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Blog » Personal Finance » The Best 15 Books on Frugal Living You Need to Read

The Best 15 Books on Frugal Living You Need to Read

Posted on December 25th, 2023
Books on Frugal Living

The concept of frugal living means making the most of what you have and living within your means. It involves being mindful of your spending and making conscious financial choices. The following are some of the benefits of frugal living:

  • Reduced debt. By living frugally, you can pay off debt more quickly and increase your cash flow.
  • Greater financial security. The more you live within your means, the better prepared you’ll be for unexpected expenses.
  • More peace of mind. You can relax and enjoy life more when you don’t have to worry about money.
  • A smaller environmental impact. A frugal lifestyle often means consuming less, which reduces your carbon footprint.

Are you interested in learning more about frugal living? You can find a lot of great books on this subject. Here are 15 of the best:

Table of Contents

1. The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle by Amy Dacyczyn

Amy Dacyczyn’s The Complete Tightwad Gazette is exactly what it sounds like — a newspaper for tightwads. However, the term was not meant as an insult. The Tightwad Gazette was Dacyczyn’s newsletter published from 1990 to 1996 that discussed frugal living as a lifestyle, and the book represents the compilation of that newsletter.

With this book, you will learn how to transform your mindset and save money on specific things. As such, this is a great book for thrifty-living beginners.

Sure, some of the advice is outdated now, such as, “Do I really need a computer?” However, you can continue to apply the tips and tricks in the book throughout your life to save money and time.

Quote: “Tightwaddery without creativity is deprivation. When there is a lack of resourcefulness, inventiveness, and innovation, thrift means doing without. When creativity combines with thrift you may be doing it without money, but you are not doing without.”

2. The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living: Save Money, Plan Ahead, Pay Off Debt & Live Well by Daisy Luther

Are you trying to get rid of your unhealthy spending habits and achieve financial freedom? You do, of course. Today, fewer and fewer people can afford to survive as their expenses increase, but their incomes don’t. You may have even more difficulty making ends meet and reaching big goals like getting out of debt, traveling, or paying for your kids’ college tuition.

With The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living, you’ll find hundreds of clever ideas that make it possible to live a joyful life without spending a lot of money — no matter what your financial situation is.

Quote: “Learning to live beneath your means can bring you a kind of peace that you never felt before. It can help you survive financial crunches both large and small. It can teach you to take joy in simpler things instead of always looking for the next expense that will give you a surge of endorphin-laced happiness.”

3. Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

In this book, you will learn how to achieve financial independence by transforming your relationship with money. Throughout the book, you will learn nine steps to a more meaningful life. Included in the program are:

  • Paying off debt
  • Saving money
  • Putting financial priorities in order
  • Solving inner conflicts
  • Saving the planet
  • Turning problems into opportunities

A full revision and update was completed in 2018 after the book was originally published in 1992.

Quote: “Frugality is enjoying the virtue of getting good value for every minute of your life energy and from everything you have the use of.”

4. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey

The first edition was published in 2003, followed by updates in 2007 and 2013. To correct money myths and help people get out of debt, the book is intended to help

These are the seven baby steps outlined in the book:

  • Put $1,000 aside for emergencies.
  • For debt relief, use the debt snowball method.
  • Invest in a 3–6 month emergency fund.
  • Save 15% of your household income for retirement.
  • Don’t forget to save for your children’s college.
  • Get your home paid off early.
  • Be generous and build wealth.

Anyone can benefit from the book, whether they are high earners or have thousands of dollars in debt. There is also a workbook included with real-life examples and questionnaires. It aims to help readers become financially fit.

Quote: If you will make the sacrifices now that most people won’t, then later you can live as most people can’t.”

5. Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less by Leah Ingram

Originally published on December 18, 2009, this book is a guide to living on a budget. The goal of this guide is to show you how small, relatively easy changes to your daily habits can add up to big savings and bring you closer together. In this way, you can implement your suddenly frugal plan without harming their quality of life.

Quote: “When you adopt a frugal lifestyle, start by re-examining your daily routines to make sure that you don’t spend any more money than is necessary to get the job done—whatever that job may be.”

6. The Good Life for Less: Giving Your Family Great Meals, Good Times, and a Happy Home on a Budget by Amy Allen Clark

As a result of her own experience, author Amy Clark learned the importance of living a frugal lifestyle. In her book, The Good Life for Less, she shares all her tips and tricks for budgeting smartly and stretching a family’s budget to its limits.

