Book Review: Frugal Isn’t Cheap


Frugal is Not Cheap

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Last week, our President Muhammadu Buhari launched the “Change begins with me” campaign. In light of this confusing development and our difficult economic predicament, it’s apt to invest in changing our spending behaviour!

Frugal Isn’t Cheap: Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better is a girl’s guide to successfully managing our personal finances. It’s not another how-to-get-rich book, but it certainly could be described as a book on how not to die broke.

The author, Clare K. Levison isn’t just a certified public accountant, but a true “girl’s girl”. Unlike most financial education books, she knows what it is to have to choose between paying off your “gbese” or buying weave we really don’t need, but you’ve been dying to rock.

Clare creates links between real life situations and everyday experiences to impact financial learning on us. She distinguishes between being “frugal” and being “cheap” and focuses on teaching us how to create smart financial strategies that help us to spend less to get the things we really want.

“Being frugal is a state of mind. Frugal people are very conscious of each dollar they spend. They have a heightened awareness during the spending process. They don’t just swipe their credit or debit card blindly.”

Despite being written by a woman for women, men could learn a lot from it as well. It begins with basic concepts on living well on less, getting out of debt and developing a savings culture. Then delves into Long term concepts like finding an Investment plan, and knowing and increasing your net worth. Finally, she closes with “planting the seed of frugality” in family life and teaching children about money and spending it smartly. This I hope many Nigerian mom’s will find valuable and exciting.

“It’s not cool to have 30 gadgets that you never use. And if you’re spending all your money on designer clothes, you’re not stylish; you’re silly. Frugal people don’t spend their time wishing they had more stuff.[…]You have to nurture that mentality within yourself. You aren’t what you own.”

The book reads like Clare is talking to us and giving us tough-love. She explains ambiguous financial concepts using personal experiences and doesn’t bog us down with financial jargon, just the facts. She uses simple vocabulary and occasionally, slang to improve communication. She also includes a lot of practical homework to drive home the idea and constantly emphasizes on “doing the Maths”.

“I’d rather” is empowering. “I’d rather” says: I have choices and I’m making smart decisions. I’m not comparing myself to my friends or neighbors or coworkers. I’m not influenced by their decisions. I’m the captain of my financial ship. When it comes to spending, remember you have nothing to prove to the rest of the world.”

Get it. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone, particularly ladies looking to improve their financial position and build a sustainable savings culture. Though the book is based on information regarding US debt financing, the overall concepts are entirely relatable. When it comes to money, we all tend to speak a similar language worldwide.

I hope you can get your hands on a copy, otherwise I’ve provided the Amazon link above. Enjoy!


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