The Average Family's Guide to Financial Freedom by Bill and Mary Toohey was a slightly refreshing change to the other finance books I have been reading lately. While it does talk some about investing, and cutting expenses, it contains many other tips to help you save money that I hadn't thought of prior!
Some of these tips include:
- Not indulging your children: they will learn to be more self sufficient, and they will be less likely to get into trouble. (Save money on counseling, rehab, or other costs associated with teens getting into trouble)
- Spending time building your family relationships: This helps your children develop their character, one that will allow them to leave home with the confidence and ability to succeed in the real world. (Which means they won't be living at home, or on your dime!)
- Getting enough sleep: If you aren't sleeping well, it affects every area of your life, including your stress levels and health.
Overall, these tips are all geared towards living a simpler life, whether it is less spending, learning to do things yourself, or finding ways to make a smaller space work. One example is their recommendation of only having one bathroom (I would prefer two, but I understand the principle). They have figured out a way to schedule showers, etc, and have a basket for each child for their toiletries when it is their turn to 'get ready'. They also keep a whiteboard on the bathroom door so they can write down things they may be in need of.
One nice thing about this book is that it doesn't spend a lot of time enforcing budgets, rather they focus on reducing your expenses by 'reducing' your lifestyle. In fact, they even say that it is important to indulge yourself every now and then so you don't feel like you don't have any money. I think this is a healthy thing to do, as long as it is in moderation.
There is a chapter dedicated to teaching yourself about investing. It contains some great resources, but that wasn't my favorite part of this book. I really like the idea of simplifying your life, and they write the book in a very readable, relatable voice.