Thursday, March 11, 2010

Frugal Follies Book List: January and February

I read a lot of books on frugality and personal finance. I just love them, even if I only pick up a tip or two with each book. Each month here at Frugal Follies, I'll be posting the books that I've read over the past month. If you have any suggestions for me, please leave them in the comments!

Stop Acting Rich: ...And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire by Thomas J. Stanley

A continuation of his books The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind, Stanley, a researcher into the habits of very wealthy people, says that to be rich, we need to not emulate the habits of those who appear rich and instead act like the rich really do.  The people we see buying expensive clothes, driving super-luxury cars, and wearing fancy watches are usually just good at spending lots of money and appearing to be rich - they are not accumulating wealth because of their consumerism habits.  Instead, people who become truly wealthy have frugal habits and are more concerned with building wealth through businesses and investments.

Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times by Suzan Colon

After author Colon loses her job, her mother suggests that she dig out Colon's grandmothers box of recipes.  In the memorabilia she finds not only her grandmother's thrifty recipes, but also essays about her grandmother's life and how she and her family managed through difficult economic times.  The book is not so much a cookbook - though there are recipes - as a memoir about how good, basic food can get us through tough situations to a future with promise again. 

In CHEAP We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue by Lauren Weber

This book traces the history of thrift in the United States from our earliest settlers until the present day.  So many books on frugality wax poetic about how our ancestors were so good at saving money, and that it is only in the present day that we have become conspicuous consumers and spendthrifts.  This book shows that we are merely looking at the past through a cloudy lens, that while there is a strong history of frugality in this country, frugal folks have always had to fight the tide of a consuming culture.  I particularly found her analysis of the stereotypes about Jewish people and money to be very informative.

Family Feasts for $75 a Week by Mary Ostyn

Written by a blogger mom of 10 (check out her blog, Owlhaven), Family Feasts for $75 a Week has lots of great cooking ideas to keep grocery bills low.  She feeds her large family on about $900 per month, which would equate to $75 a week for a family of four.  Just the amount of cooking that size family would require takes my breath away!  Her recipes are sized for a typical family, though, and include Korean and Ethiopian traditional dishes.  I will definitely be trying many of these recipes!

Check out Life as MOM for more reading suggestions.

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Hannah Gold March 11, 2010 at 10:45 AM  

Thank you for the list I am ging to check them out of the library! I love Thomas Seely's books.

Hannah Gold March 11, 2010 at 10:51 AM  

I have a question...what exactly does she say about Jewish people and money sterotypes? I saw a synopsis of the book in the library and was aghast at reading "Cheap Jews ands Thrifty Chinese". Does she give a histoy of the sterotypes?

Unknown March 11, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

The author traces the history of the stereotypes. She's certainly not saying that they are true. I've already returned the book to the library, so I can't give exact quotes.

Suzan Colon March 11, 2010 at 1:24 PM  

Hello, and thank you for putting "Cherries in Winter" on your great book list! It's so gratifying to see that the lessons I learned in frugality came through in my stories. My grandparents, my mother, and the way I was brought up all instilled great lessons in me about the difference between the icky feeling of "deserving" something and the wonderful feeling of earning something.
Thanks also for the great tips on the other books; I'm going to look a few of these up. I'm also going to follow you on Twitter, because I can still use all the great ideas I can get for saving some ca$hola!
With gratitude,
Suzan Colon
Author of "Cherries in Winter"

Unknown March 11, 2010 at 2:58 PM  

Wow, thank you for stopping by! Had I known one of the authors of the books I reviewed was going to see my review, I would have done a better job of writing the review! :-)

Unknown March 11, 2010 at 7:29 PM  

"Cherries in Winter" sounds like a wonderful book! I'm sure if we all could sit with our great-grandmothers and grandmothers, they would have some fabulous stories to tell about frugality!

How cool that the author actually took time to post a reply :-)

FishMama March 11, 2010 at 11:44 PM  

I never knew there were so many books on frugality! I've heard good things about the Millionaire next door. I need to check that out.

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