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The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better

The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better

Written by Chris Farrell

Narrated by Chris Farrell


The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better

Written by Chris Farrell

Narrated by Chris Farrell

ratings:
4/5 (51 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Released:
Dec 22, 2009
ISBN:
9781615730353
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as ebookEbook

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Description

As a once-in-a lifetime downturn continues, trusted finance reporter Chris Farrell explains that there is a silver lining to this cloud. It is accelerating a trend already underway in America toward what he calls the New Frugality. In this friendly, approachable audio, Farrell explains both the theory and the practice of living frugally. He provides down-to-earth, practical advice for every aspect of your financial life, including:
  • How to always maintain a "margin of safety" in your spending
  • The frugal home: renting vs. owning
  • The two best ways to save for college
  • Wise debt vs. foolish debt
  • Why giving your money away can be "newly frugal"
  • The New Frugality amounts to a paradigm shift in the way we spend and save. The good news is, a frugal lifestyle is one of less waste, lower environmental impact, greater peace of mind, and, over the long run, deeper satisfaction.

    Released:
    Dec 22, 2009
    ISBN:
    9781615730353
    Format:
    Audiobook

    Also available as...

    Also available as ebookEbook

    About the author

    Chris Farrell is considered a leading expert on the trend toward working longer in the second half of life. He writes a biweekly column for Next Avenue, an online PBS magazine for the 50+ demographic, and hosts a Minnesota Public Radio program, Conversations on the Creative Economy, which is now entering its fifth season. He speaks across the country on the topic of unretirement.


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    Reviews

    What people think about The New Frugality

    3.8
    51 ratings / 23 Reviews
    What did you think?
    Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

