You're Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead

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Now in paperback: The New York Times bestselling author and star of A&E¡¯s reality series Big Spender, Larry Winget, cleans up America¡¯s personal finance crisis

More than 40 percent of families today are feeling financial pressure: spending more than they earn, and worrying about retiring and being dependent on the government, family, or charity. Larry Winget knows. He grew up poor, then made and lost a fortune when a business in which he¡¯d invested went bankrupt. But he worked his way back from rock bottom to become a multimillionaire.

In You¡¯re Broke Because You Want to Be, Winget expands on the ideas that have made his popular television show Big Spender a hit and offers straightforward talk about coming to grips with your finances, such as:

¡¤ Feel bad. Have remorse. You need to feel deep emotion to take action. So start crying and take responsibility.
¡¤ Figure out who you owe and how much you owe. It¡¯ll be a scary number to face, but you need to know where you are and what you have.
¡¤ ¡°People are stupid, lazy, or they don¡¯t give a damn.¡± You already know you need to do something; Larry will help you finally do something.
¡¤ Are you more interested in looking cool and being cute or providing a financially secure future for your family? How you spend your money will tell you that. With a boot-camp regimen that is steeped in personal accountability, Winget cuts through the double-talk contained in most finance books and presents a simple, guided program that is sure to motivate anyone out of their money problems.

Customer Reviews:

  • Tells it like it is
    Here's a no-nonsense guide to dealing with the money mess you've made and want to clean up. Winget takes the chaos of your financial life, encourages you to see it for what it is, and then tells you how to change it for the better from the inside out. No silver bullet. No fairy dust. I got just the kick in the butt I needed!...more info
  • This book will make you look at yourself.
    I really want to promote this book. The Author does say some things that are quite a burn to your ego but no one else is going to say those things to you because alot of people keep there bad financial habits from everyone. i have learned alot about myself and it helps you put things in perspective which is what alot of people neeed now. ...more info
  • My Grandfather Lives!!
    I lost my grandfather when he was 69 and I had just left the Navy after serving ten years. My grandfather was an old school New York Italian whose parents came over from Italy in the early 1900's. During his life he sold insurance, delievered milk (when they use to do that sort of thing), worked as a carpenter and handy man, and a host of other jobs. He died, not wealthy, but with enough money that he had not worked since he was 55 and his wife (my step-grandmother) had no mey worries. Larry's style, his pitbull, in your face, mannerism reminds me of my grandfather. Reading his book I could imagine Pops sitting across from me saying the same things. It is something I have missed the last 16 years. I wish I would have found Larry sooner, but better late than never. Anyone who gives this book and Larry a bad review needs to get over themselves. Coddling is what has put this country in the mess it is in financially (and I am a DEMOCRAT and still see this). Thank you for the book Larry. But ... when is your show on A&E?? I cannot find a listing for it....more info
  • Easy readable dose of common sense
    I 'm passing a copy of Larry's book to all my kids as required reading just in case I missed to impart any of the simple yet crucial life lessons he covers in his book....more info
  • Real Life Money Management
    Not often do I read a book and then go to the web site all in one day. Especially when it comes to money and budgets. But I really liked Larry Winget's style of right in your face not holding anything back. I have suggested the book to all three of my son's and my ex husband. I picked it up because I wanted to get out of just not having money. He shows you how to do that in 5 steps. I suggest that people give it a try....more info
  • Fantastic Book ; Read it in one eveing
    It has been a VERY long time since I have been hooked on a book like this. The information is up front and honest. So many times you get the "sugar coated" self help books and you end up buying more and more books. With this book, I don't think any additional books would be needed. Thank you Larry!!!!!!...more info
  • Telling it Like It Is.
    Straight forward, to the point. Putting things in perspective to help you dig yourself out of the hole you created. Thank you Larry WingetYou're Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead...more info
  • You can do this!
    This book has made such a difference! There is so much more I can do, but I started off using just a few tips, and I am on the road to being debt free. After reading this book, I stopped using my credit cards, except for emergencies, but knew I could pay it off in one month. I was able to shop for Christmas with cash, and not the credit card. I am slowly putting money in the savings account. I am also taking a college course, so I can start earning money for retirement and the kids college funds.
    Thank you, Larry, for telling it like it is!...more info
  • Just What I Needed
    So much sense comes out painful honesty when you're ready to hear it! I loved his approach and the information was extremely helpful. Nothing I didn't really know before, but his approach drove it home....more info
  • "We're rednecks, we're rednecks. We don't know our ***** from a hole in the ground"
    Larry "The Cable Guy" Wingnut is what's wrong with America: an ignorant prole spreading uberklass idiotology. The favorable reviews here are as illiterate as Right-Winget is mindless. Susan Jacoby's "The Age of American Unreason" is a book about such socio-pathic narcissists' favorite subject: themselves. Too bad they can't read. They'd find out what the rest of the world knows: pinheads like Winget and his ilk are prime examples of why Amerrycaca is, as Merle Haggard puts it, "rolling downhill like a snowball headed for hell." The nation of Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Adams, and Franklin has become the nation of George Bush, Ronald Raygun, Al Sharpton, Jane Fonda, and Larry Winget. As such, it's a nation that can no longer govern itself. Its only hope is to continue being governed more and more by multi-national corporations, which are increasingly run by other nations, none of whom are as incompetent as America, which is losing two wars at once because it can't even beat a gang of camel jockeys....more info
  • Do expect an pleasant dialogue
    I found the author hard hitting.

