Money Saving Mom was the first blog I ever read. I didn’t even know what blogs were when I found hers.
For me, her site opened up the world of writing-on-the-internet-in-a-format-that-people-might-actually-read.
When the opportunity came up to review the audio version of her new book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, I was excited to do it.
As I said when I met her at a reader meet-up last week, “I was born frugal.” When you speak frugality, you’re talking in my native tongue.
My thoughts on the audiobook?
First of all, audiobooks are perfect for Laundry Folding and Decluttering Distraction. I listened to it while working in my master bedroom last week, and while folding laundry on Monday.
Audiobooks, however, are not perfect for highlighting, bookmarking, and re-reading . . . and this book is full of great, practical tips that I would have liked to re-read and underline. The audiobook does include PDFs of some of the book’s lists and tips, but not all.
My thoughts on the content?
Things I loved:
- Lists of practical tips. The book contains many different lists of tips for saving money on everything from entertainment to food to children’s clothing.
- Real-life application. Crystal doesn’t just share how to get deals. She does a great job of teaching how to save money by changing your perspective. And really, a frugal mindset is the key to changing financial habits.
- Crystal’s advice on financial goal-setting. In the first chapter, Crystal shares how she breaks down financial goals by taking the amount of money required to achieve a (sometimes far-fetched) financial dream and dividing it into monthly amounts. Just saying you’d like to buy a house in three years is different from doing the math to figure out exactly how much you need to earn and save each month to make that happen. This was eye-opening to me and has provoked some interesting conversations with Hubby.
- Crystal’s inspiring story. There’s something really fun about hearing her tell the story of her family’s journey from a basement apartment to a home they paid for with cash. I was encouraged to hear how their extremely lean years started her on the journey to becoming Money Saving Mom.
Things I feel obligated to dispute:
Really, this book speaks my language. Even though I’ve read her blog almost since it began, I found practical tips that I’ve started implementing this week.
However, as Nony the Slob, I feel I must warn you about . . . Chapter Two.
Chapter Two deals with clutter. Honestly, I think Crystal gives wonderful advice . . . for normal people.
Basically, she advises you to set aside a half-day (ha!) to a week (that’s more like it!) to go through your house from top-to-bottom and get it organized so you can have move ahead with your focus on financial goals.
Set aside time? Absolutely.
Go through your house top-to-bottom? More power to ya!
Move ahead and focus on financial goals? Ummm, there’s the problem for people like me.
I am fully capable of getting my house into shape in a week or so. It’s the moving ahead that is the problem. The daily habits that keep it from going straight back into Disaster Status.
Like . . . within two days.
Believe me, I lived for years doing marathon cleaning and organizing sessions, and moving closer to despair each time this method didn’t work for me.
It was only when I started focusing on daily maintenance (something normal people don’t know is optional!) that I finally made real progress.
While I can smile and appreciate the uniqueness of women, I do feel I need to say this:
Don’t let despair over your home keep you from trying to get your finances in order.
I don’t want you to stop reading (or listening) because Chapter Two overwhelms you.
Here’s the thing. Normal people assume that because they can’t focus on anything in the midst of chaos, no one can. While it’s true that no one functions to their full potential in a cluttered environment, people like me let the clutter get so bad because we can focus on something else in the midst of clutter.
It’s the blessing/curse of tunnel-vision.
I couponed, drastically reduced our grocery budget, and funded our three-month emergency fund while our home was far from organized. In fact, my focus on those things significantly contributed to my Slob Vision.
I’m now working toward a healthy balance of having both home and budget under control, but if your financial situation is desperate, don’t let your overwhelming home keep you from moving ahead with your financial goals.
Make sense? In other words, don’t stop reading after Chapter Two.
I was provided with a free copy of the audiobook to facilitate my review. The opinions, the obsession with frugal living, and the cluttered house . . . they’re all mine. Oh, and the Amazon links are my affiliate links!