    Reader reviews

    • (2/5)
      Not impressive as a personal finance book
    • (4/5)
      Timely book on a touchy subject, this volume will change the way you see consumption and need. What if less was good? Based on experience and useful tips, this book is an easy read on a not-so-easy but much needed subject.
    • (3/5)
      Not one of my favorites. Still has all the info needed but very choppy and not an easy read. I have money others i would recommend over this book
    • (5/5)
      This is a great primer on all aspects of personal finance from debt to savings and investing. The book promotes wise spending, frugal living to live the good life and a frequent maxim is "keep it simple." The book also chronicles the history of finance and how the recent recession has affected our finances.
    • (4/5)
      What I must say, to begin, is that I truly hope the frequent typos are a reflection of the "advanced reading" copy of the book, and will be fixed by its final publication. It was distracting. Regarding the content of the book, I expected more on frugal living and less on finance, but the overview of finance was helpful, well explained, and conveniently set in and addressed to our current economic situation. The book seemed to be a finance primer for the lay-person with an overall tone of frugal living. The author's main theme throughout the book is what he calls a "margin of safety." There are no get-rich-quick schemes here, only moderate and conservative advice to safely develop ones finances through the years.
    • (4/5)
      This book is written in an easy to understand manner. The suggestions are all delivered in a down to earth and practical manner, making this book easy to understand. I liked that you didn't need a business degree to understand what the author was trying to say!
    • (3/5)
      I was expecting a book that was more down to earth about living the frugal lifestyle. I was expecting a book that gave me more tips on accomplishing this goal. Lots of financial advice in this book but a better book on this subject would be Dave Ramsey's book Financial Peace. I felt Chris Farrell dwelt too much on the history revolving debt. I really didn't want to read that many pages on the history of debt. I just wanted to get down to the basics of saving money. I have been frugal all my life so a lot of this stuff in the book was not new to me. I only give it a three because there are better books on this subject out there.
    • (4/5)
      The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better by Chris Farrelis a very informative book. It's filled with lots of great tips and ideas on virtually allareas of consumer finance: whether to rent or buy, how to pay for college, investment strategies, etc.Mr. Farrell doesn't just spout rules, he also gives history and background on a lot of the economic changes our country has gone through and how these have affected both the financial industries and consumer behavior. I really wish I had been able to read this book when I was younger. I am going to insist that my teenage son read it! Definitely recommended.
    • (3/5)
      This was an adequate book on frugality, but he almost lost me at the beginning by connecting frugality and a greener lifestyle with global warming. He lost credibility and it automatically made me question everything else he had to say. This is definitely a book for those who have resources and want to use them more frugally. I have read many books on frugality and didn't get any new ideas from this one.
    • (4/5)
      I feel "The New Frugality" by Chris Farrell is a well written introduction to frugal living. I would highly recommend the book to those who are searching for a more common sense approach to finances.If you have read other personal finance books on frugality you probably will not learn anything new.
    • (3/5)
      The usefulness of the personal finance advice depends on how much you've already read on the topic -- he doesn't (and shouldn't) break new ground.Specific to whether the New Frugality will actually happen, I remain unconvinced. There was nothing to indicate what makes this time different, versus any other recession (I've lived through a few) where people's consumption habits are predicted to dramatically improve post-recovery, and then don't. He does acknowledge that pundits always say that, and are almost always wrong, but then doesn't give a strong argument why this time actually really is different. It was also very distracting to keep seeing reference to the Great Recession (news to me if it's the official term) and always in the past tense (it doesn't feel past yet). He asserts we've all discovered and discussed how experiences turn out to be more valuable than things, without seeming to notice how much money many of us spend on our experiences.The chapter on green = frugal would be much more productive (yet just as valid) if he'd dropped the references to global warming; that just turns off the readers you most need to reach. Preaching to the choir doesn't have nearly the same impact.I did appreciate the discussions of the difference between cheap and frugal, the historical context of credit in the U.S. vs common misconceptions, consumptive debt vs productive credit, the scope and impact of stagnant household income, and the non-financial benefits of delaying retirement. Unlike nearly all financial planning books of the recent era, he addresses the risk of inflation. However, some parts of the investment section were so briefly sketched as to be incomprehensible, especially the sections on bonds and on relative taxation. He's the first supporter I've seen of cash value life insurance; most guides tell you to shun it, and I'm still not sure why he feels otherwise. And I disagree with many aspects of his chapter on attending college, especially the assertion that higher education makes you not just more employable but a better human being. That notion has always struck me as akin to the one that all atheists lack a moral compass. And the fact that more positions are requiring a degree does not mean that they have become so complex as to actually need it, as he concludes. The perceived failure of the K-12 system and the adoption of classification/compensation formulas are much more common reasons.There is no bibliography or notes section.
    • (5/5)
      Chris Farrell in the new frugality supports the simple finances are best model for personal finance. This approach makes The New Frugality accessible and informative for anyone. The book deals with the major and common topics in personal finance, debt, retirement, college, and charity. The book sticks to the main idea on each subject it treats and is helpfully full of illustrations gleaned from the radio show Market Place Money. In perhaps the only new or controversial move Chris Farrell ties The New Frugality to the green movement. Since green ideas and upgrades save money in the long run they play a roll in the new frugality. A frugal person can spend more on a furnace because it will save money in the long run.For those who have knowledge of finance and personal finance there aren't any new ideas or concepts in the book but to the student, college grad or newly married couple the Chris Farrell's The New Frugality will provide them grounding to begin seeking financial stability in their future.
    • (4/5)
      I debated on the rating of this book. To me, anyway, it offers up common sense, but not particularly anything new. But it is an easy read, and would be friendly to those unfamiliar with the financial discipline practiced by the generation of our grandparents and even parents. I chuckled at the title to Chapter 4, "The New Frugality Rules" followed immediately by a quote from Seneca. I also took issue with the author, in his discussion on good vs. bad debt, referring to a home mortgage as an example of "good" debt. Sure it is good - for the institution making money off your payments. I think at best this type of debt could be called "necessary" debt, in that you need a place to live, and unless you can afford to pay cash for said place, you will need to either get a loan or pay rent. But I would hardly call it "good". Reading books like these make me want to become an activist for insisting that High School students be required to take (and pass) a course in Personal Finance.
    • (5/5)
      Great insights --- amazing how straight-forward and seemingly simple... best we be reminded. THANKS -- and well done!
    • (5/5)
      Truly such a great inspirational and insightful book. It shows the simple steps on enjoying life by living simple and modestly.
    • (5/5)

