Beginner’s guide to being thrifty
Out of curiosity, I searched the Chicago Public Library catalog for “thrifty” and discovered a book called Thrifty Girl Kick$ Your Financial Butt by Alexis Steinkamp. I reserved the book, and a week later it was waiting for me (love the CPL!). I couldn’t sleep tonight, so at 2 am, I started reading; by 2:45, I was done. This is a nice, easy workbook for people who are trying to figure out how to start a thrifty lifestyle.
If you have already read Suze Orman or have a zero balance on your credit cards, you probably won’t need this book. But if you just realized that you need to understand your personal finances and save money, this could help you get started without feeling like it is an impossible task. This book has simple worksheets to help you figure out what your monthly expenses are, how to set short- and long-term financial goals, and (my favorite) a chart to help you figure out if you should consider transferring money to another credit card in order to get a lower interest rate.
I think Steinkamp wrote a great book that takes the scariness out of gaining control of personal finances. Once you begin to lose that fear and take the first few steps, you can then think about reading more complicated books that discuss things like when to start a Roth IRA. Start simple!
The info that was new to me: the chart at the end that shows how much skipping a daily $4 coffee could save you in a year and, if saved in an interest bearing account, could earn you in 10 years (over $18,000, if interest rates were still at 5%). Great chart!