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 about some of the books that I've read over the past month. If you have any suggestions for me, please leave them in the comments!
Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich
In this book, Woginrich makes the case that we can all become more self-sufficient in our lives, no matter where we are right now. We can take more control of the things we eat, wear, and make, and how we entertain ourselves. Though she doesn't own a large acreage or homestead full-time, she makes changes in her life to allow for a more natural existence - more cooking from scratch, making her own clothes, buying antiques, growing vegetables, beekeeping, and raising chickens. (I think my homeowners association would frown at the last two there.) She also adds tips to help you get started on your own journey.
Farrell makes the case that with the state our economy is in now, we need to rethink how and why we spend our money. He suggests a new frugal attitude, most concerned with having a margin of safety and to reduce the amount of uncertainty in our financial lives. His specific advice is familiar to those of us who have been frugal even when the economy is good: pay yourself first, keep debt to a minimum, make and keep to a budget, and save early and often for retirement and college.
Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine
In 2004, Levine and her partner decided to not purchase anything for that year, save the most necessary essentials such as food and medicine. She shares her insights that she has discovered on her journey, on topics such as gift-giving, overconsumption, consumerism, and our society's publicly held assets. A journalist, she also reports on the Voluntary Simplicity movement and interviews people who have reduced their needs to an absolute minimum.
Check out Life as MOM for more reading suggestions and Saturday Sound Off for more great blog reads!