Maximizing Your Money and Your Minutes: “The Money Saving Mom’s Budget”

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photo credit: Amazon.com

The second book I read in January was Crystal Paine’s The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.  Note:  This book is not just for moms!  I’d say that at least 90 percent of the information in its pages applies to anyone interested in stretching their dollars and maximizing the value of their time. It tackles goal setting, organizing and eliminating clutter, budgeting, cash vs. plastic, couponing, saving money (and even earning it) without using coupons, and cultivating contentment.

Sound familiar?  Needless to say, I have been inspired by what I’ve read on Paine’s blog for the past 6-or-so months.  Because I follow her daily posts so intently,  I wasn’t sure what new information I would glean from reading this book.  I am relatively organized (some days), an avid deal seeker, and a long-time Dave Ramsey fan; so budgeting, forgoing credit cards, and using coupons like a crazy person aren’t new endeavors to me.

If you feel like you already have a decent handle on your money and time management, remember that sometimes what you hear/read is just as important as the way it’s said. In an encouraging and motivational manner, Paine offers easy-to-follow, practical, realistic steps for prioritizing and planning both your dollars and your days.

I was pleasantly surprised at the fresh perspective I gained from reading The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, as well as the number of new-to-me resources I found within its pages.  My personal favorites from within this book are the suggestions on earning additional streams of income; the highlighted Web sites on multiple topics, ranging from frugal recipes to book swaps to vacation rentals to coupon trains (and more); and the final chapter on contentment.

If, on the other hand, you feel like things have gotten so far out-of-control that you are beyond help (I’ve been there more recently than I’d like to admit), don’t!  Paine’s “$60 Principle” can give hope to people in even the most dire financial straits.  Her methods of setting goals and breaking them down into “bite-sized pieces” can help even the the most unorganized person begin to create some order amongst the chaos.  The back of the book is equipped with multiple worksheets to help you get started.

Paine genuinely dedicates herself to helping others become better home economists, parents, spouses, people in general.  Her transparency about her own struggles as a homeschooling mother of three, entrepreneur, wife, and servant of Christ is truly inspirational.  If you are someone who could benefit from better money and/or time management skills, I suggest you read The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.  One-hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to Compassion International, so consider buying an extra copy or two to gift to loved ones.

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