Living the good life is mostly written by Linda Cockburn and it is a record of her families attempt at not spending a penny for six months. It is mostly written in diary form, which is my favorite style of writing and also includes lots of information about the topics that come up during the six months e.g. compost loos, water storage and lots of yummy sounding recipes.
The book was written when the family lived in Australia, although I believe they have since moved to New Zealand, and so it felt a little odd at first that they start their challenge at New Year when they are already well into the growing session but I soon got use to that and loved reading about all the exotic food they were able to grow which are just ‘normal’ foods for their climate and enjoyed even more reading about their day-to-day routines like feeding chickens and planting out seedlings.
I’m not really sure how to explain in words how much of a pager turner I found this book or why but almost all of the way through I was sat thinking “I want to move to Australia and have my own power from the sun and grow food like that… But they have a serious water shortage and I should be thankfully for what is here”
I got the impression, or perhaps it just said it somewhere in the book, that they have been planning for their challenge for a few years and so had time to put in place water collecting systems, compost toilets and solar power for the house.
It was interesting to read throughout the book how the family, or Linda at least, stopped wanting to buy things. Not completely, I think everyone has a list of things that would make life easier, but stop spending for pleasure any way and I think that has helped change my own mind set about spending as well.
Spending money to cheer ourselves up seems to be a mind-set that people are almost born into now a days, which is so sad as it means we can easily miss out on some very pleasurable things just by being in the cycle spending all our time working to pay for or buy the things that we think we want or are too busy to do for ourselves and then all too quickly feeling unfulfilled and having to work hard for the next thing we think we make us happy.
I think there is a real art to only spending money on things we really need and being happy with what we already have and this book shows it off beautifully.