I recently finished The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year by Crystal Paine. In keeping with my number one goal of living debt-free I decided this would be a great resource. I have read MoneySavingMom.com for a couple of years, but mostly for the coupon advice. I didn't really think I could be debt free. I didn't really think I had it in me to slash our grocery budget.
But that was before 2012. In combination with other books I've read, and this book, I don't just believe it's possible to be debt-free, I believe it's actually possible to live frugally and then be able to save and generously give. I've seen the light, Praise the Lord, AMEN!
Anyways, The Money Saving Mom's Budget was one of the books I thought I would read to kick off 2012 the right way. I'm so glad I did read it.
The book covers everything from the necessity of organization to how to play the drugstore game. The author believes that being organized is one of the most important steps to becoming financially responsible. If you're going to buy something, then you should probably know if you already have one, or it's a waste of time and money.
I really appreciated her views on going plastic-free. Plastic as in debit and credit cards. I do not use my credit card, but my debit card is another story. Often I will use my debit card to fill in the gap between my purchases and my cash. And look at where I am! So, I understand that it's a great thing to leave the debit card at home. Now if I can only make myself do it. I'm working on that one.
I also really liked the encouragement to live frugally. For the first time I finally saw the beauty of frugality. I had always equated frugality with cheapness. But I understand it differently now. It is not cheap to be able to help a neighbor out with groceries because my spending is under control. It is not cheap to have the cash to give to someone in need. Frugality frees up money to be able to BLESS PEOPLE! How wonderful. I always thought we just needed to make more money in order to be more generous. I had it all wrong. I need to live responsibly so that we can give more of what we have now.
Yes, most of what I read in the book I could have read on her blog. But I think I read and retain better with a book format. If that's you, and you need a good financial and frugal living advice book, I highly recommend this book.