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Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life
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Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,901 ratings  ·  347 reviews
Popular blogger, Ruth Soukup (with 1.6 million unique monthly visitors to Living Well, Spending Less) offers tips, advice, and inspiration for living on a budget.



Ruth Soukup knows what it is like to want what you can�t afford. And she knows the downward spiral of out-of-control spending and how it can consume your life, eat up your time, and destroy your relationships. Whe
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Audio CD, 5 pages
Published December 9th 2014 by Zondervan on Brilliance Audio
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John Markos O'Neill
Feb 23, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: given-up
This book is deceptive, because it claims to be about controlling spending, but it's actually a religious book, with a Christian point of view that creeps into everything. As a non-Christian, I found it hard to take, because everything has a religious bent. It's possible to write an advice book with a wider audience: Soukup simply chose not to do that. "What Color Is Your Parachute," was written by a former Episcopal minister who made no secret of his faith. Nevertheless, Richard Nelson Bolles m ...more
Christy
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-audios
3.5 stars

I listened to this audio book thinking it would be a great way to get some good ideas for getting organized and boosting my savings account since I have some pretty big goals for the next year or two such as selling our condo and buying a house, and possibly doing IVF or adoption- all of which are expensive. While this had a lot of great tips in it for spending less, time management and organization etc,it wasn’t quite what I was expecting… Much more of a biography of sorts with many r
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Sue
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping for more, "Spending Less".....what I got was "I, me, my, our". I won't be fooled again by someone who charges me to talk about her life.
Mal
Dec 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not at all what I expected. I had no knowledge of Soukup's blog, so I went in blind. Right away, I was put off by all the Bible verses. I have no problem with Bible verses when I'm expecting to read Bible verses, but they caught me off guard in what I thought was a book about saving money. I sort of felt like I was being preached to.

Soukup talks a lot about her shopping addiction, which I couldn't care less about. The second half of the book is what's actually worth reading. This i
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Daniel
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ruth is a blogger who made her foray into personal finance writing after a series of financial missteps. This book is targeted at Christian women who (surprise) spend a lot of money. This ‘wisdom' is divided into 12 secrets:
1. The Good Life is Not What We Think It Is: A life well lived is not so much about what we have but about who we are
2. Contentment is a Choice: Longing for what we don’t have keeps us from the Good Life
3. We All Have a Sweet Spot: Finding that place where our passion and abi
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Jennifer
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow - I really loved this book! The conversational tone and plethora of practical ideas for transforming your bank account AND (more importantly) your life, really spoke to my heart. So much good information packed into a short, quick read. I am currently combing through her website printing out all the helpful worksheets she has for EVERYTHING! Totally re-organized my bedroom closet after reading about her 40-hanger wardrobe, and am eager to complete so much more after reading this tome... feel ...more
AudreyLovesParis
Feb 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, but the author's self-absorption and overuse of Biblical quotes ruined this book for me. Don't bother reading it.
Ivonne Rovira
Nov 10, 2016 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians in their manic phase
If you’re looking for a book to tell those in the bottom three quintiles of America how to stretch a dollar, then Ruth Soukup’s Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets to the Good Life is not for you.

And, even if you’re looking for a guide to decorating for less, which is ostensibly what appears in Soukup’s blog, this book is not for you.

However, if you have a disorder where you’re driven to buy expensive décor and constantly remodel your home, even though it already looks like a Homerama showpla
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Erin Moore
Am I a memoir? Am I a financial book? Am I a productivity book? Disappointed in this one.
TheGeekyBlogger
Listened for Review (Brilliance)
Overall Rating: 3.00
Tips Rating: 3.50
Delivery Rating: 2.50

Audio Rating: 4.00 (not part of the overall rating)

First Thought when Finished: Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup had some great tips for learning to live with less but with a fuller life. Unfortunately, it was slightly buried under a rather haughty (for lack of a better word) attitude.

Overall Thoughts: First let me admit that I have read both Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and The Power t
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Teresa Costa
Jun 26, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am currently working on making my life more simple and organized. As such I am reading all books I can find on the subject.

Yes, this book is religious. And I think that a lot of very outwardly religious women who want to talk in their Bible studies about "how hard it is to change" will love this book. It's very enabling. It's written by someone whose idea of a grocery budget for a month was over $1000 - her "spending habits" never landed her family in the legitimate poor house and her idea of
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Amanda
Nov 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is deceiving. The title of it drew me in and when I opened the book I discovered it was a Christian book, heavy with verses. I grew up Catholic and I am open to all things, but this threw me off. As I went on I felt zero connection to the author or her content. As someone who is not religious, I did not feel a connection to the verses or words she used.

I was also unsympathetic with her "shopoholic" issue because it appeared very fake. I could not connect with her at all and I could not
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Bea  Charmed
3.5 stars

I read a review of this on a blog and decided to give it a try. I can always use help with budgeting and cutting spending. The review warned that the book was Christian based and Bible based. Since the blurb doesn't indicate either of those facts, I appreciated the heads-up. As I read, I skipped over religious parts and the numerous Bible verses.

The first part of the book, the author talks about her shopping addiction, her spending problems, her depression, and how her marriage and fami
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Lori
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More than I expected and the author's story hits very close to home for me. I spent feeling as though each purchase brought me closer to completion when in actuality, it made me feel incompetent. When listening to this boo, it humbled me and made me feel embarrassed that I would entertain the notion that I needed more, when in fact, I had/have more than I could ever ask for!

