Saturday, 24 August 2013

Ausperity - book review

I suppose it was a bit too much to ask to expect a riveting read when I picked this book up, but it sort of jumped out at me as I was passing the display, on my way to the map department. Worth a try I thought. Would be good if there was some fantastical money saving tips in there, some little gems that have passed me by. I am always open to new ideas to help me better manage my money.

The title of the book has completely baffled me, what does Ausperity mean anyway? Can't find it in any dictionary, it must be made up. Lucy Tobin is a personal finance editor at the London Evening Standard, where she writes a weekly column. The blurb on the back cover says, 'Lucy Tobin shares the secrets to living a prosperous life on an austerity budget.' Now that doesn't quite add up with me. I am assuming she has a high flying job in the city, and assuming she has a  decent income from her journalism as well as the sales from her four books. I was under the impression that austerity means you haven't got much money so you have to cut back on your spending. So I am a bit confused as to why she needs to be austere.

Other blurb on the back states, Want to eat out at the best restaurants without denting your wallet. Err, no actually, maybe this book isn't for me. Another blurb, Looking for ways to make money rather than spend it. Err, no actually, I have enough. Oh dear, not going too well up to now, is it. Never mind, lets dip inside.

The first part of the book is about spending money, but as she explains, we still want to have nice clothes, fun nights out, and buy a new car or oven, so the first few chapters are about getting what we want, for less. Fair enough, we all have different needs and wants. The book mainly caters for those who have a regular income and can afford nice things, rather than those who have a very limited income, who are struggling to make ends meet, and are skint most of the time.

It's all about finding deals, the buying stuff through cash back sites, holidays, flights, hotels, insurance, etc. She talks about going to a comparison site to find the best deal for utilities and switching suppliers. There's a food shopping section which told me nothing new. Something bugs me when people write about living a money saving, tight, frugal, scrimping life, when they have no need to follow their own advice as they have enough money to live on.

Basically the book will be useful for those who find they have a drop in income and have to adjust their spending to suit. It is not much use to me, who has had a lifetime of living within my means. It doesn't tell me anything I don't already know. As Nellie would say, stating the bleedin obvious, ha ha. Save yourself 7.99 and get it from the library, or read Money Saving Expert, it's all on there.

Miserable day here, lots of rain, I'm going to a party tonight, Paul is having a little birthday celebration. Whooopeeeee.
Toodle pip      


  1. "Something bugs me when people write about living a money saving, tight, frugal, scrimping life, when they have no need to follow their own advice as they have enough money to live on."

    Yes, it can be a bit annoying, just like our MPs telling us how austere times are and "we're all in this together" then awarding themselves a massive pay rise.

  2. As a word I quite like it ..... Austerity + Prosperity = Ausperity.

    But to tell the truth there are more and more folk writing books about saving money and actually expecting us to pay out good money for them, when really it's the same basic messages regurgitated in different ways, although I guess it's no bad thing if it gets more people through the doors of our libraries to borrow them for free and thus saves libraries from disappearing altogether :-)

    Have a wonderful time at the party.

  3. I think Ausperity is a combination of austerity and prosperity, as in how to prosper during times of austerity. Sounds like a book that no one should need - a bit of common sense is all that's need to realise what the book is telling you, surely?!

  4. Sort of makes me sick when these lah-di-dah money coming out of their ears people start going on about money saving. Should they not be the ones that should be parting with it to help the economy instead of kicking businesses when they're down. I bet Lucy Tobin wouldn't like it if her book was being sold for £3.
    Must be smugly satisfying to get a few grand off a new Merc or screwing a struggling company on the price of a new kitchen. How the other half lives eh?
    I am skint and happy with a clear conscience, living within my means and paying my way.
    Have a good time at the party.

  5. I have this on order from the library, thought it might be worth a look, but doesn't sound like it has much to say to a nearly 60 year old who has always been frugalish. I have an old second hand book called " How to live without a salary" and the answer was to write a book called " how to live without a salary!!"

  6. We shouldn't make the mistake of thinking those with a slightly higher income cannot need or benefit from a more frugal approach to living. And I'm not talking about screwing shops or service providers for deals on luxury items they can't really afford to give ...

    Whatever our level of income, it would benefit us all to buy carefully, support local shops and businesses, use less, and - particularly - waste nothing. It's good management, if nothing else. We all know the problems facing our country and our planet over the coming years, so restraint may be no bad thing.

    Speaking of which, it sounds as though £7.99 can be easily saved - and I don't mean just by ditching Waitrose one shop in four! ;-)

  7. Actually, not everyone has "common sense" (like Louise mentioned) when it comes to how to balance your budget within your means. I've known people who made a lot more money than I did and couldn't pay their bills because of out of control spending. They didn't get what budgeting would do for them. So, sometimes it's got to be put down in black and white and read before they get it. I used to watch a tv reality program where this woman would go to peoples' houses to help them get out of debt and put them on a budget. She certainly didn't look poor and I'm sure that she had enough money to live on but she also had the knowledge to help others get there. It's not how much you make, it's how you spend it (or save it). I'm sure a lot of books are the same information over and over again. I read a book years ago called "The millionaire next door" which really made me think about how I spent my money. It gave me some good ideas.

  8. Hi everyone. Like Louise and Kearnygirl have mentioned, some just have no common sense at all when it comes to money. I have heard of people who win millions in the lottery and then they go a shopping spree. Buying clothes, a new car, a swimming pool and anything else that you could image and they think that the money will never run out. But it does and they end up with nothing and being miserable because they didn't invest that money wisely. There is a show that I like to watch on tv and it is called winners and losers. Four friends from high school buy lottery tickets every week and then they win $8 Million dollars. Well one of the ladies on the is exactly as I have described and she quits her job and tells her boss where to go. Then she runs out of money.

    I on the other hand am on a limited budget, but know how to manage my money and live within my means. I feel proud about that. But as Ilona has also mentioned that she is always open to other ideas of how to save money, I am too. As there are always ways to save and I think that we could benefit from each other. Kearnygirl. That show sounds like it might be interesting. I might watch if I get a chance.

  9. You should write a book, Ilona. I'm sure it would be an interesting read! Btw, I love your blog. Have a lovely day :-)