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The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  625 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Crystal Paine, who has helped busy women everywhere take control of their finances, presents her most effective strategies designed for families of all sizes and income levels.

With hundreds of inspiring “why didn’t I think of that?” TIPS, plus WORKSHEETS, Paine breaks down your goals into easy, manageable steps so you can:

• Achieve a complete financial makeover

• Set up a

Paperback, 207 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Gallery Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,268)
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Jasmine Marie {#thebookishmama}
It is hard to admit, but several years ago, I found myself buried underneath consumer debt without any real plans on how to get out. I was very much into retail therapy, especially when my boyfriend at the time (who is now my amazing husband) was away for two years in the Peace Corps. It was my way of coping with loneliness. Unfortunately, it led to a lot of bad habits with the ways I spent money. It wasn't until we were engaged and talking about merging our money together that I had to come fac ...more
Dec 21, 2011 Dianna rated it really liked it
This book is an easy and quick read, and chock-full of ideas for saving money. We start with the basics: budgeting, getting out of debt, saving money on everyday necessities.

I really like that Mrs. Paine focuses on goal-setting so much. Although I'm pretty frugal overall, I think that setting goals would get me a lot father—goals give you something to work toward.

I couldn't help comparing this book to Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover: they both advocate getting out of debt, not getting in
Sep 08, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
I thought this was a good book. If you read her blog, a lot of the material and ideas are similar (and the blog is sometimes fresher - this book is only 3 years old, but it felt a bit dated). The most helpful sections for me here were the grocery shopping and meal prep ideas. I also liked the reader stories that she shared as examples.

In the beginning, her cheeriness wasn't an issue. Towards the end, when she took a turn to the spiritual on choosing contentment, I wasn't as interested. It's not
Beth Anne
Nov 25, 2011 Beth Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
I was given an advance copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

This is a quick, easy, and encouraging personal finance often do those qualities go together?! It was also much more than a book about money. The principals of being careful with your finances extend to all aspects of purposeful living. Crystal Paine writes, and this is her first book. As someone who reads her blog regularly, I was familiar with a lo
Victor Gentile
Apr 03, 2012 Victor Gentile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crystal Paine in her new book “The Money Saving Mom’s Budget” published by Oasis Audio gives us ways to Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year. The book has been released in audiobook format and is available from them at Christian Audio ( and is narrated by the author Crystal Paine.

From The Back Cover: From one of Nielsen’s Top 50 Power Moms comes advice you can take to the bank—literally! Crystal Paine, who has helped b
Mar 30, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Author: Crystal Paine
Publisher: Gallert Books (Simon and Schuster)
January 2012
ISBN: 978-1451646207
Genre: Inspirational/financial

THE MONEY $AVING MOM’S BUDGET is a book that will help turn your family’s finances around. Based on sound wisdom, this book will help you put together a budget, encourage you to pay cash (and not use credit), to pay down your debts as quickly as possible, and to take control of your life.

Each chapter includes stories by real people,
Jun 03, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
When you're trying to reach a financial goal, there are basically two ways to meet it: increase your income and/or cut your expenses. In reality, you have to do both. If you just increase your income, your expenses could increase at the same time, leaving you back where you started. If you just cut expenses, eventually you will run out of expenses to cut.

The Money Saving Mom's Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year by Crystal Paine of Mon
Feb 16, 2012 Lynn rated it really liked it
Wow I seem to be reading many books that I find interesting and have great ideas but I don't plan on following for the whole book.

What I liked about this book? Crystal Paine, the author, cuts things into very small chunks. She asks basic questions about goals and goals that aren't just about money. What do you like to do? Do you have a time budget?

Now you might want to ask, why does a book called money saving budget have a question about time? Well when you can budget your 24 hours and reduce cl
Kim Heimbuch
May 22, 2012 Kim Heimbuch rated it it was ok
Currently listening to Crystal Paine's audiobook "The Money Saving Mom's Budget" read by herself. She reads very quickly and I feel as if I am being yelled at hidden behind a smiling chipper voice. Going to try and push through it....

The overall information is well laid out and mostly common sense. The majority of the ideas seem to fit well only for stay at home mom scenarios. While she did suggest doing small things for money here and there, one solution to overcoming financial burden and debt
Kristen Rudd
Jun 06, 2012 Kristen Rudd rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking to save money
Recommended to Kristen by: New Books shelf at library
I used to follow Crystal's blog a while back, so when I saw this on the New Books shelf at the library, of course I had to pick it up.

