Good morning all, and happy weekend! It’s the start of the Fourth of July weekend for those of my readers in the US, and I hope you have something fun planned. For my readers not in the US, the fourth of July is our independence day celebration, and you can learn more about it here.
To kick off Independence Day weekend, I’m here to review a book that will help you reach your own independence day faster – the Playbook for Tough Times Volume 2, by Donna Freedman.
Wait a minute, how would a playbook for tough times help you in your independence day? Lets explore. And be sure to stay tuned to the end for another giveaway!
First, A Bit About Donna
I’ve known about Donna Freedman for years, so I was really excited when she reached out to me about this new book. Anyone who has spent a lot of time in the personal finance blogosphere or media for some years will know who she is too.
She was a staff writer for MSN Money and Get Rich Slowly, which is where I was first introduced to her work. Nowadays she’s a freelancer, a writer for Money Talks News, and she currently lives up in Alaska. She’s written several books, including the original Playbook for Tough Times, and this second volume.
How Preparing for Tough Times Can Bring Freedom
People often get the wrong idea about frugality and being intentional about your spending decisions. They see someone who doesn’t go out to eat, or who doesn’t buy the latest car/phone/toy/etc. and thinks that they must be suffering because of their frugal choices. Saving money is considered a big sacrifice – almost like a diet, where you need to suffer (hopefully temporarily) and then you can go right back to your old habits.
But those of us pursuing financial freedom and financial independence know better. Frugal choices and intentional spending help us to reach our goals faster. And we’re one of the audiences for Donna’s latest book, the Playbook For Tough Times Volume 2 – Needs and Wants edition. Frugal life hacks on the needs and wants in your life can help you to reach your financial goals faster, and can also be a lifesaver when things get difficult.
How did Donna come up with so many frugal life hacks? She’s been there, done that, got the t-shirt – and now she wants to share it with you.
Where Can You Save Money? The Better Question Is, Where Can’t You?
Opportunities to save money on everyday items and activities are all around you. Almost everything you currently spend money on can be reduced or eliminated. Just check out all the different topics Donna covers in her book below!
Looking to save money on food? Not only does Donna have tips to save at the supermarket, but the e-book is full of links to some great free resources online to create great meals for less. There’s even a creative tip to do “goal oriented grocery shopping”, where you write your goal on the top of your grocery list, so you can keep it in mind when you’re tempted to buy all the yummy things in the store.
Worried about losing your job, or looking to further your education? There’s a bunch of great resources you can use after a layoff, or to get additional education for free (or nearly so).
Looking for things to do? Check out the chapter on inexpensive transportation and frugal vacation choices. Or maybe the chapter on celebrations without breaking the bank is more your style. The bottom line is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun.
Want to refresh your house/apartment, but short on funds? Check out the chapter full of ideas on how to improve your hearth and home on the cheap. In fact, there’s an entire section on creating a zero dollar home makeover – it’s amazing what a bit of cleaning, re-arranging, and re-purposing can do to freshen up your home.
Have a wonderful dog or cat, and looking to care for them at a lower cost? There’s a ton of ways to do that – from finding less expensive vet care, to buying pet products and toys used, and buying in bulk. Heck I get all our dog and cat food from BJ’s. Not only does it last a long time, but it’s much less expensive than buying the food every week at Target.
Frugality Is All Around You
One of my favorite sections of the book was around developing your “frugal eyes”. I’ve noticed this same phenomenon myself – once you’re focused on trying to find things to do or to purchase for less, you see those opportunities all around you. Before you had this mindset, you probably looked right past these chances to have fun for less.
What’s an example? Well, this summer my town has a variety of library activities going on. As long time readers know, I love the library, so it’s probably no surprise that we’re going to spend time there in the summer. Just the other day, they had a kick off event that my husband took our middle son to (oldest was in boy scout camp for the week, little guy had a fever). It was a gaming event where the kids got to play all kind of silly games, like knocking over toilet paper tubes with marbles, stacking pennies as high as you could with one hand, bouncing balloons, and other such fun and silly things.
They came home with a big bag of prizes, ranging from a small telescope to an alien to a little pad of paper. Total cost? Zero dollars. Free-99, my favorite price! And bonus, my middle son had a blast all evening running around the library playing these fun little games.
If I didn’t have my “frugal eyes” open, I probably would have missed the form with the dates on it, or the fact that you needed to pre-register, or might not have stopped by the library at all. Instead, because I’m always on the lookout for free family fun, I make sure to pay attention to activities at the library and write them on the calendar.
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