Wealth Watchers International logo Wealth Watchers: A Simple Program to Help you Spend Less and Save More

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5 Smart Books: A Reading Rally
SmartMedia by Robert J. Hughes

5 Smart Books: A Reading Rally

Wealth Watchers

A Simple Program to Help You Spend Less and Save More

 

Wealth Watchers Book CoverBy Alice Wood
Free Press; $19.95
Reviewed by Robert J. Hughes

Author Alice Wood’s concept of wealth-watching was borne out of her own resolve following a freak head injury she sustained on a commercial air flight. She found herself having to learn simple things over again – like handling finances – and decided to create Wealth Watchers, to look at each penny she spent, modeled after the Weight Watchers concept of tracking every nibble.

And like the time-tested Weight Watchers plan, in Wealth Watchers people take personal responsibility for their spending – knowing one’s credit score, arranging the best way to pay bills, for example. Wood’s book includes sample charts that help clarify points, such as 15- or 30-year costs for a $150,000 fixed-rate mortgage, including monthly payments and interest. Wood also includes compelling anecdotes about how some people have spent less, including that of a woman who resolved to spend no more than $50 per week feeding her family of four, and managed over the course of a decade to save $78,000. “I trained myself to shop carefully, so today it is actually difficult to spend a lot of money,” the woman says.

The ideas are basic, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work: get organized, create a monthly budget (so few people do this), keep a spending journal (akin to a food diary) to track where the money goes. The book also has a journal area at the back – write directly on the pages or create one modeled after the format here – that should help clarify one’s cost-conscious way of financial dieting.

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