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The Simple Dollar

Book review: The Cheapskate Next Door

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest.

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13 | Cheapskates Come out of the Closet
Practicing organization and premeditated shopping in the form of an ongoing “clothes I need” list. Hitting thrift stores instead of new clothing stores. Buying new only if you see deep discounts. These are the tactics of people who spend very little on their clothes budget and yet still manage to dress professionally and respectably. I know that I was surprised the first time I started shopping for used clothes. I expected to find mounds of threadbare stuff – instead, I found mounds of practically new stuff mixed in there for pennies on the dollar.

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14 | Insurance: Betting on Yourself
Most of this chapter simply advocates for the power of shopping around for insurance. This isn’t just a “do-it-once-and-forget-it” kind of thing – it’s something that’s worth doing regularly, and you can sometimes get great deals by switching insurers. Yeager does get a little bit political here, advocating for universal health care, so if that bothers you, skip by it.

15 | Cheapskates Just Wanna Have Fun
How do cheapskates have fun? They participate in things. They make up their own fun. They choose activities that are social and active rather than passive. They pick and choose the expensive activities they engage in and rely on a backbone of very inexpensive or free activities. When they travel, they often travel in groups and go off the beaten path for unusual experiences and better prices.

Is The Cheapskate Next Door Worth Reading?
Yeager’s first book, The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches, was a very enjoyable collection of frugality tips. This book, however, seems to largely be an add-on to the first one that also incorporates a lot of interviews with people who are committed to frugality. It has the same sense of humor, but much of the advice is just an expansion of what appeared in the first book.

In fact, in many places in The Cheapskate Next Door, Yeager seems to actually say this. He refers quite regularly to his first book, doing it so often that, at times, I felt compelled to just go back and read the first one again.

I would recommend this one to anyone who enjoyed The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches and want to read more of Yeager’s stylings on frugality. If you’ve never read the first one, go back and read that one first and decide whether you want a second volume of that material that largely just expands on the first.

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