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I had the privilege of reading a new book by fellow blogger, Kim Anderson, Live. Save. Spend. Repeat. Kim is a blogger at Thrifty Little Mom and focuses on money, one of my least favorite subjects. Money is like food to me, very hard to deal with in moderation.
Live. Save. Spend. Repeat.: The Life You Want with the Money You Have is an easy read that doesn’t feel preachy or repetitive, which I fully appreciate as many nonfiction budgeting books have a tendency to be dry and constantly repeat themselves.
The book is broken into three parts – Live, Save, Spend.
Part one is about finding out where you stand with money and creating a budget. It’s about getting your finances in one place so that you can get a full picture of where you really stand. Her upbeat and positive attitude really shine in this first section because creating a budget isn’t fun. Taking a hard look at your financial reality can be tough, and Kim’s attitude is friendly and encouraging as she takes you through the steps. To be fair, she doesn’t paint everything in rainbows and roses, either. She keeps it real, she’s just sweet about keeping it real. It’s definitely a talent I don’t possess.
Since we’re currently in the pay off debt stage, I did like her budget although with Dan’s erratic part time teaching, we have to create our own budget worksheet. Many of her thoughts resonated with our current predicament especially nailing down our free spending categories. This is the dreaded food category. You can follow along with our pitiful flight in exact things with our no out to eat October here and here (which has been such an utter failure, but yet super eye opening at the severity of our problem).
Part two focuses on saving. This was by and far my favorite section of the book because you get to create you Momentum Milestones. Momentum Milestones are 1, 3, 5, and 10 year goals that fall under money, relationship, career, physical health, and bucket list. I love creating goals and dreams, and Kim walks you through setting up these milestones and encourages you to dream big, especially for your bucket list. It was fun throwing out ideas to my husband and listening to his responses. He definitely LOVES my career aspirations because that’ll take the pressure off him allowing him more time and money to spend on music (once debt is paid off, of course).
Part three is all about spending but not in the way you think. It’s about spending to pay down debt. It’s about what happens when life derails our best laid plans because it will happen at some point. My second favorite part of the book was in this third part, Creating Momentum without Spending a Dime. Kim brainstorms some great ideas of things to do that cost no money as well as Momentum Boosters – ways to speed up reaching your goals. We incorporate many of these, but I still took away a few new ideas. I especially love the movie at home idea – watching a movie at home with some dollar store candy or making popcorn and creating an event at home. We really do need to become more picky on movie options and when a movie comes out that we want to see, make it a fun event night!
Overall I recommend, Live. Save. Spend. Repeat. There are several reasons:
- It’s an easy, quick read. It’s not dry and boring. I don’t feel like I’m reading stereo instructions.
- Kim offers a solid budget worksheet. It doesn’t work for my family, but I have yet to find one that does so I can’t ding her budget for our weird financial situation.
- I love her Momentum Milestones. You can find many goal worksheets out there, but I do appreciate how Kim presents them and offers suggestions.
- Live. Save. Spend. Repeat. Is full of helpful suggestions and ideas geared towards paying off debt, creating big plans, how to handle curve balls thrown your away presented in a simple, easy to apply kind of way.
- Her attitude about debt and budgeting is similar to my attitude on healthy eating. Do the best you can and realize life happens. It’s okay. Get up and try again. I appreciate the approach of be kind to yourself during a difficult journey.