Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ditch the Joneses: Discover Your Family: How to Thrive on Less than Two Incomes! By Cathi Brese Doebler Book Review

Printed in Canada, 2010.
138 pp.
Retail Price: $14.99.
Also Available as an E-Book for the Kindle through
Overview of Book:

Thousands have done it, You can too!     
We’ve all felt the pressure to “keep up with the Joneses”.  Often it seems like it takes two incomes to survive in today’s economy.  But what if that is not true for your family?  What if your family can thrive on less than two full-time salaries and flourish by spending more time together?

Tackling these tough questions using faith-based views and values, this book gives parents encouraging and realistic ideas for a healthy and solid family.

In this book, Brese Doebler challenges the two income assumption, and takes you on a journey toward the joy of discovering your family.

My Review:

5 stars out of 5

With today’s economy, many of us are in the same boat.  Either we have been let go from work, having trouble finding another job, or trying to decide whether it is more practical to stay at home and raise the children, or work and pay for daycare.  If this sounds like you, I would highly suggest you pick up Cathi’s book, Ditch the Joneses, Discover Your Family, today.  Even if you don’t think you have time to read a book, you will be surprised at how quickly you can finish the book.  

I loved how Cathi shares with the reader, creative and practical ways to help save money.  Through these tips, she teaches you how to simplify your life and learn to live on 1 or 1.5 incomes comfortable and without regret.  Cathi brings us back to reality and reminds us that materialistic things are not important in life.  It is our relationships with our family that count most.  And, if you choose to stay home, Cathi offers advice on how to find ways to make money by working at home.

I, myself, began working from home after being laid off in 2007 from the healthcare field.  I was a health educator, and with the implementation of electronic medical records, there was not a need for health educators at the organization I was working at.  They thought it more cost effective to give patients handouts on their medical conditions and concerns, rather than offer a one-one approach with a skilled educator.  So, I decided to try my luck at freelance work, and was surprised at how much money I could earn, and enjoy the work.  Each day brought new projects and clients, and I was excited about work again.  Then, the economy started to go down the drains and many others began looking into freelance work and accepting jobs that I was charging $10/hr., for only $3-$5.00/hr.  As a result, I had to re-evaluate my work situation.  And, then, I found out I was pregnant with our first daughter, Savannah Rose, and had to decide whether we could manage having me be a stay-at-home mother, and downsize my client load, or if I had to get a part-time job to help make ends meet and cover new expenses of having an expanded family.  In the end, based on daycare and the estimated salary I would pull in working outside the home, I decided it was best to stay home and raise our daughter.  I have enjoyed every minute of it, even if some days I just want to pull my hair out or talk to someone who talks back.  

My favorite exercise in the book was the section on, “Can You Afford to Work?,” where Cathi has you complete a worksheet to see how much you are actually taking home in income, against how much it is really costing you to work.  After reading this book and completing the worksheets and answering the questions posed, our decision to live off of a 1.5 salary is reaffirmed.  I also took away from this book many useful tips to help cut costs on daily living expenses. 
Cathi makes a great point:  “One of the top reasons for fights in a marriage is disagreements about finances.  I am hoping that my book helps couples who are planning a family or have a young family started. “Don’t let finances tear your family apart.  Embrace the family you have and learn to live with your means, in order to cherish the time you have with your spouse and children.  Your children will appreciate what you have done for them when they get older.  My mother stayed home for my two brothers and me, and as I got older, I realized that this was worth more than materialistic things they could have bought us.

 Be sure to follow Cathi through the following sites:

    * Facebook page is listed as "Cathi Brese Doebler"
    * Twitter

In addition to Cathi’s book, she also has a workbook on CD, which is available on her website.  This step-by-step workbook walks you through various concepts covered in the Ditch the Joneses, Discover Your Family book, along with special features including: Spending and debt diaries, monthly bill management system, a family priorities chart, a comprehensive action plan for you to begin planning with you family, as well as  personal coaching session with Cathi herself.  This workbook on CD makes a great compilation to the book, if you are serious about changing her financial ways.

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