The Money Saving Mom®’s Budget Audiobook Review

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I have been a follower of Crystal Paine at Money Saving Mom for a number of years.  I highly recommend visiting her blog on a regular basis as she always has helpful money saving tips, store match-ups and other practical and valuable information.  By being a blog follower for that length of time I have come to rely on the gentle guidance that Crystal provides.  And it was from this interest in her blog that made me want to also listen to her new book.

Ideally I would just read the book, but between blogging, taking care of the family and household, plus other commitments, I don’t have a lot of reading time these days.  Instead I opted for an audio version.  I am not a particularly good audio listener as I learn best from visual cues, but Crystal’s writing and voice (she taped the audio recording) is easy to follow.  Ultimately I was able to listen best in the car while driving my two younger sons to preschool.   At home there are too many interruptions, but in the car I could focus quite well on the subject.

The book starts with Crystal’s upfront honesty, and this is why I respect her.  She doesn’t claim to have all the answers to give you a quick fix to your finances.  In fact she proposes the opposite.  She places all responsibility quite clearly on the listener.  Only with hard work, dedication,  patience, and discipline can you make your goals come true.  Crystal is merely a guide presenting the way to best get your affairs in order.  Like anything in life, many people will not be able to make financial responsibility happen as they lack those necessary skills.   Does that sound negative?  I’m just being realistic.  The form of maturity and self-awareness that Crystal promotes is not a skill all people will attain.   Have you ever heard someone say “they just don’t get it”.  It is my experience that some people don’t “get it”.  They will make excuses and complain rather than truly fix their situation.

That being said, those that do want to make changes and are willing to accept responsibility for all their actions will be inspired and guided by The Money Saving Mom book.  Crystal is above all else, practical.  Her advice is sound and well thought-out.  The title Money Saving MOM fits her, as much of her writing is indeed something a wise mother would teach her children.  Don’t spend what you don’t have, sweetie and what you do have, save.

As the child of farmers I grew up with conservative financial role models.  Good farmers don’t have flashy equipment or expensive toys.  My parents operated our small farm with dated and worn equipment that my father kept in the best condition possible.  Making due is not a shocking idea to me.   It is almost amazing to me that Crystal is a not a farm child as all, as I previously believed this form of thriftiness was only predominant to farm families.  Crystal proves that financial responsibility is important and worthwhile for all.

The first part of her book is dedicated to getting your life in order.  If your life is in chaos is going to be hard to get your finances in order as well.  Crystal relates to the busy, hurried life most of us live, but doesn’t cut any excuses.  Find the time to get your life in order, is her advice.

The middle section of the book she delves into creating a budget.  First creating a basic, non-confusing, easy to manage one that fits your family and eventually add fine tuning as necessary.  Crystal and her husband are well disciplined and their system will not work for everyone, but she isn’t try to make her readers exact replicas.  Instead using her basic outline readers can adjust according to their needs and wants.  Crystal lives an entirely debt free life and always has, including the cash purchase of their home.  This goal is not attainable or necessarily desired by all, but her strategies can apply to any financial situation.

The latter section of her book is dedicated to finding way to help you save money.  Couponing, garage sales, and a wide variety of other options are presented for saving money and making some extra cash.  For a seasoned saver these ideas will probably not be new, but for some with less experience they will be truly helpful. And the final chapter of her book, Embrace Today, is dedicated to finding contentment with your life.  And overall this is another reason I found this book to be self-helping in nature.  Money is an essential topic, but at the core Money Saving Mom wants to help you be a better, more fulfilled human being.

Here are the titles of all her chapters-

Chapter 1–If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, Any Train Will Get You There

Chapter 2–Are the Chaos and Clutter in Your Lie Keeping You from Financial Success?

Chapter 3–Give Yourself and Instant Raise Without Increasing Your Take-Home Pay

Chapter 4–Go Totally Plastic-Free

Chapter 5–Coupons Are Not Just for Junk Food

Chapter 6–Beyond the Basics:Advanced Couponing Techniques

Chapter 7–25 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill WITHOUT Clipping Coupons

Chapter 8–Going Out on the Town Without Going Broke

Chapter 9–Embrace Today

So what did I think?  I live a fairly frugal life.  My husband and I are not nearly as disciplined or driven as Crystal and her husband, but listening to this book made feel good about many of the decisions we have made and ultimately provided inspiration to continue to live a well designed life.  Her type-A personality is familiar (I like things orderly as well), and her advice is friendly and inspiring.  She is that friend who just has her life together better than you, but rather than being egotistical about it she is modest and sincere in her willingness to help others.

My advice?  If you need help getting your life or finances in order read The Money Saving Mom’s Budget
book ($10.99) or listen to the audio version($9.99).   Or even if you have a good grasp on money matters check out the book for inspiration and some tips and tricks that might have slipped by you.  And don’t forget that 100% of the proceeds of the book will benefit the Child Survival Program fund.

Enter Today and Save the Date-4/5!

“What I love about the audio edition of The Money Saving Mom’®s Budget is that
I can listen to it on the go – on my run, in the car, or while I’m folding laundry. AND …
I love that it comes with the downloadable workshets. I am able to work through those
while listeing to Crystal speak. So helpful. Perfect for my busy schedule.”
–Anne,
blogger (and reformed budget breaker!)

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 here. 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 advicde 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.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!

Want more info about the MSM?

Click here!

 

I received the above mentioned product for review purposes, all opinions are my own.

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