Yesterday I rode my bike over to the library to pick up a book that had come in for me – Jeff Yeager’s Ultimate Cheapskate book. Since the library is a 5 minute bike ride from our house, and since just about everything known to woman can be found on the internet, I don’t buy books. Well, every once in a while I’ll get something for 75 cents from our library book store, but very rarely. There are a few books that I check out over and over, and ponder buying. But then I remind myself that I can just keep checking them out of the library – for free. And returning them so that they don’t take up space in my house long-term.
Anyway, so far I’m loving the Ultimate Cheapskate book. It’s funny and non-preachy, but full of great ideas. I’ve read just about all of the personal finance/frugality books in our library. I skipped the get rich quick ones that detailed complicated day trading schemes, or real estate ventures. I’d rather not give myself an ulcer in the process of building our net worth. And I’m really not looking to get rich at all. Just to pay off our mortgage and have enough money to live on comfortably. Really, we already make enough money to live comfortably – and we save more than 25% of what we earn. The mortgage is the only major financial project we have right now, so we’re working to pay it off as quickly as we can. We’re happy with what we have – old cars, thrift store clothes, used bikes, a smallish house within biking and walking distance to most of the places we go. We’re slowly growing our savings, but there’s no fancy tricks to anything we do. We just live on less than we earn and save the rest. And we pay extra on our mortgage every month, since paying it off is a big goal for us.
So Jeff’s book is very much my style. It’s all about being happy with what you have, and not always striving to have more stuff, more money, etc. He writes about slaying your “Enoughasaurus” – that beast within us that keeps wanting more and more. He suggests finding a point where you’re happy with what you have, and staying at that lifestyle, no matter how much your income goes up in the future. He suggests the lifestyle you have at 30, which is convenient since I’m 30 right now.
I’m only about a quarter of the way through the book, and I’m excited to keep reading. I love books like this that inspire me on my frugal journey to live simply and happily, without needing vast amounts of money to do so. Invariably I find some little idea I hadn’t thought of, or just renewed motivation. So far, I highly recommend this book. Just make sure you check it out of the library!