The Simple Living Guide, by Janet Luhrs (Broadway Books, 1997) Offering a look at a simpler lifestyle and encouraging the reader to see things from a different point of view, this book can help clients who find themselves stressed from too much activity or too little money. More a way of thinking than a plan of action, although it contains plenty of suggestions, Luhrs’ book is an excellent introduction to the Simplicity movement (which can help clients who need to downsize for financial reasons to approach their life differently when planning budgets and activities to fit their new reality.

Yankee Magazine’s Living Well on a Shoestring (Rodale Press, 2000)

This book covers how to economize in every area from insurance to eating out, dressing for success and traveling on a budget. While some of the tips will seem bizarre, especially to former spendthrifts, the advice is creative and sound, and does not consist only of ideas about how to save on aluminum foil and where to find free samples. Strategies for shopping smarter, budgeting better, and redecorating with individuality will enable your clients to feel more in control of their financial situations without feeling as if they need to resort to:

The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczn (Random House, 1999) Clients in need of desperate measures quickly, or who find that they are enjoying the process of cutting expenses and want to pursue it, will find hints here on everything from making logs from rolled-up newspapers to finding the best bargains in children’s clothes and toys at thrift shops and flea markets. Dacyczn’s radical and effective way to approach expenses is to do away with them; she and her husband put money in the bank, raised several children, and bought a house on an enlisted man’s salary. You’ll find everything from saving string to clipping coupons here, and admittedly many of the strategies are far more extreme than many people will want to try. But there’s plenty here that is helpful to those trying to pare back expenses.