Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Money Saving Mom's Budget

I was honored by being selected to receive a free copy of The Money Saving Mom's Budget audio book and to be part of Litfuse's Blog Hop party to share my opinion of Crystal Paine's book!! For those of you that know me, I have been a huge fan of MSM for a long time. For a while, I think I was a obsessed groupie but that changed into a true respect  for what the Paine family has done to live a counter cultural life. They have lived in the now, saved for the future, made sacrifices, given extravagantly, and tried to be the best stewards of God's gifts that they can be.

So I was super excited to get to review this book and share with you a great giveaway that they are holding in honor of its release!

I have to start off  by saying I love Crystal's simple approach to things in her book. It is easy to understand, there is no strange jargon to dissect, and the principles are everyday steps to move your family toward their goals whether those be to live with less, give more, get out of debt, save money, or get organized.

I enjoyed her overall approach to getting to your financial goals by changing the entire way one lives. While many may say that a cluttered home has nothing to do with drowning in debt, I have to disagree. Her outlook is that if one area of you life is in disorder, most likely that will spill into other areas as well. She points out that if piles of clutter are disorganized all over your counters, there is a good chance a bill may get lost which will then cost you more money whether it be in overnighting a bill or in late fees. She also points out that not knowing what you have can lead to duplicate purchases and waste of funds.

I liked that she not only covered ways to get out of debt by creating a budget and sticking with it, but she also focused on goal setting, saving money in the first place, and other strategies to bring in extra income. Some examples given in depth were staying home, using coupons, and selling unneeded items to bring in money. She explained how to plan goals for the now, a little way out, and for the big picture of life. She proves that having a goal with no plan is like planning a trip but having no idea how to get there.

There were many positive stories from other readers and MSM followers, that showed how her principles look played out in real life. They shared how taking simple steps transformed their lives and their outlooks on money, budgeting, and stewardship. Crystal showed how using a budget is a freeing tool not the ball and chain many people view it as. In a detailed portion of the book, she shows how sitting down and writing out a budget can work for anyone. She uses a gradual method that allows for people to ease into this new concept and make it work for them.

As much as I am a fan, there were a few things about the book that stuck out as negatives. Crystal has stated many times on her blog and FB page about how awkward vlog posts are and how new things make her uncomfortable and have really made her have to step out of her comfort zone. I really felt this showed through in her audio book. I felt uncomfortable for her the entire time I was listening and wished that maybe someone else should have read the book, but at times you could really feel her passion for topics that no one else could have emphasized while reading.
As a longtime follower, I have to admit the book was very, very basic stuff. Most of the book was repackaged ideas from Dave Ramsey with a little organizing and decluttering thrown in. Most people will know how to do most of these basic things mentioned in the book, applying them will be the test. For someone who is reading her blog on a daily or weekly basis, the ideas discussed in this book will be old hat. There were many places in the book where I could match it up with posts on her blog verbatim, which makes me wonder why people would want to pay money for something they could read online anytime. It is nice to have all the information in a succinct format all in one place and the knowledge that all proceeds are going to a fabulous cause would make me want to splurge on the small price tag.

I really enjoyed listening to this book as there were a few things in our home that I had let slip through the cracks lately and this encouraged me and spurred me on to be a better steward and focus back on why we are doing what we feel convicted to do. For those in a downward spiral of debt and chaos, it is a easy quick read and can help you quickly get your life back on track and achieve your goals with a little hard work and determination!

See the giveaway below!!
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 Crystal 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 principles 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!

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