Have I got a book to share with you! The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn (pronounced like the word “decision”). The book is filled with great money-saving ideas, which should be enough to entice anyone to give it test ride. However, the author also reminds readers why it’s better to save more than earn more. She equates the “don’t save more, earn more” philosophy with running to burn off a candy bar. Instead of finding out how far you have to run to burn off the candy bar, skip the candy bar and actually get some health benefits from that exercise. Here’s how she sees that same philosophy in action with our finances:
“Most Americans are running to burn up candy bars. They are running out of the house, running to the daycare center, running on the job…so they can afford candy bars and Nintendo games, meals at McDonald’s, and designer sneakers.”
Isn’t that the truth?! We’re working so hard to afford those things we think we deserve because we work so hard. Now, here’s the punchline:
“There is a point at which the quality of life and the standard of living depart…where earning more results in a personal cost and erodes the quality of life.”
At some point, all that running to burn off the candy bar starts to interfere with the actual enjoyment of the candy bar. Time to get rid of the candy bar! Time to start working on saving more than earning more.
Anyway, Mrs. Dacyczyn offers some sound advice about living beneath your means and how to do it. I’ve found that I already do quite of few of her ideas, but there are still plenty of untried golden nuggets scattered throughout the book.
I highly recommend that anyone who wants to find practical ways to cut costs finds a way to get her hands on this book. I borrowed my copy from my homeschool support group library, but I’m sure you could find it at a public library or even from a friend. However, this is one of those books that I’ll start keeping my eyes open for at yard sales and thrift stores. It’s a keeper.
One last note: The book was originally published in 1992 and some of her price comparisons are a bit off from today’s prices. This does not affect the books usefulness, but it does date some of the information.
Thanks for stopping by!
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,