Book Review: Ausperity (Live The Life You Want For Less) by Lucy Tobin

Lucy Tobin, is, among many other things, a journalist - she edits the financial section of the Evening Standard, but contributes to everything from Grazia to Radio 4's Woman's Hour, and Ausperity is, as far as I can tell, her attempt to share with the world all of her money saving genius. And it's good. Real good.

The obvious problem that was always going to present itself when you're sharing information on specific websites, or companies, is that such information can go out of date quite quickly. Big Wardrobe, for example, a website which Tobin recommends for swapping unwanted clothes, is no longer on the internet. However, if you're looking to nab a copy of this book, it was published in 2013 and most of the information within is on point. In fact so far, it's only the reference to Big Wardrobe that I've found to be out of date already. 

The book is divided in to five sections. 

Part 1: Spending It, deals with how and where to spend money to make sure that you're getting the best deal. This is really useful, there are lists of great apps that you can use to compare prices across online or real-life shops, loads of discount websites, info on how to get money off of your next night out (or just cool ideas for staying in!), how to get cheap (or even free) theatre, gig, sports and cinema tickets, and advice on buying everything from food to a new car. There's also a dedicated chapter within this section on how to spend money wisely on your wedding, another for holidays and another for kids. 

Part 2: Milking It, deals with changing your behaviour to save yourself money without compromising on lifestyle. It's full of simple, easy to implement tips to streamline life whilst bulking up your bank account. Things like, being savvy in the supermarket, finding clever ways to eat in top restaurants on a budget, making packed lunches, growing your own food, and considering cost-per-wear when buying clothes. This section also contains some great DIY beauty product recipes that are worth checking out. 

Part 3: Making It, is full of money making ideas that extend a bit further than "get a better paid job", or even "get any job". These aren't "get rich quick" schemes but little ideas for making extra pocket money that you may not have considered, or even knew existed, like renting out your stuff (you can get £3 per day for renting out your hammer!) or letting people pay to camp in your garden! 

Part 4: Financial Stuff. I'll be honest, I kind of skim-read this section! I love everything that makes me coo "ooh, that's a nifty idea", but switch off slightly when I see Contents Insurance as a header! However, this is where a lot of the grown up stuff is, how to get the best deal from your mortgage, insurance products, savings accounts, utility providers etc. It's good stuff and a section of the book I'll revisit when I'm feeling a bit more switched on!

Part 5: Directory - does as it says on the tin really. I was really glad to get to the end of the book to find that there's a well organised directory of all of the websites and companies mentioned throughout, this makes for a really handy reference. 

I'd recommend this book to absolutely anyone keen on saving money, and making what they do spend go further. This year I've gone from living in a six bedroom house with little to no real money worries, able to eat out regularly, drink expensive wine with friends, buy new clothes, book holidays etc. to living in a two bedroom flat in one of the least sought after neighbourhoods in my county, on next to no income, having to make sure that every penny counts, no mouthful of food is wasted, and water is treated as the precious commodity that it is. My shopping and lifestyle habits have changed monumentally over the last 6 months and it's as though this book was written for me! It's one that I'll be dipping in and out of for a long while to come, that's for sure. 

There's an Ausperity website that you can check out here.

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