If you’re been reading Personal Finance blogs for any amount of time, you’ve heard of Wise Bread. The writers of Wise Bread have now come out with a book, 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget, and I was lucky enough to get the chance to read and review this book for you (Read to the end to see how you can be lucky too).
My initial thoughts? This book is slick! The book is bold and eye-catching, and I don’t just mean the cover. The pages are colorful with fun illustrations, and the layout makes these tips very easy to peruse.
The tips in the book are divided into two major sections – Frugal Living and Personal Finance, and within those sections, the tips are divided into categories like Travel, Health & Beauty, Investing, and Money-Making Ideas, among many others.
Frugal Living tends to get a bad rap, and the writers of this book admit that. It’s almost like “frugal” is a bad word and describes people with cabinets full of old plastic containers and who use and re-use things until they completely fall apart. But frugal living can be fabulous! One thing I love about Wise Bread and this book is that they don’t immediately say “Brown bag your lunch and never eat out.” Sure, they do include tips on how to make brown-bagging it easy and fun, but they also talk about saving money when dining out. Life is all about balance.
The writers of this book really did their research. The writers at Wise Bread always have great tips for us readers, but these tips aren’t just their ideas. They did their research and talked to the experts. Want to know how to save on wine? Read the tips from the wine expert. I know that I learned a lot from that little section and have already made notes for when I hit up my local wine shop later this week.
This book is filled with tips of all sorts, and not just your typical money saving tips. Sure, there are great ideas on how to save at the grocery store, but there are also tips about how to answer common interview questions. Seem out of place? Well, one great way to save money is to get a higher paying job and bank the salary increase, and these tips can help. I definitely plan to come back to them before my next interview.
Now, I don’t want it to sound like I’m gushing. No book is going to be filled with tips that work for everyone. There are tips I want to try, like how to cut costs for healthcare. There are tips that made me laugh because I don’t think they’ll work for me, such as living in a yurt. There are also tips (very few) that I disagree with, like not using nasal irrigation – it works great for me! But for the most part, these are great ideas, and if you’re looking for new ways to save or live fabulously on a small budget, this is an amazing place to start. There are tips on everything, from travel to education, from what to cook to how to re-gift. There’s definitely something for everyone in this book.
And now, here’s where you come in. I’m offering a copy of this book to one lucky winner. And entering is easy! Just comment on this post (and if you want to comment but don’t want to win, let me know that too – I just want this to go to someone who really wants to read the book). Get your entry in by next Wednesday, May 13, at 11:00, pm. I will use a randomizer to select one winner from the comments, so everyone’s got a chance. But you have to leave a comment!
Thanks to the writers at Wise Bread for all your work and congrats on the book!
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.