Do you sometimes feel like your life could spiral out of control if you made one more wrong move? Do you want to pull yourself together but sometimes feel unsure of how to manage all the pieces of your chaotic life?
I started reading Ruth’s book, Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life around Thanksgiving… smack dab in a time that most people are in the holiday frenzy of spending. I took my time reading through the book, letting each chapter sink in, and I started implementing some of her suggestions. If I’m being honest, her book hit me right over the head. Here’s why: I (like a lot of you) struggle to balance all the demands of day-to-day life, add to that the pressure to keep up with that proverbial family…the Joneses and I was discontent. Many of my friends are upgrading houses and cars and I was feeling discontent in my own possessions. But that’s just it…they are possessions that are fleeting.
“It takes real effort to actively long for the intangible and to truly want something we can’t see or touch or feel. But when we really begin to look at our lives in terms of eternity—even if for just a few minutes—instead of what we want right now, having a designer wardrobe or a bigger house or a prettier kitchen suddenly doesn’t seem quite so important.”
Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things. Ever since I was old enough, I could walk into a store and want the MOST expensive thing without ever looking at a price tag. (It’s more of a curse than a gift!) Growing up we didn’t have a ton of money and I’m one of four kids. I was never without anything that I truly needed, but thankfully my parents taught me how to handle money the right way. We saved for everything we bought and never made extravagant purchases we couldn’t afford.
“Stuff isn’t bad or dangerous in and of itself, but in a world where we are constantly told that what we have isn’t quite good enough, the love of things can so easily consume us. The pursuit of it all—more toys, cuter clothes, a prettier house, a nicer car, a newer computer, a fancier phone—makes us forget all the things that actually matter.”
It’s easy to get sucked into comparing ourselves to others and the one thing we compare most is: how much STUFF do I have compared to my friend, neighbor, or even that blogger I’ve never met. Do you do it? I know I have had my fair share.
I am BLESSED. There’s absolutely no other way to look at it. Yet, I let myself start comparing. I compare my house to my friend’s shiny, new, bigger home. I compare my car to my neighbor’s or how successful “her” blog is compared to mine. Comparison is truly the thief of joy. Before starting Ruth’s book, I found myself all too often discontent, but as I read and soaked up her words a peace came over me and my eyes were opened to all the blessing that are right in front of me.
Her book gave me that AHA moment but it’s also full of practical advice like: budgeting, learning how to cut our grocery bills in half by making five simple tweaks to the way we shop, and creating a practical, workable cleaning schedule. (All the things we need to get under control before we can start to focus on our GOOD LIFE.)
I want us all to be able to overcome the destructive cycle of “more is never enough” by instead learning to choose contentment right where we are. This book can help you step off the treadmill of always trying to keep up, and instead take back your time by making simple shifts in your daily habits.
Discover your own secret of the Good Life in Ruth Soukup’s new book, Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life. Through personal stories and practical action plans, she will inspire you to make real and lasting changes to your personal goals, homes, and finance. It is real, honest, and speaks to the heart of the matter—how can you live the life you’ve always wanted?
**All the quotes within this post are from Ruth Soukup’s book, Living Well Spending Less: 12 Secrets to the Good Life.**
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