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Wisebread Book Review & Giveaway

Wisebread, one of the better-known group personal finance blogs, recently published a book called 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget. Though I got an advance copy, it’s taken me a while to read it. There’s an excellent reason why–this book is not something to be read all in one sitting. Instead, it is like an updated, organized Tightwad’s Gazette (also a good book).

Or, more accurately, it’s like a combination of every good money-saving blog post you’ve ever seen written on the internet.

Why is the book worth purchasing or winning or reading if all the information is available online?

There are two reasons why I think the book is worth having in your collection–at least if you’re always looking for frugal reference. 1) 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget is very well-crafted and detailed. Its sections come from the WiseBread writers and beyond. 2) It’s an inspiring book.

1) Craft & Detail

While you may be able to find dozens of articles on each topic online, the ones included in Wisebread’s book come from a diverse spectrum of writers, all of whom put their best into (re)writing them. This means diverse ideas and experiences come into play. It also means that you don’t have to click through a number of search results to find one that’s well-written and interesting.

2) Inspiration.

Having the book around as a reference can inspire you to save money in new ways. Maybe you hadn’t intended to start canning and would never have clicked on a canning article online. However when flipping past the canning article (there is one), you notice something interesting and start reading.

Unlike an RSS feed, it’s all available at once when you’re scanning through the book or reading the table of contents. Daily inspiration is valuable too, but there’s something useful about the ready-to-hand-ness of this book.

Both of these advantages can be found in high-quality blogs, but they’re things that this book does well and all at once.

Why you might not want to buy 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget

Just as you find them in all blog posts on saving money, some of the suggestions in the book are the same ones that those of us who know anything about personal finance and frugality have heard a million times over. I don’t think they should have been left out, as there will probably be people purchasing the book who’ve never heard or thought of them as options before.

It feels insipid, but it’s something you can overcome unless you really have read every money-saving blog post ever. Because it’s not a book you need to read straight through and it’s well-organized and indexed, you can find the info you’re interested in without ever reading the other stuff.

How you can win 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget

Courtesy of the fine people at Wisebread, I’m giving away two copies of the book. The contest opens today and ends on Wednesday the 24th at 10pm EST. I’ll send the names & e-mail addresses to my Wisebread contact, who will be mailing the books.

To win, answer the following question in a comment:

If you were contributing to this book, what one tip or set of tips would you include?

Void where prohibited. Winners will be chosen by random.org. Entries will be considered valid at my own discretion. Must use valid e-mail address to win so you can be contacted, otherwise someone else will be chosen.


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Review and Giveaway of 10001 Live Large on a Small Budget | Saving Money News
June 18, 2009 at 8:08 pm

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane June 18, 2009 at 8:34 am

Prioritze! Knowing what is most important to you is what makes frugality a way to free up resources instead of an exercise in deprivation. You GAIN value if you give up a convenience or whim for something you really care about.

Christine June 18, 2009 at 8:49 am

I would recommend, for students, that they try to always have employment through their studying years. It’s a little harder in terms of juggling time and commitments, but the benefits are huge: there’s work experience on your resume after you graduate, but more importantly, the better you can support yourself the less you’ll have to borrow.

A month after graduation, I’m more than halfway to debt freedom, because I worked the last few years of university — and so I didn’t take loans in my last two years, plus I had savings that I could immediately put toward debt repayment. I only wish that I’d started working sooner!

Christine’s last blog post: Read More Canada

Matt Jabs June 18, 2009 at 8:51 am

If I were to contribute one tip it would be to encourage people to follow their passions to discover their true happiness & income potential.

