This week’s book is 1001 little ways to spend less and live well (ISBN 978-1-84732-350-7, Carlton Books, printed in Dubai 2009). The compiler of the 1001 ways is Esme Floyd. Ms. Floyd has found another 6006 hints on other different subjects, and she has collected these in another six books.
The “1001” series has spawned many different projects, with each reputedly jam-pack full of places to go, things to do or helpful hints. With the austerity measures throughout the world, as well as our own domestic belt tightening, I eagerly took “1001 little ways to spend less and live well” down from the Bookazine shelves. Obviously my financial salvation would lie between the 224 pages with subjects as diverse as shopping around for mortgages (number 1 little way) to registering for on-line surveys (number 1001).
The book is divided into different headings with all the money-saving ideas with even some of them money-making ideas, but the latter was not of much real value, such as “do overtime”. In today’s world, you are lucky to have a job, let alone “do overtime”. The sections include “essential money saving”, “basic needs”, “eating well”, “hearth and home”, “fashion and beauty”, “entertainment and luxuries”, special occasions”, and finally “shopping and selling”, where the reader is urged to attend car boot (garage) sales – more than once.
Of course, to receive these 1001 gems of financial advice costs money too. B. 385 must change hands, making the 1001 little ways around 30 satang each, and though that might be a miniscule amount, there is a lot of duplication. Number 309, clearing out the fridge is very, very similar to number 326 which again is clearing out the fridge, and quite honestly is something we all do, with many recipes from different countries all doing exactly just that. Number 368 once again suggested we plan an ‘anything goes’ dinner, with the leftovers in the fridge. In fact, there was a recipe for Scottish ‘stovies’ made from leftovers in the Pattaya Mail just a few weeks ago. Had Khun Ocha read this book, I wonder?
Suggesting that I should only go shopping on my own, so I don’t get distracted and buy non-essentials, does not really deserve a place in the 1001 ways of spending less, surely.
Honestly, I did find the book very boring, stating the obvious, such as shopping around for bargains, be that mortgages, clothes or credit cards, and had nothing which made me say, “How clever, I’ll do that and save money tomorrow.” Suggesting I visit a ‘nail bar’ instead of a salon is not some wonderful new revelation, but is really putting an additional, unnecessary expense in the budget. Or has the modern woman, such as author Esme Floyd, become incapable of using a nail file? Ceasing expensive, but non-essential items is not true savings. Just because I did not catch a limousine to work, does not mean I saved B. 500, but Author Esme would apparently think so. And suggesting I buy an adjustable spanner? Is this really a worthwhile entry in 1001 ways?