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

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

by Chris Farrell

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As the recession deepens, with a downturn in spending, rise in defaulting mortgages and throttling of credit, a Go-Go economy has transitioned to a Uh-Oh economy. How did we get here and what does it mean for individuals and families? The New Frugality lays out how Americans have overspent-and offers a way out through consuming less and saving more-showing that living simply is not just living "cheaply."

What is required is a paradigm shift. We need to learn to live more modestly by cutting back on spending, actually attempting to live within our means and increasing savings. Farrell outlines creative new ways of thinking that can help us to accomplish this, not just by reverting to earlier financial models, but by innovating new solutions that are appropriate to the times we live in. In some ways, The New Frugality is the fiscal equivalent of the green movement; and indeed, going green is also part of the project. In The New Frugality Farrell will show where the economy is going, how it will affect regular families, and how they can weather the storm.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608191697
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 08/19/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 570 KB

About the Author

Chris Farrell is a contributing economics editor for Business Week and personal finance expert and economics editor for public radio's Marketplace Money, Marketplace and Marketplace Money Report.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword: A Year of Living Frugally xi

1 The Rise of the New Frugality 1

2 The Great Transformation 13

3 A Margin of Safety 37

4 The New Frugality Rules 51

5 Make Frugality a Habit 67

6 Borrow Wisely 91

7 Investing the Simple Way 113

8 Live Long and Prosper 151

9 Home, Sweet Home 171

10 The College Sheepskin 187

11 Generosity and Gratitude 207

Afterword: The Frugal Years 219

Index 227

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The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
mpratt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
deusvitae on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
chuewyc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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
Agape on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
MeeksShelf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
kaykwilts on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
kristenn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
indianajane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
mbaland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
Mantra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
tjwilliams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
jlynno84 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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!
thart528 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
BookAngel_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
kurtabeard on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
SquarePeg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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, " 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.
nevusmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.