I’ve gotten away from book reviews the last few weeks, and it took a really good one to motivate me to write another review. The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches, by Jeff Yeager, is one of the best frugal living books I’ve ever read. Yeager was kind enough to send me an autographed copy last week. It arrived on Thursday, I started reading it on Friday, and I finished it on Saturday. It was 241 of the most entertaining pages one could find on living the frugal lifestyle. As I read each chapter I became more and more convinced Jeff and I were separated at birth! One thing that quickly becomes evident is that Yeager has a great sense of humor, and it shows in his writing style. My wife and I agreed he sounds like the Jeff Foxworthy of frugality.
This book is easily worthy of my first-ever giveaway here at Frugal Dad. If you would like to receive my autographed, gently-handled copy simply leave a comment on this post and be sure to include your email address so I can contact you. Comments will remain open until next Sunday (April 20th) at 12:00pm (eastern time). I’ll use the handy list randomizer at Random.org to select the lucky recipient and ship your book as soon as we confirm your address. Now, here is a quick review of my three favorite chapters from the book.
A Sneak Peek Inside The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches
Chapter 2: Fiscal Fasting
Yeager’s fiscal fasting idea is a bit more extreme than my 48-hour spending fast, but the rules are the same. For one week participants must not spend any money that is not absolutely required for life or career-sustaining needs. No shopping, no eating out, and if you are hardcore, no utilities! The thought of going a week in some parts of the country with no air conditioning is daunting, so plan accordingly, or stick to the beginner’s level. I did pick up another book idea from this section, Children of the Great Depression, by Russell Freedman. Yeager included it on his recommended reading list for your family’s fiscal fast – since you won’t be watching much television or going out for entertainment.
Chapter 3: Six Golden Rules for Ruling Your Gold
“Gold nugget #1: Live within your means at thirty and stay there”. What a great concept! So many people spend right up to their income, even as their incomes increase. Applying this golden rule, your spending levels and the amount you “live off” at 30 years-old would never increase. Any additional income you earn would be used for saving towards financial independence. Since I just recently turned 30 myself I guess I can kiss any future raises goodbye – thanks Jeff!
Chapter 5: Buy a Home, not a Castle
How relevant is this advice in the current housing market? Many people who find themselves in trouble today bought more house than they could really afford, thanks to creative financing from questionable lenders and overconfident borrowers. Yeager’s advice in The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches is to buy a starter home and finish there. I agree. So many people are in a constant search for something bigger and better, particularly when it comes to real estate. What a revolutionary idea – buy a home you can afford, pay it off early and remain there mortgage free. Actually, this isn’t all that revolutionary. As Yeager points out, it is the way our grandparents bought real estate a few decades ago.
The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches is a definite buy, two thumbs up! In fact, I liked it so much I almost backed out of my giveaway, but I’ve taken good notes and in true frugal fashion would like to pass it on to someone else who could benefit from the advice. Don’t forget to leave your comments for a chance to win an autographed copy!