“Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel” by Phil Villarreal

Now, where do I begin? I probably should start with a warning. To do this I am going to use Phil Villarreal’s own words because no one else will be able to say it all in a few short sentences:

“Honor. Integrity. Honesty. Dignity. If you live by any of these values, you may as well drop the book right now.”  

Intrigued? Appalled? Please, why so serious? It is money we are talking about after all! Specifically, the book is providing about 100 “dirty money-grabbing secrets.”

You are, probably, pouting already, thinking “Oh, please, no more money saving advice. Wasn’t it all said, written and discussed already?” If this is what you think, you are setting yourself up for a massive (and I mean it) surprise.

Let’s make it clear once and for all: if you are looking for money saving advice that has been discussed before and, let’s admit it, is boring, you are in the wrong place, and you should stop reading now.

The money saving tips, that Phil Villarreal masterfully presents in his book, are not your ordinary financial recommendations. The book in itself is a parody, an ironic description of extreme frugality. To a certain extent, of course. There are many more dimensions to the book than just that.

Phil has mastered the art of sarcasm to perfection. Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel is pure entertainment to read.

The book covers almost every aspect of our lives that involves money. You will find money advice on eating, relationships, the household, leisure, entertainment and so on. You name the area of life you want to explore, and I bet you will find at least one money-grabbing guideline in Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel.

Will you be able to follow any of it? Well, that’s a whole different question in itself.

Let’s see… I am sure the suggestion to take your kids to eat at restaurants during the weekdays because some places offer “kids eat free” option is a very practical suggestion. I see nothing wrong with it. Neither do you, I am sure. In fact, if I had kids, I’d follow Phil’s advice. However, “a big family can descend on a place that offers this and run it out of business” is not quite easy for most of us to follow. That, of course, if you try to take his advice to heart.

Overall, if you want:

  • an enjoyable read about money that doesn’t put you asleep,
  • a read that offers some practical and funny (or sarcastically depicted) money saving tips,
  • a read that makes you laugh and brightens your day,

then this book is for you.

I read it on the bus every morning on my way to work, and I caught myself giggling out loud. One of the passengers even asked me what I was reading. I showed the book, and the lady said she never heard about it. Really?! What a shame! Don’t be like this lady, head over to Amazon and get it right now! I am keeping my copy.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel in order to complete this review. However, all opinions expressed in this review are my own. 




10 thoughts on ““Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel” by Phil Villarreal”

  1. Kari@Small Budget Big Dreams

    Looks like an amusing book. I’ll have to see if my library has a copy.

  2. You should do a book giveaway. I like sarcasm and I am sarcastic, don’t know if i could read a book bout it.

    So now that you read the book I am taking that you do not have “Honor. Integrity. Honesty. Dignity. If you live by any of these values, you may as well drop the book right now.” :-p

    1. Nope, no book giveaway. I am keeping it. I did like it a lot, so I will be selfish. 🙂

  3. I’ve seen a couple of people recommend this book as an amusing read. Glad to hear that you liked it. I may have to add this to my reading list too. Thanks for the review!

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