Clark gives readers a lifestyle plan that will help them create a home that is peaceful, thrifty, and convenient. In particular, you will learn how to:

  • Maintain a reasonable family budget each month
  • No matter what you buy, never pay full price
  • Make your family’s favorite meals from scratch at home and save a lot of money
  • Prepare your own ingredients instead of buying them from the store to save money
  • Keep your house clean and organized without wasting your time or money
  • Spend less on family occasions and memorable traditions

Overall, this collection of smart and creative frugal ideas will inspire you to live a more frugal life.

Quote: “I think budgeting is a lot like dieting. If you go all out on some crazy starvation scheme, you’re not likely to stick to it. If you make small changes and learn to live with them, you’re more likely to stay focused on and meet your long-term goals.”

7. The Complete Frugal Living Bible A to Z: Healthy Minimalist Living with Homesteading by David and Joyce Coleman

In this book, David and Joyce Coleman share strategies they successfully used to reduce their expenses in just 16 months. These tips specifically address how to reduce your grocery bill, utility costs, and other household expenses. The result was financial freedom and a healthier and happier life overall.

Also included is a list of 101 Smart Money Tips, which can serve as a handy quick reference guide for any family.

Quote: “Remember it all about the trickle-down effect. Not all of your savings will come from one thing. instead, the savings are the very results of many mini changes and adjustments that you will make in your home and daily life.”

8. Minimalist Budget: A Practical Guide on How to Save Money, Spend Less and Live More With a Minimalist Lifestyle by Simeon Lindstrom

You’ll learn how to save money, spend less, and live more by combining minimalism with budgeting in The Minimalist Budget.

How? By using minimalist principles and financial concepts, it takes a different approach to budgeting than many other frugal living books. Rather than discussing numbers, the book takes a deeper look at the concept of budgeting as a whole.

Quote: “Undoubtedly, what came into your mind when you heard the word “budget” was simple: money. Money is a thing to be feared, to be saved, to be celebrated when it’s there and mourned when it isn’t. Budgeting, we are told, is necessary. When you live in a world where there is always one more thing to buy, being cognizant of the fact that you don’t have endless resources is just the practical thing to do. However, budgeting can be much more than this. To put it simply, money is only one of the resources that we should be managing in our lives, and possibly not even the most important one.

9. Saving SavvySaving Savvy: Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending in Half and Raise Your Standard of Living…and Giving! by Kelly Hancock

This book is authored by Kelly Hancock, a popular blogger and media personality who shares practical tips and strategies for stretching your dollars. As you explore, you’ll learn how to:

  • Avoid paying full price for the things you buy most often.
  • Cut your grocery budget.
  • Getting clear on your financial goals and the steps to reach them.
  • Make ends and give generously.

Quote: “Once you learn how to be savvy in your saving, you will spend less time trying to save money and have more time to spend with the people you love.”

10. America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money: Your Guide to Living Better, Spending Less, and Cashing in on Your Dreams by Steve and Annette Economides

This family of seven spent only $350 a month feeding their entire family and paying off two homes in nine years. Even though they were called cheapskates, thriftaholics, or tightwads, they still enjoyed vacations and saved money.

Steve and Annette show you how they managed to live debt-free while using their various skill sets in America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on The Money. Among the tips they offer are cooking at home to save money and shopping at thrift stores whenever possible.

Quote: We recommend that your house payment, insurance, taxes, maintenance, and utilities exceed no more than 40% of your monthly net spendable income — less is.”

11. The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A Guide to Spending Less While Enjoying Everything More by Annie Raser-Rowland and Adam Grubb

The book’s philosophy is to help people break free from the work-to-spend cycle and become frugal hedonists. It suggests that instead of spending time and energy on money, people can develop healthy habits of mind and body that allow them to enjoy life more.

Quote: “Giving up regular untrammelled consumption actually feels quite easy when you have a sense that it is for a life studded with superior pleasures. Taking your kids on a month-long hiking trip perhaps, paying off your house, getting a weekly massage… or just taking time off work to think or do drawings.”

12. Cheapskate Monthly Money Makeover by Mary Hunt

To live a frugal lifestyle, you must change your mindset about money.

In Cheapskate Monthly Money Makeover, a reformed spender teaches readers how to save money, grow assets, and build financial security for their families using proven techniques and sound financial principles.

