The best financial planner Michelle Singletary ever knew was Big Mama, her grandmother. Big Mama raised Michelle and her four brothers and sisters on a salary that never reached more than $13,000 a year. Yet at her death, Big Mama owned her own home, had paid off a car loan, and had a beautiful collection of Sunday-go-to-meeting church hats and a savings account that supplemented her Social Security check and small pension. Most important, she had taught Michelle "7 Money Mantras for a Richer Life." Those mantras serve as the inspiration for this straight-talking book of practical personal financial advice that really works.@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; The 7 Money Mantras are: @lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; 1. If it' s on your ass, it's not an asset @lt;br@gt; 2. Is this a need or is it a want?@lt;br@gt; 3. Sweat the small stuff.@lt;br@gt; 4. Cash is better than credit.@lt;br@gt; 5. Keep it simple.@lt;br@gt; 6. Priorities lead to prosperity.@lt;br@gt; 7. Enough is enough.@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; Michelle Singletary is a syndicated columnist for @lt;i@gt;The Washington Post@lt;/i@gt; whose popular personal finance column appears in more than 120 newspapers. She's also a mother of three children who understands what it's like to live on a budget. In a plainspoken, sassy, no-nonsense voice, Michelle provides answers to the financial issues that confront almost every household: how to teach children the value of money; how to address money issues in a relationship or marriage; household saving tips; getting the best loans; and much more.@lt;br@gt; "This book is about saving enough money to have choices," she writes. "It's about feeling free to be cheap if you can't afford to buy a ton of gifts at Christmas. It's about eliminating wasteful spend-ing so you can begin to save and invest. It's full of uncommon commonsense lessons and guidance on the way people should use their money." @lt;br@gt; With humor and down-home financial wisdom, Michelle Singletary offers practical and realistic advice that will help you live well with the money you have.@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; Michelle Singletary on . . .@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; Romance and Money@lt;br@gt; "It's okay to say: 'Honey, I love you and everything, but if you need money, ask your mama.'"@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; Credit Cards @lt;br@gt; "We are minimizing our financial potential by making minimum credit-card payments."@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; Car Buying@lt;br@gt; "If you want to save money, keep your car until you're on a first-name basis with the local tow-truck drivers."@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; Leasing a Car@lt;br@gt; "You, too, can drive a car you can't afford and then have to give it back. It's crazy."@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; Gift Giving@lt;br@gt; "Generosity isn't about how much you spend. It's about how much thought you put into the gift."@lt;br@gt;@lt;br@gt; Penny Pinching@lt;br@gt; "I once bought a stick-shift car because it was $1,000 cheaper than the automatic in the same model. There was just one little problem. I couldn't drive a stick-shift. But at least I saved $1,000 "
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