Money at 30: “Get the Hell Out of Debt” Audiobook Review
After turning to the printed word for my last book review, this month, I headed back to Audible to see what money-related audiobooks I could discover. What I found was Get the Hell Out of Debt: The Proven 3-Phase Method That Will Radically Shift Your Relationship by author Erin Skye Kelly. So, I decided to give it a shot — and ended up quite enjoying the seven-hour (if you were listening at 1x) ride.
I have to start with something that made me laugh about this book almost immediately. See, the book opens with not one but two disclaimers: the first covering the necessary financial legalese and the second noting that the book contains adult language, so “listener discretion is advised.” While I understand why such a warning is necessary, what made it funny was that, not five minutes later, there was a “bleep” in place of one of the expletives. Again, I point this out not as a criticism but purely because the irony entertained me. That said, while further choice four-letter words are bleeped, the book does contain some colorful language, sexual references, and the like — which is probably what that warning was all about to begin with.
Since we’re talking topics that are specific to the audiobook version of this title, I also have to say that I loved Kelly’s narration of her work. While her voiceover and the editing of said voiceover are up to par in terms of professionalism, a few choices on Kelly’s part helped her reading to stand out from other audiobooks I’ve consumed and helped to almost give it a podcast sort of feel (which could be because the author hosts a podcast of the same name). A prime example of this is a bit where Kelly pops into her chapter to share updates on a text conversation she was having with her partner in regards to a Friends reference she included a few moments earlier. Now, I don’t have the printed version of the book to know if this was included, but that’s hardly the point. Instead, this segment along with other small touches (such as adding laughter to some sections) made the book feel more relatable overall — to the point where I could actually believe she was really texting her partner and reading the results into the microphone in real-time.
Turning to the actual content of the book, Kelly covers a three-phase process that first focuses on getting consumers out of debt. As you might expect back on the title, this goal makes up the largest portion of the book. That said, things don’t stop with that final debt payment. Instead, Kelly then covers some ongoing tips for managing your money and becoming financially free (or financially independent, really). Because of this, even if you are currently debt-free, there’s likely still something for you to learn along the way.
To be sure, getting out of debt is not easy — as Kelly admits from experience. Nevertheless, the methods and ideas she presents do seem as though they’d be effective in practice. I say “seem as though” because, like many of the financial books I review, I’m not exactly the intended market. Despite this, I was definitely interested to hear Kelly’s suggestions and insights. For example, even as someone who reviews a ton of different personal finance tools, I appreciated Kelly’s point that those just starting to try to change their relationship with money should steer away from automation and make the process more hands-on. Then, once you have it mastered, you can move on to other tools that will do the heavy lifting for you.
Another aspect of Get the Hell Out of Debt that I appreciated was Kelly’s lack of judgment and condescension. Standing in contrast to some other books I’ve reviewed where the authors share “tough love” and preach “no excuses,” Kelly comes from a far more supportive place. In fact, even if Kelly is apparently cool with expletives, there is one word she says she bans from her groups: “should.” Demonstrating her sense of humor, she points out how people “should” all over each other and the like (if you don’t get the joke, try reading it a few times).
I also wanted to give a shout-out to another point Kelly made regarding retirement savings. As she states, all too often people will say that they have a 401(k) or IRA, but don’t exactly know what the funds in said accounts are invested in. Personally, I’ve definitely been guilty of this in my youth and Kelly brings up a great point — which is elaborated on as she explores different investments consumers can try out (after researching and understanding them, of course).
One occasionally annoying aspect of select books I read is that the author manages to work in dozens of plugs for their other services. To a certain degree, Kelly does this too, often mentioning her course/community and even inserting testimonials between each chapter of the audiobook. Yet, I give Kelly a ton of credit as these mentions feel organic and never detract from the material. Thus, when she plops in a big plug at the end of the book’s core material, I’m more than willing to listen. Yes, I realize that this is a very reviewer-centric thing to mention but it was richly appreciated.
Overall, I found Get the Hell Out of Debt: The Proven 3-Phase Method That Will Radically Shift Your Relationship to be an extremely approachable read for those looking to change their financial ways. What’s more, with Kelly being Canadian, she makes sure to cover specifics as they relate to that country, the United States, and elsewhere. As a result, I think this could be a great gift for someone you know is struggling with debt. Additionally, even if you’re currently comfortable but could use a “tune-up” in the money department, this easy and entertaining read could certainly help motivate you to pursue the next step toward financial independence. So, whether you opt for the paperback or the audiobook, I think you’ll get a lot out of Get the Hell Out of Debt.
Also published on Medium.