See? I really wasn’t pretending to write a book.
A frugal hack of a frugality book, you might say.
I decided to opt in to the “Kindle MatchBook” program, which provides a cheaper e-version of the work (in this case, $1.99) to anyone who buys the paperback. Maybe you want a physical copy for yourself; MatchBook would allow you to give a Kindle version as a frugal gift to a relative or friend. Or do it the other way around if you’re an e-reader kind of person.
Total cost would be $11.48 for the two, plus shipping for the paperback, if you’re not a member of Amazon Prime. (That link will get you a 30-day free trial.)
For those just now tuning in, “Playbook” is aimed at three groups of people:
- Those currently experiencing hardship
- Those anticipating tough times (e.g., family illness, impending layoffs)
- Those who want to live lean to realize a dream (entrepreneurship, early retirement, at-home parenthood and the like)
The book provides tips and resources to help you get the most from each dollar without losing your dignity or your hope for the future. It’s designed to help you live your best life on the money you have while working to improve your finances.
These aren’t simplistic tips like “Just cut one latte a day” or “Wash and reuse plastic bags,” but rather solid, actionable advice, resources and encouragement. Readers will take away specific tactics to slash the cost of housing, health care, shopping, utilities, clothing and entertainment.
Some advance praise
“Donna writes with a laser-sharp focus on strategies that will help you through tough times. Unlike most personal finance books, her money-saving tips aren’t meant to be cute; they’re real strategies based on tough times she’s successfully overcome in her own life. Donna’s advice can inspire hope if you feel that you’ve reached a personal or financial dead end.”
(Worth the wait!)
And from others:
“Frugality is not a dirty word – it’s a lifesaver. And who better to teach you than Donna Freedman? She’s been where you are now, she understands what you’re going through and best of all, she knows the way out. Deciding to read this book could be that one decision that stands between you and a totally different life.” (Mary Hunt, creator of Debt-Proof Living and Everyday Cheapskate, and author of more than three dozen personal finance books)
“This is an essential manual for anyone aiming to live large on a small budget. Going through tough times? This book’s for you. Worried about tough times looming on the horizon? This book’s for you, too. This book is even for you if things aren’t tough but you’re curious about sensible ways to make your money last longer. One of a small number of books that has earned a permanent place on my reference shelf.” (J.D. Roth, founder of Get Rich Slowly and Money Boss and author of “Your Money: The Missing Manual”)
“Unlike a lot of people writing about personal finance, Donna Freedman knows first-hand what it’s like to be broke. She knows how to survive tough times, to live well on less and to create a good life even when bad things happen. Donna imparts all this wisdom with empathy and compassion – along with the occasional kick in the butt. She’s also one of the funniest people you’ll ever have the pleasure of reading, so get started already!” (Liz Weston, NerdWallet columnist and author of “The 10 Commandments Of Money,” “Deal With Your Debt,” “Easy Money” and “Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future”)
“A clear, concise and complete guide that will help you change your life. As someone with more than 30 years in the financial planning and personal finance writing fields, I can attest that you won’t find a better step-by-step guide anywhere.” (Gary Foreman, The Dollar Stretcher)
“No one anticipates it, but for the many people without sufficient emergency savings – and that may be almost everyone – economic disaster could be just a divorce, a stretch of unemployment or an illness away. If this happens to you, you need Donna Freedman’s ‘Playbook for Tough Times.’ Not only can it help you negotiate the Byzantine world of social services, it can provide self-help ideas that you may never have thought of…Sympathetic and supportive, Donna’s book can effectively hold your hand as you inch your way back to solvency.” (Kathy Kristof, contributing editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, CBS MoneyWatch columnist and editor of KathyKristof.com)
“The great thing about ‘Your Playbook For Tough Times’ is that it’s not just advice to use when the going gets tough. It’s advice that, when followed, will keep you from experiencing tough times in the first place. This should be required reading for everyone, whether starting out or starting over.” (Stacy Johnson, Money Talks News)
Help me help others
And that’s not even all of the advance reviews. Which may come across as like bragging, but it’s actually the sound of self-promotion.
I’ve never liked beating my own drum. This time, however, it’s essential. Since I went with Amazon vs. trying to sell the book to a traditional publisher, the promotion is up to me. There’s no team of publicists, or even a single PR maven. No designers, no social media strategists, no nothing.
What I do have, however, are personal finance colleagues and acquaintances and, of course, my readers. Even if you don’t need the kind of advice found in “Playbook,” chances are you know someone who does. Maybe a whole lot of someones.
Got friends, relatives or coworkers who are struggling with finances or just wondering why they can’t get ahead? Or maybe they want to retire early, be at-home parents or do something else that necessitates some financial creativity.
As J.D. Roth notes above, this is a book that can help more than one group of readers. I’d appreciate help with spreading the word.
One more thing: If you do read “Playbook” and like it, please leave a short review on the Amazon landing page. It doesn’t have to be a dissertation! A single paragraph spelling out what the book taught you or how it inspired you to do things differently would suffice. (Many thanks to those who have already left reviews.)
Thanks for the supportive comments and e-mails during the process.
*When you click on the PDF link you’ll be taken to what looks like a PayPal checkout site. Which it is, but you can also use a credit card. I noticed that people were using that link but not completing their purchases; after I changed the book widget to read “credit or PayPal,” I started getting sales.
So again: You do not have to have a PayPal account to purchase this way. PayPal is merely the entity that is keeping me from having to deal with credit cards personally.