Writing a book about ways to save money is tricky business. While some folks wash a zip-lock bag to reuse it, others feel a sense of accomplishment when they limit take-out to three times a week. How do you appeal to both crowds? The truth is, you don’t. But what you try to do is provide money saving tips that will appeal to the largest group of people as possible. It’s not an easy task, but the fine folks at Wise Bread have met the challenge with a new book, 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget.
Money saving tips tend to fall into one of two categories for me. In the first category, my reaction is generally, “that’s the dumbest way to save money I’ve ever heard of.” And in the second category, my reaction is, “now that’s a useful tip that I can really put to good use.” I’ve yet to read any book on frugal living where I didn’t have both types of reactions at one point or another. What distinguishes the useful books from the not so useful are those in which category two reactions outweigh category one. For me, Wise Bread’s book hit category two a lot. In fact, when I was done reading it, the book was littered with post-it tags so I could go back and re-read the tips that really hit home for me.
Here are a few that really hit home for me:
- Digitize Travel Docs: If you are going on a vacation or business trip, scan your passport, tickets and other travel documents, and then e-mail them to yourself and a family member. If you lose any of the documents, a scanned copy may just help you avoid a lot of hassle.
- Ditch Cable: This has been on my to-do list for some time, and there is a nice section in the book on tips to get ‘er done. Once good resource mentioned in the book is CancelCable.com.
From time to time you’ll read an article here on how to make money online. The Cancel Cable site mentioned above is a good example of a creative idea that was easy to put together and probably makes good extra income for the site owner.
- Cell Phone Discounts: Cell phone costs are an outrage. Every month I pay the bill, I vow to figure out a way to reduce costs. Well, 10,001 has a section on this very topic, including links to various sites to help you find discounts.
- Go Green: Having spent considerable time writing about green products on EnergySavingGadgets.net, this subject is close to my heart. We can save a ton of dough by greening our lives in practical ways, and 10,001 has several great ideas. For example, did you know you can buy reusable coffee filters?
Personal Finance Resources
In addition to tips, the book also has a list of some great online resources. From money management tools, to coupon and deals sites, to rate comparison tools, the book’s resources are a treasure trove of information. The book also has an informative section on personal finance tips. In this regard, 10,001 is different than most money saving tips books. By including personal finance articles, it pulls together a lot of the tips in a practical way.
One final note. The book itself is published on high quality glossy stock. That may sound like an insignificant point, but the publishers spent some money putting this book together, and it is obvious the moment you see the book. The illustrations, organization, and layout of the book are first rate.
You can order the book from Amazon and get more information about the money saving book at Wise Bread. On top of that, I’m giving away the review copy Wise Bread sent me. Just leave a comment to this post, and I’ll randomly pick a winner at the end of the week.
Published or updated September 13, 2011.