Now, keep up to date
with daily feeds of newly posted stories
about America's Seniors...click on the box
Professor finds ways to save money
in consumer-driven society... live
cheaper, retire earlier
That is what a Kansas State
University professor is urging people to do.
Fred Brock, assistant professor of
journalism and mass communications, has published his second book,
"Live Well on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to
Achieving Your Financial Freedom," which offers readers a way to
make their lives richer without giving up much.
"We are a consumer driven society
and are urged on every front to spend money," Brock said. "That's
fine until you spend too much. The fact is, we can easily and
comfortably live a lot cheaper than we think."
Brock offers five ways for people
to live on less money while still getting what they want:
1. Save on the small things.
People can save on items such as soft drinks and lunches by bringing
them from home rather than buying them every day.
"If you buy a can of soda from a
machine, it is going to cost about a dollar. If you do this twice
every work day, that is $10 a week, $40 a month and $480 a year,"
Brock said. "Or you could go to any discount store and buy a case of
soda for about $6, which is 25 cents a can. If you take this $30 you
are saving and invest it at 6 percent and compound it over 30 years,
you would have an excess of $30,000- and you haven't given up any
2. Be smart about how you spend
your education dollars. People often believe that prestigious
private universities offer better educations and thus higher future
earnings. However, Brock says there is at least one study - by a
Princeton economist - showing an inverse relationship between
prestigious schools and future earning power.
"Don't be obsessed about college,"
Brock said. "Parents should realize that it is better for their
child to be in debt than for them to do so, especially if it affects
3. Prioritize your insurance.
Brock recommends that people purchase insurance to protect what they
already have. People should first have health insurance, then
property and casualty; after that they need to make choices.
"People spend too much on the
wrong kinds of insurance," Brock said. "Some will take out huge life
insurance policies, but have no health insurance or disability
insurance to protect their incomes. And people are three times as
likely to be disabled than to die during their working years."
4. Be aware of credit card debt.
Credit cards can lead to trouble when balances build. Brock said
people should try not to charge anything until their balances have
been paid and, if they cannot pay the balances, take advantage of
"If you play the credit card game,
then play it to your advantage," Brock said.
5. Be wise about where you live.
Although few people have a choice in where they live, comparing
costs of living can save thousands of dollars. When people are
looking at where they want to live, they should consider how much it
is going to cost to live in the area compared to how much they will
Brock's new book is a prequel to
his first book "Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times
Guide to Planning Your Financial Future."
"As I wrote the first book, it
became clear that there are people in their 30s, 40s and early 50s
who are looking to retire but are having trouble putting money
aside," Brock said. "With the second book, I show that if you really
put your mind to it, you can live on a lot less money while saving
to defend your future."
Brock holds the R.M. Seaton
Professional Journalism Chair at K-State's A.Q. Miller School of
Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to K-State, Brock worked
as a business editor and columnist for The New York Times. While in
Manhattan, he continues to be a contributor to The New York Times.
Brock has also worked as an editor
and reporter for The Wall Street Journal, The Houston Chronicle and
The Louisville Courier-Journal. He has taught undergraduate
reporting and editing at New York University and has been a fellow
at the Washington Journalism Center. Brock earned his bachelor's
degree in English literature from Hanover College in Indiana, and
his master's in education from Temple University in Philadelphia.
Both books are published by Henry
Holt, Times Books.