Agent of the writer Clare Levinson contacted me to review the book “Frugal Isn’t Cheap“. It was long since I went through a complete paper book. Sensing a chance, I accepted, glad I did. The book almost read like it’s written by me! Clare and I share a similar mentality as far as frugality goes.
This is my first book review and I am happy to read and write about a book whose concepts are so mine! I have been telling this to people around me including my better half, that frugal isn’t cheap, frugality is a habit, not compulsion, frugality is the new style statement.
The book contains one formula that pretty much sums up all my posts that I had written over two and half years
Hard Work + Responsible Spending = Financial Success
The way she kept on putting down examples from her life and her friends’ makes it a pretty easy reading. You can finish the book in a single sitting, but the point is not going through the book like a story, rather, I’d suggest you finish one chapter at a time, may be one chapter a week. That way you can get familiarized with the concept of smart money management. Give it a time to soak in.
The concepts explained in the book are natural for a person like me, who is frugal by necessity since childhood. But to most families in this country, frugality is a new concept, something that took real shape post 2008 recession. So, for most of you concept of frugality needs to be fed over time. I may sound harsh but, this is true. When I see almost new furniture in our trash area or people buying 10 pairs of shoes in a checkout counter, I badly want to ask people to be frugal and be respectful to their money.
So, in case you want to read the book, read it twice, thrice or even more. Get a new one or get an used one from Amazon, or, better even, borrow from your local library. But I highly recommend you reading the book whenever you feel frugality is being compromised in your household.
Sure, you’ll find plenty of frugal living lessons online for free, but having every aspect of personal finance covered within one cover is shortest way towards financial literacy.
She tells us to buy a good used car, not a wreck on the road. she tells us to skip appetizers and dessert at a restaurant not to skip the entire dining out! In a way she tells us to enjoy our life while in a strict budget. She tells us to be moderate spender in a way that the expense is budgeted.
What I liked exceptionally well in the book was the personal story telling. When the discussion seems a bit monotonous and full of numbers, immediately Clare starts talking about a funny story from her life. Reading the book never seemed boring to me. I came to know a lot of things, one of them is an animal called Alpaca. I never before heard about them.
When she says that your biggest asset is you, and your biggest liability is also you, she had me as her fan. Here are some of the high and low points about the book
- Easy to read book which is not too lengthy. Fonts are bigger than normal, makes it even easier to read
- Real life examples, and mathematical calculation are well explained. Useful for not so math savvy readers.
- Makes it interesting and humorous when funny anecdotes and stories are mentioned.
- Covers all the essential aspects of personal finance, from spending, saving, earning, investing and willing.
- Some of the suggestions like, checking your bank account every day is a far fetched.
- Heavy on saving money side than earning more side, in terms of words used.
Overall, this book is concise enough yet thorough enough to pick up quick tips on personal finance. I’ll keep my free review copy with me, whenever I need motivation to remain on the right track of smart money management, I’d pick it up and read all over again.
Overall, good job Clare! Readers, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you.