Monday, March 29, 2010
Frugal Giveaway- The Complete Tightwad Gazette
I have a confession to make. My parents never taught me anything about money. They both lived hand to mouth for their entire lives, and now, in their 60s and 70s, have nothing to live on.
A decade ago, I made enough to support myself, lived in a cheap apartment, had an old broken down car, and occasionally had a little money to splurge. I never saved anything. Nine years ago, I found myself in a new city, out of the job I just moved there for, in a more expensive apartment, and was forced to take the only job offered to me. I made $12,000 a year working in a group home, despite my college degree, and had several thousand dollars in credit card debt from my four months of unemployment.
I had no money for food. I developed medical issues and couldn't pay the bills. My electricity was almost turned off. I thought my only problem was my meager paycheck. But I was wrong. Even someone making $12,000 a year can be a spendthrift.
Ten years later, my husband and I save at least 20% of our income. We have a few splurges, but only when we meet our savings goal. When my car broke down two weeks ago, it was not an emergency. Our credit rating is so high, we qualified for the lowest interest rate you can get. I could afford a newer car. When I couldn't work the second half of my pregnancy, and opted to stay home with our son the first 6 months, we were able to afford that luxury. I enjoy the thrill of a bargain hunt. I can envision a future where I don't have to work, and we have a paid-off mortgage. Long before retirement age.
I owe my turnaround in most part to reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I discovered it at the library, and invested the $15 to buy the book new. It has returned that investment many, many times over now.
Because of this book, I have chosen to use cloth diapers, eat lentils, wash my foil and use reusable bags, cook from scratch, use a price book when grocery shopping, and read frugal/deal blogs to reduce our grocery budget (lots of links on my sidebar).
I was able to live years with only $10/week for groceries- and my cabinets were stocked. If there was a such thing as a frugal-person's Bible, The Complete Tightwad Gazette would be it.
This giveaway is open to my US-readers only (postage too high otherwise!), and closes on Friday, April 2nd. I'll choose a random winner via random.org.
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