Sunday, April 1, 2012

Money Saving Mom's Budget

Several years ago, I stumbled upon a 'little' blog called Money Saving Mom. I was very intrigued by the content and the amazing deals that her and her readers were getting. I bookmarked her sight and found myself stopping by on occasion. After some time, I finally decided to try one of the CVS deals that was posted. It was for Colgate toothpaste at CVS. It was a rather simple deal, and I was nervous as all get out. I headed to the register and handed the clerk the first tube of toothpaste and a coupon. She handed me an ECB and I handed her the next tube of toothpaste. I did this three more times. In the end, I left the store with 5 tubes of toothpaste and a $1.99 ECB and it had only cost me $.99 because I had a coupon. I was so nervous walking out to my car. I kept thinking, there is no way that I could do that. Is someone going to come out and tell me there was a mistake. It was not long after completing that first deal that I started this blog.

Hard to believe, but that was about 4 years ago. I still continue to read Crystal's blog, as well as many other sites that I have discovered over the past few years. I really enjoy the online connections that I have. I really enjoy the fun of finding and sharing great deals. I enjoy what I have learned about new products and tips to make things easier. I wasn't a menu planner before I started to blog. Now that I do, I can't imagine life without menu planning.

When I learned that Crystal would be publishing a book, I knew that it would be a great collection of helpful tips and guidance. I recently had the opportunity to listen to the audio book.

The book reflects a lot of what is found and shared on her blog. For the most part, the ideas were not new to me, but listening to them, was a way to reinforce them and to give me a different perspective. There are a lot of things that she talks about that don't work for me and/or I'm not willing to implement. There are tips that I think would work great if you were in a point of financial difficulty and trying to improve things, but since what I am doing is working for me, are not things I would change. She provides a framework, worksheets and resources to help you implement a budget in your life.

One new thing that it made me consider is a Time Budget. We all think and know about Financial Budgets, but what about time? Time is a constrained resource. There are only so many hours in a day and each task that you undertake involves a certain commitment of time. How do you plan your day? Not planning alotted times can make you feel like you have accomplished nothing. Planning to dedicate a certain amount of each day (or a given day) to tasks like cleaning and laundry allows you to measure what you have accomplished, even though there is always more that can be done. By setting up a Time Budget you can feel accomplished and move on to the next task at hand. When my kids were little, I recognized that my time was limited and chose to dedicate the 1/2 hour after they were in bed to doing dishes and cleaning up in the kitchen. It allowed me to not feel bad about not getting everything done, as I was doing the 'time' that I had committed to. It gave me the chance to spend the evening enjoying my family and not worrying about cleaning up fully from dinner until after they were in bed. I didn't consider it a time budget at the time, but now I recognize that was what I was doing.

Overall, I think it is a good introduction to the concepts of planning and budgeting. I have never taken the Dave Ramsey course, but from what I have heard and read, it seems that she does reflect on many of the principles that he instills.

"Crystal Paine, who has helped busy women everywhere take control of their finances, presents her most effective strategies designed for families of all sizes and income levels

With hundreds of inspiring “why didn’t I think of that?” TIPS, plus WORKSHEETS, Paine breaks down your goals into easy, manageable steps so you can:

• Achieve a complete financial makeover
• Set up a realistic budget
• Never pay retail
• Slash your grocery bill
• Organize your time & your home
• Use coupons wisely
• Pay with cash only
• Live simply
• Become debt free
• Choose contentment
• Make every dollar count

About Crystal Paine:

Crystal Paine is a wife and homeschooling mom to three young children who has been writing on topics related to frugality for the last five years—and living a frugal, simple, and debt-free life since she was born. Her blog,, is one of the top personal finance blogs on the web averaging over four million pageviews per month. Crystal has contributed to articles in Woman's Day magazine and All You magazine, as well as being mentioned on National Public Radio and, in USA Weekend, and Real Simple magazine and numerous other local newspapers and radio and television stations."

Special Event and Giveaway!
Celebrate with Crystal by entering her iPad2 Giveaway (a GREAT tool to keep track of your budget!) and RSVPing to the Live Webcast Event on 4/5!

One savvy winner will receive:

  • A Brand new iPad2
  • The Money Saving Mom's Budget by Cyrstal Paine, audio edition
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 4/4/12. 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 prinicples 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 encouragement.

Want to see what other bloggers have had to say? You can check out the blog tour here.

You can head here to purchase a copy of the book.

No compensation was received for this post. A complimentary copy of the audio book was provided for me to listen to and share with my readers. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.