Like Wise Bread , this book is colorful, approachable, and while I haven’t confirmed the actual number of tips, 10,001 doesn’t seem that far off. The two main sections of the book are Frugality and Personal Finance, with a staggering 196 pages devoted to Frugality alone. If you’re going to live large on a small budget, frugality is going to have to be a regular part of your vocabulary!
The book is set up as a collection of tips centered about a theme. For example, Frugality is broken up into seven sub-categories:
- Food & Drink
- Health & Beauty
- Fun & Entertainment
- Shopping & Bargain Hunting
- Green Living
- Education & Self Improvement
Within, say, Travel, there are sets of tips that will help you maximize your enjoyment of life while saving you money. Not everything is a money saving tip, for example, one of the tips in a section titled 16 Ways to Light and Low Budget recommends that you try to pack as light as possible, using miniature items or limit how many shoes you pack. While you could argue this saves you on checking bags, the real motivation for this is so that you can maximize your enjoyment while minimizing how much luggage you lug around.
One of my favorite sections was, surprise surprise, in the Travel section and it starts on page 54 – 9 Great Ways to See the World for Free. It lists nine programs where you can volunteer and see the world for free (some even offer a small stipend). There are four long term programs of several years (like the Peace Corp and United Nations) and five shorter term programs of a few weeks (like Winrock International and ACDI/VOCA). Given my flexible work arrangement, a two or three week volunteer trip might be in our future.
I want to warn you though, this review may be biased because I’ve liked every person I’ve interacted with at Wise Bread, but I still think it’s a great value at a mere $10 on Amazon. You’re basically paying a tenth of a penny per “tip” and you get colorful illustrations along the way! If nothing else, get your local library to get a copy so everyone can take advantage of it.