A couple months ago, I was selected along with several other bloggers to receive a pre-release copy of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget to review. I have enjoyed reading Crystal Paine’s blog, moneysavingmom.com, for the past three years, and I was excited to be able to read and review her new book! To give you a little background, when I started reading her blog, I was feeling really frustrated at the amount we were spending each month on groceries, diapers, and other household needs. It seemed like money was tight every month, but there was nothing I could do about it. A friend referenced Money Saving Mom on her blog, and I decided to check it out.
Even though I was already using coupons and shopping sales, I learned a lot about how to set a grocery budget and plan a menu around what was on sale. One of the most helpful things, however, was Crystal’s attitude of contentment. Her blog helped me to see frugality as a fun challenge rather than a hardship in life. It’s so much easier to appreciate God’s provision when you have a positive attitude!
All of that being said, I did not expect to find a lot of new information in her book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget. I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised! The first chapter, which covers financial goal-setting, is one of the most important, I think. This chapter made me think about our goal of buying a larger home. We definitely need to take Crystal’s advice and break that project into small, realistic goals, and then start working on it! The book also covers eliminating clutter (because if you aren’t organized, you’ll pay for it in the form of late fees, lost items, etc.), developing a budget that really works, couponing,saving money without coupons, and finding ways to still have fun and enjoy life. The appendix in the back of the book also contains tips for having a successful garage sale, ideas for earning extra income, and worksheets for budgeting, goal setting, and organizing your time. This is not a long book (172 pages plus the appendix), and it’s very readable. I finished it in two evenings! However, each chapter is packed with information and practical things that you can easily do to improve your finances.
This book would be a great Christmas gift for college students, newly married couples, or anyone who wants to get out of debt. However, it’s also a very motivating read for anyone who has already tackled their financial problems and just needs some encouragement to keep going!
I wanted to mention also that all of the proceeds from this book will be donated to Compassion International. I was really impressed when I found that out!