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The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means Paperback – June 8, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Yeager (The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches) is back with another energetic, likably eccentric lesson on living happily well below your means. Interviewing a variety of self-professed cheapskates, he finds—despite a diversity of lifestyles, backgrounds, and beliefs— common practices and philosophies when it came to money; their knowledge of how to live on less has insulated them from the economic crash. He presents their tips on frugal living in grocery shopping, entertainment, and sensible parenting, but the real value is in Yeager's persuasive argument that an onset of Spending Anxiety Disorder is good for our wallets, our communities, and the environment. If we change the way we think about want vs. need, we can focus our time and attention on the truly valuable things—family, charity, passions, the early retirement that will make enjoying them longer possible—and if we consume sparingly, thoughtfully, and fully, our possessions will not consume us. Yeager and his Miser Advisers are proof that living more frugally isn't about sacrifice—it's about making choices every day to live a better, happier, more thoughtful life with less. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Ah, yes, belt-tightening is the procedure of the day, from how giant businesses conduct themselves to managing one’s own personal finances. It is the latter aspect of conservative spending that the author of the popular Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches (2007) and of the blog Green Cheapskate addresses in this delightful—yes, delightful—guide for me, you, and everyone else. Personal finance is a universal concern, particularly in these tight economic times. It is a topic that people need to know about but still shy away from. Yeager is here to draw you in and does so easily. He does not use the term “cheapskate” in a pejorative fashion; after all, he lists himself as one and wishes that all his readers would aspire to cheapskateness. A cheapskate to him is someone who lives below his or her means and does so happily. How to spend less than you are spending now is the program he details; the amazing fact about this book is that in addition to his instructions making perfect sense, like no other book of its kind, this one can be read simply for the humor of the author’s prose. --Brad Hooper
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I've gifted copies of Jeff's various books to my father, who is nearing retirement, my surrogate little sister on her sixteenth birthday, and a dozen other people in between, always to overwhelming success.
Myself, then a cheapskate in denial/the closet, read Jeff's book and gained confidence to fight the "bitter miser" stereotype and go further with my escapades of cheapness. My father, a man who makes great money yet still spent his entire life in fear of layoffs, read about a way out. My surrogate little sister, having grown up very spoiled, finally started grasping the true value of hard work and money.
Jeff doesn't guilt, he doesn't lecture, and he doesn't prescribe; rather, he wins you over with gentle humour and the heart-warming anecdotes of his many diverse frugal friends.
In this humble cheapskate's opinion, you should begin here, with The Cheapskate Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of Americans Living Happily Below Their Means. If this book doesn't win you over... you're probably a vampire.
After that, circle back back to The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less for more structured guidance on how to lean into a cheaper lifestyle.
Once you've gotten that far, I won't even need to tell you to pick up copies of Don't Throw That Away!: 1,001 Ways to Reuse Your Stuff So You . . . and How to Retire the Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate's Guide to a Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement, because you'll have already seen the shiny, shiny light.
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The Ultimate Cheapskate is a human we would all be lucky to know.