The $1,000 Challenge

The $1,000 Challenge

How One Family Slashed Its Budget Without Moving Under A Bridge or Living on Government Cheese

Book - 2013
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Are You Brave Enough for the $1,000 Challenge?  
Middle-class incomes are stretched more than ever. Feeling the strain himself, personal finance columnist Brian O'Connor decided to put his own family's spending to the test. He began a ten-week experiment to see if his family could cut its monthly living expenses by $1,000--without sacrificing anything truly important. From groceries and transportation to entertainment and insurance, O'Connor ruthlessly tackled his family's Top 10 spending categories with an eye on rooting out big savings.


As he shares his family's cost-cutting adventures, O'Connor offers helpful strategies for getting your own finances back on track. Whether he's sharing secrets to shrinking your grocery tab or helping you scour bills for unnecessary fees, O'Connor tackles the frustrations and fears of controlling your own financial fate.

Publisher: New York, New York :, Portfolio/Penguin,, 2013, ©2013.
ISBN: 9781591846437
Branch Call Number: 332. 024 OCO
Characteristics: xvi, 207 pages ; 22 cm.
Alternative Title: One thousand dollar challenge

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ksoles Feb 01, 2014

In 2005, personal finance columnist Brian O'Connor accepted a job as a newspaper writer in Detroit. His move from Florida left his family financially tighter than anticipated and he became more cognizant of the costs involved in child-rearing, insurance and groceries. As a result, he set a challenge for himself: break down his costs into 10 categories and cut $100 from each per month. "The $1000 Challenge" chronicles this experiment and ultimately provides a useful, nuts-and-bolts guide to trimming expenses.

Throughout the book, O’Connor uses humour to great effect. Some of his jokes do miss the mark but his overall lighthearted tone will resound with readers wanting a reduction of the stress around financial changes. The author employs the right mix of detailed money discussion and frank acknowledgement, both through explanations of how families may vary and through his own struggles to achieve his monthly goal. Additionally, the categories will mesh with most households: transportation, housing, medical and insurance costs, personal spending and entertainment, and a catchall miscellaneous category. O’Connor breaks down each category into a general discussion, followed by approaches to saving, organized from easiest to hardest to implement.

A worthwhile read for anyone wanting easygoing reassurance that changes are possible even if every month can't be a challenge-busting one.

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