Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oprah Debt Diet

I've decided to go on a quest. I'll be looking at different fad debt relief programs. This started with Dave Ramsey's "Debt Snowball", which I ran into and didn't really agree with (see Snowball This!). So next on my list is Oprah Winfrey's "Debt Diet".

The Debt Diet has two phases, made up of four steps each. I've included the link to her site so you can look up the particulars, but I'll list the steps here.

  • Step 1: How much time do you really have?
  • Step 2: Track your spending and find extra money to pay down debt.
  • Step 3: Learn to play the credit card game.
  • Step 4: Stop spending.
  • Step 5: Create a monthly spending plan.
  • Step 6: Take big steps to grow your income.
  • Step 7: Prioritize your debts and raise your credit score.
  • Step 8: Understand your spending issues...and save!
    As I said, the first four steps fall under what Oprah calls Phase One, and the remaining steps naturally fall under Phase Two.

    It would be hard to take issue with much of the Oprah program. Many of the steps seem to be quite obvious, such as "stop spending". Of course, sometimes we are so immersed in a problem that we need to be reminded of the obvious.

    For me, the real meat of this program is in Step 7. This step outlines where to prioritize your resources, starting with secured debts and ending with debts to family and friends. Oprah also encourages us to up our credit score within this step.

    Overall, this program seems a little simplistic. All the steps make sense, but there are few tools here to help those who are in serious straits. I'd say the Debt Diet is more tailored to those in just a little financial distress, rather than to those in actual financial trouble. If you're in financial debt trouble you may want to look at debt settlement. If this is the case, a settlement attorney is your best bet.

    1 comment:

    1. I don't agree with the Step 4 mentioned here. I have great doubts whether this has been written by Oprah. How could a person totally stop spending! Is this really sound feasible? I don't think so. How could a person survive if he totally stops his spending? Yes, reduction of spending is reasonable to eliminate debt and that should have been written here.