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Of Tightwads and Penny Pinchers: The Best Book Around for How to Spend Less and Have More!

I have boys that are in their early 20s and . . . gasp . . . they are reaching the point they are ready to move out of my house into a home of their own, so they can start making their own stories apart from me.

I am okay with that - but what they are not okay with is the amount of money needed for a down payment.

Now, mind you, the need for down payments to get into a home, despite what 20 somethings believe, has always been a problem. At times, it has been a bigger problem than today. I remember hearing stories that at one time, in the 1950s, 20% down was required. And there were fewer programs to help home buyers than now.

And so, with not only my boys, but some other young people, I have had conversations about some options for saving money for a down payment (irrespective of down payment assistance programs which are not always your friend). Then, somewhere in those conversations, I remembered a set of books on my bookshelf with my gardening and cookbooks.

Enter - some oldies but goodies - The Tightwad Gazettes written by Amy Dacyczyn.

Now, Amy originally circulated a newsletter in the late '80s, early '90s. You know - those of us who are old enough to remember - before the internet and social media, when the only way to get your information out there was to mail newsletters to people the old-fashioned way - through the postal service.

Amy, interestingly enough, got into thrifting when she determined she wanted to buy a farmhouse for her family, which included her husband and five children. They needed the money for a down payment, and so, she came up with ways to live frugally in order to raise the capital to do such.

Later, she decided she liked spending less to have more.

My copies of her books are dogeared and worn and marked up, to say the least. I know I originally had all three, but now I can only find two. I probably loaned one out, and it never made it back to me. I will be buying the third again, no doubt. And I see now, in looking at Amazon, that there is a fourth one as well.

The books are chock-full of recipes, crafts, household storage items, gardening tips, couponing or not couponing, dumpster diving, refinishing furniture, gift-giving, insurance savings and more - all in the name of saving money and living frugally. Some of the information is no longer applicable, like CDs versus LPs and long-distance phone calls. This was, after all, in the days before flash drives, Spotify, and cell phones. But there is still a lot of useful information to be had if you like to thrift and/or live on less.

There are four volumes, all of which can be purchased at Amazon. You can find the volumes here.

You won't be sorry you spent the money on these!

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