Monday, December 29, 2014

Book Review: Living Well Spending Less by Ruth Soukup

Go on Pinterest and search any term relating to budgeting, saving money or couponing and you won't scroll long without finding a pin that leads you to Ruth Soukup and her blog "Living Well Spending Less."  That's where I first heard about her, and I was very excited to be approved to read and review her first book.  Living Well Spending Less wasn't what I expected.  It is not a book that teaches all about budgeting and saving money, although you will find tips about those things.  Nor is it a book that tells you how you can become rich overnight.  The main focus of this book is to show you how being content with the things you have can lead you to a good life right now!  The "12 Secrets to the Good Life," aren't really secrets at all.  They are principles that we all should know and learn to live by.  Ruth shows in this this book that living well is possible, even if you don't always own the newest gadget, the nicest car or the most expensive clothes.  This book isn't filled with preachy, "thou shalt nots," but with stories of the author's own struggles with money and buying things she didn't need.  While not pretty, these stories offer true encouragement that there is hope out there for even the worst 'shopaholic.'  Since reading this book I've noticed just how things are marketed to consumers.  Every new product from cars to shoes is advertised in a way that makes you think, "If I just had that, I'd be really happy."  And it's just not true!  I can say that I, too, have been guilty of buying things, and by the time I get them home, I wonder just why I needed them.    
There are also great chapters in this book about goal setting and planning for the future.  Ms. Soukup gives solid advice about putting off things we want now, to have the things we need later.  She explains how forgoing a few luxuries now (which are usually things we don't even need) can help us to have financial stability in the future.  I loved her advice to sit down and make a list of things you want to do and be and have in the future.  Keep this list close by, and when the temptation to make an impulse purchase arises, look at the list of things you really want, to help avoid spending unnecessarily.  I think that's a pretty genius idea!  I also really enjoyed the chapter about finding your sweet spot and reaching for your dreams.  It was very encouraging to read this from someone who's been there.  And while I obviously don't want to try something new and fail at it, it's nice to hear that failure isn't the end of the world.
This book provides a lot of information about saving money and making plans, and while that may seem overwhelming, nearly every plan that is mentioned can be downloaded from Ruth's website.  I can't even tell you how helpful I found this book to be.  I think it's a great book to read as you go into the new year.  If your resolutions include saving money, spending less or even reaching for some great dream that seems impossible, you should read this book.  Even if you don't want to implement all of the changes, you will find these words helpful and encouraging. 
Here's to less spending and more saving in the new year!

Happy Reading!

I was given an advance copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.  Look for a copy of Living Well Spending Less on or around December 30, 2014.

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