      1 person found this helpful

      I enjoyed this book. Chris Farrell give us a reality check of what it means to live a frugal lifestyle. He doesn't advocate deprivation but simply teaches how to make more out of what you have. His financial advice is sound and he offers a lot of ideas (some new, others tried and true) about saving money and living a good life. I would definitely recommend this book.

      1 person found this helpful

    • (5/5)

      1 person found this helpful

      A sensible book in the wake of the Great Recession of the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century.The author is convinced that we are entering a new and different phase in which frugality is "in." He hastens to make it clear that frugality is not miserliness-- it means being a smart and conscientious consumer. The author discusses various subjects involving finances-- purchases, debt, investments, retirement, and college education-- and provides suggestions and advice about how to properly manage such things. The core principle involves a "margin of safety"-- not getting over-extended, always having a backup plan, being sensible about debt, investments, retirement, college, and the like. Most of the advice leans toward the conservative side, and most of what is said makes sense. The author does well at exposing the excess of past generations without necessarily advocating excess in other directions. The author's conviction that sustainability and frugality go hand-in-hand is appreciated and well-explained. The author is probably correct that the next couple of generations growing up will act quite differently from their forebears on account of the Great Recession and its aftermath. Hoping for permanent change will prove as ephemeral as it did after the Great Depression and WWII. Nevertheless, much sound advice for anyone at any time.

      1 person found this helpful

    • (3/5)

      1 person found this helpful

      I really enjoyed this book and it's philosophy. Ultimately, being frugal will make your life better. No, there is nothing new under the sun (although I did find a few things that were new to me), but the book was still interesting and well written. If you can't read the whole thing, make sure to read the info in the boxes throughout the chapters. They're filled with great resources and timeless information.

      1 person found this helpful

    • (3/5)

      1 person found this helpful

      I listen to Marketplace Money on NPR and hear Chris Farrell regularly. The New Frugality is an extension of his general finance philosophy. It gives good background information about how we got where we are. It also gives good financial advise in simple terms for those less financially literate. Probably not the best book for financial professionals or long time investors, but a good primer for financial novices.

      1 person found this helpful

    • (3/5)

      1 person found this helpful

      Decent book, expected more ground-breaking insight (the *new* frugality) rather than a collection common sense and basic finance 101. A good read for someone who does not read many financial books as there is some good information (although the history would be painful for anyone who does not geek-out about finance). However, this information is not "new". The "new" in this book appears to just be exposing the financial troubles that exist in our current economy, while slightly tailoring some of the advice to the 21st century westerner.

