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Booktalking "America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money" by Steve and Annette Economides

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The word cheapskate has a negative connotation in our society, but there are many ways in which people can save money and live better. Financial stressors can break up relationships and lead to unnecessary anxiety in people's lives.

Shopping less frequently can lead to fewer impulse buys. Coupons can help, but it is important not to purchase items simply because you have coupons for them. Eat leftovers since so many people waste money on food that never gets eaten. All successful businesses have budgets, so do not feel restricted by creating a household budget. Write down your expenses so that you can see where your money is going and plan for large purchases (such as vacations, etc.) Teach your kids how to manage money. Stay away from marketing messages such as TV and the mall.

Buy used cars or use public transportation. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Avoid debt, especially credit card debt, since the interest rates are so high. Shut off the lights when you are not using the room, use fans, and set the thermostat lower. Reconsider your phone usage and add-on fees. Think about whether you really need the Internet at home.

Live below your means. Find ways to earn more, such as asking for a raise or working overtime. Stay healthy by making lifestyle changes instead of using pills and rethink frequent trips to the doctor. There is lots of free entertainment available in suburban and urban areas; take advantage of it. Lots of fun can be low-cost! Use the library as a source of books, information, and free computer use. Consider stay-cations and enjoy your own town.

America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money: Your Guide to Living Better, Spending Less and Cashing In on Your Dreams by Steve and Annette Economides, 2007

I personally do not use coupons much because I buy mostly produce. I do not agree that people should keep cash envelopes in the house; they could get stolen. I do not have a computer in my house, and I do not use the Internet at home; this saves me a considerable amount. I learned much from the vacations that my parents took us on when we were kids; luckily, they could afford it. It was very expensive for me to study and work abroad in Australia, Scotland, and Ireland, but those experiences were well worth the expense.

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