The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches Giveaway

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.

ultimate cheapskateThis 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 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!

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  1. The book sounds great. I can relate to several of the ideas mentioned.

    I live in an area in Canada that saw an amazing property boom combined with low mortgage rates. I have many friends who own huge homes and huge mortgages. I chose a more conservative home on beautiful property and with property values doubling over a three year period now have over 70% equity in my home! My friends who kept buying bigger and better have less than 10% equity.

    I take the living within my means at 30 a different way. I am lucky enough to get a guaranteed wage increase each year. I know % increase about 6 months in advance. What I do is simply calculate the difference in take home pay when I get my raise and put that money away as additional savings. Never had it, never missed it! The next year I get a new raise I then bring the old raise back into my income and save away the new raise. Essentially I am operating one year behind on my raises, but never feel the crunch as it is money I never had.

  2. Just found your website from getrichslowly, loving your site! I subscribed today! Great work!

  3. Chapter 5, just the title of the chapter reminds me of a few people including myself when I bought my first house. We didn’t buy what we NEEDED, we bought what we wanted and eventually couldn’t afford. We ended up getting lucky and getting out of the deal, but took about a $4000 loss.

    Two rules of thumb I use when counseling others:
    If the total of the mortgage & escrow is more than 25% of your net income or the above plus expenses to maintain the house (utilities, yard care, home repairs) is more than 40% I look for a cheaper house. A lot of people usually use the first one forgetting that you may buy the same priced house in a different neighborhood or city where homeowners fees or utilities are higher. Just make sure you do all the research and ensure that you can truly afford the monthly mortgage payments. (Oh ya…no more than a 15 year fixed rate on the mortgage!)

  4. I would love to win a copy of this book. I always feel that if I get one good money saving tip from a book it has been worth the effort to read it.

  5. Sounds like an excellent book!
    I wish someone had told me about Golden Nugget #1 when I was twenty nine (that’s about thirty years ago). Sent a link to my daughter, though :).

  6. I could use some reading material…especially if it’s The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches!

    : )

  7. Oh boy I hope I win this book! Love the advice about being content with a starter home. One of the commonly cited stats about Warren Buffett is that he still lives in the same modest house he bought decades ago for just under $32K. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. Remember, the bigger your home, the more you have to pay in utilities and upkeep (not to mention furnishings). Word!

  8. I’ve been waiting for this book to arrive at our local library! Golden Nugget #1 is great: I’m currently trying to convince a younger coworker (28) that he should invest the extra money that he’s receiving as part of a recent promotion and keep living on what he used to earn. No luck yet, but I’m working on it. Sure would be easier to convince him if I had Jeff Yeager’s book in hand (hint, hint)!

  9. Sounds like the perfect book for a single (adoptive) homeschooling mom working from home! I haven’t heard of this one and will have to look for it. (Unless I win it!)

  10. My local library doesn’t carry this book!!! I would love to read it and not pay for it. And then I will donate it to my local library to help someone else!!! Thanks and I love keeping up with your site!

  11. I love this website. It’s really got me thinking about the best ways to live frugally. I check it a few times a day for new posts!

  12. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for doing the give-away! I’m keeping my fingers crossed…

  13. Would love to read this book! I read an interview with him and his wife in Quick & Simple magazine, and ever since I’ve been wanting to read it.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  14. I would love a chance to win this book!! It sounds great!! Thanks for the opportunity!! Maybe I could get my husband to read it if I won! 🙂 HA HA! 🙂

  15. Sounds interesting. I really enjoy book reviews but rarely find things at the library. I only buy books used or new if they will be a reference for work or study.

  16. I’m sure I don’t have to say it again on this blog, but living within your means is the way to go. I feel like we don’t do it enough when it comes to housing.

    Yeah, book giveaways!

  17. I would love to own a copy of this book! I’ve been reading a little bit of it with my last 2 visits to Barnes & Noble.

  18. Thanks for the review… sounds like a great book. Hopefully I’ll win the giveaway! 🙂

  19. Hey, I like your site but thanks for this book suggestion. Constantly trying to find worthwhile books to read rather than buying every finance book there is. Fingers crossed I win

  20. I’d love to win a copy of the book, but I’m interested to know if there is an eBook version available? The UK Amazon site lists 1-3 weeks for shipping.

  21. Since I’ve begun reading The Simple Dollar (that’s where I found your site), I’ve discovered some great financial information and some great books. The ‘Cheapskate’ book sounds like another great find, not only for me, but for my 22 year old son. I’d like a chance at the book, but I also plan to subscribe to your site! Good information can be hard to come by! Thanks!!!

  22. Great review…I look forward to reading it for myself. I found you through Lifehacker…our family has recently planted two different square foot gardens this spring…we are excited to reap the rewards!

  23. This sounds like the book I need to read….hmmm, fiscal fasting, I’ll try it for a week…as a compulsive shopper I really need this book in my life!
    Send me a copy Frugal Dad!


  24. got here via The Simple Dollar and the Language of the Poor article.
    I actually saw this book at Barnes and Noble yesterday, but was too frugal to buy it. Hope I win.

  25. I just stumbled upon your web site and noticed the giveaway so please sign me up. I plan on coming back here for the articles as you really appear to be a helpful person. Thanks again!

  26. New to the site, but loving it so far. Keep up the good, and interesting, work.

    kkebert at gmail dawt com

  27. I’ve read other great reviews of this book and it seems really valuable.

    I especially like the “Gold Nugget #1” as my husband and I are already attempting to do this at 23 as we pay off our debt, travel and immigrate to another country in 3 months – we call it “living like poor students”. I hope to keep it up for a few more years yet!

  28. Hi,
    I would also like to be included in the free book give-away!

    I dont have a job, am 52yrs old, and have 22 grandchildren. Of course with no job, a house, and cheap husband iam always looking for ways to reduce cost,make it myself, or do without.

    Any tips I can implement into my life to save money and give us a good quality of life is always welcome!

    Thanks for reading my post…..Lynn

  29. Love to win the book!

    And housing is usually the biggest expense for every family – focus on needs, not wants, and you will save big.

    I grew up in a huge (nearly 6000 sqft.) old (built 1922) house which in retrospect was a money pit in every sense of the word – huge utility bills, antiquated wiring/plumbing/etc.

    In addition, although its market value has doubled over the last 20 years, property taxes have increased nearly four-fold!

    My family of 4 now lives in under 1500 sqft., luxurious considering it was not so long ago that families of 6 lived in 3 bedroom/1 bath sub-1000 sqft homes.

    Read “The Millionaire Next Door” to see how successful business owners strictly control consumption expenses in order to save cash to use in their business or to walk away from it all.

    Given their income, they choose very modest houses and spend modestly (used American cars) on their vehicles.

  30. My husband and I would love a chance to win your book. I am a stay at home Mommy to two young boys and we love living frugally. It’s the smart thing to do~!

  31. This sounds like just what i need… if I don’t win the book I’ll check my library and see if they could order me a copy if not i gess I’ll have to….:::choke::: buy it.

  32. One of the best things about being frugal and following advice such as in the “Ultimate Cheapskate” is that when it’s time to splurge and have fun, it doesn’t kill my budget or consume me with guilt. I have a frugal lifestyle and because of that, yesterday I spent a glorious day in Boston’s North End. I had lunch out, bought wonderful spices at a local market, bread and biscotti at a bakery. I rarely do such things, but it was such fun! It didn’t hurt my budget or bottom line at all. Being frugal means I can seize the opportunity to enjoy life more than ever!