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The New Frugality - book review

May 29th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I finished reading the library book The New Frugality by Chris Farrell. What a waste of time. There was nothing new, just a general rehash of old principles - save more, spend less and do it in a green/environmental way. Plus there was the obligatory slap at Amy Dacyczyn for her 'extreme frugalism' of reusing vacuum cleaner bags. I don't know why so many financial savings authors think they have to do that. She's the most successful savings author ever, yet so many other financial savings authors feel they have to put her down. They need to prove that they are not asking you to do something 'extreme' - like not use credit cards Smile - everyone has saving ideas that other people would not use, that doesn't mean those people are weird or cheap or extremist. What difference does it make to them if someone uses an idea that they wouldn't use. It works for the user, it saves money and reusing vacuum cleaners, ziploc bags, aluminum foil etc is good for the environment, which this author is supposedly promoting. Most people know all the basic savings advice, you need to do something different to get people thinking about all aspects of their savings if you want to make a big difference.

There was one quote in the book that I liked about retirment. "Many retirees find that they can make significant cuts in expenses without slashing their standard of living. The retired have the time to shop for and take advantage of deals and discounts, to clip coupons and plan ahead. It's easy for them to substitue home cooking instead of a late-night dash after work to get takeout.... You can get by on a lot less when you're retired, without really depriving yourself of anything important." This fits in exactly with my philosophy.

I was telling my dad about the savings on the Elephant Bar gift cards and he asked me to buy him 2 $50 cards, so I went online last night and got those and a lot more cards had been added, so I got another $100 WalMart card at 4% off. Dad likes Elephant bar because he gets a 20% senior citizen discount - add that to an 11% gift card discount and the occassional coupon and he really saves.

I got gas at Safeway this morning for the first time in almost 2 months. I last got gas at King Soopers on April 6th when I had .60 cents off. I used the gas in my 2 5 gal cans thru this month. This time I only had .10 cents off. It cost $2.53/gal and I spent $25 just for my car. I'll wait to fill up the gas cans when it's cheaper. The credit card should be giving 5% back on gas in July.

5 Responses to “The New Frugality - book review”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Some of the authors seem to say the same thing over and over, don't they? I would like new ways to save money, wouldn't you? Of course, I don't want to be like someone I once read about who "stole" ketchup packets, and by that I mean, took 20-30 at a time to put in their ketchup bottle and stuff like that. Just a way to save a little here and there.

  2. HouseHopeful Says:

    I will say I'm not above using extra ketchup packets from takeout. Not 20-30 at a time though!

  3. elisabeth Says:

    Amy explored the limits, but did try to use honesty and the one time she wasn't and her readers called her on it, she decided her readers were correct and thanked them. I admired that. Perhaps Amy bashing is a backhanded compliment!?

  4. baselle Says:

    I think the issue is really not the mechanics of saving money ... the tips sound the same in general.

    The real frontier in saving money is behavioral. How can I get myself to begin to do it, how can I continue with doing it and not get frugal fatigue, how can I get my friends to do it (or figure out who is frugal so I can friend them) all so I'm less tempted. No writers seem to get that. You get tips and stunts and not much else.

  5. retire@50 Says:

    rob62521 and baselle - I agree with both of you. I think that's why blogs are the best way of showing how to save money day to day. Someone writes about savings that are good for today or for this week and you apply them right away. Plus I like examples of people actually using the tips in thier lives and I think the blogs are the best ways of communicating that. Plus it shows people who belive the way you do, even if they don't live close by Smile

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