In this book, you’ll learn how to make your family’s finances work for you, including:

  • Learn about your spending habits with a self-diagnosis quiz.
  • How to make every dollar count
  • A painless method of implementing spending controls in your budget.

Quote: “I began collecting plastic, not because I had a particular reason or plan but just to have in case of emergency. The problem is that I became a habitual user. I had a lot of emergencies. Plastic spending felt good, too, because it relieved the panic. Plastic was convenient, it was socially acceptable, and it allowed me to enjoy now and worry later.In time I no longer saw my purchases for their price tag but for what they represented as a monthly payment.”

13. The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches: A Practical (and Fun) Guide to Enjoying Life More by Spending Less by Jeff Yeager

Unlike many other books on personal finance, Yeager’s book takes a fresh approach to personal finance, staying away from the mantra of “get rich quick.” By teaching readers how to live well on what they make, and save every penny they make when they make more, Yeager teaches them how to live comfortably. As an example, he discusses a one-week “fiscal fast” in which you do not spend money.

Yeager was once dubbed the “Ultimate Cheapskate” by NBC’s Today show. And, despite his success has continued to practice what he preaches.

Quote: “But unlike most personal finance books, this book is not about how to make more money. This book is about how to make less money, but how to be happier than if you made more.”

14. Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames

At the age of 32, Nate and Elizabeth opted to live in the woods rather than become bound to society. As a result of cutting their grocery budget by 90%, selling everything except what fits in a bike trailer, and quitting their jobs as Google software engineers, they spent 18 months traveling through New England.

While traveling full-time, these pioneers of frugal living managed to make enough money from side hustles like blogging to settle down without having to worry about their income.

Quote: “We’re taught we can pay for everything we need. Our very lives can be purchased, and by extension, we can buy the rights to a fragmented community of like-minded consumers. Our unifying activity as a culture is shopping, and the one thing we all are is consumers.”

15. Habit Stacking For Frugal Living: 50 Simple Life Changing Tips To Save Money, Get Out Of Debt And Live A Happy Life by Kathy Stanton

This ebook offers 50 tips on how to save money, get out of debt, and live a happy life — as the title implies.

But, what is habit stacking? It involves stacking tasks on top of each other in order to improve productivity, save time, and increase efficiency. In this case, you’ll learn how to stack habits to reduce debt, save money, and the way you sp

FAQs

What is frugal living?

In order to live frugally, you should spend your money wisely and save money whenever you can. In the long run, saving money comes from being conscious of your spending habits.

What are the benefits of frugal living?

The benefits of frugal living are numerous. The following are some of the most common benefits:

  • Saving money. Your everyday expenses, such as grocery shopping, transportation, and housing, can be reduced if you live frugally.
  • Reducing stress. Your life will be less stressful when you are not worried about money. It is possible to take charge of your finances by living frugally and feeling more secure in the future by living frugally.
  • Living a more meaningful life. By living frugally, you can avoid wasting money on unnecessary items and focus on what matters in life. In turn, this can lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful existence.

How can I live frugally?

Living frugally can be done in many ways. Here are a few common tips:

  • Create a budget. By tracking your income and expenses, you can see where your money is going. By doing so, you can identify spending areas where you can make savings.
  • Set financial goals. It is easier to save money if you have financial goals. However, it is important to set attainable, realistic goals.
  • Plan your meals. When you plan your meals, you can save money at the grocery store and reduce food waste.
  • Cook at home. It can be expensive to eat out. It is much more economical to cook at home.
  • Buy in bulk. You can save money by buying non-perishable items in bulk, such as groceries and household supplies.
  • Get creative. By being creative, you can save a lot of money. In addition to learning how to fix things yourself, finding free entertainment options, and borrowing items from family and friends, you can also pick up free entertainment online.

What are some tips for reading frugal living books?

To make the most of frugal living books, here are a few tips:

  • Set realistic goals. Try not to implement every tip you read in a book. Focus instead on making a few lifestyle changes that will benefit you.
  • Be patient. Developing new habits and making lasting changes takes time. Be patient if you don’t see results right away.
  • Don’t deprive yourself. Living frugally does not mean depriving yourself.. It simply means being smart with your money.
John Rampton

John Rampton

John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old, while attending the University of Utah, he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months, he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time, he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and Finance Expert by Time. He is the Founder and CEO of Due.

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