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Books to Help You Save Money (Frugal Friday)

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Dave Ramsey Birthday Cake

I am a book lover. Whenever I’ve had a problem in this life, I’ve turned to books. Whether it be a distraction or a solution, I can usually find help in a book.

This week I wanted to share a handful of personal finance books that I’ve enjoyed reading and/or have helped us get our financial house in order.

Please note: This post does include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees.

Books to Help You Save Money

MiserlyMom_newMiserly Moms by Jonni McCoy – I picked this book up in the grocery store (of all places!) over sixteen years ago. I was newly pregnant. My husband and I were planning for me to stay home when the baby came. I found this book, originally subtitled, Living on One-Income in a Two-Income Economy, and devoured it.

That year before taking the plunge I started putting many of McCoy’s tips into practice. This was my Bible for frugal living. I reread it every year for about a decade. I sold it in a garage sale at one point; I had the book memorized. I bought the current edition a few years ago and found that it had not been updated much. I still have the book memorized.

dr_lifeasmom_tmmo_bk_250The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – Fast forward twelve years and we found ourselves in a heap of debt, despite our best intentions and frugal ways. I listened to the Dave Ramsey podcast faithfully for at least a year while we were climbing out of the hole. I waited patiently for a copy of The Total Money Makeover to arrive from the library since we really couldn’t afford to buy a copy. I read it in less than a week.

We followed the plan outlined in this book to establish a short-term emergency fund, pay off our debts, and build a long-term emergency fund. I can say it works. We paid off $18K in 18 months. It was dang hard, but so worth it.

msmThe Money-Saving Mom’s Budget by Crystal Paine – Right on the heels of reading Dave’s book, I had the opportunity to meet Crystal. Crystal was my personal finance coach for awhile when we both lived in Kansas City and my family was digging out of debt. My best garage sale EVER was thanks to her savvy ways and companionship. Crystal puts that same enthusiasm to help others into her book.

If you don’t have a clue how to pinch a penny or aren’t sure where to start, this book is for you.

AllInGoodTime-682x1024All in Good Time: When to Save, Stock Up, and Schedule Everything for Your Home by Tara Kuczykowski with Mandi Ehman – I’m a fair amount older than most of the young moms I meet on the internet. When I was newly married I looked to homemaking icons like Emilie Barnes, Donna Otto, and Sandra Felton. Their kids were grown 20 years ago when I was just starting out.

This book as well as the next one are what I call the new generation of savvy, frugal homemakers. In All in Good Time, Tara and Mandi, present a compendium of household tasks and supplies as well as the best time of year to purchase them. Since I love stocking up on a good sale for something I know I’ll need and use later, I consider this a great resource.

goodlifeThe Good Life for Less by Amy Allen Clark – Likewise, Amy falls into the camp of hip, up-and-coming homemakers who know how to make things happen. Amy’s debt story is similar to ours. She and her husband worked hard and cut expenses in order to make a better life for their family. This book is chock-full of practical ideas to help you save some coin and still enjoy a rich life.

BundleoftheWeek.com, 5 eBooks for $7.40!Bundle of the Week’s Frugal Living Package – I love the ebook bundles that Bundle of the Week puts together. They are a great bargain for readers. At only $7.40, you get all these ebooks:

  • Become a Frugali$ta in 30 Days by Susan Heid
  • Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne Simpson
  • Advanced Penny Pinching by Tabitha Philen
  • From Debtor to Better by Barry Myers
  • Coupon Quick Start Guide by Angela Newsom

From Garbage to Gourmet From Garbage to Gourmet by Carrie Isaac – Carrie always surprises me with the money-saving resources she puts together. Years ago, I was blown away at her Grocery University, a great audio series to help you save money on food costs. I thought I knew everything there was to know about couponing, but she taught this old dog a few new tricks.

In her latest book, Carrie presents an amazing catalog of ingredients, how to buy them, how to store them, and how to use them so they don’t go bad. The book is based on saving less by wasting less. I love the concept. When you consider that Americans waste an average of 25% of the food they purchase, that means we could each cut our grocery bills down by a fourth just by using what we have! My guess is that you’ll more than save the purchase price of this ebook. It’s available on pdf and on kindle.

What’s a favorite money book of YOURS?

