Wednesday, October 31, 2012

BC2012: Be CentsAble: How to Cut Your Household Budget in Half by Chrissy Pate and Kristin McKee

Now that I'm accepting my role as homemaker, I figured I may as well try to get better at it. This book is a quick and easy read, and it's probably quite useful to some people. I picked up a few tips, but seriously, I bought this book new for 90 cents* -- I'm pretty good at getting deals already.

In general, Be CentsAble is filled with reasonable advice. It isn't one of those frugal-freak books that has "ten ways to reuse TV dinner trays" or "how to make a toothbrush last for 15 years." It is about how to shop, where to shop, and how to save money at those stores. The chapter about saving on utilities is good, but I've already done the things they suggest. The chapter on budgeting sounds decent, but I could never get my wife to do it.

One of their travel suggestions horrified me: "head to the book store with a notebook and spend a couple of hours getting ideas from a current travel guidebook." I'm sorry, but that crosses the line from saving money to thievery, especially as a suggestion from a book author. That is so wrong that I couldn't imagine having the nerve to do it. Leaf through a guidebook, sure, but take notes? If you really don't want to pay for anything you should use the Internet or the library. Besides, a current travel guidebook can be quite handy on a vacation if your plans change and you have to improvise. If you're going to use the information, just pay the fifteen bucks!

The authors are moms so there is a lot about saving money on stuff for kids. Of course, I nailed that one already -- the best way to save money is not to have kids in the first place. Just the other night somebody on TV was talking about the costs of raising children, and my wife said, "Boy, we dodged a bullet there!"

The authors have a very useful website that they rightfully plug numerous times in their book. Check it out for lots of great money-saving resources.


* I miss Borders so much! And that purchase came before the bankruptcy sale.

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