I am excited to share with you my first book review of 2012 and it’s written by a blogger that I admire – not just for her amazing blog but for her real life integrity and character as a Godly woman. This is Crystal and me at the Relevant Blogging Conference where we were speakers together the last 2 years. With over 150,000 Facebook Followers and over 85,000 Twitter followers, Crystal has become one of the leading bloggers for helping moms save money and her book Money $aving Mom’s Budget was just released TODAY!!
As I read Crystal’s book I felt like I was walking down memory lane. Much of her book, I have either seen role-modeled by my mother growing up and my sisters, or I have fully lived and practiced. For the first 3 years of our marriage, my husband was a student at the Ohio State University and I worked as a receptionist, Administrative Assistant and then a Pager Sales Rep. (Yes – I’m so old that I sold pagers for a living – this was before the cell phone craze! lol!)
For the first year of our marriage, I made just above minimum wage and that meant no eating out and finding every deal we could for groceries and clothes. After he graduated from college, we moved home and at that time he began working with a very good paying job. We decided that I would stay home…and that’s when I really learned how to work the drugstore rebates, how to organize a coupon box, how to menu plan around the ads and run from store to store for all of the deals. I also fell in LOVE with Aldi and I’ve never stopped this love affair! It’s close to my home and has great prices without needing coupons!
If you are in a position where you need to pay off college loans, credit card debt, have low savings – or no savings, would like to pay for your house in full, or have some extra spending money for vacations and luxuries – then this book is for you!
Crystal gives step by step instructions on how to set goals and make a budget. For the first 10 years of our marriage, my husband and I followed a budget that together we set and followed strictly. I turned in every receipt to him (he does the finances) – marking which category it fell into on the reciept and my husband entered it into Quicken software on the computer. I would go into Quicken and see where I was overspending or where I had extra money to dip into. This worked really well for us.
Crystal explains how to work a cash-only system – which I watched my mom do when I was a child. When we needed money for an item – she’d dip into her money box, flip to the category and pull out the cash. When the money was gone from the category for the month – so was the spending. I love how she role modeled self-control to us girls.
This book fully explains how to work coupons – and I mean work coupons for a huge savings! It’s incredible how effective coupons can be once you put energy into learning the system. Again, my mom role modeled this in our home – sometimes when I was bored – she’d put me to work clipping coupons or pulling out the expired ones and sorting them. I thought it was fun as a kid (so put your kids to work on this!)! Now, one way my mom shows she is thinking of me, is by handing me coupons on a monthly basis! She always hands me coupons for my favorite Christian book store (she knows my love for books), my favorite clothing stores and just this week – she showed up with a coupon book for Dairy Queen since we live so close to one – and a coupon to Shutterfly! My family DOES coupons :)!
Crystal also explains how to never pay retail. This is another biggie of mine that I have shared here on Women Living Well! I have a video where I show my consignment shop finds – I LOVE my local consignment shops and purchase items for myself and the kids there regularly. I also have posted multiple posts on how I like to do clothes swaps with my friends! It’s another fun way to get new clothes – free (in the picture of me above, the grey shirt under the sweater, I got free at the clothes swap)! And as for my husband’s clothes…all of his casual clothes we purchase from our brother-in-law who has an amazing sense of style – used! We are shameless with our deals – and we love hitting the jackpot at garage sales, as well as putting one on yearly at my sister’s house!
I highly recommend Crystal’s book – it’s not a get rich quick manual but rather she shows you how to work hard and smart – and change your life!
All of the proceeds from this book are being donated to Compassion International – which is just another reason to purchase this book if you know you are in a place financially where you need to make changes.
Crystal has generously given me 5 copies of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget to give away! Simply leave a comment below and I will randomly choose 5 winners on Saturday, January 14th.
For bonus entries:
Share the link to this post on Facebook and/or Twitter and then leave an extra comment letting me know that you did this.
Walk with the King!