I’m a Winner!

I have been participating in my library’s summer reading program and I won a prize! I am going to pick it up a little later this afternoon when the library opens. It’s a gift certificate of some kind. How exciting! I am not one of those lucky people who win things often, so this is a very pleasant surprise.

I think I told you a couple of weeks ago that I had rediscovered the library recently. Even when I went before I tended to forget that I could go to any library in the city, not just the one at which I got my card. This time I am scouring the city for personal finance and home books. I just finished two books  Living Well on a Shoestring, by the editors of Yankee magazine, and The New Frugality, by Chris Farrell. Both were good books.

Living Well is a collection of 1501 tips and tricks to save money. Everything from the old ruler and quarters trick for weighing letters (balance a ruler on a pencil, put 5 quarters on one side and your letter on the other, if the letter weighs more than an ounce, it will tip the scale away from the quarters.) to hanging your laundry. Tips big and small are in there and it’s quite a good example of this kind of frugal tricks book.

The New Frugality is neat. He equates frugality with sustainability and believes that it is here to stay. The generation that lived through the Great Depression stayed frugal. He believes that the generation that has lived through the Great Recession will as well. With the added concerns over the environment and our impact upon it, sustainability is the other half of the frugality that this generation will practice.  He discusses insurance and debt and investing. He is optimistic that the changes will stick around and advocates a margin of safety be built into every aspect of your spending and saving. He quotes Thoreau and advocates saving more and spending less. It is right up my alley.

Now that I’m officially on vacation – having made decent grades in my summer courses – I have plenty if time for reading again. I am about to start a book called Scaling Down, Living Large in a Smaller Space. Maybe it will re-energize me to keep getting rid of things. I know there is a lot more that we could live without. We’ll see.

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