Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book Review: Living and Spending Less 12 secrets of the Good Life

This is not what I was expecting from this book however I really enjoyed the book.  It was just what I needed at this time in my life.  I am making some major changes and Ruth really gave me a lot to think and reflect on throughout the entire book. I was able to come away with several solid suggestions to incorporate into my life right now.   

"Take time to write down your vision of the future and decide what is important to you.  Writing them down makes them real because once they are real you cannot ignore them. Start with the BIG PICTURE and then break it down into smaller goals."  
I needed to sit down and think and reflect and prioritize on where my focus should be as I enter this new phase.  I sat down with my notebook and did a lot of writing and I came up with several goals/objectives/DREAMS for my future.  I wrote them all down on post its and hung them up on the back of my craft room door. Ruth was right...this made them REAL.   

"The first 30 minutes of your day should focus on your long term goals....Your day should revolve around your goals....Focus in on a consistent morning routine with prayer and reflection."
This morning routine is an area I struggle with everyday.  I have a basic routine I want to do, however headaches and family life get in the way of what I want to do in the morning.  Sometimes I say I will come back to it later and I never do.  I have my morning routine in my daily tracker of my bullet journal so I can see how many days I skip vs. really do it.  

"Develop an evening routine that prepares you for the next day."  **Make sure you leave a clean first floor so your day starts of right. A clean first floor is very important to me.  I do not feel organized if the first floor is not clean.  It is such a good feeling to come down stairs in the morning to a clean kitchen and living room.  This is a must for a positive beginning of each new day.  

De-cluttering my home is an area I REALLY need to work on. I have a lot of stuff that I need to use or get rid of.  Right now I am working on the basement.  I am cleaning and organizing the storage area AGAIN because every year it gets out of control.  My goal is as each holiday rolls around I will get rid of several things.  Ideally I would only like to have one bucket of decorating things for each holiday except for Christmas.  

"Commit to a month of ZERO spending on anything but the barest of essentials."  Ruth wrote a book about this and I would like to read it.  It is an idea I am thinking of doing for Lent in 2017.  It would definitely be a challenge for me.  

“Rock Bottom Notebook”
"Keep track of sale prices in a notebook so you know if it is a deal and then stock up."

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea.  So many times I go to Target and Costco and I have no idea if the sale price is really a good deal or not. So I decided to take Ruth's idea and make a mini notebook that will fit into my purse and start writing down things that I always buy and list the best price.  That way when I have a coupon and see a sale price I can make an informed decision.  

"Show GRACE towards your friends and family.  The ones closest to us will occasionally disappoint us.  They will hurt our feelings.  They will annoy us.  They will forget to show up or say something stupid or make a decision we don’t agree with.  They will be flawed and imperfect and inadequate.  In other words, they will be human. 

To have a friend, we must be a friend…..that means showing grace when our friends don’t come through the way we want them to.  It means forgiving when necessary…..treating them the way we’d like to be treated." 

I needed to hear this.  I have been struggling with a mean interaction that I had with a friend a couple of months ago and I haven't been able to shake it.  It's time for me to forgive and forget and move on.  We are all humans and we all make mistakes.  I need to get over it.  

"Carve out time in your day for others…….
Loving our neighbors as ourselves is not a one time act; it is a way of life."

Where could you be more generous?
1.  I could be more generous with my mom.  She is getting older and I need to carve out some time to help her.  I am thinking Tuesdays will be my day now that I work part time.  I am going to go over there and see what I can do to help her around the house.  
2.  I want to help my daughter-in-law more...she is expecting a second child and the same as with my can I be helpful to her.   
3.  After reading the books Miracle on VooDoo Mountain and Kisses for Katie, I want to see what I can do to help others in another countries.  Whether it be sponsoring a child or setting up some kind of service project at school.  

Make a plan to volunteer more.....
Think about this once your schedule falls in you have more time to volunteer?  

As you can see from my notes this book is wonderful and it will give you lots to think about.  Ruth's writing style is easy to read.  

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