Book Review: The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

During the summer of 2008, I found Crystal Paine’s blog, Money Saving Mom. We were already living frugally since we had just gotten out of college but, like most college graduates, expected our standard of living to increase upon graduation. Thanks in part to Money Saving Mom, we were inspired to continue living on basically the same budget we had in college and start saving money for a house downpayment! Over the years that I’ve been a Money Saving Mom reader, I’ve been inspired by Crystal {she and her husband paid cash for their first home!}

I was excited to hear the news that she was writing a book and even more excited when the book came in the mail for me to review! I immediately started reading The Money Saving Mom’s Budget. This book is full of all kinds of practical information for getting your life in order. It begins with a chapter about goal setting which I found to be very inspiring. We already set financial goals for each year but haven’t really put much thought into long term goals. She poses the question, “where do I want to be financially five years from now?” This question prompted thinking more long term in regards to our finances.

The second chapter is devoted to clearing out clutter and streamlining your life. Practical strategies for getting rid of physical clutter as well as commitment clutter are mentioned. She poses questions to ask about your clutter such as “do I use this item regularly?” and “is this item taking up space I don’t have?

As the title implies, budgeting is covered. The book outlines baby steps to take towards budgeting. She suggests during the first month  establish a grocery budget, the second month use bare-bones budget which covers basic necessities and by the third month you’ve worked your way up to a full-fledged budget. Taking these baby steps is a great way to not get overwhelmed with budgeting and give up!

One chapter is titled “Twenty-Five Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill Without Clipping Coupons.” This chapter is full of money saving grocery tips such as have a meatless night once a week, stick with simple meals that use inexpensive ingredients and don’t throw out your leftovers. Just applying one or two of these suggestions could cut quite a bit from your grocery budget.

The final chapter is “Embrace Today” and Crystal writes about contentment, which I believe is a key to living a frugal life! You have the power to choose contentment, “a cheerful attitude can go a long way in less than ideal situations; you can either complain about the thorns or you can savor the roses that bloom in their midst.”  Ways to cultivate contentment are listed, including create a gratitude list, choose to stop comparing yourself to other people and choose to be  a giver.

There are helpful worksheets in the back covering financial goals, priorities lists, time budgets and budget sheets.

This really is a book that anyone  can benefit from. If you’re just starting out on a journey to get your finances in order, this book is full of valuable information that will help you! And even if you’ve been living a frugal and debt free life, there are things you can learn from saving on your grocery bill, being inspired to set lofty goals and focusing on contentment.

Pre-order The Money Saving Mom’s Budget. The release date is January 10, 2012.

Disclosure: I received this book to review.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

*This post contains affiliate links.

4 Replies to “Book Review: The Money Saving Mom’s Budget”

  1. I think I will definitely be looking this up – one of our goals this year is to be much more frugal with living expenses. I had never heard of Crystal or her blog before reading your post, but I've been clicking around on the website for the last hour… Totally inspirational. Thanks for pointing me towards it! 🙂

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