I've been reading the popular Money Saving Mom blog ever since it was created several years ago, and it's my go-to site for scoring deals. I also enjoy many of the articles, especially those on mothering and stewardship, which are topics near to my heart. So I was excited when I learned Crystal was writing a book, and I was thrilled to receive a copy of The Money Saving Mom's Budget to review.
The book covers creating a budget, using cash, using coupons, grocery shopping strategically, and finding cheap or free entertainment. Eric and I do these things already, so there are just a couple little things I wrote down from these chapters that I would like to try.
One area of the book that I'd like to come back to again is the section on personal priorities. Crystal suggests creating a list that helps you identify what is most important to you, and then referring to it when making decisions about how you spend your time, money and energy. Since I am prone to over-commitment, I liked this statement: "Whenever possible, invest your life in what you're truly passionate about and gifted in. You will lead a much more productive and fulfilled life."
The final chapter of the book is on cultivating contentment, and that advice of course is applicable to all of us. Being grateful and generous top the list. Good reminders!
I also wanted to mention that there is an appendix at the back of the book containing ten ways to earn an extra $100 a month. Several months ago, Crystal asked her blog readers to submit ideas for that section of the book. I offered a few suggestions, and was excited to see one of them made it in, even if it wasn't just because of me. =) I suggested proctoring tests on college campuses. Eric and I have both done this quite a few times over the years, and it is a pretty easy way to earn over $100 in the course of a few hours.
To use a financial term, here's the bottom line on the book, from my point of view: If you've read Money Saving Mom for a long time and follow many of the money-saving strategies mentioned above, you likely won't glean a ton from the book. But it is still an enjoyable read. And if you don't read MSM and/or could use some advice and motivation where your finances are concerned, I would heartily recommend this book. It covers the basics, but takes you a step or two further as well. Thanks, Crystal, for a wonderful blog and for the opportunity to review your book!
Have any of you read this book? Do you read the MSM blog? What are your thoughts?