Living the Savvy Life: A Review

by Sarah Winfrey on 11 February 2011 0 comments

Living the Savvy Life isn’t strictly a personal finance book, though it includes tips for spending less, saving more, and achieving your financial goals. The focus of the book is on helping readers overhaul their lifestyle based on their personal goals and values (this is what the authors call “the savvy life”). If there are things you’ve always wanted to achieve but haven’t found the time and money to get started, this book can give you both the kick and the tips you need to begin today. 

Frugality with a Purpose

The authors of Living the Savvy Life, Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibbons, don’t advocate spending less for it’s own sake, but so that you can do the things you really want to do and achieve goals that are meaningful to you. For instance, many people say they want to travel but also say that they don’t have the money or the time to do it. Tosetti gives real-life examples of how she and her husband cut specific expenses and used the money they saved to pay for trips all over the world. (See also: How to Save Without Goals)

The authors don’t just propound this principle, but show you how you can apply it throughout your life. They discuss it in terms of finances, and in terms of time and possessions, too. And once they’ve talked about their ideas, they give you tips for actually cutting back. They offer strategies for getting rid of clutter so you can highlight the possessions you truly value, and they talk about choosing clothes that flatter you and will continue to be in style, and choosing items that complement the wardrobe you already have.

Even if you’re not quite sure what you’d like to spend your time and money doing, Tosetti and Gibbons have something to offer. In addition to their money and time-management tips, they have resources to help you determine where you want to focus your energies. By answering some simple questions, they help you decide what you’re passionate about and what doesn’t matter so much.

With its helpful-but-unassuming tone, Living the Savvy Life isn’t a book that you’ll hate, even if you’ve somehow heard everything it says before. In fact, you may find yourself wanting to befriend the authors simply because they seem like warm, interesting people. This lends itself to the book’s overall usefulness, because no one likes to feel preached to. It’s much easier to hear some of the things Tosetti and Gibbons have to say from people you’d invite into your living room for a chat.

A Renewed Focus on My Goals

Since it’s easy to get derailed when you’re living a savvy life in a culture that wants you to spend, spend, spend, they also offer some insights on staying motivated, focusing on your own goals, and getting back on track when things fall apart. They even offer tips on how to evaluate purchases when you’re standing in the middle of the store, unsure about the items you’ve brought to the checkout stand.

As someone who knows a lot about how to save money and who practices frugality as a matter of habit, I didn’t expect too much from yet another book about personal finance. However, Living the Savvy Life surprised me. It articulated many of the principles I’ve always lived by (saving in one area to spend in another), and it helped me put words to some of the things that I want to focus on. All of this has provided me with motivation that I didn’t have before, so I feel renewed in my efforts to be deliberate about where I choose to spend my time and money in order to focus my efforts and achieve my goals.

Who Should Read Living the Savvy Life?

It’s not too often that I find a book I would recommend to almost anyone, but Living the Savvy Life seems like one that nearly everyone I know could benefit from reading in one capacity or another. For the people who have already discovered most of the practical savings tips it contains, it offers motivation for pursuing financial and personal goals that are meaningful. Even for those with a lot of self-knowledge about what they value and why, it offers the chance to articulate these things again, perhaps in a new way, and to recommit to focusing on the things that matter.

P.S. If you haven’t heard of TheSavvyLife.com, you should check it out, too. The site offers articles and resources that aren’t in the book, but that will help you move towards the goals the book puts forth.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Living the Savvy Life for review.

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