Monday, November 3, 2008

The Tightwad Gazette

The Complete Tightwad Gazette

The first year we were married, I found the Tightwad Gazette at a book sale. What a fun way to learn about frugal living!

Amy Dacyczyn wrote and edited a newsletter in the 1990s promoting thrift and money management in a humorous readable way! Her newsletters were compiled in three books (The Tightwad Gazette 1, 2,and 3) and then later the three books were compiled in The Complete Tightwad Gazette, which is still in print. Though some of her tips are out-dated, especially those concerning the computer, the majority of her information and articles are timeless and maybe more valuable now then when she wrote them!

Few writers make me laugh and think as well as Amy does. Some sections of her book I've read multiple times, such as the article on "how to be frugal without feeling deprived". Her idea is that when you have a goal and decide your priorities, frugal choices will not be deprivation but the choice allowing you to reach a greater goal. When I think of the privilege I have of staying home with my children and having a husband that works decent hours, any frugal choices we make seem quite minor in the whole scheme of life.

Another thing I admire about Amy is that after her book's unexpected success and wide popularity, she decided she had met her goal of helping pay off their house and she returned to private life as a homemaker. When last did you hear of someone who says they made enough money and are quitting at the height of their popularity? I just read a recent interview of Amy and she is still living a simple frugal life in Maine with her family.

I think that anyone, no matter how frugal, could learn some tips from her books. Though I think her book is well worth the cost, make the even more frugal choice and check them out of the library!

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