I first found Money Saving Mom‘s blog when the real estate market took a downturn a few years back. Being married to a real estate broker during our first market slump drove me to look for every way possible to spend less. I’ve learned a lot in those years and much has been from tips and deals from Crystal, the frugal mama behind it all. So when I got a chance to review her first book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year, I was stoked. And not just because it’s free! I relished the chance to hold her advice in my hand and soak in her wisdom start to finish.
There’s lots I like about this book. For starters, Crystal knows that spending and saving are interconnected with every segment of life, so she wisely starts the book with setting goals and cutting clutter from your house and your schedule. I think a peek at priorities is so vital when talking about finances and Crystal has hers as straight as they come.
The book lists seven rules for financial success. And while none of them will be things you’ve never heard, the whole package is full of wisdom. Reading it makes me feel like I’m lingering over a playdate lunch with a savvy friend who’s telling me some tips and tricks she’s learned along the way. Crystal’s tone strikes a great balance between no-nonsense practical advice and you-can-do-it encouragement. I felt empowered as I read these pages.
The other thing I really liked about this book is how she starts small and builds on those successes. Crystal knows that if a budget is impossible and overwhelming, you’ll never stick with it, so she starts with baby steps and slowly adds to it. This approach alone made me breathe a sigh of “maybe-this-will-work” relief.
This is an easy read, but one that you’d reference back to as you progressed in your budget journey. It covers the practical bases for saving money. Chapters include:
Chapter 1–If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Train Will Get You There
Chapter 2–Are the Chaos and Clutter in Your Lie Keeping You from Financial Success?
Chapter 3–Give Yourself and Instant Raise Without Increasing Your Take-Home Pay
Chapter 4–Go Totally Plastic-Free
Chapter 5–Coupons Are Not Just for Junk Food
Chapter 6–Beyond the Basics:Advanced Couponing Techniques
Chapter 7–25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill WITHOUT Clipping Coupons
Chapter 8–Going Out on the Town Without Going Broke
Chapter 9–Embrace Today
In addition, there are extras in the back of the book including resources to read and several worksheets for all the thinking and planning you’ll want to do to really put this knowledge to work for you.
I thought this was a great read and although I knew lots of what was here, it was as scattered in my head as it was on the internet. I really liked having it all within a couple hundred pages. I think there’s lots I’d refer back to as I made various progress, especially the part about the ins-and-outs of the drugstore game, which is for sophisticated couponers. Even if you’ve got your finances figured out, this would be a great book to have on hand for lending to all those people who want to know how to do it.
You can order yours on Amazon.com for the budget-friendly price of $8.40 or for your Kindle for $9.99. And one more great reason to feel good getting this book–Crystal announced this week that all of her proceeds from the book will go to a Compassion International project the Child Survival Program in the Dominican Republic. How amazing is that!