I feel like I'm pretty on top of things with our budget, but I would like to be saving a little bit more (I'm trying to figure out how to save for replacing our vehicles down the road), so this came at a good time for me.

I like that this starts you off in reasonable chunks for learning how to set goals, budget, save, and use coupons. It can be very easy to dive
Anne Bogel
Jan 29, 2012 Anne Bogel rated it liked it
I'm a Money Saving Mom reader, and this book does a good job of capturing the essence of what Crystal blogs about. Her personal story is so inspiring and she summarizes it well here.

I gave this book only 3 starts because while the book contains quality content, it feels incomplete. I felt like I was reading the middle of a good book that was missing the beginning and ending.

That being said, this book would be an excellent primer for anyone trying to plant their feet on firm financial ground, a
Kitty Jay
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode disappointed me, but I read several positive reviews of Paine's earlier book, The Money Saving Mom's Budget, which convinced me to pick it up - and I'm glad I did.

The first few chapters are mostly about the importance of a budget, which, presumably if someone is picking a book like this up, they know already. But she does give a fairly simple and easy-to-follow directions for actually creating that budget and sticking to it. Some people, I'm sure, want to follow a
Catherine Gillespie
Jun 13, 2015 Catherine Gillespie rated it liked it
If you ever feel like you could use some help with organization, goal setting, and just generally getting your life together, you will get a lot out of Crystal Paine’s new book The Money Saving Mom’s Budget. If, in addition to all of those factors you also need some help getting your finances in order, you will really get a lot out of it.

I have been reading Crystal’s blog since before she started Money Saving Mom, and so I wondered if I would find anything new in the book, but this is not just a
Brandi Davis
Excellent book full of numerous ways to save money, cut spending, and get out of debt. Crystal Paine starts at the very beginning of getting your finances in order, a budget. She walks you through step by step how to create a "bare bones budget" and then a full fledged budget. She also gives you numerous tips and tricks to save money on everything you buy. She also includes worksheets to help you along the way! I consider myself to be pretty frugal, I just don't always make a plan for HOW to acc ...more
Jun 29, 2015 Travis rated it really liked it
Budgeting and frugality have become very important to me since my family became a single income family due to my wife becoming a stay at home mom. I peruse the site Living Well Spending Less for tips and advice. It was from an article on that web site that I discovered the web site Money Saving Mom, which is run by the author of this book. While the updates on the web site seem way too focused on deals and coupons, this book is an excellent primer and refresher for creating and sticking to a bud ...more
Mar 12, 2016 Cindy rated it really liked it
Lot of great money saving tips and Crystal’s experiences living with a very limited budget make this cost saving guide a must read for everyone. Paine goes over setting up and sticking to a budget, never paying retail, coupons, cutting your grocery bill and becoming organized. Though the title is marketed towards mothers this book is for everyone. I finished this book feeling inspired to make changes in my saving and spending habits and I believe other readers will as well.

“A cheerful attitude c
Jan 14, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing
I was excited to read this book as soon as it came out, as I have been a fan of Crystal's from her blog, I love her writing style - she is so humble yet also funny and inspiring. Her first book did not disappoint. It was a quick read but really walked through how to save money in a very step-by-step way that anyone could easily follow. Although I already knew most of the information in the couponing chapters I still enjoyed her suggestions about starting with clearing out the ...more
Carrie Aldrich
Feb 20, 2015 Carrie Aldrich rated it did not like it
Shelves: quit-reading
For people who start out in a good place and want to continue to be savvy with their money this might be good, the author started out with healthy finances and her husbands mother passes away and left them a lump of $. Easy to continue on a good path that way.
I started out without anything and struggle to make ends meet on an already strict budget. Most of her methods don't work for me.
Have up on the book 1/2 way through because I was so frustrated.
Sep 17, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
I happened on this book at just the right time. I've been getting into couponing lately, so when I found this in a bookstore I did something I rarely do. I bought a book, and I'm glad I did. (I'm much more of a library user, generally.) The first thing I did after buying the book (and before reading it) was to check out website of the author. I can see why it's so popular. I almost wondered if I still wanted the book after discovering the blog- there's a ton of good info on t ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Kim rated it liked it
A good summary/intro book for improving the household budget, and offering multiple ideas of how to do so. There is not a lot of depth, which isn't surprising considering the broad topic and size of the book. However, there is enough to get you started, give you new ideas, or to motivate you in the right direction.

