Ruth Soukup, 36

0 Posted by - September 26, 2014 - 2014, Charlotte-Lee-Collier 2014

CEO and Founder, Living Well Spending Less Inc.

How many people can say a fight with their spouse led to a great business decision?

“My spending was out of control,” admits Ruth Soukup, a stay-at-home mom with a shopping problem. “We got into a really big fight.”

Ruth’s husband, Chuck, an aerospace engineer, set up separate bank accounts, and Ruth started writing about her experience living on a budget. “I started my blog as a way to hold myself accountable,” she says.

Today, Soukup’s site, LivingWellSpendingLess.com gets 1.5 million visitors and 3.5 million page views per month. She has 500,000 Facebook fans and 100,000 followers on Pinterest.

Soukup’s site has done so well financially that Chuck is now a stay-at-home dad. “My goal was to make enough money for him to quit his job,” she says, which he did in April 2013.  How much does she make? “It’s enough that I can support a full-time team and live comfortably.”

In addition to advertising on her site, national companies are underwriting some of her posts. “I’m the national spokesperson for Frigidaire,” she says.

Soukup attributes part of her success to timing. The recession made many people more conscious of their spending habits. Her website got a big boost when the television show “Extreme Couponing” came out because she was quickly recognized as an expert on the subject.

Soukup has achieved what some might call celebrity status on the Web, but she’s more circumspect. “I have no aspiration for celebrity,” she demurs. “I’m just a girl trying to make a living.”

— Jean Gruss

Q&A

City of residence: Punta Gorda

Twitter handle: @RuthSoukup

Birthplace: Bellingham, Wash.

Years on the Gulf Coast: 10

Marital status/children: Married with two young girls

Alma mater: Calvin College

Best place to network: Conferences

The most important business lesson I’ve learned: Just be nice.

Best award you ever received: My kids gave me a Best Mommy Ever Award!

What new skill would you like to learn: I would like to learn how to brew my own beer.

Coolest business experience: I love that every day is a new adventure. There is always something fun and exciting happening in my world. I love that I get to write my own script.

One website that makes your job easier: PicMonkey

One community group you’re most involved with: My church.

Favorite off-hours activity: Playing Legos with my girls, spending time with friends and watching random documentaries on Netflix.

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Margaret Thatcher and Teddy Roosevelt.

Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: I have zip-lined in Belize and camped down the west coast of the U.S.

What’s at the top of your bucket list: I would like start my own nonprofit organization to help the less fortunate children around the world. I would also like to travel with my husband and girls to all 50 states.

Who would play you in a movie about your life: Julia Roberts

If I had a magic wand I’d: Make it snow in Florida so my girls could finally experience snow!

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