Thursday, August 11, 2011

Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times Review

Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times: 250+ Ways to Buy Smarter, Spend Smarter, and Save MoneyClark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times: 250+ Ways to Buy Smarter, Spend Smarter, and Save Money by Clark Howard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads: Clark Howard is a media powerhouse and penny-pincher extraordinaire who knows a thing or two about money. A lifelong entrepreneur who is now the hugely popular host of a talk radio program and television show and the bestselling author of several books, Clark consistently delivers expert financial advice to his wide and devoted fan base.

Living Large in Lean Times is Clark's ultimate guide to saving money, covering everything from cell phones to student loans, coupon websites to mortgages, investing to electric bills, and beyond. In his candid and friendly next-door-neighbor manner, Clark shares the small, manageable steps everyone can follow to build a path towards independence and wealth. Chock-full of more than 250 invaluable tips, the book outlines how to: 

* Locate missing and unclaimed money in your name
* Lower your student loan payment
* Find legitimate work-at-home opportunities
* Get unlimited texting and e-mailing for less than $10 per month
* Know what personal info not to post to social media sites
* Determine the best mortgage rate, and much, much more

As Clark demonstrates, there are myriad ways to reduce debt, buy smarter, and build a future. Follow his lead and he'll get you there.

My take: The Clark Howard Show used to air on a talk radio station I listened to on my way home from work late at night. The advice he gave was the same my dad gave me and my dad successfully retired a multimillionaire before the stock market crash. Still, Clark Howard had great advice for my day to day living as well as my investments and retirement. I was hooked.

In his new book, Living Large in Lean Times, Clark expands his penny pinching skills by providing more tech savvie sites and updated information on laws in layman's terms. His influence has pushed me to open a Roth IRA (post-tax dollars), never use a debit card, always use a credit card and pay it off every month, and I now have a list of websites to check as soon as I write this review.

On a personal note, I wish I had known about the Drop Dead Letter to creditors 5 years ago when my ailing father-in-law was in the middle stages of dementia. Although we learned very quickly to never allow collection companies to talk to him, they used all kinds of scare tactics on us to try to collect money owed. We offered a payment plan which they flatly denied then threatened law enforcement on us, yelling at us, swearing at us, and otherwise making a complete nuisance of themselves. Knowing it was not our debt to pay, we took it in stride but were unable to stop the harassing calls. Turns out, there was a way and we missed it.

The 250 plus ways to be a smarter consumer includes tips on cell phones, cable television, land lines, internet, travel, credit cards, car buying, insurance, outsmarting scammers, giving to charitable foundations (legitimate) and a slew of other tips that can be used every day.

I read the book cover to cover but this is not necessarily the way it must be read. It is a resource and can be opened to pertinent sections to answer pressing questions or read front to back or back to front with a notebook and pencil to take notes or highlighter to use like the nerdy educator like myself.

1 comment:

Deirdra A. Eden said...

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