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Drop that credit card! Frugality is the new chic, and belt-tightening is all the rage. Three authors show how to find true contentment with less stuff

Terry Allen for Time

The English language is rough on those who are determined to hold on to their money. If your style is to limit your bank withdrawals, get ready to be labeled parsimonious, penny-pinching, miserly, niggardly or cheap: in short, a skinflint. In recent decades, though, there have been fewer and fewer people in those categories. Americans have been more likely to reach for their credit cards, or to scramble to sign new mortgages.

But the national romance with consumer debt seems to be coming, at least for now, to a screeching halt because of the realities of the Great Recession. Belt-tightening, whether...

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