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Living Well, Spending Less

12 Secrets of the Good Life
Narrated by: Charity Spencer
Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Summary

Have you ever felt 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?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, this book provides 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.

"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)

©2014 Ruth Soukup (P)2014 Zondervan

Critic reviews

"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." (Renee Swope, best-selling author of A Confident Heart

What members say

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Profile Image for Cynthia
  • Cynthia
  • 16-01-15

My first self help audio book

This book is mixed with humor, bible verses, and how to break bad habits that could lead to financial disaster meaningless behavior. I will be looking forward to reading more my this author.

36 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Eileen Marie
  • 08-01-15

Very Helpful!

I live on a very tight budget. When I say tight, I mean it makes people around me on a typical tight budget grimace. I honestly wasn't sure what I could get out of "spending less". There are still many basic things I need! But what us addressed in this book is not so much a budget as it is your heart attitude. IMO, it was beautifully executed and extremely helpful. Especially the goal setting section! Definitely a worth while read!

33 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Jessica
  • 02-10-15

Well intentioned but too many suggestions to be helpful

The author makes some good suggestions in her book but it ends up feeling like a laundry list of conflicting advice. For example, we're meant to keep our house clean, volunteer, put others first, clip coupons, stock up on groceries, be silly and whimsical, be the best at our jobs but yet also make time for ourselves, cut back if we're over committed, be silent and still. You can't be all things to all people but that seems to be the resulting message of this book.

I also find the tiny feminist in me viscerally reacting to her examples of things women can do to volunteer, be a good wife, or even discover a hobby, such as: bake cookies, knit, craft, etc. It felt a bit archaic to me. What about figuring out how to start a business, learning how to code or physically defend yourself? I think the narrator's overly optimistic and cheery voice added to my perception, perhaps I would have been better served reading it in print.

44 of 51 people found this review helpful

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  • A.
  • 16-04-15

Good Advice

This was a nice refresher on how to scale back and focus on the important things in life. I liked the message of service and humility while serving God, family and friends, and others.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • 08-06-18

Could not get through it

I thought this was going to be a financial book, but she talks so much about the Bible and Christianity in the first chapter that I had to stop.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sunny
  • 07-02-17

Reader says, "la akki tahn." So sad.

If you could sum up Living Well, Spending Less in three words, what would they be?

Light. Lovely. Practical.

What other book might you compare Living Well, Spending Less to and why?

No other book I have read in this genre is written by a writer with this much depth of well rounded knowledge and true experience. She has read a lot of self help books. Tone reminds me of Marie Kondo and the "Tidying Up" book.

What didn’t you like about Charity Spencer’s performance?

So bad. She tries to be so persuasive that she sounds whiny and pushy. Moreover, she really turned me off when she "reads" L'Occitane, "la ah ki tahn." How is she a "reader?"

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The crazy husband maker.

Any additional comments?

Very good book. I'm a Christian so it really resonates. I can see some getting turned off by it. But, the advice is really good.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • your public name
  • 13-01-15

pray, pray, pray the mess away -- Yikes!

What disappointed you about Living Well, Spending Less?

I don't think praying is the best advice for this topic. How absurd!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Audible description needs to highlight that this book is for evangelical Christians only.

In chapter 1 (paraphrased): "The most important thing you need to do, beyond all of my other advice in this book, is to pray to God."

124 of 155 people found this review helpful

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  • Lauren Hickman
  • 29-08-18

DID NOT ENJOY

I did not like this book. I did not even make it past the first chapter if I am being honest. It sounded like a rich girl complaining about her shopping addiction and basically stating that it's okay to blow money if that is what makes you happy, but filling your home with random things is not happiness. It was so hypocritical from the beginning I just got frustrated. Plus it was also making me feel bad about myself and the things that I cannot do or afford for myself and my family. I just did not like this book at all.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • JaimieF
  • 17-08-18

A hard listen.

There is a LOT of "God" involvement in this book. As an agnostic, I am not going to pray for things so this is not a helpful book for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David J.
  • 04-06-18

Not what I expected

Expected a how to book with actionable information. However this feels more like a sermon than a how to book. Disappointing, I can’t even finish it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful