Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Book Reviews

I have somehow managed to find some spare time to read. Mainly, it's after the lil man goes to bed and my husband has his nose in a book also. On my quest to becoming frugal I have taken up reading finance books. Thanks to the library I am gaining this knowledge for free.

First up is "The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches" by Jeff Yeager. His perspective is very different from all of the other finance books that I have had my hands on. His overall philosophy is, "A penny saved is a penny you don't have to earn again." He goes over what he calls the Money Step. Which is; we earn money, to spend money, to get what you want (or at least what you think you want). His "6 Gold Nuggets" as he calls them are; live within your means & stay there, never underestimate the power of NOT spending, discretion is the better part of shopping, do for yourself what you could have others do for you, anyone can negotiate anything, and pinch the dollars and the pennies will pinch themselves. His book is filled with insightful quotes like, "Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get." ~Dale Carnegie/ There is a lot of humor and personal experience in this book. His humor isn't to my liking but he does have some great points. My favorite quote from him is,

"Yes, we are cheap, but we are generous, kind, and happy because of it. We refuse to spend our time making money so that we can buy things we don't want or need, particularly when so many others have so very little. Our lives and our time are more precious than that."

The second book that I read skimmed this  morning is "How to Raise a Family on Less than Two Incomes" by Denise Topolnicki. I am feeling very opinoinated today and must say that the general idea of this book is a good one but overall it was not realistic for someone like me. Now, I highly suggest it if you are starting out with a combined income of $200,000 and decreasing to $100,000 and only have to give up going to the Opera and eating in upscale Manhattan Restaurants, and of course firing your nanny. Give me a break! I want to read a book from a real family where for example the husband has been a student while they are raising their young family or the husband is a blue collar worker not a lawyer, doctor, or engineer. Now those stay at home moms are smart and creative and there is a lot to be learned from them.

"Money 911" by Jean Chatzky (Financial Editor for Today) is a great guide book. It is broken up into topics that provide useful information and also include additional book titles and websites on each subject. So, now I have some additional titles to check out. I actually took about 2 pages worth of notes from her book that applied to our family specifically. One thing that I have learned about finances; there is not one book or only one idea that fits the needs of every family. To me finance books are like a buffet; you pick and choose what works for you, there is a variety to choose from, and like the buffet you keep going back for another plate. What makes this book gold to me is that it taught me how to get telemarketers to LEAVE ME ALONE! That in itself makes it invaluable. If you too are like me and are almost made hostile when called by a telemarketer here is the solution; http://www.donotcall.gov/ Place your phone number on their list and it stays there forever and doesn't expire (*sigh*)

Today lil man and I are peddling (well I'm peddling and he's riding) to the library for storytime and so I can visit the financial buffet and maybe check out a movie. If anyone has any good title selections please drop me a line at nestingmadesimple@yahoo.com

Happy Reading,