Book Review: Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup

Book Review: Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth SoukupLiving Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup
Published by Zondervan on December 30th 2014
Genres: Christian Life, General, Inspirational, Religion
Pages: 240

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life  is Ruth Soukup’s first book, following her wildly successful blog of the same name.  Ms. Soukup gives her readers even more of what they love about the blog: lots of creative, helpful ideas and advice for moms on a budget along with stories from her own journey to discovering what the Good Life is really all about.

Author Ruth Soukup sets out the best kept secret right at the start of her book, Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life – contentment, or the lack thereof.  So many of us – myself included – tend to forget how grateful we should be with our abundance of material wealth, and instead, we tend not be content with what we have.

In Chapter One of the book, “The Good Life is Not What We Think it Is,” we are cautioned about believing the hype of the constant “buy more” message. She says it isn’t the wealth (the “stuff”) that kills us, it’s the wanting, the longing, the insatiable desire that takes over our hearts and minds, leaving room for little else. Our financial ability – whether or not we can afford it – is not what is relevant. What is relevant is the desire of our heart. Society likes us to believe the “never quite enough” message, but the life consumed by always wanting more is not the Good Life.

This book was a little surprising but greatly refreshing to me.  Ms. Soukup shares and discusses six secrets that help you live better and six secrets about spending less. She is very straightforward and you can tell how her writing is heartfelt. She shares with the reader as if we are friends having coffee. I appreciated the fact that she doesn’t pretend to be a guru or even someone with all the answers, but instead, very humbly reveals her own shortcomings and challenges. Through her life experiences she provides practical, common sense advice to help the readers find what the “good life” means to them. I really related to what she was sharing in the book, and I appreciated the fact that she wasn’t “preachy” about it. She basically opens her soul and helps us feel the strength that our faith can provide.

This book isn’t only about saving money – it can actually adjust your way of thinking if you are ready. The definition of a good life is different for all of us, but each of us seek our own path to finding that life. Ms. Soukup doesn’t give you couponing advice or other advice I’ve seen before and instead, she provides thought provoking questions along with Bible scripture and steps readers can take to make the changes necessary to start living the life we want.

I’ve been around the block a time or two, so there are lots of things in this book that I knew or have heard before, but there are also many things that were new and to me. Ms. Soukup addressed spending, saving, budgeting, setting up a housecleaning plan, decluttering, time management, and many other things. Even some of the concepts I had known before were presented to me in such a fresh way that it made them more interesting and made me think about them in a different light. The book definitely gave me lots of things to reflect on and motivated me to re-think some of the choices I am making in my life.

I think this is a good well-rounded book that women in most stages of life can benefit from. I loved how well organized it is, and how well it lines up with the Bible. Ms. Soukup applies scripture in a very practical way and I really appreciated that.

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