I just read a book I intend to send along to my daughter. And I’d like you to know about it, too: Living with Less So Your Family Has More, by Jill and Mark Savage.
It seems perfectly tuned to our times. Global economic upheaval, recession, job loss, and threat of job loss. Downsizing has become almost trendy! Yet this book is far more than trendy. It’s good for families to read at any time. All families.
The title got me first. Less can actually be more when raising a family in our culture. As I travel and speak to Mom to Mom groups, I am frequently impressed with how hard it can be in our materialistic culture to raise kids with solid, sane, Godly values. In some ways it’s almost easier to do (in a strange sort of way) when we have externally imposed economic boundaries. If the sky’s the limit, it’s a lot harder (though still necessary) to set healthy spending limits with our kids.
We also tend to get confused, in our culture, about what matters most. Before we know it, the quest for the almighty dollar can squeeze the life right out of our homes. All-important relationships—with our spouses, our kids, our God, and others—all too easily get lost in the shuffle.
In this book, Jill Savage, CEO of Hearts at Home, and her husband, Mark, share some very practical steps you can take to stretch your few dollars farther. The last section of the book is full of down-to-earth strategies to help real-life families navigate tough financial times.
But the first two thirds of the book are even more important, in my opinion. In Part One, the Savages help you identify what your long-term vision is for your family. Then in Part Two, they discuss the attitudes that can help make that vision a reality. I especially like their emphasis on contentment and simplicity and the counter-cultural mindset needed to foster these attitudes.
The book has the ring of authenticity. The Savages live what they write. Good to know!
But what I like best of all about the book is that it’s far more positive than negative in looking at family finances. This is not a book about how to “grin and bear it” when your family feels the financial pinch. Rather it is a ringing affirmation that “less” can truly be “more” when you have your values straight and get your attitudes aligned accordingly.
BTW, in her blog, Jill frequently shares new and fresh tips on living large with less. You might want to check it out!