    One of the more surprising shocks was the question "when did you decide to be successful?". At first glance the question seems innocent, but it directly challenges the ego of an individual. People believe they are successful and important. The question challenges their egos. Pride and all inclusive claim of success makes an assertation that meaning of the question is useless and impossible. However, I was left to conclude that the question was designed to assert whether a plan had been formed.

    Strategic planning is the key to not wasting money, focus, and eliminating debt. What brings a person to planning? Remorse, anger, and determination caused from intense pain. I'm starting to see more individual exhibiting anger and fustration. They seem to be less patient and understanding. However, having a grocery list, a debt reduction plan, budget and actuals guides, and goals for success seem logical.

    I sleep better at night knowing that my financial planning is being solved together. Remorse helps individuals clean up their lives, make changes, and move forward into success. 600,000 dollars in clothes and living in a small apartment is a shock. 1,800 a month in groceries is a shock. How do people consume like their is no tommorrow? Remorse is a good step in the right direction.

    I like the fact that the author talks from experience of lossing a business, experiencing poverty, working hard to pay bills and debt, and eventually achieving wealth. It makes me want to be successful. He does not seem to be cruel about poverty or skeptical about people. Instead, he tries to get them to understand money and create a plan of success....more info
  • To the Point
    He is to the point and does not mix words. If you are in financial trouble this guy will tell you exactly what to do. Whether you like what he says or not....more info
  • Great Advice
    I bought the book and the audio version as well. The advice is down-to-earth and simple and just good common sense. The author presents the information in an easy to read format and is also great fun to listen to. The information is useful no matter what age you are. Good, simple steps that are applicable to everyone wanting to sort through their financial situation and move forward more positively!...more info
  • In Your Face No Holds Bar
    I received this book today and finished it today. I could not put it down, the Larry puts things is awesome. It's in your face, and there is not room to wiggle. He makes you realize that you are the one that got into your situation and that you are the only one that is going to get you out of it.

    If you are tired of living the way that you are, give this book a try and see it change your world also. I plan to hit the ground running, I am tired of living paycheck to paycheck. I want to be able to write that check when someone needs help.

