If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to save more money or to get your finances in order or to be your own boss, you might want to check out Alan Corey's A Million Bucks By 30: How to Overcome a Crap Job, Stingy Parents, and a Useless Degree to Become a Millionaire Before (Or After) Turning Thirty (Ballantine, 223 pages, $13.95).
If you can stand Corey's motormouth writing style, you'll be able to get through the book and probably learn something, too...
I will admit the book annoyed me, but I found myself grabbing a pen and notebook and jotting down little tips. Now, granted I'm not going to subsist on Ramen noodles and live in public housing (which, I'm guessing was not legal for the author but he doesn't address it, at least in the first few chapters), but I could certainly live with just one credit card and buy used cars rather than new ones and stop buying bottled water.
These tips aren't anything new but he charts his progress from the time he states his goal — to be a millionaire by age 30 — to the time he achieves it (at age 29). And the fact that it worked for a guy who moved to New York City at age 22, with a modest savings account and a $40,000-a-year job offer, is inspiration for not only new college grads, but also anyone looking to cut costs, save money and invest wisely.
I would not advocate some of his tips, like the aforementioned living in public housing if you're clearly not eligible, or buying popcorn at the movies once and reusing the bag to get free refills for three months (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's called stealing). But other tips, such as filling out comment cards at stores and restaurants (or making a complaint in writing), will oftentimes get you coupons for free food and services. It may not seem worth the trouble, but learning to be a cheapskate worked for Corey and he says it can work for you, too.