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Old 07-30-2008, 01:55 PM   #41
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Jeff, are you seeing an increase in sales coinciding with a weak economy and high gas prices?
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:56 PM   #42
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NW-Bound, it might not help in your case and we're in very different situations, but I was in the fortunate situation of helping my brother and sister with some college expenses. As a result, I made them come up with tables that showed compounding growth in a small investment starting at their age and then starting at 30. We also talked about budgets and some other personal finance basics, and identifying needs versus wants and then evaluating rewards for wants versus rewards for delayed gratification.

In a sense, though, they were at my mercy since a) I'm the big brother so I can still bully them a bit, and, b) they felt some obligation since my wife and I were giving them money.

Time will tell how much of it took. I think it took with my sis but maybe not so much with my brother... or, actually, it may have with him too but now he's married and he and his wife have a hole to dig out of before they can run much further.

Al has some great advice on just telling them you liked the book and thought they might enjoy it too. Its subtle enough that someone probably won't feel cornered or lectured. Another good book in the 'painfully obvious but worth it' vein is Automatic Millionaire (although, to be honest, I think Jeff has some better points regarding the 'Latte Factor') (aka, sweat the big stuff, stupid).
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:04 PM   #43
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Jeff, are you seeing an increase in sales coinciding with a weak economy and high gas prices?
Al -

My book just came out the first week of January (2008).... about three days before the economy officially went down the toilet , so sales/interest has been pretty steady all along. Since it's my first book, there also (hopefully!) tends to be some building of momentum/interest as people find out about you for the first time, as opposed to established authors who have an instant audeince as soon as they release a new book. I'll tell you, it's been a humbling experience to dive into the crazy and competitive world of publishing ... no place for the timid or thin skinned, that's for sure.

Stay Cheap!
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Author, The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches
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Old 07-30-2008, 03:55 PM   #44
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Good thread, just purchased via amazon, I can't wait to read it.
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Old 07-30-2008, 05:49 PM   #45
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Jeff, here's a hard question for you:

Should people buy your book or get it from the library?

Conflict of interest, huh?
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:37 PM   #46
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Jeff, here's a hard question for you:

Should people buy your book or get it from the library?

Conflict of interest, huh?

Hey Al –

That’s a good - but not hard – question for me to answer.

To my publisher’s chagrin, I promote public libraries throughout my book. In fact, I’ve been doing my book tours by bicycle and staying– for free – with local cheapskates along the way, all so that I can donate what I save - $2,000/2,000 miles so far! – to local libraries along my routes. So, by all means, borrow my book from your local library; as I say, you’ve already paid for it with your tax dollars!

Now, while I consider myself a big hearted cheapskate, understand the economics of publishing/writer ….DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT, consider entering the field if you want to make a lot of money. ~ 400,000 new book titles were published in the U.S. last year, with fewer that 10,000 selling more than 5,000 copies (the more or less break even level). Do the math, and then try to ER on that.

Like so many of life’s passions, write – or do whatever you want to do – ONLY because you enjoy it. Remember: It’s only money, so who needs it?

Stay Cheap!
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:43 PM   #47
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Ladieeeees and gentlemen... in this corner: TromboneAl!

And in this corner, fresh from his national tour and ready to challenge the incumbent: Jeff Yeager!!

Your referee tonight: Amy Dacyczyn!

Are you readyyyyyyyyy tooooooo rumble?
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:47 PM   #48
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Eh, its like two pieces of antimatter colliding.

Whatever that results in...
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:54 PM   #49
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Now, while I consider myself a big hearted cheapskate, understand the economics of publishing/writer ….DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT, consider entering the field if you want to make a lot of money.
My publisher (Wrox) went under right after my second book went to stores and right before the first dividend from my first book.

And, things get really interesting then... One publisher picked up the imprint but not many of the books (mine included). Another publisher picked up my second book but the original publisher had done a large first run so the second run under the new imprint didn't sell much... I get enough every few months for a pizza.