Matt Jabs’s last blog post: Simple, Easy, Fast, & Effective – Jabs Homemade Laundry Detergent

Bonni June 18, 2009 at 9:31 am

When making a big purchase think about how many times you will use the item; can you borrow one from a friend; is it a quality item that will last for a long time. Shop around the stores in your area and online for price comparison and the best deal.

meinmillions June 18, 2009 at 9:34 am

Give yourself a week waiting period before you purchase something expensive. If you still want it after a week (and can pay cash for it) and haven’t found it for cheaper elsewhere, go fo it!

meinmillions’s last blog post: I’ve been tagged!

meinmillions June 18, 2009 at 9:36 am

Give yourself a week waiting period before you purchase something expensive. If you still want it after a week (and can pay cash for it) and haven’t found it for cheaper elsewhere, go fo it!

Patti Bright June 18, 2009 at 9:49 am

When I need a big ticket items especially furniture…I try to decide if I can go with something used…often going with a used items is better because you can get a better quality item for less especially wood furniture. You save the environment & you save money. Old furniture can be refinished easily. Also check freecycle.org – there are so many great items for free:)

Aggie CO June 18, 2009 at 11:18 am

Think of the public or academic library as your place to “try before you buy”. You’ll cut down on impulse purchases of books, CDs and DVDs, eliminate clutter in the house, and save thousands of $$s.

Doing this, I’ve also learned (as so many have not) the real difference between “I want” and “I need”. I know this sounds like a small thing, but most of those impulse buys were unnecessary purchases that were eating up my budget.

jennydecki June 18, 2009 at 11:35 am

My #1 money saving tip I’d love to add is, “Write down all your expenses and all your income.” Without knowing where you’re starting from, even the best money-saving tips won’t give you an idea of how well you’re doing and time won’t be able to tell you how far you’ve come!

jennydecki’s last blog post: Pointy Bootie (or: I Am Not The Penis Mom)

Amy June 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

I would definitely be sure to include grocery shopping tips beyond just using coupons. Organization and planning can save time AND money on a chore that virtually everyone has to do.

Ruth June 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

Don’t see everything in “money” terms. If you want a nicer car, be open to the possibility that there are many ways to get a nicer car, such as trading/bartering; getting a free car that has advertising on it (and you would advertise for the company by driving their car); receiving a car as a gift (we’ve received 4). If you need a house, you may find a job involving long-term house-sitting. Just open your mind to the possibility that there are many ways to get the things you need, and not all of them involve spending/saving money.

Kim Davis June 18, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I have 2 tips: The first tip would be to start teaching children at a young age the value of a dollar! Give them ways to earn small amounts of money and teach them to save their money for things they would like to purchase. Second, even if you have never lived a frugal lifestyle – it is never to late to start. Start small and get the whole family involved!

Dawn June 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Mine would be to shop ethnic grocery stores. I find so many great prices on staples that I use in my every day cooking – rice, beans, olive oil, bread and so on. Even shopping the ethnic aisle in your megamart can save money – I found rice for several dollars less there than in the other aisles. It is a little thing, but it adds up – and something I rarely see mentioned on other blogs.

Dawn’s last blog post: Expectations and Financial Savvy

Sharon June 18, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Car gas savings:

Do not turn on the air conditioning in your car when driving through town. This single factor has saved me a whole week’s worth of gas in the summertime!

Sharon’s last blog post: Headaches and Fevers and Illness, Oh my!

Diane June 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm

My 1st thought is don’t spend more than you earn, and don’t use credit cards for things you can’t pay off monthly.

Know the difference between needs and wants. You may need a car, and want a new Toyota Solara convertible. You don’t NEED the Solara… you just need a car.

Decide what is important to you, given your income and expenses. Do your research before making major purchases. Buy quality (mid t0 upper range) in things that last a long time and take care of them.

Read as much as you can about personal finance and learn from others’ mistakes. As I tell my sons, if you insist on making every mistake yourself, it will be a difficult life!

Jessica June 18, 2009 at 6:02 pm

To keep track. I think a lot of the trouble people have is they don’t keep track of their spending habits. They don’t know where their money goes.

Jessica’s last blog post: That’s the best line you have! Really.

