Once upon a time I lived in a castle in France.
It was OK. Sure, the turrets were pretty high, but sometimes pigeons would roost on them and poop on your head. Luckily I had enough servants around to clean up the mess and feed me avocado toast and cherries one-by-one.
I never had to worry about money. My biggest dilemma was whether or not to choose the fresh Dungeness crab or Kobe beef prime rib for dinner each night.
I’m just kidding, guys. I’ve been so broke before that I slept for months on a pile of transfer-site (read: dumpster) blankets on an empty wooden floor and ate free ketchup packets for a snack.
You know what I could really have used during those times? Your Playbook For Tough Times. Unfortunately, Donna Freedman hadn’t written the books when I was going through my super-tough times, but it’s available now!
I just read the second volume of the book. I’ll tell you why it’s something everyone needs, regardless of whether you’re currently going through tough times or if you’re living it up as a fairy princess in the Loire Valley.
Who Can Benefit From Your Playbook For Tough Times Vol. 2?
The short answer is, everyone.
Obviously people who are currently broke AF will get the most immediate use out of the book.
But, even people who are rich AF can still get something out of this book. I’m certainly not rich. In fact, I only made it out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle for the first time just last year. Even though I’m not currently going through a tough time, I still rank this book as one of the most valuable I’ve read all year.
This book has tips for you to reduce your spending regardless of where you’re at now. You don’t have to do everything in the book (and indeed, Donna says you shouldn’t). But if you can pick up even a few tips that can save you a boatload of money without impacting your quality of life, why not do it?
Why pay more than you have to?
A second consideration is this: tough times are always a possibility, no matter how much you make. You could be literally one random accident or illness away from financial catastrophe, even if you have health insurance.
How To Use Your Playbook For Tough Times Vol. 2
One of my favorite things about this book is that Donna tells you specifically not to do everything at once.
There’s enough tips and tricks in here to keep even a hyper ADHD person busy for months. In fact, it actually took me a lot longer than I expected to read the book because I kept having to stop to Google each new trick.
But here’s the thing. You can’t just go from normal spendy-levels down to uber-frugal-optimized levels on the turn of a dime (get it? Ehhh?). You need to ramp down your spending gradually.
Otherwise you’ll suffer what I call Loss Of Stuff syndrome. It’ll be painful. You’ll feel deprived. And so, you’ll stop sticking with it and go back to spending on credit cards like Kanye West on acid in a Maserati dealership. No one wants that.
Instead, read through the book once. Highlight the tips that you’re interested. Take a few minutes (or hours) to research them if you need.
Then, when you’re done, pick a couple tips to start out with. For me, I picked buying discount gift cards for pet food and learning how to rehydrate and cook dried beans in place of canned beans. I’ve already saved $16.58 so far this week with just these two tips.
Keep the book and refer back to it each month. It really is designed to be used as a reference handbook. It’s a sort of Savings Encyclopedia, if you will. Over time, you’ll be able to ramp down your spending in a painless manner like a pro.
This book isn’t written by some rich dude wagging his finger at you. Donna herself has actually lived through some incredibly tough times herself, after returning to college as an older adult and a single mom. She knows what she’s talking about.
Another of my favorite parts in the book is when she calls BS on some personal finance gurus and tells you why you should ignore them. (Their name may rhyme with Schmave Pamsey).
“Would it be optimal not to have to borrow money for a car or a house? Well, sure. But someone with student loans and a starter salary needs that vehicle to get to work right now.”
Sure, Schmave Pamsey may have gone through a tough slog himself. But that dude’s loaded right now, so he has the luxury to pay cash for whatever the hell he wants. The rest of us don’t live in a perfect world and we don’t always have that option.
We need things that will work for us right now, even if we can strive towards that all-cash ideal. That’s why this is the finance book for us.
If you’re going through a tough time right now, rest assured: you are not alone. I’ve been there, and while I don’t know what it’s like for you in your own situation, I too have felt a lot of pain. It sucks.
And, if you’re not currently going through a tough time, count yourself lucky. You’ve been through one before, you know what it’s like (and if you haven’t, I know a worthy person you can donate a pile of cash to in order to put yourself in such a situation…just sayin’).
Being broke sucks, but it doesn’t have to be a punishment. In fact, Donna says this:
“Tough times show us what we’re really made of and what we’re capable of accomplishing. Often, we later realize that what we perceived as misfortune was actually crucial to making us the people we have become.”
I can definitely attest to this. It might burn and sting like someone punched you on a fresh bee sting right now, but if you use this opportunity, you’ll come out way better in the end.
This book is one of your most valuable tools to get there.
Snag A Copy For Yourself!
Last week I opened up a giveaway for a free e-copy of Donna’s book.
The time has come, my friends! The winner of the free e-book is Brittany P! Thanks for entering Brittany, I hope you enjoy the book.
Have you read Your Playbook For Tough Times? What was your takeaway? Leave a comment below!