Back to the Black


New edition available from 21 January 2015.

Back to the Black: how to become debt-free and stay that way” is based on the personal debt recovery experiences of the author. Moreover it utilizes his experience of coaching and debt counselling to propose a structured approach to the problem. This approach reduces the inevitable stress of the situation and makes it easier to get back to the black.


‘Back To The Black: how to become debt-free and stay that way’ is a book about dealing with debt. It is a manual for the ever-increasing number of people facing debt problems.

Why have I written this book? Put simply: a few years ago I went through a severe debt crisis. I had turned a blind eye to the problem and came very close to bankruptcy. With the help and support of a friends and a few professionals I eventually came through the experience without permanent scars to my spirit and credit rating. After I managed to clear my debts and get back to the black, I decided to write a book from the perspective of someone who has been there, had the problem and found a way through it.

I want to share what I learned from my experiences. If what I write helps you to get out of debt, the experience will have served its purpose.

‘Back to the Black: how to become debt free and stay that way’ is primarily aimed at people going through what I went through. If you have debts that have reached, or are reaching, problem proportions – whether those debts are personal, business or a combination of both – then this book is for you.

Reading it will help you to …

  • Look at your debt problem in the same way a coach or counsellor would.
  • Learn the three main strategies to become debt-free.
  • Learn  many tactics for handling stress, formulating a plan, negotiating with creditors and much more.


Back to the Black is available as a Kindle eBook or paperback, through Amazon’s international site or through


What To Expect

You’ll read my story: where I went wrong and how my debts built up to the point of becoming unmanageable; how and where I found unbiased advice and support; and how I found the solutions that eventually got me out of debt.

Most importantly, though, you’ll learn what I hope you’ll find to be a logical and step-by-step process to decide what’s the best option in your situation.

You’ll find chapters on the stress caused by debt and how to deal with it; on how to formulate your debt management goals; on how best to evaluate your current situation; and on how to develop a list of options for how to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Then I deal with the main strategies for bridging that gap.

The book concludes with a comprehensive “Resources” section, including contact details for a wide range of organisations that can provide you with one-to-one assistance that’s tailored to your personal situation.

There are many reasons why we get into debt and debt problems often result from a combination of circumstances, rather than from a single cause. In my own case, the primary cause was the gradual failure of a business I had started a few years before; however that problem was made worse by the fact that I just expected things to improve, so I carried on spending. It is my contention, however, that whatever caused you to get into debt, the principles for getting out of debt are the same.


Praise for Back to the Black

“This book is written using the very useful resource of first hand experience which makes it very poignant and useful. The three approaches to escaping the downward spiral of the effects of debt are practical and easy to follow. It is written with humour and gives the reader the comfort that they are not alone in experiencing the misery that financial problems can bring.”

Written from the author’s own bitter experience, ‘Back to the Black’ has a readability rarely seen in this genre. Although intended for those suffering financial crisis, it is written with a ‘glass half full’ attitude and is jam packed with such useful information and sound advice that I could recommend it to anyone.

“A useful handbook for living within your means.

This is a been there, done that, got the T shirt book. In other words its written by someone who knows the issues and learned to deal with them.

 Worth the small change it costs to put it in your library and read it in a spare moment when you cannot afford to go down the pub.”

The banking crisis ensured that money would grab most of the headlines around the world in recent times. People are, of course, affected by the actions or non-actions of politicians and regulators but also by poor decisions in the management of financial institutions. They are affected by job security, property values, investment returns, and business trends. Individuals may themselves make poor financial decisions. They may not control their own financial present and future.

Michael MacMahon’s “Back to the Black” is written by someone who has been there and got the T-shirt. His philosophy is not to look to blame but to emphasise the importance of taking charge. For those who want to learn how to manage their own budgets, or who are fearful they are not doing so, this is a must-read. Michael does not claim to have all the answers but he believes that most of the answers lie within our control.

“Enjoyable and useful. If you struggle with debt, it seems hopeless. This book offers you a solution.

 In between with easy to read style and useful tips, I enjoyed the read and would gladly recommend it.”


Back to the Black is available as a Kindle eBook or paperback, through Amazon’s international site or through

PS: You don’t need a Kindle to read a Kindle book! Simply download one of Amazon’s free apps to read Kindle books on PCs, Macs or mobile devices of all kinds.

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