As part of my new series on saving and getting out of debt, I have decided to start with a book review. This author started out as a fellow blogger and still runs the Money Saving Mom blog, where she gives shopping tips and tricks, coupon deals and practical mom advice. She was just a regular person whole make a decision to get out of debt and found a way using her blog and thrifty attitude. That is why I have chosen Crystal Paine’s book “Money Saving Mom’s Budget,” as my first review.
One of the things that struck me in comparing the book to the blog is that it seems that she actually lives the way she advises in her book. She debt and doesn’t just talk about money fears from a removed place like some finance authors do, a la Suzie Orman. (Don’t get me wrong, Suzie gives some good advice. She just has never put her self in a position to have to use it.)
Crystal Paine’s suggestions where practical, tough and no-nonsense. She knows this because she did it herself, she started of as a wife of a law student with a very small income. Them became a mom and build her way up to a business woman. She managed her household finances and took control of her situation in a very inspirational way.
Her book starts of by discussion goal setting. I didn’t really expect this to be the lead topic in a budgeting book, especially for someone know for financial tips and tricks. However, I can see why it works here.
She also takes saving from an over-committed moms perspective. She addresses the pressures mom’s feel and yes the keeping up with the Jones feelings we encounter. She makes a point of freeing ourselves and our budgets by using the power of “No.”
She links the power of no to budgeting your time and how saying no more often will give you the freedom you need to make more thoughtful financial decisions, like paying your bills on time instead of rushing around trying to get everything done.
Another area I did not really expect to in this book was about organizing. Her theory is that if your organize your house better it will actually save you money. you will find you need less stuff and will buy less duplicates.
Then we get down to the dollars and cents of budgeting. Surprisingly, she doesn’t think you should take on the whole magilla at once. She breaks the budget down into smaller chucks and starts of by tackling the 3 major category of most budgets. I have heard criticism of this approach, saying it is not though enough and that it doesn’t take into account major things like health care.
Personally, I really liked it. After completing my on-line budget review series , I was setting up a new budget each month and the process is not only time consuming it can be overwhelming if you are deeply in debt and don’t know where your money is going. This way kind of easies you into it and makes it much more digestible if you re short on time.
I found the book full of practical advice and very informative. Her story is very inspiring and relatable. She comes of as genuine and real, not someone with money preaching to those in the trenches. She seems like she dug her way out of the trenches and wants you to do the same. Here ending message of positivity and perspective really sold it for me.
If I had to name a flaw the only one would be the chapter about organization was a bit too long. The idea was deserving of a part in the book no doubt, but it seemed a bit like filler when compared to the useful information found in the rest of the book.
I found the book full of practical advice and very informative. without going overboard. There is an emotional connection that you can really feel from her. She truly believes if she did it so can you. This is the resonating theme of the book. She makes y believe you can change your situation if you believe in yourself, and in the effort. You can make the best of any situation and can “bloom where you are planted.”
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