The Thrift Book, By India Knight

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The Independent Culture

India Knight's real asset is her talent for convincing displays of soul-baring. When she says that she is "naturally spectacularly crap with money", has had her "fair share of bailiffs over the years" and was served with bankruptcy papers, I believe her absolutely. For all I know, as a bestselling writer with a long-running column in a London newspaper, she could actually be as crafty as Fred Goodwin when it comes to her own money.

But everything here has that authentic feel to it, which is necessary when you're trolling through a book of money-saving tips that is so predicated on common sense that you want to slap yourself for not thinking of it first: save leftovers from meals; buy only what you need; repair your clothes; holiday at home; buy second-hand, and so on.

I could have done without the pictures, though. Knight's writing style is breezy enough and she doesn't need them to pep up her prose, which managed simultaneously to make me laugh out loud and feel guilty for being so bad with money myself – not an easy feat.