The Cheap Bastard�s(tm) Guide to The Good House & Home is a
comprehensive resource that will show you how to spend less, save more
and live better. Weather you are an apartment dweller with a sky-high
rent, or a homeowner left "house poor" after turning over a massive
downpayment, this book reveals what the Cheap Bastard(tm) knows: how to
beat the system and be comfortable and stylish without spending a penny
more than you have to.
A former carpenter, Josh Garskof now dons his tool belt only for DIY projects around his own house�or sometimes at friends� homes if he can�t come up with a believable excuse fast enough. He writes about a variety of subjects related to everyday life, including health, money, parenting, and the home. His articles have appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Popular Science, Real Simple, and The New York Times. He is also the author of numerous home improvement books, and is a veteran of the editorial trenches at Martha Stewart Living, where he served as executive editor, and This Old House, where he was articles editor. He lives with his family in southern Connecticut.
Foreword: Cheap Bastard in the House by Rob Grader Introduction
Chapter 1: Movers and Shakers: Buying Up, Selling Out, and Moving In Home in the (Price) Range Selling High Movin� On Up
Chapter 2: House Money: Dollars and Sense for Household Finances 5 Ways to Be Smart About Your Money Sharing Costs The Taxman Cometh What Financial Documents Should You Save? Smart Banking Credit Where Credit Is Due Protecting Your Identity The Lowdown on Borrowing Slashing Your Insurance Bill Shop Right eBay Know-How How to Be a Squeaky Wheel
Chapter 3: Style Cents: Budget Decorating Ideas from the Thrift Store to the Megamart Great Discount Decorating Think Like a Professional Decorator Furnishings on the Cheap Even Cheaper Furniture Strategies: The Four R�s Bold Is Beautiful�and Paint Is Cheap Finishing Touches Sleep Cheap
Chapter 4: Rooms for Improvement: Money-Saving Strategies for Every Part of the House Entryways Kitchens Bed, Bath, Closets, Laundry Computers and Home Offices Attics, Basements, and Garages
Chapter 5: A Tidy Sum: Cleaning Up While You Clean Up Uncluttering Your Life Come �n� Get It!�Tag Sales How to Clean Everything Sharing Chores The Truth About Indoor Air Quality Cleaning Supplies That Won�t Clean You Out Dusting�It�s Nothing to Sneeze At
Chapter 6: Growth Funds: A Dirt-Cheap Approach to Yard Work Making Overgrown Shrubs New Again Make Your Own Fertilizer Good Grass Cheap Water Water All Around, Why Pay for It? Power Plants Time Is Money�So Plant a Care-Free Garden Cheap Fences
Chapter 7: The Fix Is In: How to Save on Maintenance That Will Save You Big in the Long Run Check It Twice: Seasonal Maintenance Checklists What You Need to Know About Mold Cool by Nature A Basic Tool Kit Free How-to-Do-It Advice Preventing Termites and Carpenter Ants Boost Your Curb Appeal for $37
Chapter 8: Getting an Upgrade: The D-I-Whys, Why-Nots, and Wherefores of Home Improvements To DIY or HIO, That Is the Question Hiring Reliable Tradesmen Get Help Finding Help Adding Space, on a Budget Better Doors Hiring Housepainters Thinking Green Can Save You Some Green Addition by Subtraction
Hundreds and Hundreds of Free and Ridiculously Cheap listings inside!
�Right now I have enough money to last me the rest of my life� unless I buy something.� - Jackie Mason
nothing like buying a home to make you feel broke. Just when you�ve
cleared out your savings and taken on a host of big new monthly bills,
you get hit with the unbudgeted expenses that manage to sneak up on
every new homeowner: the lawn mower, the gallons of paint, the bedroom
window coverings, the air conditioners, the tree guy . . .
Meanwhile, you probably can�t turn around inside your new house (or
condo or co-op) without seeing something you�d like to upgrade or
redecorate�especially if you partake in any of the glossy books and
magazines dedicated to flaunting the latest products you can�t afford.
Well, The Cheap Bastard is here to tell you that it�s not worth living
on ramen noodles for the next twenty years in order to pay off that
two-person massaging bathtub with built-in wine chiller, wide-screen
television, and surround sound. (And the truth is, nobody ever uses
those trophy tubs anyway.) Nor should you be misled by the countless
television shows purporting to teach affordable decorating techniques.
The made-for-TV simplicity of those programs can lead to some pretty
questionable procedures, such as installing crown molding without
nailing it directly into the wood framing or constructing furniture out
of plywood and staples. The results may look okay on camera, but
they�ll quickly fall apart in the real world.
Bastard�s Guide to the Good House and Home won�t tease you with
unattainable merchandise, nor will it suggest shoddy practices in the
name of saving money. Instead, this book will teach you economical ways
to buy, furnish, beautify, organize, repair, and improve your home,
using quality products and sound techniques. It�s not about how to be a
freeloader or a miser; it�s about being flexible and trying some
creative methods for stretching your scratch. You can�t always get
everything that you want, but we�re going to show you how to save money
on what you need�and how to fund a few out-and-out splurges, too.
The cheapest things in life are the free ones, of course, and you�ll
find out how to get free phone service, free Internet access,
interest-free loans, free mulch, free building materials, free tax
help, and a whole lot more. We�ve also got tips for getting amazing
deals on things you actually do need to pay for. But the biggest
returns by far will come from the hundreds of household cost-cutting
tricks we�re going to show you, from making your own cleaning supplies
using standard pantry ingredients to bartering for your plumber�s
services instead of paying cash; from expanding your home without
building an addition to turning homeownership into a tax windfall.
Sometimes, alas, there is a catch to the deal, and we�ll warn you about
these pitfalls, too.
Even with all of the focus on the bottom
line, though, this book is not about how to live a Spartan lifestyle.
It�s about creating an attractive and warm home that you can actually
afford. It�s about the thrill of the hunt�and about having some
interesting stories to tell. When a guest compliments your new club
chair, for example, you�ll be able to explain how you found it on the
curb on bulk trash day, carted it home balanced on a hastily borrowed
wheelbarrow, then reupholstered it with a fabric remnant you picked up
gratis on Freecyle.org. When your new flowering pear tree gets noticed,
you can talk about how you rooted it from a twig that you cut yourself,
perhaps in the front yard of the home where your great-grandparents
once lived. And regarding your unusual collection of, say, antique
cobalt-blue glass bottles or tourist snow globes, you can boast that
you got them supercheap by being a savvy eBayer and flea marketer.
In short, this is a guide to homeownership for real people with real
budgets. It�s about how to lead a frugal lifestyle�and it�s about
crucial elements of homeownership that are so often overlooked, like
how to share expenses among housemates (with one set of guidelines for
people who share beds and another set for those who don�t), how taking
some simple steps now will prevent the need for expensive home repairs
later, and how to win your battles with nasty customer service agents
when you�ve been mistreated by your credit card or cable company.
You�ll learn how to save thousands of dollars while creating a
one-of-a-kind home that you never thought you could afford. Best of
all, the results will truly be your own and will make you far more
house-proud than you�d ever be if you had selected some cookie-cutter
furnishings from those glossy books and magazines. Instead, why not use
those publications as decorating elements themselves, by setting them
out on the coffee table for visitors to browse? Then, when you�re tired
of them, you can cut them up for decoupage art projects, put them
through the shredder to make packing materials, or donate them to a
library or nursing home as a tax write-off!
Hundreds and Hundreds of Free and Ridiculously Cheap listings inside!