I have been a reader of Crystal Paine's Blog, Money Saving Mom for a while, and have saved a great deal of money using Crystal’s tips, techniques, and deals. When the opportunity came for me to read and review her new book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, I immediately jumped at it. I was excited to see how she would take a subject that has been written about extensively, and add a new perspective.
The first forty pages of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget do not look at budgets or couponing or debt. Instead, you are encouraged to set goals—for life, not just for finances, and to get organized and to declutter your home. I found these to be refreshing chapters, because Crystal asserts that saving money is, at its core, a total attitude adjustment, not just the physical act of saving.
From there, Crystal expounds on budget making, giving the basics of how and why to stick to a monetary budget. She also includes several reproducible worksheets for setting up a budget. Also included in this section is the concept of a Time Budget. Taking itself from the old adage “Time is Money”, the notion of a time budget emphasizes that wasted time is in fact keeping you from making or saving money.
The Money Saving Mom’s Budget also includes chapters on couponing, what non-necessities one can cut out to make the most of their income, and tips on saving money at the grocery store. My favorite parts of these sections were the many options Crystal presented for saving money. At no point did I feel judged for having different priorities, (some things we prefer to be only brand name, and we like sports too much to cut out cable), which I appreciated. There were many ideas someone could put into practice to shave a few dollars off their monthly (or yearly) expenditures.
Eventually the book also touts the importance of a cash-only system. This Dave Ramsey method works well for many people, and while I completely agree with the importance of being debt-free, cash-only (including paying cash for a mortgage) I consider to be a blanket theory that does not necessarily work for everyone. But, to each his own, and one must know their own spending habits and level of self-control to determine whether cash-only is their best option.
In short, I highly recommend The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, as both a way to get your life and finances on track. Crystal does a wonderful job of explaining both why and how one should take control of their finances. The reproducible worksheets at the end of the book are also quite useful.
This book is set to be released January 10, 2012, but you can pre-order it here. Crystal Paine is designating all proceeds to benefit Compassion International.
*While I was provided a complimentary copy of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, all opinions stated thereof are my own. Post may contain affiliate links.