I recently finished “So, You’re Broke” by Erin Johnson, and it was definitely a page turner, to put it lightly. For years I have struggled with getting my spending under control. While I never went out and bought a new car I couldn’t afford, or anything crazy like that, I did spend a fair amount of money on unnecessary things. At the end of my spending, I was consumed with buyer’s remorse and the guilt of savings spent. Despite the joy those purchases had in the beginning, I ended up feeling something like frogger, but the part where he gets ran over by a bus. At the end of the day, when I had finally run out of ridiculous things to purchase and my bank account was close to facing overdraft fees, there was Erin’s book.
I’ve read a lot of money saving books, blog posts, and been a part of many Facebook groups and other forums. I’ve looked for unique ways to reduce our spending, and new ways to save money. All of these are great, but nobody tells you what you’re supposed to do when you’re past the point of packing your lunch to save a few bucks. Erin’s book was the light at the end of the tunnel, the last effort to cross the road before that bus comes.
In the shortest overview I can possibly give “So, You’re Broke” is all about what to do with your money to live a rich life. If you can relate to anything I’ve said thus far, you need this book in your life. I found myself nearly highlighting the entire book. It’s that good. There were so many crucial takeaways that I had a hard time narrowing them down. Finally, I think I have figured out the most important things you will learn from this book and the things that encouraged and impacted me the most.
Lesson #1: Frugal living is for warriors
Frugality takes work, and is not for those who aren’t willing to work for it. Erin reminds us, “There is an endless supply of people out there who will criticize your choices, call you names like cheapskate, feel sorry for you (for what they perceive as being a deficient, unappealing, and poor life), and tempt you to spend your money on things that are unnecessary.”
The point is, we have to have thick skin, and know that frugality is not for the weak.
Lesson #2: Your income is not disposable, so stop throwing it out
I am a steadfast believer in budgeting, and that with a good budget anything is possible. I have worked with many close friends and family to rebuild their budgets and lay the foundation for them to pay off debt and start building their savings. Erin shares with us how to treat your budget like a road map, and use it to guide yourself to financial security. She reminds us that if you don’t have one, how will you know when you’ve reached your destination?
Lesson #4: Do without
I am great at finding unique uses for things around our home, but doing without is a little harder. Erin teaches us how to want what we already have and use the resources available to you. She makes a great example of how it took her 8 years to finally use her local library. I remember when I finally went with my Fiance to our local library to sign up for a library card. I was terrified because I didn’t know what to expect, I had never owned a library card before. I now use our library frequently to get e-books and find new recipe books.
Lesson #5: Learn from your Mistakes
One of the key steps to recovering from being a spender to being a saver is learning from your mistakes. I struggled with this for so many years. I was caught in a vicious cycle of buying, feeling guilty, then buying again. Erin’s book teaches you how to learn from your mistakes, and that setbacks are a part of life but they don’t mean failure.
So much good stuff, right? I can honestly say I’ve only scratched the surface of “So, You’re Broke.” Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this book and get started. It’s one book you won’t regret taking the time to read, and a weapon you’ll use often as a frugal warrior.
“So, You’re Broke” Giveaway
Dying to read “So, You’re Broke?” You could win a copy for free! Just enter via the form below and share with your friends for even more entries. Giveaway ends January 27th, 2017 at 11:59pm EST, and is open to U.S. residents only.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER/WIN. Sweepstakes begins Monday 01/09/17 at 8:00 AM EST and ends Friday 01/27/17 at 11:59 PM EST.
Open to legal residents of the United States. Void where prohibited by law. Odds of winning depend on # of eligible entries received.