Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Review: Frugal Isn't Cheap

It was the 2 day notice that the book was needed back at the library that encouraged me to pick up Frugal Isn't Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live better by Clare Levison and Sharon Lechter.  If frugality is new to you, then I highly recommend the book.  A quick read, it's broken down to chapters you can zero in on. For example, investments or another on major purchases.  Being a CPA the author does a great job of breaking down the math many people have a hard time with. For example, the $10 you fritter away every week on something you really do not care about could be $520 in your savings account.  For me, this book was too elementary.  It's for frugality 101, and I'm interested in PhD level frugality.

I must say that one chapter did stand out, and is rarely present in other books on frugality.  The concept that time is money.  She tears into the coupon extreme behavior, pointing out buying something for pennies is silly if you do not really need the item(s).  One story was a women who bought 30 jars of mustard for dirt cheap, but has a family that does not eat mustard.  The author continues on to encourage readers to focus on paid work. Many frugal practices, when viewed as hourly work, pay less than minimum wage.  Again, this topic is not new to me.  I realize that you can only trim so much from a budget, but income can be increased to generate savings and other frugal moves.

As I close tonight, I'd love recommendations for books that take frugal living beyond 101, but not "living off the grid".  A dose of inspiration or fresh ideas is gladly welcomed as we continue our "talks" with the children's former school.  I'm amazed that an organization that prides itself on being progressive and anti-corporate holds so tightly to contractual language of a harsh nature.  The sting of paying "stupid tax" is sharp tonight.

A favorite image from our nature walk earlier in the week at the UW Arboretum.  
M. Gustafson Gervasi 2013

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