Becoming debt free and starting to really make your money work towards your values instead of against them excites many of us! We’ve lived the debt-burdened life and don’t want it anymore. We proudly wear the title of “recovering spender.”
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I received a copy of The Recovering Spender by Lauren Greutman in order to review it. Since my husband and I paid off all our debt several years ago using Dave Ramsey’s plan, I was excited to see what insights Lauren had to bring. Let me just say that Lauren opens up her life in this book. It’s not just a list of what you need to do, but it speaks to the heart of the spender and says, “You can regain control of your life! You don’t have to feel ashamed and out of control any more. There is hope. Here is my story. This is what I’ve learned and I’m going to share exactly what I did with you.” And she truly does.
Lauren opens up about the prideful, tough moments of her life, how she became a spender and how she is in recovery from it and always will be. She shares exactly how she and her husband paid off over $40,000 of debt in about four years. She breathes fresh hope into the lives of other spenders. But this book is not only for spenders. It’s got something great for savers too–some great tips on how to save more money, make more money, and how to help the spender in your life, especially if you are married to one.
Spender or Saver?
In order to get out of debt and save money for the things we hold dear, many times we first have to take a step back and see what money actually means to us. How do we use money? Are we more of a Spender or a Saver? Then, we can see how best to approach our view of money and change it to work for us instead of against us.
You may be a spender if you…
- Purchase things on impulse like a new outfit, a dog, an expensive purse, or a house!
- Hide purchases in your trunk so your spouse won’t see them.
- Feel guilty about the money that you’ve spent.
- Try not to spend money but then see something and blow your budget.
- Don’t have a budget. Budget? No, that’s too constraining!
- Have a budget but try to figure out how to rearrange the money so you can purchase that item.
- Have credit card debt that rolls over from month to month.
- Feel crushed by the amount of debt you owe, but can’t stop spending.
- Buy things when you feel stressed.
- Don’t know how much money you have in your bank accounts.
- Don’t know how much money you owe or when the bills are due.
You may be a saver if you…
- Want to put your spouse on an allowance.
- Cringe at the thought of your spouse doing the grocery shopping.
- Buy only exactly what you need and nothing more.
- Know how much is in checking, savings, retirement, etc.
- Know exactly how much money you owe and when it will be paid off.
- Aware of the bill due dates.
- Don’t like “wasting” money.
The Recovering Spender
Whether you are a Spender or married to one, Lauren Greutman’s new book, The Recovering Spender, is a must-read.
As a Spender…
you will learn how to regain control of your life and stop feeling ashamed of the money spent.
As a Saver…
you will learn how to engage the Spender in your life in a way that truly encourages them to make adult choices instead of treating them like a child and putting them on an allowance.
Financial Bucket List
As a Spender herself, Lauren made highly impulsive decisions, from coming home with a pug on a whim to charging $12,000 on her credit card to win a “free” car to going away with her husband to visit her brother-in-law and coming back with a deed to a new home! What finally made her change was something simple, but it took a lot of practice. She sat down separately from her husband and thought about what she truly valued. In the book, she provides a “Financial Bucket List” so you can write down what you value in different areas of life. Then, it’s important to come together with your spouse and to discuss both of your values.
By doing this, you will be able to use your money to work towards your values instead of against those goals. Then Lauren took action, finding ways to save money and to make money as a stay-at-home mom, so that they could pay down their debt and save money for the things they valued most!
Take a minute and list in your mind a few things that you value.
No worries, I can wait…
“My guess is that you weren’t thinking about upgrading your cable package or buying that new Coach purse you’ve been coveting. In fact, that question probably helped you to think about your money in a whole new light. You probably thought about your family, your faith, your job, or your health. Those things that you think about, those are your true values, so start making your spending a reflection of your true value system.” – The Recovering Spender
When we see that the value of money is really about aligning it with our core values, we get a real sense of purpose and it becomes easier to change our spending habits to meet those values.
One of the things that impressed me the most was how Lauren was able to take the dread out of the “B”-word (Budget) and turn it into a comforting tool. She encourages us to establish our budget in a different way than I’ve seen before. Her method seems less frustrating and complicated than what I’ve done in the past, and her approach sets you up for success instead of failure.
Money in Marriage
When you are married, it is extremely important to understand each other’s values. It’s the starting point to openly communicating and working together to keep finances from tearing your marriage apart. Start dealing with:
The Underlying Financial issues in your relationship
Be aware of your culture differences
Make a Financial Bucket List together
Make your marriage flourish
-The Recovering Spender
About her marriage, Lauren states:
“The biggest reason we were able to be on the same page was because we were communicating and taking responsibility for our own actions. There was no more finger-pointing and blaming, only a team effort working toward the same goals.”
She gives many great tips about how couples who have completely different value systems around money can come together, discuss, and work towards the same goal. Financial issues do not have to destroy marriages!
Hope & Purpose
Through the pages of Lauren’s book we see hope for those who struggle with spending money and purpose. We see that we can learn what we didn’t know before, and we can create new habits that align with our values. In doing this, we see from her example, that we can free our lives from the chains of debt and we can also free ourselves from cluttering our lives with things that can never truly make us happy. Reflecting on her journey that was filled with so much pain, loss, and out of control habits, she said,
“I feel like I am doing exactly what God has called me to do, which is use my weakness to teach others. To teach you how you, too, can become a Recovering Spender.” – Lauren Greutman
Be encouraged to live a fulfilled, debt-free life and pick up all Lauren’s tips and tricks on how she did it in her book, The Recovering Spender!
Check out Lauren’s new book as well as a few of her others.
(Plus, I added my favorite erasable pens. I found these extremely helpful for budgeting and planning out events and writing bill due dates on our calendar.)
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