Several years ago, and far too late in life, I started to think about money in a more serious way than I had been used to. After years of living hand-to-mouth, it had finally dawned on me that my husband and I were responsible for making the lives of our children, if not wealthy, then at least as secure as possible. While searching the internet for money advice, I came across the Money Saving Mom blog. I subscribed the first time I saw it, and I’ve been a devotee ever since.
A great deal of what I know about money—whether it’s about budgeting, buying groceries, cooking, or self-control—I learned from Money Saving Mom. Everyone should read this blog, from start to finish. If you haven’t been following Crystal for the last several years, that might be a pretty big task. Fortunately, she has saved you the trouble by writing a book.
The Money Saving Mom’s Budget contains all of the wisdom and practicality of the blog, and in highly readable form. Not only do you get the benefit of all those years of blogging condensed down into a super-strength capsule, but there is some new content, as well. MSM’s Budget gently walks even the most hopeless reader through setting up a budget, learning to live within the means available, and (most importantly) learning to be content while living on less.
What I love about this book is the fact that Crystal (who will, I hope, forgive me for not calling her something more respectful, like She Whose Shoes I am Unworthy to Purchase Second-hand) never once tells you to do anything she’s never had to do. Even though she and her husband started out their married life ahead of the curve, in the sense that they had a little money to begin with and they had a better financial education than most Americans, they have walked the frugal walk in order to stay out of debt and reach their incredibly ambitious financial goals.
I have been known to sneer at certain personal finance “gurus” because they’ve never had to make it on $500 a month, but I can’t say that about this family. When you’ve been through law school debt-free, bought a house with cash, and started raising and homeschooling a family while doing it, that’s authenticity! As Crystal recounts in her book, there have been times that the Paines were downright poor by most standards, but they’ve stuck to their principles, and they’ve proven that life is better without debt!
There’s something else I love about this book. Crystal also proves that frugal is not the same thing as greedy! Every dime of profit made through Money Saving Mom’s budget will go straight to Compassion International. How sweet is that?
After reading Money Saving Mom’s Budget, I’ve even got enough gumption to try cash budgeting myself—something I’ve been avoiding for a while. This is a truly inspirational book. I think I’ll buy a few copies and “lose” them in the park or something. You never know who might benefit from a random encounter with Money Saving Mom. I know I certainly did!