According to the writers at Wise Bread, a
community of bloggers on the Killer Aces blog network, "the best way to
stick to a budget, especially in tough economic times, is to create a
lifestyle that is as much fun as it is practical." The result is their new
book, "10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget," an eclectic collection
of great ideas to realistically enjoy your own lifestyle and improve your
personal finances. Here are some examples taken from the book's two
categories -- frugal living and personal finance:
These days saving money is a trendy thing; in fact, "frugality is finally
Food and drink: Four small kitchen gadgets that equal big savings --
the bread machine, the slow cooker-crockpot, the veggie-rice steamer and the
Travel: Three easy steps to finding great airfare deals -- remember
that no fare search engine is better than any other; when you fly is the
most important factor; and take matters into your own hands (call the
Health and beauty: Ten beauty products you can make at home -- spray
conditioners, hand sanitizers, body ointments, body oils, salt scrubs,
multipurpose shampoos, hair spray, astringents, hair treatments, body
Fun and entertainment: Eight affordable romantic dates -- a matinee
and happy hour, share a foot-long, open mic night, stroll and snack, picnic
in the park, camping, do-it-yourself couples massage, and playful photo
Shopping, bargain hunting: Ten things to never buy new -- DVDs/CDs,
video games, automobiles, yard toys, exercise equipment, most furniture,
sports gear, houses, plants, artwork, ornaments.
Green living: A simple guide to regifting (yes, regifting!) -- Don't
let anyone know it's a regift; if you get an unwanted gift that is to be
displayed, do the right thing first (display it!); beware of regifted gifts
(don't let a gift end up with a person who originally gave it); keep records
of the gifts and who gave them; keep the original packaging; remember that
some items are bad regifts (clothing without the tags); used items don't
count as a regift; if you can't regift, try eBay; and never regift with the
same wrapping paper.
Education, self-improvement: Seven great jobs that offer college loan
forgiveness -- teaching, social work, volunteering, military, child care,
medical professionals and the law.
[to top of second column]
"Financial planning only seems intimidating until you start
learning the basics."
Financial planning, budgeting: Six horrible financial
products you should avoid -- 401(k) debit cards, credit cards with
maintenance fees, store-specific credit cards, payment protection
insurance, payday loans and any financial product you don't
Credit cards, debt: Ten dirty secrets credit card companies
don't want you to know -- minimum payments can take years to repay;
late payments can skyrocket your APR; there is no limit put on late
payment charges; there is no federal limit on interest rates; you
can pay interest twice in one month; grace periods are getting
shorter or eliminated; cash advances cost you twice; the fine print
is a web of deceit; good payers are called deadbeats; and you can
demand a better deal.
The basics of mutual funds: For those of us who don't how to
invest in the stock market, mutual funds are a good option to
consider. A mutual fund is a "basket" of investments managed by a
financial professional. The keys to selecting a good mutual fund
include performance (to increase its value), fees (to cover the
expenses of managing the fund), load vs. no-load (load funds charge
additional fees that reduce your income gains), and considering an
index fund (its fees are lower since it mirrors a market index).
Housing, home improvement: How to get rid of your junk.
Everyone's heard the excuses -- I paid so much for it; it has
sentimental value; the kids will want it someday; it's a potential
heirloom; it will be worth so much money one day. Here's how to
actually break the bond and get rid of the clutter: start small
(with a closet or room corner); label three boxes "KEEP,"
"UNDECIDED" and "TOSS"; resist the walk down memory lane; and remind
yourself that getting rid of something is hard, but it must be done.
Career, money-making ideas: Four ways good writing skills
save and earn you money -- you will be able to negotiate more
effectively; good writing skills make you more desirable to
employers; it is a cheap hobby (got a pencil and some paper?); and
well-written content has monetary value.
"10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget" can benefit
everyone and affirms the belief that you can enjoy the good life in
a frugal manner. According to Kimberly Palmer, Alpha Consumer
blogger for U.S. News & World Report, "this book is just what we
need right now -- a reminder that tough economic times don't mean we
have to stop living well, just that we need to indulge more
creatively." This important and timely consumer education book is
recommended to everyone.
[Text from file received
from Richard Sumrall,
Lincoln Public Library District]