Lefty June 18, 2009 at 7:31 pm

I want to mention two ideas that I learned from blogs this past winter that have really proved effective for me.
1. Track your expenses and compare them to your budget often: if not daily then no less than weekly. I use YNAB and learned about it here at Mrs. Micah’s blog in February.
2. Go shopping in your cupboards and fridge and plan menus based on that. Write down what you have and then think about what you need from the store to complete the plan. This is so simple but never occurred to me. I learned this from Notes from the Frugal Trenches. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway.

Lefty’s last blog post: Acceptance

Carol June 18, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Two tips. One, don’t use credit cards except for online ordering, car rental, other things where the only way to purchase is with a credit card. And only use them if you already have the money to pay the card off. Two, start saving for retirement in your 20’s.

Shelley June 19, 2009 at 7:27 am

1. Don’t go shopping to entertain yourself. Go looking to gather information (but not buy) or go hunting to buy something you need (identified long before hand and not available by any other means.
2. Be conscious of when you’re spending money to impress someone else and then ask yourself why you need to impress them and why it has to cost money.

Shelley’s last blog post: Books from the Public Library

Susan June 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm

I bath my 2 year old and 4 year old in the baby sized tub instead of the big tub…saves a lot of water. (of course, 2 kids can’t fit at once so it takes a little longer!)

Jara June 19, 2009 at 10:45 pm

My number one tip for expectant parents would be to use cloth diapers.They are completely worth the effort. I switched to cloth diapers about halfway through my son’s babyhood and the savings so far have been astounding.

You can save quite a bit of money by making things yourself at home. This can include making meals, making cleaning supplies, making laundry soap, shampoo,etc. I’ve been trying to do this more often,and I’ve noticed that making things at home doesn’t really require as much energy and time as I thought it would, but I’ve been able to save much more time by cutting down on how often I have to go to the supermarket.

Lora June 20, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Taking a lunch and snacks to work instead of buying them out results in savings that add up over time, and the food can be healthier too.

Edward June 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Use an RSS reader to gather blogs and sites that post deals, coupons, and freebies. You can save a tremendous amount on food, clothing, travel, and many other things. Check them daily and save. I recommend Google Reader for its ease of use and its integration with the Firefox browser.

Squeezed Juice June 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Especially during these recession crisis periods, money is tight for many families. I believe in the power of recycle, reuse, and reinvent. The best advice I can give is “don’t be afraid at a garage sale.” I held a few myself the past couple weeks and many people swarmed as early as 6:30am looking for previously loved items such as stuffed animals, clothes, electronics – even ones like an old working VCR. If people are finding goods at my garage sale, my notion was to stop by a few myself. Low and behold, I found a couple items myself for my son and I that we’d adore at garage sales at steals like $3.00 for a toy tool bench set and my best friend found frames for photos at a quarter each. Many items at these garage sales were gifts or purchased items that were hardly ever used or even still wrapped. I’m a young adult and I hardly ever thought about garage sales prior to the recession, however, my opinions have swerved a total 180 by experiencing it firsthand. Even clothing that I wanted to go on sale long ago can be found at these garage sales and are still staples to the wardrobe. I definitely recommend it.

Tiffany June 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Check out your local library for DVD’s and CD’s instead of renting them from Blockbuster or Netflix. The wait may be longer on more popular titles, but you can usually have them out for 2 weeks. It’s free and you can have more than one at a time!

Tiffany’s last blog post: Blog Giveaway :: Cooking Basics for Dummies & Rebate

Matt Jabs July 7, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Just wanted to update you here to let you & everyone know that I received the Wisebread “10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget” book today in the mail.

Thanks again!

Matt Jabs’s last blog post: Monthly Debt Reduction & Savings Statement – May & June 2009 – “Playing Catch Up” Edition

susan August 10, 2009 at 7:34 am

Don’t save old magazines to go through later as later never comes.

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