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How to Survive Without a Salary: Learning How to Live the Conserver Lifestyle Paperback – September, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
Hey, I used to think I was cheap. This guy is CHEAP. His anecdotes include waiting for it to rain to take a shower instead of installing indoor plumbing. He had a big hole in the floor of his entryway, or somewhere in his house, into which the kids and a few guests fell. He refused to spend one cent covering the hole, until a neighbor told him about a steel grate they threw away years ago, so he went to the dump and found it.
The point is that you can learn from a top-notch "conserver"; an applied example I would give is to buy two gallons of milk when it's on sale and freeze one for later use (works well!). This guy probably drinks powdered milk though.
I disagree with his economic analysis; prudence CAN be a vice, as any virtue most certainly is in its extreme, or even overdone. But Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations is not just about "McPimple Burger" or keeping up with the Joneses. Any system on a mass scale is going to have gaping faults, and the weaker of us might succumb to our basest impulses. But perhaps Long goes a bit too far the other way...
At any rate, he sounds like an economic anarchist. Very well thought out book, great advice. I borrowed the book from the library and laughed about how this guy would have to recommend doing so...and later on in the book he actually does recommend it! econ
This humorous but practical and easy to comprehend book or guide, by Canadian journalist and writer, Charles Long, is about being a conserver. A conserver is a person who learns how to get by with less and make do with what he/she has. A person who lives as a conserver lives "the conserver lifestyle."
Despite the book's title, it is actually a book for everyone: for those employed, for those without a salary, city dwellers, and country dwellers. Or to put it another way this is a book for everyone "concerned with the diminishing purchase power of their dollar."
Long practices what he preaches! All the philosophy and economic theory behind the conserver lifestyle came from him (and his family) living and surviving without a salary.
This eleven chapter book, as the author states, revolves around three key premises:
(I) Control expenditures and save money. The author shows you how in his four chapters entitled:
1. The Secondhand Market
2. Auction Buying
3. Alternatives to Buying
4. Cheap Tips
(II) Income of some sort is still required (for those who decide to survive without a salary). This income does not have to be made through employment. The author has a full chapter entitled:
5. Casual Income
(III) Preparing yourself for the conserver lifestyle takes time (especially for those deciding to survive without a salary). The chapters covering this are entitled:
6. Assessing Yourself
8. Getting Ready
There is even a chapter on how to answer questions if you decide to live the conserver lifestyle without a salary. It's entitled:
9. What Do You Do For a Living? (and other difficult questions).Read more ›
I have read just about every book on frugal living that I can find, and this one has some info that the others don't. Mostly the new stuff is along the lines of how auctions work, how to bargain, where to find deals (such as flea markets vs. consignment shops vs. estate sales). Included is the typical information on subjects such as budgets and ways to pare down spending without feeling deprived. Unfortunately, like many other frugal living books, this one needs a better editor.
One of the things I like most about this book is that it isn't just written for people who want to move out to the country, make goat cheese from their goats and build straw bale houses: it's for the majority of people who range from city dwellers to country dwellers and want to find ways they can either survive without a salary, or at least become less dependent on one. A worthwhile read.
The structure of the book is as follows: introduction to the conserver lifestyle, budgeting, needs, identifying the time when a salary is no longer necessary, casual income, buying secondhand goods, buying at auctions, alternatives to buying, taxes, insurance and retirement, and the macro-economics of the conserver lifestyle. The book does not include a list of references or an index. There are no illustrations.
Long makes some points that are well worth writing on the family bulletin board. "There is more to be gained more easily by reducing costs than increasing income," he argues in the first chapter. When sorting out needs from wants, Long notes that we must consider the maintenance and storage costs as well as additional effort required to use the item when adding up the true cost of an item that we purchase. "Given all the aggravation, do I really want it?" he has us consider before we make a purchase.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is much more than just an exploration on how to make do with less. It's an exploration of our entire way of life.Published 20 months ago by R. Kim
Life changing!! Read this at a time of deep disillusionment with the world. Started a paradigm shift for our home finances.Published 20 months ago by CM
I love this book. I still have a job but it really helps you look at how much you spend and think about alternatives.Published 22 months ago by Michelle Lynn
I love the practical advice given in this book. I love a book that will give application for what they are saying. This one also has tons of valid points! Must readPublished 23 months ago by ljmiles
I thought this book was very practical and enjoyable. I gives the reader ideas on how to live with less money, (beginning with a mindset change of "conserver" v. Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by Grandma