Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Clare K. Levison, CPA
Publisher: Career Press
“Before making a purchase, ask yourself these three questions: Do I want it? Do I need it? Do I have to have it? Clare K. Levison writes in her book, Frugal Isn’t Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better.
At two hundred and fifty-six pages, this paperback targets those interested in maintaining a frugal lifestyle that focuses on saving money. After acknowledgements, a foreword by Sharon Lechter, CPA, and introduction, eleven chapters cover the topic of finances, ending with notes, an index, and the author’s biography.
Written mainly for twenty-something year olds who are inexperienced when it comes to finances, this first-time author gives advice regarding money often based on her personal experiences from her five year old daughter’s temper tantrums, meeting her husband, and a lesson from a golf pro to buying a one hundred year old home, owning alpacas, and foolishly investing in chickens.
Divided into eleven sections, the rudimentary read with the mantra of “Keep It Simple, Honey,” considers frugality is coming into fashion. One needs to consider balancing their “I’d rathers” with their “I have tos” in saving and spending money. Of course, moderation in the key.
The book reiterates standard concepts of living well and spending less, getting out of debt, saving more, creating an investment plan, making large purchases work, learning one’s net worth, factoring income in the financial equation, being charitable, teaching financial responsibility to children, and achieving financial success.
Taken mostly from 2012 data, Levison recommends saving twenty percent of income instead of the reported four percent for that year. She promotes banking eighty percent of bonuses and all tax return monies along with taking out a fifteen not thirty year mortgage. Mentioning the lifestyles of Thomas Jefferson, MC Hammer, and others who have faced bankruptcies, one should never spend more than they make.
With no charts, forms, or worksheets to fill out on budgeting or net worth, this book may be helpful for someone recently out of high school or college and facing the adult world of working and learning how to save money. However, older adults near retirement, hopefully having already planned financially for the future, may not glean any new information since the majority of its contents is common sense and everyday knowledge.
Thanks to Tess Woods PR for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.