How far would you go to save money? Do you clip coupons? Avoid ATM fees by using cashback? Most of us have done both of those at least a few times. What about seeing multiple movies for the price of one ticket? Pretending it’s your birthday to get a free cake? Avoid bringing food to company potlucks? Spend your lunch hour cruising for free samples at Costco/Sam’s Club?
If you’ve done any of the latter, or if they made you laugh, then you might enjoying Phil Villarreal’s book Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel: 100 Dirty Little Money-Grubbing Secrets.
Don’t take the book seriously. Signing up for a credit card to get swag isn’t a good idea. And lying about any number of things (oh the lies he comes up with), would make me feel worse about saving the money than I would about spending it. This book is not a reliable life guide.
What it is, is hilarious.
Villarreal keeps you guessing–sometimes it’s hard to tell whether he’s recommending one of his tips or writing about it because it could work and he finds it hilarious to think of someone trying it.
Some of his tips are quite good and sane, though approached with his quirky style. For example, he has great tips for getting around ATM fees (commonsense stuff, but something to remember). Or he recounts calling the hospital after his second child’s birth and asking for 25% off the bill if he paid in cash. The hospital agreed. No hassle, simple call.
And after that sane advice, he’ll recommend you replace your scratched/damaged DVDs via a Netflix subscription. Get a clean copy from Netflix (hopefully!), mail back your damaged one. Could it work? Yes. Is it ethical? Not so much.
This is an easy book to pick up and put down. I read most of it during my morning metro commute. You can also pick it up on a day when all the PF blogs seem to be posting on the same topic. Whether you flip to a helpful hint or an outrageous suggestion, you’ll be entertained.
You can catch more Phil at his blog Because I Told You So, though a lot of it is coverage of his publicity (the protesters made me laugh).
That was the review, now for the giveaway. I’m giving away my review copy of the book. You too can learn the secrets of Americans stingiest scoundrel.
To enter: Leave a comment with the most outrageous money-saving tip you’ve heard or come up with. And let us know if you ever tried it!
Contest closes Wednesday, September 23rd at midnight, EDT. Winner will be notified by e-mail and must respond within a week or another winner will be chosen. One entry will be counted per person. You must have a valid e-mail address to enter. Void where prohibited. I will make the decision based on a drawing from random.org, I will make the final decision on valid entries.