    Cheers, ...more info
  • Excellent
    I recieve it in about seven days and the book was in excellent condition. I read the book cover to cover in one weekend, that how good it was....more info
  • Awesome book!
    This book is awesome. Larry gives you straight-forward, practical advice on how to get both your finances and your life in order. I highly recommend it. ...more info
  • A "tell it like it is" book that is worth the read
    I sat down in a B Dalton bookstore and started reading this book. After a few pages I knew that I had to purchase it and take it home. What Larry tells you comes as no surprise. It is all common sence that I could have gotten from my saintly grandmother had she still been living. We have forgotten what has made America strong. Our success has been the work effort that our country was founded on. But we have shifted to living a life of comfort on credit, which has only lead to our being broke, miserable and unhappy. Larry suggests that we carve away the excesses that have gotten us in trouble and live a simplier life till we master our finances. Then we will have the money necessary to live the life we desire. Simple, but hard to follow if you have become accustomed to getting what you want and to H**l with the consequences. His book is a wake up call to anyone who has the intelligence to take his advise. Well worth the money spent to read the book....more info
  • Straight forward. No Sugar Coating.
    Larry's way of getting yourself on track to saving money is straight forward. He is to the point. No sugar coating. I like the way he presents things, and doesn't ramble on. A must read if your wanting to stop getting by and start getting ahead. ...more info
  • Most of the stuff the authoer says is common sense.
    Larry Winget makes a lot of good points. However, my only suggestion would be to save yourself money and get this book out of the library. Also, I found Larry to be a bit ironic like one reviewer said. He tells others to disconnect from cable TV. Unfortunately if I disconnect from cable TV I won't be able to watch his show Big Spender. I also found it ironic that he implores others to stop smoking when he says he owns a mobile cigar business??? Last I read cigars are not healthy either and if not more expensive then cigarettes. Oh, almost forgot Larry says he is not one of these new agey type of self help authors, but in his section on recommended reading he recommends two books by the biggest new agey authors around: Deepak Chopra and " Dr." Wayne Dyer.

    I commend Mr. Winget for encouraging people to donate money to charity, but I think throwing money at cause one cares about is easier then giving of ones time. How come he does not encourage people to volunteer?

    ...more info
  • Broke is the bomb!!!
    I loved this book!!!! I finished it in 3 days flat. I have been telling all my friends about this and starting to use some of Larry's ideas. He is so brutally honest, but he tells the truth and makes so much sense!!!! Will get his others for sure....more info
  • real inspiration
    Larry is one of those guys that gives a no bull approach to improvement. I have read his last 3 books, and they all give an overview of basic ideas that I already had, but puts them in a concise list to make them stick with you better. You can never go wrong with a Larry Winget book....more info
  • You're Broke Because You want to be
    this is a tough talker and that is all - I am not broke because I want to it's because jobs are not there in my community. this book was an easy read and it really said that same things my moma taught me...I don't have the credit cards and I don't have a 50,000.00+ job as well. Larry was interesting to read for a weekend read- but I would challenge him to walk in the working poor steps for a year-this book is worth you passing on - borrow from someone - don't buy it- I am donating my copy to the library....which is a great place for resources-Larry is simply shocking you back into doing the basics- the bottomline is-there is not quick answer and you got to get back to the basics-save your money-what Pres. Bush told us to do long time ago...more info
  • just what we need!
    opens up your eyes to what you have ignored and knew it all along, detailed and explicit about what it takes to get ahead and how you deal with family you know that need this information and it's stressing you because you want something better for them. Read this little wonderful book and enjoy peace on your heart and money on your bank....more info
  • Merry Christmas to 5 Adult Broke Children
    We perused the financial section at the bookstore, looking for an appropriate financial book to motivate our grown children. We have 5 kids over 30, none of whom get it financially. This book, with a notepad, a journal, a red pen and a check is our Christmas gift and very last attempt to wake them up. Larry's put it exactly like we've been telling them the last ten years -- it's their poor choices that have put them where they are. We hope it works because we're as done as last month's Thanksgiving turkeys as far as enabling them any more. "You're Broke ..." is our last hope of getting our message implemented: that most people don't plan to fail, but they fail to plan; to succeed, you must get out of your comfort zone. Larry puts it like it is, like it or not. His book is a quick, fun read, even for the financially challenged. ...more info
  • A Wake Up Call
    I bought this book for my son who is just getting his start on his own. I also bought myself "It's Called Work for a Reason" because it looked interesting and educational (it was)!. When I finished reading that book, I wanted to read more of Larry Winget's thoughts so I took "You're Broke Because You Want to Be" off the shelf in my son's room.

    "You're Broke Because You Want to Be" is a wake up call to anyone who wants to get out of debt. The book addresses all the major issues that cause people to get into debt and gives a constructive plan for getting out of debt. The book also motivates the reader to go beyond debt management to developing a plan to get rich. Even for someone who already has debt under control, there are suggestions for improving your financial situation and making your life comfortable and less stressful.

