living well spending less book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

In a world filled with messages that constantly encourage us to pursue bigger and better things, temptations hide around every corner. When our minds focus on our lack rather than contentment, it steals our joy and doesn’t bring the happiness we expect. In her book, Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life, Ruth Soukup shares her own journey through the topic of personal finance and the lessons she learned along the way.

As a self-proclaimed spendaholic, her story of over-spending and self-indulgence nearly ended her marriage. Out of that mess and in an attempt to get her spending under control, she started a blog by the same name, Living Well Spending Less. Her original intent was simply to find better deals so she could buy all the things she still wanted without spending as much. But stuff doesn’t fill the void. You can have a house jammed with treasures (even ones acquired on sale) and still feel empty inside. As she found success sharing her story, she continued to work through her personal struggles with spending. What she learned is found in this fun and helpful book.

The topics she covers really hit all the bases. She begins by defining what makes a good life and weaves in contentment, personal passions, goal setting, time management and decluttering. The second half of her book is spent on the practical aspects of saving money. From stewardship and grocery planning to maintaining a clean house and living generously, her practical tips inspire creativity and action.

This is not a book written by a professional financial planner. It is a book written from real life learning rather than a specific model. Each action step is accompanied by several stories. Her humble mistakes, along with happy successes, inspire hope and action. Her more general approach to finance can be modified to fit unique circumstances. Living differently and spending within your means is only difficult if you never take the first step. This is a great book for anyone just getting started on their journey to financial stability or as a source of encouragement for those who have already made progress.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Sarah McCubbin is a homeschooling and foster mom in NE Ohio where she resides with her husband and 7 children. In addition to reading great books, she enjoys gardening, traveling and blogging at Living Unboxed.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperCollins Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.