My book “Back to the Black: how to become debt-free and stay that way” is based on my own experience of a debt crisis. I faced the very real possibility of bankruptcy but I found another solution.

The latest edition (January 2015) is available from all large online retailers and to order from most bookshops. The digital version is available for kindle, kobo and nook readers.


Praise for Back to the Black


“This is a well-researched and practical guide to help you solve any debt problems that you may have. Although the book has been written in the UK, the principles apply to wherever you are in the world and the author does include some indication of the sums in dollars or euros.

“The author is able to write at first hand experience about this problem as he was himself in debt some years ago, so he fully understands the stress and difficulties involved. In fact, some of the first advice in the book deals with how to deal with that stress before you start to tackle the issues of what to do about the debts. He offers a number of options to help you decide what course to take – e.g. to go bankrupt or not to go bankrupt, or how to negotiate a deal for yourself. He includes a number of case studies to help illustrate the situations and sums up each chapter with a brief resume of the points covered. At the end of the book he has provided a list of useful resources that people may wish to call on for help – government bodies, websites, organisations and charities.”

I’ve started reading it Michael and it is GREAT!  I’ve been meaning to tackle my debt for many, many years and now it is time.I got paid this week and received a nice bonus.  I also paid in a cheque that I was owed for some freelance work.  Despite the monthly salary and some extra I am STILL in the red.  This has got to change.  Time to stop living beyond my means.I loved your case studies.  They made me think, “there but for the grace of God go I”.  My situation is not as bad as most of your examples.  I have a steady (and fairly stable) job however, there are several reasons why I am getting deeper in debt every month and I am going to address them once and for all.

I am setting a goal of being debt free by the time I am 50.  Although that sounds pretty crazy I think it is do-able.  You are absolutely right that the first step is actually sitting down and getting all the information together about how much is owed and thinking about how to tackle it.

I have never thought about my bank being a creditor before but of course in a way they are.  When I actually looked at the figures yesterday I realised that I was close to reaching my limit on both bank account and credit card.  I have to manage my OWN money.

I’m working my way through your book and will let you know how I got on but just wanted to let you know that 24 hours in I am already feeling EMPOWERED to do it.  To get myself back to the black.

Have you thought about setting up a “Back to the Black Club”?!!!!!

“This book is impressive – the writing is so good.

”It is very touching – Michael has been through a very tough situation, and he is open about it.

”It is informative – it shows concrete ways to get out of a debt situation, in addition to the pitfalls one could easily run into.

”And it is optimistic – Michael managed to free himself from debt. This shows that it is possible!”

Back to the Black: How to become debt-free and stay that way (Telling Experience Book 1) (Kindle Edition)

I’m giving this book 5 stars, which I don’t often do, because it’s extremely well-written, pulls no punches, and doesn’t waste time on exhortations. What I most want to say about it, though, is that the title and the blurb both do the book a disservice in that the impression you get is that this is simply a book that tells you how, if you are in debt, to get out of it. It’s much more than that. What the author has produced, based on what is clearly a long and successful life, is a series of lessons on how to conduct yourself in general and how to get the best results and achieve your dreams. You could get a great deal out of this book if you didn’t owe a penny. I learned an awful lot about sane and healthy mental practices, and I don’t have a debt problem. As a refreshing change to some of the half-baked Life Manuals that are out there by people a quarter of McMahon’s age and a tenth of his experience, I recommend this as a very good read.

“This book details the author’s personal experience of managing escalating debt. Whilst telling his personal story he has woven a plan of action for those finding themselves in similar situations. A lot of excellent advice to avoid the pitfalls whilst in negotiation with creditors along with reference to self esteem and handling stress. Well worth a read.”