    Larry Winget has a no-nonsense writing style. The books are not wrapped up in fancy words or complicated financial formulas. They are designed for anyone to read and understand. In addition, this book comes with several internet bonuses to add to the learning process for those who want more.

    I believe that someone serious about getting out of debt would be successful by following the principals of this book. The tips for getting rich are more about attitude than a specific guide, however, the stories of five people who made the struggle from poor to rich are represented in the book to show how important a strong desire for success is to actually achieve success.

    While Larry Winget will tell you he is not a "motivational" speaker, the book is an excellent tool toward self-motivation.

    ...more info
  • The Kick in the Pants I Needed (and you probably do, too)
    As I read Larry Winget's book, I thought, "My situation is nothing like these people's." No, it's not; the only difference is I'm able to stay current on the massive amount of debt I have accumulated. I dug my hole the same as the people Larry talks about in the book. And he's right--I must want to live with debt, because I've done nothing about it.

    This book was the kick in the pants anyone in debt needs. If you read it honestly, you will face up to your personal responsibility for creating your mess. Then you will discover not only the motivational, inspirational information that will help you determine to change your life, you will also find the practical instructions that can help you accomplish your goals.You're Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead...more info
  • Everyone should read this.
    I know Larry tagged this with a video explaining who should buy this book... but the real answer is that everyone should read it. We're all looking for a quick fix solution, but this book is the real deal. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

    I can't think of a single person I know who wouldn't take at least one thing away from this. It's a fast read, but it's not dumbed down in the slightest. I would say just read 30 min/night every weeknight for a week, but the reality was, I couldn't put it down... I read it one day after work, cover to cover. Buy it & share it......more info
  • anyone can use this book
    I watched Larry's show Big spender when it was on A&E. I read this book and gave it to friends. Larry don't sugar coat it. If you want the real thing and get your butt into gear this book is great. I gave it as gifts last year and only you can change yoru ways. He gives the tools to do it. And they are easy. If you are in a money rut buy this book....more info
  • Hilarious and great practical advice
    This was the single funniest book I think I have ever read. It just struck a chord in me. His no nonsense wisdom and practical advice are spot on in regards to paying down your debt and living within your means. The only place I felt the book was lacking is in providing further direction. I mean, sure...cancel your cable and sell old stuff and begin paying down old debt, but then what? You are now living in a smaller rental, without TV and without your debt but how the heck do you make the leap from that to being financially stable and independent? That is what he doesn't get into. He has stories from formerly broke, successful people but event those testimonials were sorely lacking in the how to take yourself from broke to comfortable. No debt and living within your means is one thing, and he does show you how to do that, but being "wealthy" is something entirely different and probably beyond the scope of his book. I would love to see him follow this up with the nitty gritty of being truly financially independent. Bottom line I am still recommending this book to my friends who claim they have no money for health insurance but go on cruises twice a year....more info
  • You're Broke Because You Want To Be
    Get it! Get inspired! Learn from it, and get on to some financial success! ...more info
  • The Slap in the Face We All Need
    Larry's book with hit you right between the eyes telling you all the things you have been saying for years. It is educational and stimuating giving you true examples, and great exercises to help you create change.
