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Living Rich

Book Description

As The Millionaire Next Door revealed, and millions of Americans now realize, building wealth isn't just about working harder or what you choose to invest in: it's about spending smarter. Now, award-winning Tribune Company personal finance columnist Gregory Karp shows how to do just that. This book isn't about depriving yourself: you don't have to become a "financial anorexic," and you won't have to start dumpster diving! Instead, Gregory Karp shows how to build real, long-lasting wealth by plugging the money leaks you're barely even aware of, and making sure you spend with a purpose. Drawing on everything he's learned writing his prize-winning weekly column, Karp reveals surprisingly painless, little-known techniques for eliminating wasteful spending in every area of your financial life. Karp shows how to spend on what you really care about, not what you don't... understand the real value of comparison money in giving gifts without becoming a cheapskate. Karp shows how to slash your phone bill... spend less on food without changing what you like to eat... eliminate spending leaks in insurance, education, entertainment and beyond. From the clothes you wear to the cars you drive, Living Rich by Spending Smart will help you build a life that's truly rich, because it's truly financially secure.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Author
  4. Introduction: The Spending Smart Philosophy
    1. Controlling Spending Is the Key to Building Wealth
    2. The Truth About Getting Rich
    3. Learning to Spend Less
    4. Spending Smart Is Not About Deprivation
    5. Why Cutting Spending Works
    6. Spending Smart: A Proven Plan
  5. 1. Financial FITness: Whacking the Worst Offenders
    1. Stockpiling Food for Savings: Bodega in the Basement
    2. Coupon Clipping Conundrum: Hassle or Goldmine?
    3. Dining Out: Celebrations Versus Poor Meal Planning
    4. Life Insurance: It’s Your Money and Your Life
    5. Home and Auto Insurance: Don’t Pay Too Much
    6. Phone at Home: Pay Less for Your Landline
    7. Wireless Mobile Phone: Don’t Let Them Cell You a Bad Plan
  6. 2. Know Thine Enemy; It Is Us: The Problem Between Our Ears
    1. Smart People, Dumb Spending: Fire the Accountant in Your Head
    2. Evaluating Value: Psychological Income
    3. Impulse Spending: Harness the Urge to Splurge
    4. No Excuses: The Lies We Tell Ourselves
    5. Money Personalities: What Type Are You?
    6. Shopping Addiction: “Shop Till You Drop” Ain’t Funny
  7. 3. What a Waste!: Pet Peeves and Hot Buttons
    1. Bottled Water: Tap into Savings
    2. Junky Insurance: Extended Warranties and Other Insurance You Don’t Need
      1. Extended Warranties
    3. Timeshare Vacations: The Worst Real Estate Deal Ever
    4. Smoking: Your Money, Up in Smoke
    5. Ink-Jet Cartridges: Refill Rage
    6. Lottery: Winning the Jackpot Isn’t a Financial Plan
    7. Textbooks: Get Schooled in the Alternatives
    8. Hybrid Vehicles: Have a Nonfinancial Reason for Buying One
    9. Greeting Cards Discarded: Special-Occasion Cardboard Rethought
  8. 4. The Big Picture: Strategies for Spending Smart
    1. Comparison Shopping: What’s a Good Price?
    2. Tracking Spending: Forensics on Your Finances
    3. Rules of Thumb: Benchmarks for Spending Smart
    4. Buying Tactics: When the Price Isn’t Really the Price
    5. Curse of Automatic Payments: Monthly Commitments Will Haunt You
    6. Buying Used: Secondhand Gives You a Leg Up
    7. Spending Windfalls: Don’t Blow It
    8. Membership Has Its Privileges: Savings by Association
    9. Shopping Online: Geek Your Way to Savings
  9. 5. Around the House: Everyday Spending
    1. Running Hot and Cold: Keep Your Bought Air Indoors
    2. Gasoline: Fuel Savings with Better Mileage
    3. Television: Tune In to Savings
    4. Pets: Don’t Let Fido Sink Your Finances
    5. Prescription Drugs: Just Say No to High Prices for Meds
    6. Library: Free Stuff Galore
    7. Compact Fluorescents: See the Light
    8. Lawn and Garden: Grow Your Savings
    9. Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses: See the Price Difference
    10. Clothing: Better Duds for Less
  10. 6. Financial Foolishness: Overspending for Financial Services
    1. Bank Accounts: Don’t Pay Anyone to Hold Your Money
    2. Credit Cards: Play the Game Right
    3. Credit Cards II: Advanced Tactics
    4. Debt Reduction: Finish Paying for Your Purchases
    5. Index Mutual Funds: You Can’t Beat ‘em, So Join ‘em
    6. Identity Theft: What Protections are Worthwhile?
  11. 7. That Time of Year: Seasonal Strategies for Spending Smart
    1. Back to School Spending: School Daze
    2. Holiday Spending: Ho, Ho, Ho. Where’d My Money Go?
    3. Valentine’s Day on the Cheap...Without Ending Up in the Doghouse
    4. Tax Preparation: Frugal Ways to Pay Uncle Sam
    5. Wedding Gifts: An Invitation Is Not an Invoice
    6. Kid Birthday Parties: Rein in the Ridiculous
    7. Amusement Parks: Costs Shouldn’t Take You for a Ride
    8. Vacation Accommodations: Hotel Versus Home Rental
  12. 8. Life Happens: Big-Ticket Infrequent Spending
    1. How Much Car Can I Afford?—Less Than You Think
    2. Why Buy Used? You’re Not Buying Someone Else’s Problem
    3. How Much House Can I Afford? Don’t Be “House Poor”
    4. Moving Costs: Getting Your Stuff from Here to There
    5. Wedding Spending: Like Marriage, It’s About Compromise
    6. College Tuition: The Two-Year, Two-Year Plan
    7. Divorce: Spending Less on Splitting Up
    8. Hospital Bills: Rampant Mistakes Are Sickening
    9. Funerals: Try to Bury the Pain and Guilt
  13. A Final Thought: Buying Happiness
  14. Financial Times Press