Earlier this year I received a review copy of The Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money. The book is the first book by fellow personal finance blogger Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, who is probably best known in the blogosphere for her popular blog aptly named “The Frugal Duchess“. Sharon is also writes a weekly column appearing in the Miami Herald and numerous other newspapers around the country, and has written pieces for Money Magazine, Institutional Investor, and People magazine.
I thought the book was a good read and I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. Although many of the ideas and tips included in the book I had seen elsewhere, there were still things I had never seen before in my years as a cheap bastard, and it would be a great starting point for someone trying to shift to a more frugal lifestyle. Sharon makes a persuasive argument about how financially crippling an unchecked consumerist lifestyle can be using her own personal experiences, and sucessfully shows how a frugal lifestyle does not mean you have to miss out on the things many of us have come to enjoy. It would be perfect for a young person just starting out or the person adopting a more frugal lifestyle as a New Year’s Resolution.
My only criticisms of the book would be the following:
- The way the subject matter was organized seemed a bit random to me, although that could just be the difference between the mind of an accountant (me) and someone with activity on the right side of the brain.
- In places it read more like a blog than a book. It took me a little while to figure out the “M&D” referred to in the book was “Mom and Dad”.
- Some of the tips seem very specific to South Florida, where the author is based. I’m sure a lot of these can be replicated elsewhere, but references to stores and locations specific to South Florida aren’t that helpful to most readers.
Despite some shortcomings, it is still a worthwhile read. The price is quite reasonable at a list of $14.95, and you can get it from Amazon.comeven cheaper.
My apologies to Sharon for the lateness of my review. Nothing like a layoff, a job search, and two hurricanes to keep you away from your reading list. Hopefully this will provide a small second wave of publicity.