    This book is worth it to give you a chance to look at your money situation and realize quickly that you have to fix it for it to change. Brutally honest and fun at the same time. A must read and keep for anyone who cares at all about improving their life. Not only will you have a chance to gain valuable information but Larry will show you how to do something about it. An easy read for those of you (like me) who can finish a book to save your life. I found it impossible to put down and finished in just a few days. ...more info
  • Great book that reminds you of stuff you should know
    I've read Larry's prior two books. He presents ideas and advice you've probably heard before in an interesting and memorable way. I enjoy his writing style and felt this book was worth the purchase....more info
  • You're broke because you want to be.
    This book is great for those who don't want any fluff and sympathy. My debt was caused mainly because of 9/11 and the affect it had on my business, as I lost most of my small business customers almost overnight. Its been difficult to not only rebuild my business, but still keep my head above water to pay my creditors. Larry gives you easy homework, I've read the book completely, and knowing what my homework will be in order to get back on track, I've given myself the time and direction to gather the information needed to complete the homework tasks and move in a much more forward positive direction. Thank you Larry for putting out such an easy to read and practical book for those of us who just need simple, uncluttered help in trying to get out of the jam we are in and looking forward to less stress and more savings....more info
  • Great Book
    Great book. Larry has a great sense of humor but gets to the point. Everyone should read this book. It should be mandatory for high school students, so that they won't have to muck up their finances/credit in the first place! Keep up the good work, Larry!...more info
  • How refreshing
    I've read a lot of self-help books, and I always get at least one good piece of advice to put to use in my own life. This book is full of truly helpful advice. The one thing I think is the most helpful is to take a look at your friends (after you've taken a look at yourself in the mirror). Do they tolerate your whining and moaning about what's wrong with your life, job, etc.? Most of us need more friends like Larry that'll tell you to get off your butt and fix it. I'm done marinating in the excuses and whining thanks to Larry. His style is like a refreshing, albeit somewhat jarring, splash of cold water in the face....more info
  • Finally, a book my husband read from cover to cover!!
    I have finally found a book that my husband would read. He hates reading, he wanted to know if this was a book on tape. But I encouraged him to try it and he could not put it down. Excellent!!...more info
  • Wake up and smell the coffee
    I just read this book and will probably read it again. I think it is a great book, in your face, wake up smell the coffee kind of book. We have all heard it before how we should not spend and save money, yet we find ourselves in these paycheck to paycheck lifestyles. If you can't handle the truth you might want to buy a book on how to stay miserable and broke. ...more info
  • Enjoyable
    Very easy book to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a "slap" of reality. Good ideas to help you get even and get ahead....more info
  • Great read and money saver
    Read this and come through Christmas without going deeper into debt. Concise and clear, really kicks you in the butt, if you need that....more info
  • A Must have book!
    This book is a must have for everyone. I love this book and how candid Larry is with you. He makes it easy to read and understand. This book will make you think and rethink about your relationship with money and how you think about money. I'm eager and ready to go out and earn the money that I have desired to have. Nothing happens over night but with hard work and a renewal of your mind all things are possible....more info
  • Sometimes A Person Needs A Kick In The Arse!
    If you're the kind of person who doesn't believe in 'tough-love' and can't handle out-and-out bluntness, then this book isn't for fact, it might make you end up seeking therapy if you're really insecure and lack a serious amount of self-awareness( or at least the willingness to become more self-aware).

