You’re never stuck-unless you choose to be. – Crystal Paine
If you have read any personal finance blogs in the past 7 years or so, you might have heard of Crystal Paine, a.k.a. The Money Saving Mom. When I was a new mommy and completely overwhelmed with feedings, diaper changes, and oh yeah, finding time to wash the dishes and do seven hundred loads of laundry, I stumbled across her blog and it saved me. Literally. Crystal’s blog helped me with time management, meal planning, and taking some time for me, and still giving my all to my precious newborn. Seriously, I am forever indebted to Crystal ♥
That being said, I couldn’t wait to crack open her book The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, when my library finally notified me that my requested reserve was in 🙂 Let’s dive in, shall we?
Crystal’s advice, although geared primarily towards families, can also be utilized for the single crowd. Being financially solvent applies to EVERYONE, amiright? And what she writes makes total sense and leaves you thinking, wow I can totally do this!
For example, she talks about the “$60 Principle”, which is in a nutshell, try to challenge yourself to save $60 a year. For some people, they might be like, whatever, I can totally do that, piece of cake. But for others who are barely scraping by, $60 is quite a bit of money. Crystal breaks down the challenge into easy steps and helps you see that it can be doable. She advocates to try and save $5 a month which breaks down to just $1.25 a week. Crystal states: “$60 isn’t going to make a significant dent in your debt payoff but the mentality behind saving the money will help you get there. Moving forward is better than standing still or moving backward”.
Because this book is all about saving money, she has many tips for doing just that:
- Learn to meal plan
- Use coupons when you can
- Go plastic-free and try using just cash
- Eat more meatless meals
- Utilize your crock pot
- Instead of going out to the movies, rent a movie from your library for free
- Learn to batch-cook
- Sell your junk
The parts of the book that I enjoyed and that appealed to my minimalist heart were the pages concerning organization, stream lining, and getting rid of clutter.
“If your life and home are not in order, you are just going to make things harder for yourself and likely end up frustrated and overwhelmed” – Crystal Paine
Can I get an amen? 🙂
Some tips, you can totally do today! Eliminate paper clutter. Unsubscribe from those catalogs, yo! Organize that pantry. What is actually in there? Know what ingredients you have on hand to start that meal planning, stat! Create a filing system for bills and receipts. If you are more of a digital person, scan those things and put ’em on your computer and get everything in order!
I think it is important that Crystal does emphasize practicing the art of contentment. If you are not happy with what you have, credit cards will be there to soothe you and skyrocket your debt at the same time. She advises for us to count our blessings and to focus on what we do have, not what we don’t.
“A cheerful attitude can go a long way in less than ideal situations; you can either complain about the thorns or you can savor the roses that bloom in their midst” – Crystal Paine
All in all, this is a great book for anyone needing to overhaul their financial picture but just don’t know how to get started. But make sure you go to the library and check it out because #frugal 🙂