I've been reading Money Saving Mom's blog since late 2007, way back when couponing wasn't cool and the economy was good. I fell in love with Crystal's honesty in saving money and keeping a simple home. I walked with her (via her blog) through the birth of her son, who was actually born the same day as my daughter. During that pregnancy, I stocked my freezer with her, de-cluttered my home and had a few yard sales. Her writing style is personal, capturing, and real. Some days I feel like she's sitting next to me at my dining room table, sharing coffee and just chatting with me. Yes, she's that real.
So, when she announced that she was releasing a book chocked full of budget info, I jumped on the opportunity to review this masterpiece. And I wasn't disappointed. At all.
Crystal holds your hand and walks you through the basic principles that she's preached for years on her blog- making a budget, eliminating clutter, paying cash and using coupons. Her simple, step-by-step writing invites you to come alongside her and do the same for your family, too.
By far, Chapter Two on clutter was my favorite. Since we moved into our new home in August 2010, I have been intentional about reducing and eliminating clutter. Although I haven't been 100% successful, I have made a strong effort to rid extra items from my home on a regular basis. And it will come as no surprise to those who know me well- my 2012 resolution is to continue to keep my home clutter free and well maintained. I have quite a bit of room to grow in the cleaning aspect of my home, but it's easier to clean when there is less clutter, right? :)
The rest of the book is outstanding as well, although I do not practice all of her recommendations at this time in my life. Prior to returning to work full-time last January, I was a bread-baking, cleaning-schedule, coupon-savvy mom of two. But that all changed when I went to work and my husband lost his job. Last year was quite the adjustment for our family when my husband became a stay at home dad for a large portion of the year and was primarily responsible for the grocery shopping. My time to coupon became limited and we were both just keeping our heads above water. (For more details on that radical time in our lives, read my blog dedicated to my daughter, or this post.)
Nonetheless, the goal-setting, budget-conscious, money-saving principles in Crystal's book can still be applied even if you aren't able to coupon right now. That's what I love about Crystal- she takes the attitude of "apply the basic principles and do what works for you". She even admits to taking occasional breaks from couponing or freezer cooking herself!
Her book releases this Tuesday (January 10) and is sure to top the charts! I can't recommend it highly enough. Whether you're managing the budget for your family, just starting out on your own, or been at this budget thing for years, you're sure to gain much from Crystal's wisdom and insight.
Add The Money Saving Mom's Budget to your 2012 reading list right now!