Crystal systematically cover the topics of goal setting, streamlining and decluttering, budgeting, getting rid of credit cards, couponing, saving without coupons, strategic splurging, and embracing today. Each chapter is dotted with plenty of tips and reader stories to demonstrate each point. She offers web sources and her own personal tales to round out each discussion. I found her story in the last chapter about their financial struggles while her husband was in law school to be so inspiring. Considering their amazing journey from dirt-poor college students to mortgage-free homeowners in just five short years is encouraging. The audio version includes an appendix with the PDF of all the worksheets and helps that she mentions in the book.
Before even addressing the financial aspect of life, Crystal gives a holistic approach to simplifying and saving your time and resources. I would heartily endorse her premise that we need to pare both our schedules and our living space down to the essentials, and this will ease the strain of learning to live a disciplined spending lifestyle. Having just decluttered our house and garage, I can attest to the freedom that comes from letting go of stuff.
Crystal presented in chapter three a method for introducing a budget for your money. Our family has never been spend crazy, but one of Crystal's suggestion really got the ball rolling for Ben and me to make and (hopefully!) stick to a budget. I'm super excited about this new development in our finances. The suggestion from Crystal was to think about your debt in terms of a monthly payment, rather than an overwhelming total figure--while I'd heard it before, this time I got excited and went home and DID it. The only debt that we have is our condo mortgage, which unfortunately is now more than the current value of the property due to the decline in the market and recent flooding issues. We would love to sell, but we have very little wiggle room for negotiation. Using this mortgage calculator, I calculated how long it would take us to pay down/off our mortgage if we throw our every bit of extra money after we take of the essentials. Realistically, we could pay off our home in as little as 6 years! This is amazing and motivating to both of us. This is our first month with our new budget, and we are so pumped about the possibilities.
Crystal's final chapter on contentment is the heart of the book. Living happily with what you have is the essence of contented living. It makes frugal living a crusade of peace and blessing, rather than a vain pursuit of the latest and greatest for the least amount.
Celebrate with Crystal by entering her iPad2 Giveaway
RSVP to the Live Webcast Event on 4/5!
One winner will receive a brand new iPad 2 and The Money Saving Mom's Budget by Crystal Paine, audio edition.
Winner will be announced at The Money Saving Mom's Live Webcast Event on 4/5.
Crystal will be hosting an evening of chat, laughter and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll share tips and advice and her husband will be joining her to share how the principles Crystal outlines in her book have dramatically impacted their family life.
She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and much more!
So grab your copy of The Money Saving Mom®'s Budget and join Crystal
and friends on the evening of April 5th for an evening of fun of learning, sharing and
Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Money Saving Mom's Budget in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.