Christian Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Excerpts

Frugal Families - Book Review

  • Whitney Hopler Contributing Writer
  • 2003 20 Jan
<i>Frugal Families</i> - Book Review

Author:     Jonni McCoy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

It’s safe to say that most families love the idea of saving money, but what keeps some of them from actually doing so is the fear that frugality means a lifestyle of joyless deprivation.  Author Jonni McCoy opens Frugal Families with the assertion that saving money needn’t mean losing dignity (such as by wearing clothes with rips and stains) or wasting more time and energy than you save in dollars (go ahead and throw that dryer lint in the garbage where it belongs instead of thinking up creative ways to reuse it.)

McCoy, who also authored the popular book Miserly Moms, devotes the entire first chapter of Frugal Families to encouraging moms to stay home with their children if at all possible.  She then devotes the second chapter to an exploration of working from home.  While both of those topics are valuable, they seem misplaced in a book that claims to be focused on tips for saving money.  Fortunately, from the third chapter through the rest of the book, McCoy delivers tons of well-researched ideas for saving money on family recreation, holidays, home decorating and furnishing, vacations, pets, moving expenses, insurance, electrical appliances, car buying, and car maintenance.  She also includes a chapter on teaching children financial responsibility, another on consumer rights, and a catch-all chapter called “Money, Money” that addresses ways to reduce debt, save, and invest.

The information McCoy provides is quite thorough, so Frugal Families is a sound investment.  But it might have been even more effective if she had kept the same consistent focus throughout--on practical tips for saving money--rather than delving into other money topics that she could explore in more depth in another book.