But, on the other hand, it does make for interesting job interviews... especially when the interviewer has a copy of one of the books on their desk.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:58 PM   #50
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He's cheap where it counts. The book's biggest financial advice is to avoid the endless dance of the "Money Step": stop earning money just to buy material possessions, and then earning even more money to care for and upgrade them. We don't have to settle for less, but he suggests learning to be content when we get to "enough" and to slay our inner consumer's "Enoughasaurus".
Thanks for the review. I think the greatest influence on my spending is that I grew up poor - started working when I was 12; almost full time when I was 15.
I remember reading a book early on that said to track your spending so you can made informed decision about what you spend. I was writing down pennies spent when I was 12. Growing up in NYC taught me to ask "what's the angle" when spending or investing.

From my life experience; I think all personal finance books should include a discussion about maximizing or looking into income/career potential. I do not know of any business finance book that would leave out income and only focus on expense control.

I would also add that being a cheapskate can have a downside. For example, if in corporate business you are perceived as a cheapskate (e.g. dress poorly) it can negatively influence how others perceive you and hurt your earning potential.

Maybe in then second printing these discussion will be included.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:02 AM   #51
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...
I am considering buying this book for my 23-yr old daughter. If she would listen to the advice not to go buy clothes one or twice every week, this book would have paid for itself a few thousand times in her life. But will she heed such advice? That brings up the point that has been bothering me for years. People either practice frugality, or sweep such advices aside.
Let me explain the approach I'm taking with our 'just starting out in real life' son. I'm trying very hard to do no 'preaching' whatsoever. I expect that to be counter-productive. What I have been doing, in small doses, is explain the consequences of decisions.

For example, he just got an apartment, probably a bit pricier than what DW and I thought he should get at this stage. So I did talk to him a little about budgeting, stressing that this is *his* responsibility now, and I went into a little depth on the importance of building up a 3-6 month emergency fund, and how that has to be a top priority to re-fill if an emergency does come along. I stressed that this gives you power and flexibility, and keeps you out of jams, and the lack of one is probably the main reason you hear of these sob-stories on the news.

I think it sunk in. I plan to touch on it from time to time and see how he's doing. I think it will have better results than 'what the hell are you spending so much on an apartment for!! You think money grows on trees!!?? Heck, when I was you age, bla-bla-bla....'.

So maybe some people are just born with the 'frugal gene', but I think others can understand the cause-effect, and decide from there. Others never get the cause-effect thing, choose not to look, or just want to live in ignorance of it.

-ERD50
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:26 AM   #52
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P.S. Forgot to put smilies on the "Conflict of Interest, Huh?" line. I was just joking.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:31 AM   #53
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It's worth a try. When I give a book like this to someone, I'll say "Because I read a book like this when I was your age, my time is now my own."
One of the traits my daughter inherits from me is that she is a voracious reader. I found an investing book written for women (no - not Suze, though I don't know how people pick on her so much - some people deserve to be yelled at), and just put on her desk. I didn't even say anything. She found it, and read it in 1 or 2 nights. She later asked me to look over her 401k contributions .

I am now trying to get her to reduce eating out, not going to the theaters 3 times a week, and not shopping for clothes twice a week.

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Glad you're enjoying my book. You're right, much of the advice is targeted toward younger folks who are just starting out ... I'm heartened by the fact that the book is getting a bit of a cult following among college students and other young adults. I don't know if it will capture your daughter's fancy, but it's definitely most popular among those in that age bracket.
That's encouraging.

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Let me explain the approach I'm taking with our 'just starting out in real life' son. I'm trying very hard to do no 'preaching' whatsoever. I expect that to be counter-productive. What I have been doing, in small doses, is explain the consequences of decisions.
...
So maybe some people are just born with the 'frugal gene', but I think others can understand the cause-effect, and decide from there. Others never get the cause-effect thing, choose not to look, or just want to live in ignorance of it.
-ERD50
That's the approach we have taken. With my son, I've got no problem. In fact, we don't want him to become "too cheap". Let me explain that a bit further.

When I was in my late 20s, having a bit of cash piled up but not knowing how to invest, I read Andrew Tobias. By the way, he described more ways an investor could lose money than one could make money. That was useful, I guess, to keep a novice from diving in head first. But I remembered and appreciated some of his philosophical points the most. Now, we all know Jeff Yeager uses the term "cheapskate" in the self-mocking sense. Tobias showed the differentiation between true "cheap" and "frugal".

To Tobias, not using the minibar in your hotel room and running down to get a Coke at the nearby convenience store is frugal, not cheap. Not leaving the correct tip to your waitress, or not contributing to the office envelope circulating for collection for a gift for the department secretary is cheap, not frugal. Tobias said frugality generally applied to the act of denying oneself, while cheap applied to actions towards others.

