Living Well, Spending Less | Love Your Life Not Theirs | The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

3 Books That Will Motivate You To Be Frugal, Save Money, And Pay Down Your Debt -- All Written by Women.

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Living Well, Spending Less | Love Your Life Not Theirs | The Money Saving Mom’s BudgetLiving Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup
Length: 5 Hours 15 Minutes
Published by Zondervan on December 30th 2014
Genres: Religion, Christian Life, Inspirational, General
Pages: 240
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780310337737

In Search of the Good Life
Have you ever that your life--and budget--is spiraling out of control?  Do you sometimes wish you could pull yourself together but wonder exactly how to manage all the scattered pieces of a chaotic life?  Is it possible to find balance??? In a word, yes.?? Ruth Soukup knows firsthand how stressful an unorganized life and budget can be. Through personal stories, biblical truth, and practical action plans, she will inspire you to make real and lasting changes to your personal goals, home, and finances. With honesty and the wisdom of someone who has been there, Ruth will help you:    
*    Discover your "sweet spot"--that place where your talents and abilities intersect.    
*    Take back your time and schedule by making simple shifts in your daily habits.    
*    Reduce stress in your home and family by clearing out the clutter.    
*    Stop busting your budget and learn to cut your grocery bill in half.    
Who Needs This Book?
Living Well, Spending Less was written to bring hope and encouragement to every woman who currently feels overwhelmed or stressed with a life--and budget--that feels out of control. It speaks to the mom trying to juggle all the demands of a busy life with the pressure to keep up with those around her.  It is a practical guide for those of us who often long to pull ourselves together but don't always know how. It is real, honest, packed with practical tips, and speaks to the heart of the matter--how can we live the life we've always wanted? Want to know if this book is for you?    
*    Do you ever find yourself comparing your life to those around you?    
*    Have you ever wished for the courage to follow your dreams?    
*    Do you ever struggle to stay organized or get things done?    
*    Have you ever felt loaded down with stuff you don't really need....or even really want?    
*    Do you ever struggle to keep your finances on track?    
*    Do you sometimes long for deeper, more authentic relationships in your life?
If the answer to any of these questions is YES, this book provides real and practical solutions from someone who has been there. Ruth doesn't just offer advice, she walks it with you, and shares with brutal honesty her own mistakes, failures, and shortcomings.  It is encouraging, motivating, and life-changing.
What Others Are Saying:
"An incredible book that will teach you how to spend smart without compromising a great life. Ruth's stories and practical advice will make you want to be a better mother, wife, sister, and friend."      --RACHEL CRUZE, coauthor with Dave Ramsey of Smart Money Smart Kids
"Ruth knows firsthand how mamas like us live crazy busy lives, and she steps in as a friend to help us manage and love every minute of it.  She offers her best tips for gaining control over the chaos with wisdom-based insights on all things thrifty and family. I'll be reading it again and again!"      --RENEE SWOPE, bestselling author of A Confident Heart

Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets Of The Good Life by Ruth Soukup actually had appeal to me because I have been going a bit wild with pinning frugal things on Pinterest. Soukup’s blog is one that comes up over and over. I ended up signing up for her mailing list after pinning some challenge and attempting to do it.

So, when I saw Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets Of The Good Life available via Hoopla on audiobook through the library, I had to download it. Well, after a few months. Alas, I did not love Living Well, Spending Less as much as I should have. I probably should have read a physical version instead of the audiobook.

For one, it’s a whole lot of religion. I understand this book is published by a Christian publisher, which is totally cool. I mean, even Dave Ramsey’s book has religion and I enjoyed it despite being a bit of a heathen. I just felt that via audio, it seemed overwhelming. I also felt like the information provided was sort of self explanatory and did not seem as actionable as I would hope. A lot of it was be grateful for the things you have and use a budget. Which, okay I understand. I also felt like the author was writing from a place of immense privilege and ended up in her situation due to overspending. It was hard for me to be as empathetic as I would have liked.

However, I still enjoy being on Soukup’s email list and continue to find her newsletters useful. So, this book was not entirely for me, but maybe you will like it more than I did.

Other reviews of Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets Of The Good Life by Ruth Soukup:

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Living Well, Spending Less | Love Your Life Not Theirs | The Money Saving Mom’s BudgetLove Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze
Published by Ramsey Press on September 14th 2016
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781937077976

In Love Your Life, Not Theirs, Rachel Cruze shines a spotlight on the most damaging money habit we have: comparing ourselves to others. Then she unpacks seven essential money habits for living the life we really want--a life in line with our values, where we can afford the things we want to buy without being buried under debt, stress, and worry.
The Joneses are broke. 
Life looks good, but hidden beneath that glossy exterior are credit card bills, student loans, car payments, and an out-of-control mortgage. Their money situation is a mess, and they're trying to live a life they simply can't afford. So why exactly do we try so hard to keep up with the Joneses?
Are we really living the lives we want, or are we chasing someone else's dream, just trying to keep up appearances on social media, at church, and in our community? Why are we letting other people set the pace for our own family's finances?
In Love Your Life, Not Theirs, Rachel shows you how to buy and do the things that are important to you--the right way. That starts by choosing to quit the comparisons, reframing the way you think about money, and developing new habits like avoiding debt, living on a plan, watching your spending, saving for the future, having healthy conversations about money, and giving.
These habits work, and Rachel is living proof. Now, she wants to empower you to live the life you've always dreamed of without creating the debt, stress, and worry that are all too often part of the deal. 
Social media isn't real life, and trying to keep up with the Joneses will never get you anywhere. It's time to live--and love--your life, not theirs.

Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits For Living The Life You Want by Rachel Cruze popped up on my radar while I was browsing the new additions page on the library website. I am always one for reading non-fiction when it comes to goals that I have. One of my goals is to get out of debt and have financial freedom. I am well aware that given my current finances, this is one of those long time goals.

However, the one thing that really keeps me on track and inspired to achieve my goals and desired habits is reading books and pinning things that relate directly to what I want to accomplish. I’ll admit that reading Dave Ramsey earlier this year lit a fire within me. Yet, after my car accident and getting a new used car, I began to spend less on bringing my debt down and more on building emergency savings. I also broke the rules and got a car loan for my Prius. It totally goes against the baby steps and the rules. I won’t justify except to say with a 130 mile round trip commute, I needed something reliable and good on gas. Anyways, so I am well aware that I fell off the wagon a little bit and have been turning to these books and pins to get back on.

Rachel Cruze, for those who don’t know, is Dave Ramsey’s daughter. I thought her perspective was interesting – given that it seems her parents paid her way through college so she had no student loan debt. Also, she grew up observing and being raised with good money habits. I am a wee bit jealous. However, the money habits in this book, while obvious are pretty solid too.

I especially like that the first money habit is to stop comparing yourself to others. She really develops her dad’s mantra for a modern day millennial audience. She talks about how pinterest and facebook and instagram make us long for more glamourous lives and more stuff, instead of being content with what we have. She talks about how we only see the perfect side of people’s lives via social media and not the other stuff. I could definitely relate to this — as I do see people going on great vacations and such. It gives me the travel bug, but then I remember I can travel too, just on a more budgeted level. Love Your Life, Not Theirs also talks about couples and money and being on the same page. I found this to be really relevant to my life. I also noticed how when talking about the types I am probably more of a saver and Josh is more of a spender. Although, if I was looking at my type a few short years ago, I would be more of a spender.

In all, Love Your Life, Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze is a great book if you’re a mid Millennial who is looking to examine your financial situation and to develop better habits. It really reiterates things we should probably already know and do, but don’t. I definitely felt really inspired by this book. I would recommend reading it and if you’re going to be frugal, borrowing it from your local library.

Other reviews of Love Your Life, Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want by Rachel Cruze:

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Living Well, Spending Less | Love Your Life Not Theirs | The Money Saving Mom’s BudgetThe Money Saving Mom's Budget by Crystal Paine
Length: 4 Hours 12 Minutes
Published by Simon and Schuster on January 10th 2012
Genres: Business & Economics, Personal Finance, Budgeting, Money Management, House & Home, General
Pages: 224
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781451646221

From one of Nielsen’s top 50 power moms comes advice you can take to the bank—literally!
Crystal Paine, who has helped busy women everywhere take control of their finances, presents her most effective strategies designed for families of all sizes and income levels. With hundreds of inspiring “why didn’t I think of that?” tips, plus worksheets, Paine breaks down your goals into easy, manageable steps so you can:
• Achieve a complete financial makeover • Set up a realistic budget • Never pay retail • Slash your grocery bill • Organize your time and your home • Use coupons wisely • Pay with cash only • Live simply • Become debt free • Choose contentment • Make every dollar count

The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, And Save Thousands a Year by Crystal Paine actually caused me to start reading Paine’s blog. I mean, I skim it every few days for deals especially now that it’s the holiday season. This was an audiobook that was suggested by Hoopla as I was adding Soukup’s Living Well, Spending Less. As it goes, I liked The Money Saving Mom’s Budget so much more than Living Well, Spending Less even if this one also has a bit of a religious bent to it as well.

Also, I should put as a caveat, I do not mind people who have religion. I think it is great and wonderful. I, however, do not. I also realize there’s a pretty big personal finance market that’s directed at people who are faithful. Yet, the advice in these books are pretty solid. So, I just suck it up and ignore the religious bits unless it’s overwhelming. Luckily, it is not very overwhelming at all with The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.

Okay, so I am pretty terrible at coupons, even though we specifically get the Sunday paper at our house ONLY for the coupons. I sometimes forget to clip them or whatever. Crystal Paine, however, breaks down how to use coupons and the system for organizing them. The advice is probably obvious to people who aren’t financial idiots. To me, however, it was like a revelation. I like that I finally understand how to use coupons and clip them and that it takes me like 30 minutes to prep the coupons for my grocery shopping, along with ad comparisons. So, really 30 minutes every two weeks saves me like $50. She also recommends Aldi which I am TOTALLY HERE FOR.

I think that if you’re looking for tips that are practical and actionable, you need to read Crystal Paine’s The Money Saving Mom’s Budget. It is easy to follow, easy to understand, and actually useful. I would definitely recommend this book. I would even recommend the audiobook. It’s a fast listen and even though the author, Paine, narrates it herself, not a bad narration.

Other reviews of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year by Crystal Paine:

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I am going to check out those first two books, since I am decided to go back to school full time and I am no long working I will definitely need to keep try of my spending.
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