Living within your means can be hard. Especially if you don’t make much and have a lot of debt to pay off. We have been working to live on a cash only budget while paying off our debts for several years now, but we got started by reading financial books and blogs and learning the tricks to spending, saving, and living on a small budget. One of my favorite financial blogs is Wisebread. While there are many people on the Internet offering financial advice, Wisebread is different in that it consists of an assortment of authors who are regular people trying to save a buck-just like us. This here blog has even been featured there in the past. The tips you find at Wisebread can range from the extreme to basic common sense, but chances are you are going to see something you hadn’t thought of before but that could work for you.
I don’t read a lot of personal finance books because it is generally the same information being presented over and over. Also, long passages about investments cause me to jerk awake at night just knowing that its Finals week and I never attended any classes. When I was asked to read and review Wisebread’s new book, 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget, I was a little apprehensive. I was afraid of pages and pages of boring financial drivel and “spend less than you earn” and “every time someone gives you a $5 bill put it away to save”-yeah, right, like I can afford that.
I should have known that it would be different. Many of my favorite Wisebread articles are written in a list format, giving just enough back-up information to make the point clear and then moving on. They are easy on the eyes and the brain, and the book is written in the same manner. It moves along quickly because of it. I was shocked when I finished the forty page section on Food & Drink after a pretty short read.
Depending on how frugal-minded you already are you may have heard of or already practice many of these tips. Likely though there is something you haven’t thought of yet. Personally, I can’t wait to make my own hand sanitizing spray-the Burt’s Bees stuff I buy is $5 for 2 oz. My favorite section, though, offers tips on finding great, cheap wine as well as what to do with cheap wine that’s not so great.
Anyone who is just beginning to make changes in their spending will find many good tips for making the transition. Of course, in their customary style, the authors have included many ideas that aren’t necessarily feasible (such as living in a shipping container to be mortgage and rent-free) but they still get your brain working in the right direction. On the other hand, maybe you are an intrepid and penniless college student and living in a shipping container is just the last frugal step in living debt-free.
Not much cooking this week, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you will know that we recently lost everything in our freezer. Reading this book has reminded me of how cheaply we filled it up in the past and I am hoping to fill it up again with a few large batch cooking sessions. The things we lost that I was the most sad to part with? The 12 cups of homemade chicken stock, the ice cream, and a small stash of corndogs that I had just made a few weeks ago.
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