EXCERPT: Elisabeth Leamy's 'Save Big'

As you can see, I don't believe in pinching pennies. I like to pinch $1,000 bills! In fact, every tip in this book has the potential to save you at least $1,000. Anything less than that didn't make the cut. This book contains $1,176,916 worth of savings in all. You would have to deny yourself 294,229 lattes to save that much money!

These savings are possible for anybody who lives somewhere, drives places, charges stuff, eats food, or gets sick sometimes —and wants to do it all for thousands less. In the wake of the tumultuous economic times that began in 2008, there's renewed interest in saving money. My message is that it doesn't have to be a drag.

SAVE BIG (not small) and I think you will find that you save something even more precious than money: time. The puny savings ideas other authors tout take a lot of time. They need constant maintenance. They require willpower. In the face of a zillion different daily deprivations, most people fail. I find it much easier to channel my energy into a few BIG cost-savers that I only have to tackle every once in a while. That's why most of the savings strategies in this book are things you only have to do every few years.

The precise rankings of our top five costs don't really matter. The point is that they are BIG. In each Part of the book, I add up the BIG SAVINGS I'm about to show, then make a Small Stuff Savings comparison, just like I did with the lattes. You won't achieve these savings all at once, but each time you try one of my ideas you will SAVE BIG.

But wait! There's more! I've scattered BIG SECRETS throughout the chapters —insider information that will help you keep your money in your wallet. Then I summarize each chapter with my list of BIG TIPS, your action plan to get started saving. My Web site, www.ElisabethLeamy.com, is a companion to the book, organized chapter by chapter. Every time you see a Web site or calculator mentioned in SAVE BIG, you can go to my site and I will link you to the precise page that you need, so you don't have to hunt for it. I've also included recommended reading and other resources on my site.

You can read SAVE BIG cover to cover and become one super saver. Or read the house, car, credit, grocery, and healthcare sections when you need them as you go about your life. Each Part of the book is broken down into bite-size chapters that you can get through in the time it takes. . .to enjoy your latte.

Reprinted by permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., from SAVE BIG: Cut Your Top 5 Costs and Save Thousands, by Elisabeth Leamy. Copyright © 2009 by Elisabeth Leamy.

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