Do you work for your money or does your money work for you? I talk to my kids about this a lot because I want them to understand the power (and dangers) of money. Money provides many things we need and that make our lives better. It also has the power to derail our happiness if we use it irresponsibly or don't manage it well.
I recently met an amazing woman named Lauren Greutman from I Am THAT Lady who shared her inspiring story with me. She was an out-of-control spender who racked up over $40,000 in debt and managed to pay it all off and take control of her money. Through her Financial Renovation course she's helped her “students have paid off over $250,000 worth of debt and put over $50,000 in savings accounts.” After much prodding from her loyal following, she's finally published a book about her journey called The Recovering Spender. In my opinion, it's a must-read for EVERYONE.
Who Should Read The Recovering Spender?
The book is written to help those whose spending is out of control and for those who are married to them. Unlike other finance and budgeting books, Lauren's story is so relatable. She is astonishingly candid in the book, bravely exposing her personal aspirations to impress others, be seen as successful, and embarrassed to admit mistakes. As I was reading it, I thought to myself that some of the thoughts she reveals are ones I am sometimes even ashamed to admit to MYSELF when I have them. Why would she open herself up and be so vulnerable? Because she truly wants to help others!
“It was difficult for me to open up, but I felt it was well worth it for my readers. I wanted the book to be so open and honest that anyone could feel like they could relate.” – Lauren Greutman
If you feel like you are drowning in debt, The Recovering Spender is your lifeline. Every thought you've had, Lauren has thought too. Every doubt you've had, she's had. Every guilty feeling you've experienced? Lauren lived through it too. You CAN turn your life around because she did and she's going to walk you through how she did it. The best part is – she tried everything else. All that other budgeting advice that hasn't worked for you? There's a reason why, and she'll help you understand it. She'll help you into recovery where you'll become creative and turn money management into a fun endeavor.
If you're a devoted saver who happens to be married to a spender, this book is even more important for you. Lauren gives you a peek inside the mind of a chronic spender. Much like other addictions, the behavior is illogical to outsiders. Until you understand why the spender you love can't simply stop, you won't be able to help him or her. The Recovering Spender helps bridge this gap. I'm certain that the sage advice provided in the book will save many marriages that would otherwise fail due to the financial stress. You can build a stronger marriage as partners, once you understand one another.
What If Out-of-Control Spending Isn't a Problem in my Family?
In my family, my husband is more of a shopper and I'm more of a saver. However, I didn't feel like either of us was extreme in our behavior. And yet, reading this book inspired us to do a complete overhaul of our finances. We realized that we were being sloppy with our finances, and consequently, wasting a lot of money! Even though I do annual check-ups on our finances as part of my annual get organized effort, we routinely go out to eat on a whim or drop extra items in the cart at the store. After reading The Recovering Spender, my husband and I sat down and went over our finances in detail, set up goals and action plans, and established a weekly meeting time to review and adjust.
I love having this one-on-one time with my husband that is solely devoted to planning for our family's happiness and future. I also like the example we are setting for our children as we do it. So, even if financial stress isn't tearing your marriage or life apart, The Recovering Spender is full of ideas and inspiration to align your money management with your personal values.
I know it seems counter-intuitive to spend money on a book to help you save money, but I promise you that if you read The Recovering Spender and put its advice to work, you will get more than your money's worth! If you're an out-of-control spender, this book is life changing (and I don't use that term loosely).