Ok, I have something to admit to….I’m a HUGE MoneySavingMom.com fan! I’m pretty much obsessed…you might think of me like a groupie, if there were such things in the blogging world.
I love Crystal Paine’s approach to life, her positive attitude, her generosity, and, of course, her money-saving tips! I read her blog several times a day and I’ve been inspired to implement quite a few changes in my life based on her suggestions…and they have all been such a blessing to me.
So, when I was offered a chance to review her new audiobook, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, I jumped at it (ok, lunged, really)! I, of course, had already purchased the paperback copy of her book, but with all of the day-to-day activities and family obligations, it just sat on my “to read” pile of books for weeks. (Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe that a die-hard MSM fan could leave her new book unread for that long, but there you have it.)
When the audio book was emailed to me, I excitedly opened it and started listening. It was especially helpful that I could listen to this book while going about my everyday mundane chores…I listened to it while folding the laundry, working on my blog, or checking email. It was great that I could get things done around the house while taking in all the great information at the same time. Sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to sit and read a book when you are a mom to 2 little ones!
The book is pretty much an expansion of what Crystal has already written on her blog, but she has also included a lot more information that I had never seen before. For example, she is able to go into much more detail about things like how to stack coupons or how she and her husband, Jesse were able to have a date night during the years that he was in law school and they hardly had enough money to live on. For beginners and experienced budgeters, it is SO helpful to have concrete examples to follow when you are trying to learn how to use coupons or try to fit some fun into a very tight budget.
She also guides you slowly through the budgeting process. Many times over the years, my husband and I have sat down and concocted an overwhelming budget and strict spending rules for ourselves that have fallen by the wayside a short time later. Crystal helps you really take your time planning your budget so that you can not only get used to being on a budget, but also really get to know if your budget amounts are set at the right level. She even provides you with a PDF file of helpful worksheets to get you started.
One piece of advice Crystal gives in the book that I found particularly eye-opening was that in order to get your finances in order, you need to get your life and home in order too. I had never heard that from any of those financial planner personalities that are on television and radio…but she is totally right!
After listening to the chapter of the book on organizing, I decided to clean out my filing cabinet, and what did I find? A letter from our vehicle’s manufacturer, which they sent 6 years ago, telling us to take the vehicle in to their dealer to replace the front axle if we ever heard any popping noises. Well, I had forgotten all about that letter, and so last year when the car started making those noises, we paid $800 out of our own pockets to have the axle fixed. If I had been more organized, that would be $800 we would still have in the bank. I’m telling you, this lady knows her stuff!
Probably the best part of the audio book was being able to listen to Crystal talk about all these tips and practices. You can really hear in her voice how passionate she is about helping others save money. You can also hear the compassion in her voice while she reads the chapter on choosing contentment, and how much she really wants to inspire people to be content with what they already have. It’s as if she is personally speaking to you and giving you hope that you too can become successful at becoming debt-free.
All in all, I greatly enjoyed The Money Saving Mom’s Budget. For anyone who needs help creating a budget and saving money, this is a gold mine!
From the publisher:
Disclosure: I was given a free copy of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget audio book for use in providing this review. All of my opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by anyone.