Living Well on Practically Nothing

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Tired
of being one of the rats in the rat race? Are you trying to take
a different path than mindless consumerism and debt? Author Edward
Romney has some excellent techniques on how to achieve independence
on an ordinary income.

Living
Well on Practically Nothing
is radically different than
most financial and self-help books, newsletters or infomercials.
No get-rich-quick fantasies, Texas-sized “guru” egos, or risky speculations
using OPM (other people’s money, or borrowing) are promoted or suggested.

As
might be expected from someone who grew up in Depression-era New
Hampshire, Romney is full of old-time Yankee common sense, thrift
and wisdom. While that doesn’t sound like the basis for an interesting
21st century book, the utter scarcity of those traits in modern
society makes Romney’s advice and observations leap off the page
and into the reader’s mind.

Buy
a modest, affordable house (sometimes for $50,000 or less) in an
age of “bigger is better” and a monstrous real estate bubble? It
can still be done in a number of states. Living on a boat in coastal
areas or an old school bus in the desert southwest are other ways
to survive on a minimum amount of cash.

What
kind of person would drive a 10-year old car when they can get a
no-money-down payment plan from just about any car dealer? Why spend
big bucks for designer clothes when the same items are available
for a dollar or two at thrift shops? If this makes sense to you,
then Living Well on Practically Nothing will be one book
that will be read and re-examined many times.

As
Romney points out in his wise old uncle/curmudgeonly style, following
the herd only leads to debt slavery and a gnawing dissatisfaction
with life. Those who manage to spend less than they earn can build
a nest egg that will allow them to snap up good deals for cash and
even have the resources to go into business without borrowing. For
those who are understandably leery of having large amounts of depreciating
Federal Reserve notes on hand, keep in mind that surplus cash can
always be converted to gold and silver.

The
author’s son is one example of how following such basic, time-tested
methods can lead to true financial security. The younger Romney
began a used pallet business with just $2000, and it has become
a thriving enterprise with annual gross revenues of $1.5 million.
Many part-time ventures can be started with small amounts of capital,
and they can provide the independent minded with a starting point
for leaving the wage labor world.

While
some of Romney’s suggestions are admittedly offbeat and not practical
for most folks, the book is a very solid piece of outside-the-box
thinking and sensible counsel. Living Well on Practically Nothing
is published by Paladin Press, an excellent source for dozens of
nonconformist books.

July
9, 2005

Al
Doyle [send him mail]
has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine staff writer and freelancer
since 1983. He won’t allow his children to attend government schools.

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