Thursday, May 3, 2012

Book Review: The Money Saving Mom's Budget

I have been reading Crystal Paine's blog(s) since I was 15 so I was quite excited for her when she announced she was writing a book. And of course, I was thrilled when my review copy came in the mail!

Even though we're already pretty frugal folks and I've read almost everything Crystal has written online, I still found a lot of helpful information and things to consider in The Money Saving Mom's Budget.

I love that Crystal masterfully breaks down everything into baby steps. While she's honest about the fact that getting in a good place financially takes real work, nothing that she lays out in the book seems overwhelming (besides maybe discontinuing the use of debit cards for three months!).

Crystal's seven "rules" are:
  1. Set realistic short and long-term financial goals (with your spouse if married) and work towards them.
  2. Streamline your life by managing your time well and getting rid of all the clutter in your home.
  3. Set up a realistic, workable budget (she gives a three-month process for going from no budget at all to a thorough budget--again, baby steps!).
  4. Take a cash-only challenge by "freezing" your credit AND debit cards for three months.
  5. Learn to use coupons.
  6. Learn how to never pay retail by stocking up on items you need when you can find them at their rock-bottom price.
  7. Learn to be content.
We follow a somewhat loose budget and while we have ideas of where we want our money to go, we haven't set specific goals and plans to reach them. I have certainly learned the value of goal-setting in my every-day tasks this year, so I know it would be profitable to work harder in this area.

I don't think we do too badly, since we have zero debt and we give each month--but we also don't have much in savings, either. I don't know that we'd be willing to completely give up our debit card (I use it for paying bills and buying gas--and occasionally for buying groceries if I forgot to take cash out or I'm ordering something online), but I'm sure there are definitely some loose ends we could tie up if we took a more careful look at a written budget on a regular basis. And, since Crystal and her husband saved up and paid 100% down on their first home before she turned 30, I think she knows a thing or two about how to get in good financial shape!

At the back of the book there are helpful worksheets to go along with each step she outlines.

Overall, The Money Saving Mom's Budget was an easy and enjoyable read that contained a lot of really great information that I think would be useful for anyone, stay-at-home mom or single guy, someone loaded with debt or someone who's been living frugally and debt-free for years.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book at no cost for review purposes. All opinions expressed are mine. Also, this post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this site!

No comments:

Post a Comment