Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tightwad Mom's Frugal Book Pick Of The Month
I have a confession to make! I love to read! I also like to learn new things. It makes me happy. Especially, if I am learning something while I am indulging my habit. So, I thought every month I would share my thoughts about some of my favorite frugal books! Who knew that someday I would enjoy writing a book report!
I thought I'd start off with my all time favorite, "The Tightwad Gazette" series, written by Amy Dacyczyn. Originally, the Tightwad Gazette, was a newsletter published monthly between 1990 - 1996 by Amy and her family to share her insights on frugality, and to share tips and ideas that her readers sent in. She felt like fellow penny pincher's needed a forum to share ideas and for support. After she stopped publishing the newsletter, she decided to compile those articles and ideas into easy to read books to help beginners get started and handy ideas for the more advanced.
I checked her books out of the library several years ago when I realized that I really wanted to streamline our budget, and cut corners, so that I could scale back my hours at work (I love my job. So I didn't want to quit, entirely). I wanted to be home more with my kids raising them; instead of sending them to daycare everyday. I always felt like I was a fairly frugal person, but Amy made me realize that there are a hundred little painless ways to cut corners that add up to big savings. Her books are full of ideas, tips, and recipes that help make stretching your budget easier. She also adds in plenty of funny commentaries on her own frugal journey. Some of her ideas are a little extreme, but they give food for thought. The most important things I learned from "The Tightwad Gazette's" are:
1. Think outside the garbage. How can I reuse this container, cardboard, box, milk jug, etc. to save me money? You paid for it; so it's silly to throw it away before you have gotten all of the use out of it that you can.
2. There is a satisfaction in finding ways to maintain your lifestyle in the most frugal way possible.
3. Money isn't everything.
Anyway, I loved the books so much, I watched thrift stores and bought them. In fact, so many friends and neighbors asked to borrow them, that I bought a second set (used from Amazon.com) to loan out. I broke out in a sweat thinking about not getting my books back, because I refer to them constantly. In fact, my husband jokingly calls them the Tightwad's "Standard Works". Happy reading everyone!