I think the author could probably have left out philosophical/conceptual ideas that can't be addressed in this context anyway, and instead substituted some pages of more concrete detai
Jan 18, 2012 Christina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-christina
The Pros: If you follow Crystal's blog and already enjoy her writing, you will love this book. It focuses primarily on making goals and saving money which are her strengths. There is plenty of motivational material here and I did not feel like I was re-reading previous blog entries.

The Cons: If you follow Crystal's blog, you already know most of her story so nothing here will be completely new. Also, the couponing and saving money tips are similar if not identical to the material she has covered
Jan 22, 2013 Kylene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be helpful and it had some great tips for saving money. I especially liked the first and last sections. The first section talked about goal-setting as far as finances go...and I liked the idea of breaking seemingly big goals into smaller ones. Not rocket science by any means, but I had never thought about breaking down financial goals in the way she described. I also like how she stressed organization and clearing clutter as being part of becoming more financially sound. I w ...more
Jan 23, 2014 Zoe rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The title of this books is something of a misnomer, as there is little in here that doesn't apply to everyone, not just mothers. It's basically a very good, very basic finance book that everyone should read (unless they are already on a working budget and sticking to it). She gives practical advice for a household budget, where to cut bits off, and a few worksheets with some of the most up to date, realistic categories yet. Also has some very good financial books and websites recommended.
Apr 24, 2014 Jeburke58 rated it it was amazing
I have read many books that are about frugal living, saving money, etc. I loved the way this book was organized. The author takes you through a series of steps to organize your goals. This approach alone is one reason I thought this book was excellent. It offers a different way of getting a grip on finances, budgets, and frugal ways of living.
Michele Johnston
Jan 25, 2016 Michele Johnston rated it really liked it
Shelves: budget
I am reading this now and have come up with some financial goals (chapter one) that would be great for our family to meet. Next - clearing clutter (we have done 2 rooms already so we are off to a good start for chapter 2). I am interested in learning other ways than couponing to earn some money and save time.
Apr 21, 2014 Ben rated it really liked it
This is a great book with a lot of really practical information that most people will never apply to their lives because they choose not to. But if you want to live different and better than this is a book for you. I highly recommend this book to people who are willing to change to get better results out of life. I really enjoyed it.
Mar 23, 2012 Jody rated it really liked it
Already a MSM fan, I was hooked on this book from start to finish. Although I received my copy of the audiobook for free as a blog promotion, I had intended to buy/loan this book anyway - I was that eager to read Crystal's advice on being a frugal mom. The audiobook is read by Crystal Paine herself, which I think was a huge plus; it gives you a small glimpse into her personality. Don't let the title fool you. Although she addresses many great budgeting principles, she also offers great tips on o ...more
Feb 25, 2015 Emily rated it liked it
I admit to skimming, but we have a thorough budget and a pretty hearty coupon plan, as well as already implementing a lot of her other tips (1 car, we moved to a lower col area...) but if I were starting from scratch this would have gotten 5 stars.
This book is NOT 256 pages. More like 200, if you count the preface pages.

Crystal shows you the basics of household budgeting (breaking it down into a three-step process with a food budget, an "essentials" budget, and an everything-else budget), how to use coupons to save money, and other ways to have fun or do things for less. There are a number of useful anecdotes sprinkled in for variety. The book is rather like her blog, just more polished. The back has a useful appendix of information, thou
Literary Mama
Apr 09, 2012 Literary Mama added it
Shelves: advice
Paine organizes her guidebook around seven rules and 19 action points for financial success, each of which emphasizes underlying themes of goal-setting and planning for the future. Much of her advice is based on five years of conversations with her blog readers. A 2008 Nielsen Online survey lists Paine's blog ( as one of its five Savvy Spender Mom Blogs. Personal financial success, however, makes The Money $aving Mom's Budget a trustworthy read: Paine and her husband set month ...more
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