May 17, 2009 by Shannon
Live large, on a small budget. Who doesn’t want to do that these days?
10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget comes from the writers of Wise Bread — a personal finance blog that’s as much a daily addiction as my morning pot of coffee. This book is good looking, easy-to-read, and delicious-smelling (I have a thing about the scent of books). Most of all, it compiles the very best of what the Wise Bread site has to offer: smart, easily adoptable ways to streamline your life and finances.
And considering the fact that our household is paring down from two incomes to one, I am almost giddy about implementing some of the book’s concepts. It goes without saying that I’ve studied the budgeting chapter like a college student cramming for a final. But I’m especially jacked to try some of the simple ideas. The ones that have you saying to yourself, why didn’t I think of that? For example:
- Freeze leftover coffee in ice cube trays. Then you just pop ‘n plop in a homemade iced coffee drink. Voila! A delicious beverage without the dilution of regular ice.
- Zip ‘em up. All those thrashing zipper edges in the washer and dryer can take a real toll on your clothes. Zipping them is a smart way to save a little wear, especially if you’re like me and don’t discriminate much about the types of fabrics you wash together in one load.
- Make your own scented hand sanitizer. All it takes is a combination of rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel and a little essential oil. The suggested ratio is outlined in the book.
And I tell you what — some of the article titles alone make me swoon with the money-saving possibilities:
- 12 Affordable Ingredients That Add Gourmet Flair to Any Meal (I’m no chef, but I can pretend. And I have a cute apron, which helps.)
- 7 Things to Do With Inexpensive Wine (Cheapo vino? Now you’re speaking my language!)
- Frugality Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: 5 Ways to Spend Less and Love More (Awww….isn’t that the way we’re supposed to live?)
Now, I must say 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget contains a few ideas that are a leeeetle out there. One article on how to become rent or mortgage-free suggests finding yourself a Quonset hut or shipping container in which to hang your hat. Hmm.
But all in all, this book is a resource for anyone who cares even 10% about how and where they use their money. In fact, I dare you to flip to any page and not find one interesting and/or money saving tip. It’s that useful.
And just when I thought the book’s wellspring of ideas had run out, the authors proved me wrong. At the end there is a 13 page listing of online resources — websites on everything from coupons and coupon use, to online deals, to organization and efficiency. If you’ve ever Googled for “coupon,” you know what I mean. Wise Bread has sorted out the worthwhile sites from the worthless.
10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget just hit the market this week (the Wise Bread crew was generous enough to provide me with an advance copy) so if you want to pick up a copy from Amazon, just hover over the book titles in this post. It’s an excellent reference to have on hand, and will probably pay for itself many times over.