The SmartestWay to Save

Author: Samuel K. Freshman & Heidi E. Clingen
Publisher: Straightline Publishers
Genre: Personal Finance
ISBN: 978-1-4196-5683-5
Pages: 220
Price: $16.99

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In this uncertain economy, we’re all looking for ways to cut expenses and put money in the bank. Authors Samuel K. Freshman and Heidi E. Clingen have created a system called The SmartestWay to Save to help make it easier.

This book is all about saving, not investments. You won’t find any advice on where to put your money once you’ve accumulated it. Instead, you’re encouraged to do your own research and choose wisely. But if you want to learn how to build your savings, The SmartestWay to Save offers some ideas.

Many of the concepts discussed are pure common sense – don’t spend to keep up with others, don’t worry about what other people think, think before you spend, pay yourself first, comparison shop, and avoid debt.

But at times I wondered about their suggestions. They strongly tell us to avoid debit cards and ATMs, but if you keep careful tabs on your checking account balance, you can very safely use them to avoid credit cards. Shop discount stores like Sears and JCPenney? The last time I stepped inside either of these stores, I hardly thought their prices resembled “discount” prices. And Avon is “inexpensive” makeup? I don’t think so.

Many internet sites are sprinkled throughout the book, but these are simply store links easily found through a search engine. Instead I’d have liked to see information on finding “discount codes” at websites we shop on a regular basis – they’re out there if you know where to look for them. Tips on using the internet to find the best prices around would also have been helpful.

I’m a very frugal accountant, so my opinion may be slanted a bit, but to me, this is a very basic book designed to sway a spender to think about and start saving money. If you’ve been frugal for a while, I’m pretty sure you’ve been doing many of the suggestions already, and you’ll find this book too basic for your needs.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

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