Last week, I was sent a copy of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget by Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com.
I was super excited to read it since I’m a big fan of her blog.
First, let’s touch on her background.
In the early years of her marriage, she and her husband survived on an income of $650 – $900 a month and without any debt, all the while her husband was in law school.
She stays at home and homeschools their 3 children and they managed to save up enough to buy their first house, in cash!
Crystal finds the best deals, menu plans, bakes extraordinary goodies from scratch, sets out goals and reaches them, and runs this amazing blog!
How can you reach your financial goals too?
7 Lessons from The Money Saving Mom’s Budget
1. Organize your time better.
Moms around the world want to know how to get more things done in less time! We’re so overwhelmed that some days we wonder if we’ve gotten anything done. And we say yes to everything, don’t we?
One of the keys is to watch less TV and saying no to things and not feeling bad about it. I don’t have a TV so that helps a lot! I don’t waste my days mindlessly watching shows anymore.
Crystal also talks about a time budget and how to use it strategically.
If you’re in a financial mess, chances are you are surrounded by clutter at home. Disorganization and debt go hand in hand.
If you don’t know where your bills are, you won’t pay them on time and then you’ll have to pay hefty late fees!
Since you’ve paid late fees, you’ve taken money away from something else so you end up overspending in other areas.
Crystal has a smart system to declutter without getting distracted. That’s the hard part about clearing things out.
We go through things then get stuck when we see something else that needs to get done. And she has a solution for this!
3. Set goals and reach them.
How many of you have goals you want to reach but have no idea when you’ll ever reach them? Crystal shows how to get started in her book.
There’s really no excuse not to reach your goals after you learn how to do it. Crystal does it and she homeschools 3 kids and runs a successful blog.
You have to have the right mind set, write your goals down, then break them up into doable chunks. I love this part of the book because she details how to succeed at reaching your goals, which is the most challenging part.
And you know that Crystal practices what she preaches because she posts her weekly goals on her blog and crosses out the ones she has completed.
4. Create a bare bones budget, then a full-fledged one.
Creating a budget for the first time may be overwhelming. That’s why Crystal recommends starting with a bare bones budget that includes the basic monthly expenses.
Then move onto a more detailed one. There are also budget worksheets in the back of the book.
If you need help starting a budget, check out my budgeting binder, Budgeting Made Easy.
5. Learn multiple ways to save money.
She and her husband used to live on one small salary. They somehow made ends meet each month. From this experience, she has come up with creative ways to save money and ways to earn extra income.
6. Use cash.
This is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned from The Money Saving Mom’s Budget. When I buy groceries, I use my card and sometimes I have no idea how much I’ve spent until I look at my Mint.com app on my iPhone. Sticking to a budget is harder if you can’t see the money leave your hands.
I’m definitely going to try using cash again for groceries. It might take more time to go to the ATM before buying groceries but seeing a lower credit card bill next month will be a motivator.
7. Choose contentment.
In order to move forward in life and get out of a bad situation, you really have to develop an attitude of gratitude, no matter how dire your circumstances are. And no matter what, there’s always something to be thankful for.
When I finished the book I was delighted to find some extras in the back – worksheets for goal setting, time budget, budgeting, and price book.
The Money Saving Mom’s Budget is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles, and Books-a-Million.
Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book to review. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site.