When Less Becomes More : Making Space for Slow, Simple and Good by Emily Ley

Among the numerous books recently published on decluttering, minimalism and general advice on simpler living, When Less Becomes More is the latest entry in a long list of books with techniques and tips to make our lives more meaningful and simple.  I always seem to gravitate toward checking out these types of books, which all have practical information coupled with inspirational advice.  Emily Ley, who began creating planners and has expanded to books, has many helpful stories and antidotes that she has learned throughout her life and now is sharing with her readers.  She divides the book into multiple chapters each dealing with a certain issue and how to take small steps to enjoy things in moderation but without having them first and foremost in your life.  Below I’ve highlighted a few sections of the book and these include Ley’s personal stories peppered in between her advice.  She gleans a lot from her own life and how she built her business and other stories, which is helpful and makes her more relateable to her audience.  My only criticism of the book is that it would be more effective if she included more concrete tips of how to achieve these ideas / themes, no matter your personal situation.

Rush – With all the commitments that women have these days, Ley suggests saying a polite but firm, “no,” to things you are not passionate about and to question where you put your energy and priorities.

Technology  – Ley asks if there is beauty in a more analog existence and provides examples of times you may be able to turn off technology and do more connecting to the world and people around you.

Noise – Not only physical noise, but the noise you create with a busy life.

Wellness – Taking cues from your surroundings and yourself, focusing on what is best for you, both inside and out.

Chasing – Finding contentment with what is already around you and knowing when enough is enough.

As with many of these types of books, some of the suggestions and examples are clearly not for everyone.  In my opinion, these are good ideas but not everyone’s road to a simpler, more meaningful life will be the same.  Some of these tips are not feasible for everyone and some are easier to implement in your life.  When Less Becomes More has some good takeaways, similarly to other books in the genre, and are clearly the author’s take on this timely subject.  Even if you do not choose to do make every lifestyle change, this book is a good introduction to leading a not so hectic life.  If you are interested in jumping on board or if you are already familiar with the concept, When Less Becomes More is more reinforcement!



Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living

Time to start saving and doing what you want! Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living a young couple in their 30’s account of how they started investing in their future early on and at one time were even being extremely frugal enough to save 86% of their full-time salaries while working in corporate America. In less than three years Liz (Mrs. Frugalwoods) and her husband Nate were able to save enough to quit their jobs, buy a homestead property in the Vermont woods, leave the city, work from home, and support themselves through their investments and savings by being extremely frugal and thrifty. Throughout the book, the author acknowledges their privileges of both being white middle class Americans and raised by highly educated parents (interested? read more about “The Privilege Of Pursuing Financial Independence in her blog). Mrs. Frugalwoods does not curtail the reality of this and how their families and formative years played a key role in their financial education and upbringing ultimately leading to their financial freedom. Her “philosophy is that managing your money wisely enables you to pursue unusual aspirations and opens up a world of options for how to live your life”.

Meet the Frugalwoods is a real account of this small family’s story on their extreme frugality from giving up eating out or to no longer buying that $5.00 cup of specialty coffee from a coffee shop, giving up regular expenses such as make-up and clothing (interested in quitting spending money on clothes…read her clothing ban blog), using what you have or buying second-hand, to making sound economical and budgetary savings all of which are good tips for anyone looking at cutting corners and making the most of their income.  Read Elizabeth Willard Thames book and website – blog and learn how you too can start being more frugal and start saving your hard-earned money and turning it into the life of your dreams. Check it out! Learn about investing, saving money and moving yourself closer to greater financial independence.