Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Here's what I think about what I've been reading

Sometimes, things need to be spelled out for me or I just miss the point. Like online bill paying for example. In Living Well on a Shoestring the author makes the point that to pay a bill by check you have to take into account cost of checks, stamps, and the risk of late charges if you don't time the mailing of your bill correctly. That got me thinking, online bill paying at my bank is $6.95/month for unlimited transactions. That always seemed ridiculous to me but when compared with a book of stamps $7.40/20, I got curious and delved a little deeper. It turns out that for us online bill paying will save us a bit of money and the convenience of not having to run to the post office is really appealing.

I never would have considered this until I read Living Well on a Shoestring. There were a lot of other good tips in there, some new to me and many I'd already employed. If you've read the Complete Tightwad Gazette, you may find you know a lot of the tricks of this book but its still worth a look fromt he library.

I wouldn't mind owning it if I found it at a yard sale or library book sale. It would make a great reference book to flip through when questions come up. I frequently use the Complete Tightwad Gazette that way.

Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs and More is also a good read and would make a great reference book. It helped me finally figure out a use for the sides of an old metal crib that I've held onto way too long (a triangular trellis for veggies) but I there wasn't enough new ideas for me to run out and buy it full price.

I'm glad I read both books because you can always find some new idea. The library is one of the best tools for frugal living! For all you moms with little kids who haven't been able to browse the library in years (I count myself in this group), see if your library is online. Our card catalog is online and what a grat thing it is. I just go on before the kids wake up, put holds on things I'm interested in and when I visit the library with the kids my stuff is waiting for me at the desk, FREE! Be aware that some library systems do charge for holds, ask first!

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