, but both gentlemen provide excellent information and insight.

  24. My goal is to change my family tree by not only being debt free myself within the next 2 years, but to have my dad debt free as well.

    My ultimate goal is to have a million dollars. I don’t care if I don’t get much more than that, but I want a least a million dollars by the time I retire.

  25. My wife and I are approaching retirement age, rapidly, and have been spending quite a bit of time trying to express our dreams for retirement. This article, the newsletter, and your website are VERY useful resources for us on this topic.

    Thanks very much for your help and dedication.

  26. NCN, a friend’s recent lay-off opened my eyes to the need to get our finances under control. I spent a few days reading through the many personal finance / debt reduction blogs that are out there and ended up subscribing to yours. Thanks for the help!

  27. We started tracking our spending in the middle of January after our car was repossessed. Based on that and a lot of prayer, we created a budget and even though it’s only been 2 1/2 months, our finances are no longer in control of us but we’re in control! The hardest part of all of this, for me, has been setting reasonalbe, achieveable goals. I’ll start and then end up with a page full of stuff and then it overwhelms me because it’s so long. I just read your post about drawing your future and I think I’ve found my solution! Thank you so much….Puna

  28. I think the the hardest part of goal setting is making them specific enough to follow through on.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. To me the most important part of setting a goal is finding a manner to focus on it. A goal does you no good if you set it on Monday and forget about it on tuesday. I like to find ways to remind myself on a regular basis.

  30. I’ve heard that people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in five. When I set goals, I try to make them as realistic (time-wise) as I can. For example, I’ll set a goal knowing that I can work towards it for 2 hours every 3 days for the next 3 months. (This is, of course, adjustable. It’ll be different for everyone). If it cannot fit in that time frame, I adjust the goal.

    Hope that helps, and thanks for the giveaway!

  31. I like the concept of goal setting! If you dont know where you are going how are you going to get there? Goal setting give you a specific place to go. Along with goal setting you have to “AIM” which means Awareness intelligently maneuvered I got this from a book called How to be do have anything.. Its a great book about the power of focus and goal setting.

  32. I just want to say thank you (not just for the giveaway, but also for your blog) – we just got a huge tax return, and we used it to establish a small emergency fund and pay down a bunch of credit card debt! We are just a few months away from being out of non-student-loan debt, and I don’t think I could have done it without the inspiration & focus reading sites like this provides.

  33. I love goal setting. I set my financial goals in my budget and save until I have the money for what I want. Sometimes, by the time I have met my goal, it isn’t as important to me or I have figured out some other way to get it. Thanks for your blog. YOU Rock!

  34. I find your Email Blog very timely and interesting, and very informative. It teaches everyday people how to handle their funds and get rid of this problem of money handeling.

    I need this subject myself and I have been winging it a long time.

  35. I could really use these books to deal with debt. I am reading all I can and this would be one more great thing for me to read and put me on the right track.

  36. Great contest idea! In terms of goals, this year I took a different approach based on a Dave Ramsey idea. He recommended to set goals in 7 different categories (Financial Goals being one of them). I did this, but at first found myself forgetting my goals. So I printed them out on cardstock and cut it to the size of a debit card. My goals now sit in the “license window” of my wallet, as a friendly reminder every time I open my wallet to buy something!

  37. We set a goal to build up one month’s living expenses and
    start living on last month’s income. It took quite awhile last
    year to accomplish this but, now that we have done this, we
    have peace of mind and the freedom to pay bills as they
    come in and not have to juggle due dates, etc. When we
    set this goal, we knew it would take some time to accomplish
    but we did it and we’re so glad we did. It made a tremendous

  38. This sounds great – I do struggle with goal setting. We went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and I also have read Ron Blue and his goal setting ideas. I know the power of motivation and direction, I just have a hard time crystallizing in my mind what goal I want. I am all over the board and the daily grind ends up swallowing up things. This sounds like a great giveaway. Thank you

  39. I am a recent member of NCN and like the email connection. It is a good thing one is never too old to learn because I am learning. Inch by Inch I will make it. My dad once said too old too soon to smart too late. Well as long as I am alive I can get smart and it is not too late. I can still see the green grass not the dirt. You all have a blessed day.

  40. I have been trying to get “Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover” book from the library and it’s always out. Just mail it to me.
    I like your NCN Blog keep it up.

  41. My husband and I have the Total Money Makeover and are on baby step 2. It feels so good to be going in the right direction after many years of treading water or drowning.

  42. I’m not sure how I ended up stumbling across this blog, but I’m glad I did. You’re one of a few blogs I enjoy reading and whose advice makes sense and is in line with my goals – to be debt free. Now that I’m reading this goal series I’m going to think through my goals further. My current goal is to be debt free – including student loans – but the time I’m 30 (5 years away). I’m not sure where to go after that, so this is as good a time as any to think about it!

  43. The problem with goals is getting there without getting sidetracked. It always seems that my long term goals quickly lose priority to my short term goals.

  44. I found your site not too long ago and enjoy reading all about goals, debt reduction, ect. My husband and I need to get our stuff in order and reduce our debt so we can survive if we get laid off in the next year. We both have the potential of being laid off from a major airline. My husband gets upset when I bring it up that we need to get a budget and save money for this time of unemployment. I don’t think he knows where to begin in the process so he would rather do nothing. I am scared!

  45. I am very excited to read the goal setting series. I have no problem setting goals but my follow through is not so good. I would like any of the books listed.

  46. I’ve found that having WRITTEN goals always gives me something to guide me when I start to stray.

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