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10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget Paperback – May 12, 2009
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“The bloggers at the personal finance site wisebread.com offer thousands of ways to spend less while still enjoying life....Brightly illustrated and offering multiparagraph tips organized into topical sections, this guide...will give novices quick, simple answers. (Library Journal)”
About the Author
Wise Bread is a community of bloggers that provides readers with entertaining advice on how to manage and spend their money. The articles are folksy and relatable because they are based on the candid, hilarious, and sometimes painful personal experiences of the writers. These savvy gurus come from a rich array of backgrounds. Among their ranks are financial consultants, journalists, career counselors, professors, advertising experts, homemakers, and even professional hobos! Wise Bread is content partners with MSN and has been featured in The New York Times, Newsweek, Times, CNN, Forbes, NPR, Fox, AP, PC Magazine, and Slate. It is owned by Killer Aces Media, Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.
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Top Customer Reviews
A very large section of this book is dedicated to food. I don't cook much as a single, nor do I wish to freeze ice cubes of herbs, beer, etc., and I don't want to premix packages of mixes to bake later. Im frankly surprised at how much of this book is dedicated to food preparation and storage. The only section I found remotely interesting was on wine, and specifically, how to choose an inexpensive wine that tastes great, but again, if you can google, it's out there.
Everyone who has been within of earshot of Dave Ramsey's radio show or been to Financial Peace U knows the importance of making, and sticking to a budget, so nothing new there, either.
There are many typos throughout. I'm not going to list them, but I will mention that other than the extensive chapter on food, most of the other subjects get a very brief paragraph with a hint or two.
The section on gifts recommends buying things such as flashlights, measuring cups and coffee mugs for inexpensive gifts, or making your own fruit basket. Nothing original. They reason everyone needs these items, which may be true, but most people do not need another coffee mug to add to their collection of mismatched mugs taking up space in their cupboards! And a flashlight? I can just see the joy on my friend's face when she opens that personally picked out present, I'd be lucky if she didn't throw it at me! Fruit baskets, well, honestly, they're a bit overdone today unless you can put a unique spin on it, but they don't suggest any tips there.
On health and beauty, they suggest saving all those toiletries from hotels and using them. Ho hum.
The personal finance and career section is Part 2. I would recommend reading The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness or The Money Answer Book. Yes, they are more than 99 cents, but you will look at debt and money and budgeting totally in a new way after reading one of them. If you can only buy one of them, order the second one I listed, you don't need both.
If you must read something on this subject, read this The Minimalist Cleaning Method Expanded Edition: How to Clean Your Home With a Minimum of Money, Supplies and Time
The tips on fashion, health and beauty are outdated, common sense, such as, wear a lot of black, get a lint brush. I'm not kidding. It's that simple, and unoriginal. I could write better tips on that, and maybe, after reading this, I should LOL
If after reading my review, you still are curious, go to the library, this book is out in paperback. I gave it two stars instead of one because I know some of the readers may find the food section worth the price of the book, but again its just the usual, such as use cheaper cuts of meat, use beer to tenderize, and crock pot it.
Different contributors wrote different tips, the book could've used stronger editing and better formatting. I really expected a much more helpful book, I'm sorry I couldn't recommend this one.
3 stars for 3 shortcomings
* Focus is on affordable splurges rather than savings. A lot of these tips can actually increase your cost of living if you were living simply. Not one chapter in, I found myself navigating to eBay to shop for a breadmaker. Wait, I'm on a no-carb diet and the last time I made bread was for a 2nd grade art project. Ditto fresh herb ice cubes.
* Organization could be tighter. Since this book isn't targeting a specific demographic (i.e. renters, singles, families, etc.) you have to scroll through a lot of off-topic lists. Instead of putting Wine articles next to Beer articles, they are separated by several features on bulk cooking. Fun & Entertainment was particularly unfocused, careening through dating, wedding planning, kids birthday parties, gift wrapping, and only then landing on the more general topic of weaning oneself off TV.
* Try Too Hard Humorous tone. I like a well-placed witty crack as much as the next girl, but some of these authors wasted valuable time and space in the process and weren't even funny. The 21 uses for beer list is a great case in point. I'm not sure that filling a bathtub with 2 kegs of beer to bathe in is all that frugal. I'm also not sure that convincing the object of your affection to drink her/himself into oblivion to achieve "Movie Star Good Looks" is that practical. For me, a quick overview of a topic like micro-brewing would have been more appropriate.
If you're looking for serious references on this topic, these are worthwhile and Kindle-ready:
* Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
* The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City
* Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World