Intended for readers with high credit card debt, this guide lacks sufficient detail but may be motivational to some.
One of the primary culprits of consumer debt is the credit card—a not-so-innocent piece of plastic enabling spending sprees that can sometimes lead to a crushing financial burden for the cardholder. Accumulating credit card debt is the “dragon” in this colorfully written book, which uses several examples, including the author’s own, to dramatize how consumers can get into debt over their heads. The “woe is me” stories can be compelling; those with mounting credit card debt will likely relate to them. However, the author’s approach to solving one’s debt crisis relies on the conceptual rather than the pragmatic. Twelvetrees encourages readers to first “rename your credit cards,” suggesting, for example, “misery cards” or “wallet burners.” Then the author proposes a series of exercises to demonize the cards by building negative stories around them. Readers are instructed to write down a desired purchase in a notebook but not to actually buy it; “Just leave it as a thought purchase,” Twelvetrees writes. Finally, readers are told to “make a statement about a goal you want to achieve. But instead of expressing that goal in the future, you assume it’s already happened.” Toward the conclusion of the guide, the author does provide more specific detail about debt consolidation and credit reports. Still, this book comes across more as motivational cheerleading than substantive advice. While there’s nothing wrong with the visualization exercises Twelvetrees employs, they only scratch the surface instead of addressing the root cause of the problem. Absent are the step-by-step strategies one might use to remove the yoke of unchecked overspending. It seems as if a more in-depth treatment of the subject with actionable tactics would better serve the debt-burdened reader. In addition, since the author writes primarily for a U.K. audience and references U.K. sources, this guide may have less relevance outside that specific market.
Engagingly written and at times useful but comes up short in providing enough detail for readers to truly “kill the dragon.”