Saturday, July 25, 2015

Living Well Spending Less

Another popular home-type book: Living Well Spending Less.  It was okay--worth skimming really.  There's lots of descriptive self-disclosure in terms of her addiction to shopping that might help some people realize what that addiction looks like, but after a while it got a bit tiring.  This book was the result of her very popular blog (by the same name).  I know of the blog because she and her husband removed ALL their kids' toys for a while and then added back very few.
She does recount that story when she deals with the holidays.  She said they finally ended up with books, art supplies, a few dolls/lovies, some barbies and legos.  Christmas features a lot fewer gifts, and more of them are things they need like shoes, clothes etc.  They also focus on experiences like trips to the zoo or family trips.  She said they spend a lot of that season doing for others, and their family's favorite tradition lately is to bring cookies to the local fire station Christmas Eve.  They do other traditional charity work around holidays because they're teaching the kids that Jesus taught us to take care of people who can't take care of themselves.

They have no-gift birthday parties where any gifts brought go into the donate box so now friends and family do take them seriously and only bring gifts if they want to donate.

The book has practical advice for cleaning, saving money, couponing, sales etc. also.  They did a month of zero spending (almost--basic food necessities and bills and then ate what they could creatively from the pantry--saved $1,000 that month).  They did that by very seriously looking at wants vs. needs.  That included home repairs, gifts and basic purchases we often make.

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