I am not a religious person, but I respect and see the value of the scripture quotes as well as nonreligious quotes that i
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Kari
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not just a finance book. Lots more in it to help you think about "The Good Life". Loads of practical stuff... though most of it is not new to me, it's always encouraging and refreshing to read how others put the same ideas to work in their own life.
Deidra
Feb 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Book club book for February. Didn't like it at all. The author was very self-righteous. Just not my style of book.
Suzanne Arcand
Dec 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, spiritual
If there were a way to put less than one star, I would. I really disliked it (an understatement) for two reasons. First it doesn’t deliver on what it promises. Second, it presents itself under the false pretense of a self-help book.

"LIving Well Spending Less" was quoted in a book that I enjoyed so I decided to give it a try. I can always use a few hints on how to save money and manage my time better. But all it doles out are generalities and platitudes. Was there a single person left who needed
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Bobbi Woods
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
This book attempts to remind the reader that overspending is an "addiction" and that our attachment to material things and "keeping up with the Jones'" will eventually lead down a very bad path--loneliness, bankruptcy, etc. Having more "stuff" will not make us happy and Soukup quotes Scripture to help us detach from wanting more and focus on the real things in life that will bring happiness such as family, friendships and service to others. "Retail Therapy" is NOT COOL, people!

What I really like
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Shanae
Dec 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a few weeks to finish this book and I really can't explain why. Ruth Soukup provides a few great tips for living minimally and I appreciate the Christian perspective she brings to her writing. The problem here is that Ruth Soukup isn't saying anything new. We've heard this all before and, as a result, LIVING WELL SPENDING LESS is forgettable. If you have read her blog, visited the blogs of counterparts, or read any other self-help book about money management, then you've got Ruth's 12 ...more
Lynne
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been following Ruth's blog for a while now, always finding something that I can use or think about. This book is no different. I can tell that I will be going back to it, letting things sink in and filter through my life. Spending less is an absolute goal of mine in 2015 (I have 20K in debt I want paid off by 2016, then it's college saving) and I have no doubt that Ruth's book will be a factor in that.
Amber
Coming with high recommendations, I expected a lot from this book and it truly delivered. There are both practical and spiritual truths attested to within its covers. All in all a great read and a book that encourages you to do more with your life while not guilting you into it. It leads the reader towards the "good life."
Lisa
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
A great book to reset your values for the new year! No matter your circumstances you can relate to some aspects of this book! Easy read!
Rachelle
Jul 28, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would not recommend this book unless you are looking for a religious supplement. I was hoping for more information on saving and organizing. Could have done without all the proselytizing.
Chris Miller
Jun 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found it unrealistic and really for rich people that want to cut back a little... "Drive your Tahoe for another year" type advice
Jessica
Jun 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There was a Bible quote on every single page. If you are a regular reader of finance blogs and Suze Orman this book offers absolutely nothing new.
Kelley
Mar 06, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am all about living well and spending less, but I didn't realize this book took a religious slant to this topic. -Too preachy for me.
Lin
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: religious folk
If I didn’t feel duped into buying and reading this book, pretty much a disturbing waste of time, I wouldn’t go into as lengthy a review, but feel I need to push back at the sermon this book is (when it isn’t directly about herself.) My best lesson from this book: read the blurbs more carefully.

This is really a book about a troubled young mother who came dangerously close to losing her marriage and uses religion to stabilise and glorify herself. She heavily quotes the bible throughout.
If you t
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Summer
While a lot of reviews only gave her one star because it was Christian based and mentioned she hid the fact, (she mentioned it in the Prologue) I found this book encouraging and a kick-in-the-pants to hone several areas of my life. Also, just because you aren’t a Christian/Jew doesn’t mean you can find encouragement in the Bible, like other religions or wisemen: Buddha, the Dalai Lama, etc.

I enjoyed her secrets for saving more on groceries without using coupons (yay!) and I also enjoyed her or
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Karen
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't familiar with the blog when I started this book. I choose to read it based on the title and description. Overall, it just wasn't about what I thought it would be. I was expecting a book which provided details about budgeting, planning, and money saving tips. While there are a few of those, this book is mostly about philosophy and religion. It was mostly, "appreciate what you have and you won't want" and while I may agree, it's not why I picked up the book. I did listen to the audio vers ...more
Shirley
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I liked the Christian aspect to it and likely would have given it a higher rating had this not been the fifth book I'd read on decluttering.
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89 followers
Ruth Soukup is a writer, photographer, DIY lover, passionate homemaker, and founder of LivingWellSpendingLess.com. Begun simply as a way to hold herself accountable as she attempted to replace her shopping addiction with a sustainable budget, LivingWellSpendingLess.com has since grown to be one of the top frugal lifestyle blogs on the web, averaging over 700,000 unique visitors and 1.4 million pag ...more
“Likewise, you can’t live a truly productive, contented, and joy-filled life while your finances are in complete disarray. A Good Life and financial stability go hand in hand.” 1 likes
“My friends, I’m quite sure you all have a sweet spot too. My hope and prayer for you is that you will become fearless in all that you do, and you’ll dare to take the plunge, even when it means risking failure. Remember those words of Philippians 4:13 (NKJV): “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Don’t let the possibility of falling short deter you from trying. Don’t let the naysayers or that little voice in the back of your head prevent you from taking action. Don’t let the messiness or trial-and-error nature of the process deter you. You will make mistakes. You will screw up along the way. There may even be times when you have to admit defeat. Keep going. Use those lessons as opportunities to discover what doesn’t work, and always persevere.” 1 likes
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