This is Frugal Friday. In an effort to make these weekly financial discussions more interactive, I’m no longer posting a link-up. Feel free to leave a link in the comments. But better yet, chat with us on today’s topic.

Disclosure: This post does include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through those links, I am paid a small amount in way of advertising fees.

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Comments

  1. I love all those books! But don’t forget the grandaddy (grandmommy?) of them all, The Tightwad Gazette!

    Here’s my frugal tip this week – some pros and cons of the new Publix digital coupons:
    http://www.frugalfollies.com/2013/03/publix-digital-coupons-pros-and-cons.html

  2. I am totally with Laura!

    The Tightwad Gazette is a book I’ve read and reread and reread. I suppose I’ve memorized it like you memorized Miserly Moms…which I’ve read too! But I’d never sell it; my kids love it every bit as much as I do, because the writing is great and the books are just plain fun to read.

    I also really respect the author because when she decided she had shared all the main ideas and techniques in her magazine, she published them as a book and then she gracefully moved back to daily life rather than rehashing old ideas.

    Really, you should read it. It’s a great refresher and it’s super-inspiring. If you’re not sure, check out my review: http://anniekateshomeschoolreviews.com/2010/07/twt-the-tightwad-gazette/

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I think I checked it out from the library once, but couldn’t get into it. I’ll have to look at it again. But, yes, I did hear that story about her “retirement”. Very interesting, indeed.

  3. I am a huge reader of finance books as well. The latest one I have read is “Pocket Your Dollars” which was all about our attitudes about money and how it effects our success with money. Another title I really liked was “enough” by Adam Hamilton and “Your Money Counts” by Howard Dayton. The Tightwad Gazette is of course a classic read that will help in all areas of homemaking.

  4. Of your list, Ive read Dave Ramsey and Crystal’s book…I added the others to my library list :)

    (and I have to second The Tightwad Gazette…I originally checked it out from the library but had to purchase it because it’s packed full of stuff)

  5. I’ve not actually read any books on financial other than the one of my Mom’s life (and Dad’s, but mostly Mom’s). I’ve been exposed to many concepts through the web and friends, but I think at the end of the day, I come back to my Mom’s penny-pinching ways, with my own twist. And if I have a question about how to save more here or there, I call Mom. Some of these titles sound really interesting, though. Maybe after the school year wraps up, I will check the library for one or two. And I’m definitely asking Mom if she read The Tightwad Gazette. It wouldn’t surprise me if she had.

  6. Carolyn says:

    I am really surprised to not see the Tightwad Gazette on here! She actually wrote three books and then combined them into one huge one, which I love! It’s a bit old now, but the concepts remain the same forever. Thanks for your other suggestions, I haven’t read all of these yet.

  7. Probably the first personal finance book I read was The Wealthy Barber, by David Chilton. I would recommend it to anyone, but it is especially useful for those just starting out on their own.

  8. I really don’t tend to read books on frugality but I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan and have read a couple of his. We do tend to eat more organic and local foods and, therefore, don’t do the coupon thing. I do tr to save money by making our own household cleaners, laundry detergents, etc. And I love thrift shopping and garage sales!

  9. I try to read a frugal book every month, as part of my reading plan, and I share my monthly frugal book reviews on my blog because like you, I find there is so much to learn from others! I was pleased to see that I’ve read all of these that you have, and learned from all of them, of course. My all time favorite is “Shop, Save, and Share” by Ellie Kay. Actually, anything by Ellie Kay is a favorite of mine. All her books are on the top of my frugal list!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I have heard of her, but I don’t think I’ve ever read any of her stuff. Thanks for sharing that recommendation!

  10. I’m a huge Dave Ramsey fan- so I love The Total Money makeover – it’s one I re-read every so often. I remember reading Jonni MoCoy’s book when it first came out. I really like The Millionaire Next Door – it’s an oldie but I have read it numerous times – it helps me with the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality.

  11. Another Tightwad Gazette fan here….checked it out from the library and eventually bought the combined volume at Sam’s Club. It’s in my “keep” bookshelf despite much purging of other books. Also benefited from Total Money Makeover greatly. Some of these other newer books look great but our library doesn’t have them and we’re on a tight budget right now. Maybe someday.

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