Money: January 2011 Reviews - Black Enterprise

Money: January 2011 Reviews

A New Website for the Savvy Consumer
If becoming a more informed consumer is on your list of resolutions, look no further. A brand-new website is here just for you. The Urban Shopper (, geared toward African Americans and Hispanics, offers everything from product recall alerts to tasty recipes. The site covers all areas of consumer life, including green living, wellness, shopping, and product reviews.

Are You A Frugalista?
If not, this book will show you how to become one. According to author Natalie McNeal, it’s possible to be frugal and fabulous. In her new book, The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out Of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life (Harlequin; $14.95), McNeal describes the trials and triumphs she experienced while turning from her spendthrift ways to live a frugal lifestyle. She recounts tales of preparing home-cooked meals for the first time and learning to find freebies in unexpected places. McNeal also documents how she learned not to shop for one month (with the exception of necessities), as part of a personal experiment she called “no buy month.” Much to her surprise, she was able to save close to $400 in one month by refraining from daily goodies like eating out and shopping.

Live Financially Free!
Each new year, you say you want to become financially free, but stop at wishful thinking. In his new book, Living in the Village: Build Your Financial Future and Strengthen Your Community (St. Martin’s Griffin; $14.99), Ryan Mack, president and founder of Optimum Capital Management, outlines what it truly takes to build wealth and be released from financial bondage. Mack offers these keys, among others, to obtaining financial freedom:

Get your house in order. Make sure you have adequate resources in times of economic hardship so that you can make it through the tough times. This includes adequate insurance, a household budget, current estate planning documents, and a high credit score.

Eliminate all high-risk debt. Develop a plan of action and resolve to pay more than the minimum–on time, every time.

Effectively allocate your company retirement plan. Contribute at least enough to get your employer’s match.