A Savvy Decision
Tuesday January 11, 2011

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It is with three thumbs up, if only I had that many to raise, that I would give Living the Savvy Life: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Smart Spending and Rich Living written by Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibbons.

I came to learn about this book through one of my favorite bloggers and blogs How To Be Chic and in doing so contacted Melissa Tosetti almost immediately.  Simply based on reading the description I had a very good inkling that this book would be something not only The Simply Luxurious Life readers would enjoy, but would also find to be a valuable resource in creating a more balanced and fulfilling life. I was not disappointed.

Beginning with the premise that a savvy life is one which includes balance, it continues to go in depth with individual chapters focused on money, home organization, entertainment, wardrobe, beauty and food. After all, Tosetti and Gibbons remind the reader continually, that in order to create the life we want, we must prioritize – saving money by not purchasing and spending money on things that are of little or no importance to us, so that we may be able to spend our hard earned money on things that are of great priority.

While this concept may sound simple, living a savvy life is one that involves discipline, and whether we want to admit it or not, money is at the bottom of the foundation of the life we want to build.

Financially speaking, the authors speak to the readers, as though you are having a conversation. Examples from their own experiences are given which makes it much more personable and honest. I particularly appreciated their approach in how they talk about money. The concept of planning to be successful will ultimately help lead to a more confident person who steps forward in pursuit of the life they want. Most importantly, we must all know where our money is going and exactly how much we make and thus spend, but instead of purchasing an expensive Microsoft Money or Quicken program, why not just use Excel?

Now if talking about money for an entire book seems a bit much, don’t worry.  There are wonderful chapters on how to be a savvy shopper for your kitchen and your closet, as well as simple ways to make sure you are able to enjoy the entertainment you wish to spend your money on.

One of the tests I have in determining whether a book will be passed on to my friends and family, and now my readers, is if I am annotating madly as I read. And, in this case, it began on the first page, while at the same time I was jotting down notes in my notebook. Here are just a few of the many specific ideas suggested on how to create a more savvy way of life that immediately caught my attention:

*Create a weekly cleaning list

*Create a spa-like atmosphere in your master bath (add an orchid, bamboo, etc)

*Drink 1 glass of water with each meal

*Enter expenditures daily into Excel program

*Sign-up for Ebates

*Call cable, telephone and credit card companies quarterly to look into lowering bills or taking advantages of special offers

*Only purchase things you love

*Create a family cookbook, complete with plastic covers to protect each recipe

*Visit one of your favorite boutiques each pay period

*Set up your closet like a boutique

*Do not use a credit card a second time until you have paid off the balance in full

*Come up with five different dishes you can serve when you have guests over that allow you to enjoy your company and give you the peace of mind that dinner will be delicious and very much enjoyed by your company

*Create your own style book

The list could go on and on.  The specifics that are given endlessly is one of the reasons I know this book will be a resource for me.  Not only do the authors share their own ideas, but they share interviews with respected professionals in their fields – for example, with Michael Chiarello (of Food Network fame), excerpts from Debra Ollivier’s A Woman’s Guide To Finding Her Inner French Girl, five pages full of titles of books suggested as references on all of the topics discussed in the book and at the end of each themed chapter, a list of 10 Tips for that particular topic.

The beauty of this book is that it reminds us that we truly are “the designers of our lives”.  Because as they see it, and I couldn’t agree more, “You are the artist and a savvy life is yours to create.”

I highly recommend this book for anyone who desires to perpetually grow, live their best life and create their very own success story. 

13 thoughts on “A Savvy Decision

  1. I am hooked Shannon, thank you for sharing this find with us. Perfect timing as we start a new year. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
    xoxo Carrie

  2. Shannon — thank you for this recommendation and for sharing some of the highlights. I love the suggestion of “setting up your closet like a boutique”. It makes so much sense to “merchandise” what you own, so it is easier to find and to imagine what it will go well with. Thank you, also, for featuring me in your newsletter! Please keep the words of wisdom coming. Happy New Year, ebh

  3. I LOVE Melissa Tosetti’s ideas and a fan for the last few years! She has a great newsletter called The “Savvy Life Newsletter” ( formerly called Budget Savvy)which is chock full of great ideas and fun stories! I am excited for this book!! Enjoy!! xo

  4. You would like the book The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly. It is an inspiring summary of all the things that you are longing for and striving for in this life. If you read five to ten pages of the book every day, it really keeps you going and allows you to better keep everything in perspective.

    Living the Saavy Life sounds great, too!

  5. As an avid reader of non-fiction I am definitely off to buy this book NOW!Anything to make life simpler so that we can enjoy the finer moments is a must for me at the moment 😉
    Thank you for the fantastic review.

  6. Anna – Thank you for the suggestion. I will certainly look into Matthew Kelly’s book.

    Carolyn – I just began subscribing and am loving her blog. She really shares ideas and examples that all of us can incorporate into our lives.

    Splendid Market – Emily, it was my pleasure to work with you for the newsletter. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on luxury. 🙂

  7. I’ve just finished the book & thought it was fabulous. Even if you take only one thing from it, its worth its weight in gold.

  8. The book sounds great but I would thoroughly check out the reviews regarding Ebates before signing up. I checked it out and its not something that I would personally do. Some people have had problems and it seems like a lot of work keeping track of what they owe you. I’d rather find the best price, pay it, and be done with it.
    Love the book reviews though Shannon. Have found some wonderful reads on your list! Thank you for a wonderful blog!

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