The key message of Living with Less So Your Family Has More by husband and wife Mark and Jill Savage is that some basic budgeting, some common sense, and a dash of self-discipline can go a long way in conserving a family's funds and even generating new sources of cash.
In one pragmatic example, Mark tells about having a coupon for a free oil change at one business and a free tire rotation at another location. It took an hour to get the oil change, which made Mark impatient. He told the oil change workers just to go ahead and rotate his tires ($20) and to replace a worn out windshield wiper ($18). Yes, he got home earlier, but so what? The $38 he spent could have paid for a whole tank of gasoline. Dumb move.
The entire text is laced with such honest and insightful stories. This book is not so much a long lecture as it is a series of episodes that provide money saving examples. However, that is not to say that the book lacks solid procedures and techniques to follow. It has plenty of those, too. For example, in a lesson on how to do savvy shopping, the authors show how to (1) go online to find comparative pricing; (2) use a coupon from one store to get the same price at a different store; (3) use friends for referral discounts; (4) study the right publications, such as Consumer Reports; and (5) consider buying a slightly-used product at a greatly reduced price.
Along with dozens of practical suggestions and plans, the authors also believe in trusting God for abundant living. To that end they share incidents in which the Lord provided them with food during times of unemployment, new apartment fixtures when they had very little money, and even a phenomenal miracle of a totally unexpected $36,000 that was needed for them to fly to Russia to adopt an orphan. They talk about the need for intensified prayer, seeking God's favor and blessing for goals that are God-honoring.
Because many of the topics in this book are somewhat detailed, such as reducing health and dental and insurance costs, this is not the kind of book that a reader will sit and read straight through. It is a reference book that can and should be read a unit at a time, with action steps at the end of individual chapters. Anyone needing to get a better handle on his or her personal finances will benefit from the simplistic yet extremely functional processes found here. -- Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Today, more families than ever are trying to make it work on one income — whether they are faced with downsizing or are simply trying to live well while putting their families first. But is it really possible to live richly when only one parent is at work? In their book, Living with Less So Your Family Has More, husband-and-wife team Jill and Mark Savage say it is—they've been doing it for the past 23 years.