5 Minutes for Books:
Learning to Live Financially Free

If you weren’t one of the winners of Rose House from last week (see below) click over to the giveaway at 5 Minutes for Books and enter again, through Tuesday.

Today I (Jennifer) am happy to announce a guest contributor. Melissa is one of the founding contributors over at 5 Minutes for Books.

Melissa has been captivated by books for as long as she can remember. She resides in Virginia, and at her blog, Breath of Life.

In today’s economy, many American families are having to tighten their belts, slash their spending, and learn to survive on less. Being frugal is now chic. The media seems to be hopping on the bandwagon, with hundreds of books promising to pave the way to financial security. At first glance, Learning to Live Financially Free: Hard-Earned Wisdom for Saving Your Marriage & Your Money might seem no different from the multitude of “get yourself out of debt” offerings.

Trust me, it is.

As the subtitle, “Hard Earned Wisdom for Saving Your Marriage & Your Money” suggests, Curt and Marybeth Whalen have been there. They share honestly their struggle with money, and their battle to change their poor spending habits and win financial freedom. Each gives a personal own account of how they found themselves $95,000 in debt, and what drove them to realize change was necessary no matter the cost.

The Whalens’ solution may seem backwards to the world but proves that God’s economy, which may not make sense, is completely different than man’s. They are quick to give God the glory for delivering them from their staggering debt in just four years. On one income. With six children.

Each chapter ends with Scripture, discussion questions, and a plan of action. The book also includes great resources and ideas to cut spending, find contentment, and learn to control your finances (rather than having your finances control you). It’s not a “feel-good” read, but is a Biblically sound handbook for those who are ready to commit to change and the hard work that it entails.

Whether you are thousands of dollars in debt, or simply want to experience freedom from the pressures of money so you can use it to glorify God, Learning to Live Financially Free: Hard-Earned Wisdom for Saving Your Marriage & Your Money is a book worth reading.

We have one copy to give away (U.S. shipping addresses only, please). If you’d like to win, leave a comment below. If you want to make it interesting, tell us where you struggle most in your spending.

We’ll announce the winner in next week’s column.

The winners of Rose House are #63 JD, #139 Heather C., #10 jennsquared

And remember, if you didn’t win click over to the giveaway at 5 Minutes for Books and enter again, through Tuesday.

Written by 5 Minutes for Books contributing reviewer Melissa


  1. says

    We struggle to make ends meet, even though we do not consider ourselves people that spend money frivolously. Any tips on other things we can do are always well received. Hopefully, this book will provide some more insight!


  2. Julia says

    I would love to win a copy of this book. I think the area we struggle most with is being deceived about the little ways our money goes down the tube: a book here, a cup of coffee there…Its these little things that are the money drainers that add up big time.

  3. says

    Ooooh, I would love to win a copy. I am currently reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. I enjoy being frugal but am not as frugal as I could be. I have lots of room for improvement, lol!

  4. says

    I’d love to win a copy of this! We’re pretty frugal, but I’m sure we can do better. The Whalens presented at a conference that I attended recently, and while I didn’t get to hear them, a friend did and she said they were great!

  5. alissa says

    i struggle most when i see things that are on sale but i really dont need them. i just have to get the deal- i am getting better with it though! maybe this book would help even more! thanks.

  6. says

    This book sounds wonderful! I think we struggle with the little things… It’s easy to get a cup of coffee here, a book there. And suddenly all those little things add up.

  7. susan says

    Since becoming a stay at home mom I’m learning how to budget and this book would surely come in handy!

  8. veedee says

    I love books but trying to budget on what books I purchase so I look for them in the library first!

  9. says

    I struggle most in our grocery budget. I love to eat and I still struggle to figure out couponing, sales, etc. while eating healthy with some organic produce thrown in. I would love the chance to own this book!

  10. Ann says

    Stopping my husband from spending money is where I struggle the most. I don’t spend anything but he does. It makes me crazy.

  11. says

    I would love to read this book! We still struggle despite the fact that we created a budget, are paying off our debts, and saving our emergency fund because my fiance has a really hard spending habit to break. He likes to buy a video game here and a movie there as well as the various $1-$4 fishing things he just NEEDS every time we go to the store. It’s really frustrating and we are working on it.

  12. says

    This sounds so helpful! We’re newly married and learning to combine our finances and reevaluating our separate spending. Any and all useful advice is very welcome!

    gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

  13. Chelsea says

    I would love to win this book. It sounds very different then those on the market…and sounds easier to read. I have the hardest time budgeting with things for me kids.

  14. Michelle says

    I’d love to win a copy of this book. I’m always interested to hear the tips and ideas of how people overcome such monumental debt. Thanks for the review and for offering this book!

  15. cris says

    I’d love to see if the info in the book works for those of us in big cities – prices here (and lack of promotions!) are very different than the burbs.

  16. KimN says

    I would love to read their advice…I struggle with wanting to dress my girls up in new clothes instead of checking consignments!

  17. Bridget says

    This book looks like it would be really helpful. We try to be frugal, but are struggling on one income.

  18. says

    I would love a copy of this book– money has always challenged us. When my children were small, we felt nickeled and dimed to death– uniforms, school supplies, sports equipment, etc. forced much spending. Now that they are adults, we still find ourselves struggling to best help them, as two are in grad school and sometimes need help. But the amount of help has gone from nickel and dimes to thousands!!

  19. says

    I would love to read the book! My husband and I are struggling with a workable solution to our finance problems. We can use all the help we can get.

  20. Jeannie says

    Wow, I’m impressed! We are muddling through it too, with one income and only one kid. Sounds like a great book to help a lot of people!Jeannie

  21. Stephenie says

    I’m am working on resisting the urge to go out to eat. My husband have really improved in this area, but we still have our weak moments. Fast food for a family of four adds up quickly!

  22. says

    This book looks great. My husband is an accountant and is great with budgeting. I, on the other hand, am not. I’d love to learn to be a better steward of what he works hard to earn and what God has blessed us with.

  23. says

    I would love to win this book. I’ve actually already heard some good buzz about it. Financially, we struggle the most with the daily maintenance of our budget and with being consistent in the midst of keeping the boundaries of the budget very tight. It’s wearisome and feels plodding but we have to keep the end goal in sight. Even on the crazy days.

  24. says

    This sounds like a great book to have. We have some debt that I would like to eliminate. The struggle for me would be in little purchases or in great deals that seem to good to pass up. But, how much do we really need?? It’s time to cut back!

  25. Jennifer Cullen says

    Because my husband is self-employed, our income is very up and down. I need a plan of action! This book sounds perfect for me!

  26. says

    with 3 kids 4 and under, we realy seem to struggle with cutting back on the “extra hands” we need…the occasional house cleaner, the babysitter for a meeting here, yard help, etc…

  27. Donna says

    With one 22 year old son in college, 3 teen daughters and an 8 year old son, I struggle with seeing everything as a necessity and not knowing where to draw the line. Whatever happened to depending on God to provide and not thinking that we are entitled to what our latest “need” may be?


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