After many months, I have an exciting announcement: MY BOOK IS HERE! Can you believe it? If you would have told me three years ago when I started this blog that it would lead to a book deal, I’d laugh in your face.

I am really excited to share my baby with the world and hope it inspires people to dump debt and take control of their finances.

Instead of just mentioning my book, I thought I’d share the five best books to help you get out of debt. Sometimes you need a little extra guidance so here are some of my favorite resources to help you pay down debt and get your money in order. (p.s. these are affiliate links and I’ll make a small commission if you purchase something, which helps support Dear Debt)

1. Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up with Debt

Okay, so shameless plug here but I do think my book is one of the best books to help you get out of debt. Why?

I paid off $81,000 in student loans. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m proof it can be done. The book chronicles my journey of getting into debt and how I managed to get out of it after struggling with low-paying jobs, making $10-$12 per hour after graduation.

The book is part memoir, part actionable advice and every chapter ends with a dear debt letter! I was so excited because I was able to share some of the killer letters that others have written in the book!

If you’re looking for inspiration, motivation, and actionable advice on paying off debt, cutting back, and earning more, my book is for you.  And remember…you are not a loan. You are not alone.

2. Hustle Away Debt

You guys know I’m all about the side hustle. Side hustling pretty much changed my life and helped me get out of debt. Not only that, it led to a new career.

Everything you want to know about side hustles is in Hustle Away Debt by David Carlson. He shows you how you can pay down your debt using side hustles and provides guidance on how to find the best hustle for your lifestyle, how to fit it into your schedule, and how to make real money at it. This is an essential guide if you’re looking to earn more!

3. You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life

I can’t tell you how proud I am of my boy Jason Vitug! Jason wrote You Only Live Once (YOLO — get it?) to help inspire millennials to get purposeful about their money. Throughout the book Jason shares his personal story and experience and discusses the importance of knowing your money why.

Once you understand your money why and how it can serve you, Jason hands you the tools you need to reach it in this book. For Vitug, it’s all about using your money to take you to the next level. He teaches you how to take control of your money through budgeting and strategic savings. With your money under control, you can move toward reaching your bigger purpose.

The 5 Best Books to Help You Get Out of Debt (And My Big Book Announcement)

4. The Recovering Spender: How to Live a Happy, Fulfilled, Debt-Free Life

Ok, this book isn’t even out yet, but I’m excited to read it. With a tagline like “how to live a happy, fulfilled, debt-free life” how could you go wrong? I’m putting this on the list as I know several blogger friends who’ve gotten a sneak peek at the book and they’re raving about it. Also, Lauren is just cool.

Lauren Greutman speaks from her own experience with credit card debt and chronic overspending in this book. Using her personal story of financial recovery ($40,000 in debt, and an underwater mortgage) and its effect on her marriage, she shares the steps she took to get her money into shape, and stop the overspending. You can pre-order now! 

5. Your Money or Your Life

Early on in my personal finance journey, I read Your Money or Your Life, considered one of the personal finance Bibles. This book has endured and stayed relevant for over twenty years. Vicki Robinson and Joe Dominguez focus heavily on finding satisfaction and peace with both your money, and your contribution to the world.

They believe your money should be a tool to bringing happiness into every area of your life. With their big picture approach, this book is about radically shifting your thought process surrounding your money, and the direction of your life.

Some of the things I got out of the book include looking at your after-tax salary and what you really take home and also quantifying purchases in hours worked. For example, a purchase isn’t just $20. It’s trading one hour of your life to make $20, to afford that purchase. This book can really shift your thinking when it comes to spending and money management!

Have you read any of these books? Any others you’d recommend? 

Image courtesy of Death to the Stock Photo


Melanie is a freelance writer currently living in Portland, Oregon. She is passionate about education, financial literacy, and empowering people to take control of their finances. She writes about breaking up with debt, freelancing, and side hustle adventures at

Currently she puts more than 50% of her income towards debt, while living a frugal, fun life. In addition to her love of personal finance, art and music, she is also a karaoke master. Follow the adventure @DearDebtBlog.

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25 responses to “The 5 Best Books to Help You Get Out of Debt (And My Big Book Announcement)”

  1. Proud of you, Melanie! What a huge accomplishment! 🙂
    Kate @ Cashville Skyline recently posted…Social Media Hacks for ArtistsMy Profile

  2. Michelle says:

    So many awesome books in one blog post! 🙂
    Michelle recently posted…The $20 Savings ChallengeMy Profile

  3. Colin Ashby says:

    Great job! I bought the book the day it came out and read it in one weekend! It was so good and lots of practical advice on changing spending triggers and getting started side hustling!
    Colin Ashby recently posted…Dear Debt: A Story About Breaking Up With DebtMy Profile

  4. Congrats on your book Melanie!
    Alaya@Hope+Cents recently posted…The Best Back-to-School Shopping TipsMy Profile

  5. Congrats on your book, Melanie! I can’t wait to dig into it! Also really appreciate you mentioning my book as well. So excited for you!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…How Your Fear of Missing Out is Costing You MoneyMy Profile

  6. Monica Louie says:

    Wow! Fantastic list! I’m ordering your book now, Melanie! I can’t wait to read it!!
    Monica Louie recently posted…3 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success on Your Debt Free JourneyMy Profile

  7. Congratulations on your book! 🙂 Also these are fantastic books, I might check out the hustle away debt one.
    Finance Solver recently posted…Saving Makes Money, It’s About How Much You KeepMy Profile

  8. Congrats on the book, and thanks so much for the list! Always on the hunt for getting out of debt advice! 🙂

  9. Chonce says:

    Congrats on your new book Melanie! I can’t wait to check it out 🙂 These are all amazing books on your list. The girls and I recently interviewed Lauren on our podcast and she has such an inspiring story. I’m excited for her book too.
    Chonce recently posted…Crucial Steps to Take Before Taking a Leap of Faith and Quitting Your JobMy Profile

  10. Janet Fazio says:

    Congratulations on the book. You are a total inspiration to me!
    Janet Fazio recently posted…Show Off the New Fall Products at YOUR September Norwex Party!!My Profile

  11. Congratulations on the book. That’s awesome! Will you be bringing some copies to San Diego? I’d love to purchase a signed copy. 😀
    Free to Pursue recently posted…Want to See Our List of 10 Income Streams? Negotiation Power – Part 2My Profile

  12. ZJ Thorne says:

    Belated congrats on creating something that will help other people!!! Such a huge accomplishment.
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…Net Worth Week 22My Profile

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