Growing up, I saw that my father rarely went out to drink and eat with friends. He mostly tried to include his family in recreation activities. He would scrimp on himself, but not on his kids. He was frugal, not cheap.

On the other hand, I have seen people who would not hesitate to squander on themselves, but were extremely miserly when it came to treating others. Those are CHEAP, no matter what fancy cars they drive or what clothes they wear. Those, you may not know they are cheapskates until you get a chance to observe how they treat their family members and friends.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:00 PM   #54
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On the other hand, I have seen people who would not hesitate to squander on themselves, but were extremely miserly when it came to treating others. Those are CHEAP, no matter what fancy cars they drive or what clothes they wear. Those, you may not know they are cheapskates until you get a chance to observe how they treat their family members and friends.
NW, a very helpful post.

Ha
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:12 PM   #55
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To Tobias, not using the minibar in your hotel room and running down to get a Coke at the nearby convenience store is frugal, not cheap. Not leaving the correct tip to your waitress, or not contributing to the office envelope circulating for collection for a gift for the department secretary is cheap, not frugal. Tobias said frugality generally applied to the act of denying oneself, while cheap applied to actions towards others.

Growing up, I saw that my father rarely went out to drink and eat with friends. He mostly tried to include his family in recreation activities. He would scrimp on himself, but not on his kids. He was frugal, not cheap.

On the other hand, I have seen people who would not hesitate to squander on themselves, but were extremely miserly when it came to treating others. Those are CHEAP, no matter what fancy cars they drive or what clothes they wear. Those, you may not know they are cheapskates until you get a chance to observe how they treat their family members and friends.
I have been called cheap before, and I agree 100% with this assessment. I tip waiters, I pay for my due in things, I will buy stuff for myself, what is being cheap is renegging on other people or doing things that affect others. Anything affecting oneself is usually frugal (not spending so much money on stupid things), not cheap. Very well put.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:16 AM   #56
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I would also add that being a cheapskate can have a downside. For example, if in corporate business you are perceived as a cheapskate (e.g. dress poorly) it can negatively influence how others perceive you and hurt your earning potential.
I just remember this story about former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who got caught in public with holey socks, before the scandal broke about his girlfriend.

He was visiting a mosque in Turkey, where one had to remove shoes as the custom dictated. He was then forced to reveal his big toes to the world's cameras.

circumlocutor: Paul Wolfowitz's Sock Has a Hole in It!

It was hilarious. He was then offered 12 pairs of socks by Turkish sock producers. Umit Ozuren, the deputy head of the Socks Producers Association, said "If he had bought from our high quality socks he would not have had such troubles. The quality of Turkish socks has been proven by the amounts we export to the European Union,"

Though just an unknown geek, I dread of embarassing myself like that in a business setting. Fellow LBYM'ers who are still working, get over your schadenfreude. If you keep holey socks to wear at home in the winter, be sure to not pack them for business trips. You never know if you have to remove your shoes. Pack nice underwears too, like your mother advised.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:23 AM   #57
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I'm just rather impressed there is a Socks Producers Association and that it needs both a head and apparently at least one deputy head.
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Old 08-07-2008, 01:49 PM   #58
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I bought some blazers at the local Goodwill that have "Sample, not for sale" written on the inside with permanent marker. I hesitate to wear them to business meetings because I am afraid it will be too hot and I'll have to take off my jacket.

Back to the OP, the book is not available at my local library, so I ordered a copy on Amazon. I might donate it to the library after I'm done. Nice discussions.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:06 PM   #59
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I bought some blazers at the local Goodwill that have "Sample, not for sale" written on the inside with permanent marker.
Obviously, they have a liner, else the ink would bleed through. Probably nice sample blazers that have never been worn. May be worth it to have the liners replaced. Or DYI by spray paint over the inside.
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:51 PM   #60
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Obviously, they have a liner, else the ink would bleed through. Probably nice sample blazers that have never been worn. May be worth it to have the liners replaced. Or DYI by spray paint over the inside.
For one of them, I cut out the part of the liner and now there is a big rectangular hole in the liner. I was going to find some random fabric and cover it up myself with one of those iron-on glues.
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