      1 person found this helpful

    • (4/5)
      There have been hard economic times in the past. People had to learn to live on less and be content with what they had. But then...the good times came back, and we gradually went back to our spendthrift, wasteful ways.Chris Farrell thinks this time will be different. He believes that this recent economic turmoil may be the beginning of “The New Frugality.” Paying off debt and living within our means will be “in”. Making a large down payment on a home, and having an emergency savings account will be standard procedure. Maybe you believe that, maybe you don't. But either way, this book is helpful. Farrell covers similar territory to other money books (budgeting, borrowing, investing, saving for college, retirement funding, charitable giving, etc), but since it was recently published in 2010, this is one of the most up to date ones I've read. And instead of focusing on “cheap” solutions, he focuses on sustainability. For instance, buy the low energy appliance even though it costs a bit more, buy the expensive coat so it lasts for the next 20 years, instead of buying multiple cheap coats, etc. He also stresses doing what you love, even if that means a lower paycheck.I would recommend this book to anyone interested in improving their finances, and living a simpler, sustainable lifestyle.
    • (3/5)
      The New Frugality is author and personal finance expert Chris Farrell’s attempt to create a new paradigm in which the principles of sound personal finance are used to create an environmentally-friendly life. His main argument is that the principles of sustainability can actually make the transitions toward fiscal conservatism enjoyable. By embracing green ideas—commuting less, eating less and healthier, avoiding disposable products—we can act in environmentally sustainable ways, save money, and enjoy a richer, fuller life.For the most part, The New Frugality is a fairly traditional personal finance book. He consistently emphasizes the necessity of maintaining a margin of safety and avoiding debt whenever possible. The one thing that is difficult not to notice, however, is that there is really nothing unique to Farrell’s advice. He does tackle someone commonly held financial myths—for instance, the belief that your home is an investment or that you can consistently beat the market—but aside from a few anecdotes and examples of frugality and sustainability coexisting, there is not much to make this book stand out. Most of the advice given (like downgrading in automobile to a smaller car in order to save money and protect the environment) is the same as you would find in any other book on personal finance.Another issue Farrell has is his propensity to confuse the reader by condensing complex ideas into single-sentence bullet points. For example, he writes that “avoiding taxes at all cost” is a “common pitfall with managing money”. As he continues later in the book it becomes clear that he is referring to obtaining or keeping a mortgage solely for the tax deduction, but his initial introduction to the idea is the vague five word phrase “avoiding taxes at all cost”. He faces a similar problem later in the book when he warns the reader against “trying to achieve higher returns than you need.” Presumably he is trying to warn against high-risk, high-return opportunities, but without any context it is just a confusing non sequitur. If you are looking for a basic personal finance text that will teach you how to live frugally, save aggressively, and invest wisely, then The New Frugality may be for you. Ultimately, though, little of the knowledge presented is unique to the author and, keeping with the theme of frugality, there is very little here that can’t be found for free online. There, I just saved you $20.
    • (2/5)
      Chris Farrell's "The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better" uniquely offers advice on how to live frugally. It's set in the historical context of our recent economic crisis. The author provides some explanation of how the Great Recession came about, as well as interesting historical references, especially to the Great Depression for comparison.In giving financial advice, the author doesn't treat us like irresponsible children as some other authors of financial advice might. For example, he doesn't say that you should never use credit cards and use only a debit card. Rather, he offers an example of how some credit card companies offer nice rewards, and you can use credit cards only if you know you can pay off the balance in full each month. Similarly, while he says term life insurance policies are more cost-effective than cash value plans such as whole life, universal life, etc., he doesn't actually say to avoid these cash value plans. Instead, he writes, "...cash value insurance can be an attractive option for those people who still have money left over after contributing the maximum into retirement savings plans and adding to their already hefty savings accounts." In other words, no one. I got the distinct feeling that he has at least one close friend who makes a living from selling whole life policies. Or maybe that's his sense of humor coming through.My favorite is his discussion of college savings, which he keeps very succinct. He narrows our choices by steering the reader toward the 529 plan and describing the Coverdale as outdated and the UGM act as losing control of your money. He describes financial aid and student loans so quickly and clearly that I no longer dread starting to think about how soon our 12 year old baby will need help paying for college.Unfortunately, this book was difficult to read for two reasons. First, there's the omission of words and the misuse of words, for example using "with" for "will," "you're" for "your" and even "barrow" for "borrow." I lost track of how many such errors there are. Second, the many lengthy sentences strung one after the other slowed me down and made reading a chore as I wondered when I would next encounter a verb.Also on the negative side, several "side bars" were too long to be placed in-line with the main text. They should have been placed in appendices. Finally, there is no index, and the Table of Contents is sparse and even misleading -- life insurance is discussed in "Make Frugality a Habit," not "Live Long and Prosper."If you're sensitive to typographical errors, or would prefer a book more focused on just financial advice, you might be better choosing a different book.