    But, if you're only kinda insecure and self-aware enough to know that the financial messes you've gotten yourself into are nobody's fault but your own, then I highly recommend this book.

    Winget is no-nonsense in his approach to getting you back on your feet and out of the pits of broke-ness.

    He has some excellent ideas, none of which will be easy, to help you start walking the path of actually not living paycheck to paycheck, or worse...spending so far outside your means, you don't know even have a clue how bad your situation is.

    My one and only complaint about this book is that Winget often mentions how he was poor, then rich, then bankrupt, then rich again...but he never ever mentions how long it took him to go from broke to rich. It's just one of those details I would've liked to know about while reading the book.

    If you don't have a starting point for getting out of debt, snag this book, NOW! Though the principles aren't easy, they are pretty easy to implement, IF you really want to!

    Winget gets a solid 4.5 in my book (no pun intended)...more info
    Larry Winget is truly a guy I can relate with. His personal style of straight talk instead of the BS is what makes me trust him. Not only that, Larry doesn't fill the book up with hype and get people's hopes up for nothing. No, this book is about common sense, practicality, and truly American in the sense that it reminds us that our financial destiny is in our hands. We live in the greatest country on the planet and we have no excuse when it comes to getting rich and achieving financial prosperity. I really liked how Larry tells you to find that one great idea that will change your life and start doing it. This book is so important to me (along with Larry's other book It's Called Work for A Reason) that I plan on sharing it with my close friends, family, and definitely my kids as they get older. Buy this book, read it, highlight it, take notes and prepare to do what's necessary to get ahead. ...more info
  • Go to the library
    If this guy really cared about your financial future, he wouldn't be selling you this ridiculous book. There are more spacing issues and font manipulations in this than an 8th book report on Hamlet. I'm not sure how they can call this a book; a pamphlet maybe. Take the money you were going to spend on this and make a payment on your Credit Card and check the book out from the library. Or just sit in the library for an hour or two and read it.
    ...more info
  • It's not for the faint of heart!
    Larry Winget doesn't hesitate to tell you like it is...if you're willing to read some tough love and let it sink in, you'll find your life changed for the better. With today's society neck-deep in debt and wondering how to escape, this book is a great primer from going from "just getting by" to "debt-free and sucessful". It's awesome!...more info
  • A great "kick your butt" book!
    For those of us who need a "kick in the butt" to get going on our financial future, this book is a great place to start. This book made me really think about how I've handled money over the years. I'm not maxed out on a bunch of credit cards, but it seems like I never have enough money to pay my bills each month. This book made me realize that there are places I could change my spending to have enough each month. I'm just getting started, but I believe this book will help me to move towards my goals. This isn't a book for those looking for expert investment advice or strategies. However, if you need to get started in managing your money wisely (and don't mind a straightforward approach), this is the book for you! ...more info
  • Very pleasantly surprised.
    I never heard of Larry Winget although as i read the book I was surprised I hadn't. I am a pretty avid reader of 'success' literature, and although I make a lot of money by most standards, I'm a spendaholic. I've read Dave Ramsey's books and like them but there was something about Dave's style that just doesn't click with me.

    Larry is much more brash and abrupt but stylistically, we just clicked. He's very much into no excuses and biting the pill and handling business. I like that a lot. His strategies are in many ways common sense, but he has a way of putting things that makes it click. And besides, being broke isn't about not having common sense, it's more about lying to yourself and not doing what you know you should.

    His brutal repetitions of You're broke b/c you want to be is just really something I needed to hear. And he masterfully destroys just about every rationalization you can come up with. Perhaps the best was when he asks you to make a list of what's most important to you, then juxtapose it against what you spend your money on. He tells you the latter is what 'really' matters to you and it's hard to argue with.

    All in all I think this is a great book. If you're a Ramseyite, you'll very much like this unless you get offended easy with strong language. Even though there's minor profanity, I think it literally has to be there, the whole tone and effect would be lost without it. And if you read this book and first find yourself taking issue with the language, it's likely just an excuse you're making for yourself.

    Anyway, I loved it and am going to buy the rest of his stuff (with my extra money after I've paid all of my bills ;-), put plenty away for savings and donated to my monthly charities). And although I loathe watching TV, I'll probably even watch his TV show just b/c he kicks so much a55....more info
  • This is Self Help?
    I thought this was supposed to be a self help book. Instead it's a stand-up comedy piece with lots of in your face ranting and raving about experiences this guy had. He's no expert, just an overconfident entertainer that wears funny clothes. If that's why you buy his books, fine. Don't expect to get actual answers and helpful advice....more info
  • Kinda ironic
    Larry spends a lot of time in this book talking about his cable TV show, Big Spender.

    But then he says a great way to cut our expenses is to cancel our cable TV.

    So how are we going to watch his show and learn from it? ...more info
  • I saw Larry in person!
    I was in Orlando at a convention, and I saw Larry Winget speaking. He was AWESOME! He spoke in a break out session on this book. I then bought and read the book. It did not take me long. It is thoughtful, entertaining, and eye opening. WOW! He is a straight shooter and does not say things all nice and sweet. But he makes his point to get you to turn things around in your life. Larry Winget is an amazing speaker and author! This book should be read by every single American. Especially in the state of our economy. Buy it! Read it! Apply it in your life. You will be glad you did! ...more info
  • Excellent, "Right Between The Eyes", straight talk.
    No nonsense, straight to the point advice on getting your finances and your life in order. No holds barred, yet humorously written so an easy and excellent read. I read the whole book in one sitting! ...more info
  • He tells it like it is
    Larry does not sugarcoat anything. He tells you what you're doing wrong and how to fix it. I'm willing to bet that he is right too! I hate to read. I have not read a book since college (4 years ago), but i read this one in less then a day. If you are struggling and can not figure out what to do, go ahead and pick this book up. You may not like what it tells you, but you'll be better off for it....more info


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