This is the book which helped to start it all at Mrs Shoestring Towers. It is a collection of hints and tips gathered from the forum community at Old-Style Money-Saving on the British website, Moneysaving expert. The website has now been bought and the original owner, Martin Lewis has retired to foster financial education amongst the nation's young. But one of the best things about the website is still the Old-Style, thrifty forum which posts daily real-life updates from people living on very low incomes.
The book starts out with an explanation as to why Matin Lewis himself is not an old-styler but just a money saver ! Then it explains what the old-fashioned virtues of thrift and frugality are really like !
It also has a really comprehensive budget sheet which includes columns for all those seasonal expenses which it is often difficult to remember. Up until this month I used a paper and pencil budget very similar to the one in the book, we just have slightly different categories. Over the holidays I have set up the paper and pencil one as an Excel spreadsheet, complete with cells to calculate % savings and spends. Doing this by hand nearly drove me mad this year and although I knew it would be a lot of work at the outset finally doing it has been a relief and it is a joy to watch the spreadsheet do all the calculating !
Other sections from the book I really like are the Old-Style recipe book at the back and the section on Homemade Gifts and Presents which includes excellent suggestions for children's parties. I have rarely seen this book in charity shops or jumble sales indicating that it is 'keeper' for other members of the money-saving community as well as me !
My challenge to you today is :- Have you got a favourite money-saving book ?