The 8 Best Books About Frugal Living of 2020

Read these books to become penny-wise, not money foolish

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Frugal living requires some serious planning and revaluation of your priorities, but it can also be serious fun. Rather than just focusing on the feelings of deprivation, it helps to rethink the reasons for living frugally entirely. By doing so, you will benefit more than just your wallet: You will find yourself breathing easier in all aspects of your life.

Being frugal can help build up money for emergencies. It can reduce stress on your marriage meaning fewer fights about money which happens to be one of the most common marriage disputes. Another great benefit you may not realize is buying less leads to less waste. And believe it or not, it has been said living with less can help you sleep better at night, too! Read on to find the best books about frugal living, so you can take back the reins ​when it comes to your finances.

Best for A Fresh Financial Reset: Your Money or Your Life

Your Money or Your Life
Courtesy of Amazon

This influential book is one Oprah herself even swears by. Over the course of its 368 pages, this book will transform how you think about and relate to money. Think of it like an Alcoholics Anonymous program, but for your finances: It walks you through nine complete steps of evaluating and accepting the problems in your relationship with money while teaching you need-to-know information about planning a budget and how to invest and save the money that you have regained in the process of doing so.

By building great budgeting skills and habits, author Vicki Robin will enable you to live frugally without feeling like you are giving anything up. Improve your relationship with money by using three core questions before making a purchase. Learn how to save money by instilling good habits instead of using an over-restricted budget. It will help you get out of debt (if you are in debt) and maximize your financial future no matter whether you start from square one or ahead of the crowd. It even gives you advice on how to pick a side hustle and use the Internet to help yourself set a budget.  

Best for Decluttering Your Life: The 100 Thing Challenge

In recent years, minimalism has become a trend in everything from the foods we eat and the clothes we wear to the way in which we organize our homes. You might not realize it, but adopting a practice of minimalism can help you become more frugal as well. Author Dave Bruno tells you the gripping story of how he eliminated the vast majority of his stuff until he was left with just 100 worldly possessions. If you can get to this small number or even work towards it, you’ll find your tendencies to spend, spend, spend mitigated by the fact that you have to give something else up to fit the new object into your life. The more you buy, the more you desire to buy things — and you might find that the opposite is true, too. Stepping off the stuff treadmill could be the first part of your journey towards a more frugal existence.

Best for Rethinking Frugality: The New Frugality

If you are looking for a book that relies more on hard-hitting reporting alongside facts and figures more than it does on positive aphorisms and wishful thinking, then this is the book for you. A financial reporter painstakingly wrote it in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash. It paints a broad picture of how Americans’ desires to have it all ended so poorly — but brought with it the small silver lining of getting people to reconsider New Frugality: a way of thinking more seriously about the way in which every person spends each dollar they earn. Chris Farrell explains not only his theories about how all of this happened but how you can apply the idea of wasting less and appreciating more to your own life.  It is a practical and informative book that relates to the average person's money concerns.

Best for Pain-Free Penny Pinching: Effortless Savings

When you hear the words “frugal living,” you are probably imagining hours of decluttering your budget, untangling the ways in which you spend money and figuring out how to spread a finite amount of resources over an infinite amount of the things you desire. Thankfully, with just a little bit of planning, you can rely on a game plan that takes both your needs and wants into account. No matter how much money you make or the number of persons in your household, Richard Syrop’s book will give you a strategy for crafting every aspect of your budget, including tricks to save serious amounts of money on everything from utility bills to restaurant outings. Running your household as an efficient business will provide a better life for you and your family. If you use all of these tips, you’ll be saving serious money in no time. 

Best Incentive To Rethink Your Grocery Habits: American Wasteland

If you are looking for places to save money, a fabulous place to start would be the grocery store. If you are like most Americans, you buy almost twice as much food as you need: Think of multiplying your weekly grocery bill by two and multiplying it by 12 — that’s how much money you’re wasting in uneaten food each year, on average. That is insane, right? In this serious book, Jonathan Bloom details the extent of this problem, why it happened, and what it might mean about our values. Once you have read this book, you will never look at your budget and your shopping habits in the same way again. You will also gain practical tips on how to stop wasting so much food and how to use things you might think are a lost cause. 

Best For Radical “Frugalists”: Not Buying It

Can you imagine not purchasing a single thing you did not need for an entire year? Author Judith Levine did — and then she and her husband did it. In this enchanting book, Levine tells precisely how and why she decided to try this daring experiment, and shares the things she learned along the way. Although you do not necessarily need to take such a radical approach in your own life, it would be a good idea to read this book and get a sense of what it might be like. Maybe it will even inspire a mini experiment or two of your own. May we suggest starting with one week and seeing how it goes?

Best For Learning Frugal Tips From The 1 Percent: Rich Dad Poor Dad

If we told you that rich people have a lot to teach us about living frugally, you would probably laugh in our face — but it is true! In this classic book, Robert T. Kiyosaki shares all of the advice he learned growing up from his father (the poor dad) and his best friend’s father (the rich dad). After reading this, you will understand that earning a considerable income has nothing to do with becoming rich: Using your money intelligently does. This 20th-anniversary edition is updated to show how the classic ideas have proven correct, as well as new insights you can use today. It explains how important it is for parents to take ownership of teaching their children about finances. And it shows you how to prepare them. It also discusses in detail why your home is not an asset, which is a belief many American have today.

Best Proven Maverick Gameplan: The Total Money Makeover

This book was written with Christians in mind, but you will get a lot out of Dave Ramsey’s classic book no matter what religion you believe in (or if you don’t believe in any religion at all). Rather than relying on hard math alone, Ramsey’s book is based on the principles he has seen work for everyday people. Rather than merely doing things because they make sense on paper, Ramsey will give you the tools to inspire yourself to make lasting frugal habits, and teach you which parts of conventional wisdom to ignore — as well as what parts you shouldn’t live without. Learn how to create a plan to pay off all of your debt. Find out if you currently believe some of the biggest money myths. And get pro tips on how to save a significant nest egg for both emergencies and retirement.