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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

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  724 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
From one of Nielsen’s top 50 power moms comes advice you can take to the bank—literally!

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 i
ebook, 224 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Gallery Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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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
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Victor Gentile
Apr 01, 2012 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
Kim Heimbuch
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
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Beth Anne
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kristen Rudd
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tried her 30 minute room declutter on my guest room. The guest bedroom has not had a guest in over two years and has become a dumping ground for various “stuff” that I am too busy (lazy) to take upstairs or down to the basement to put away. It had become a huge source of stress, as I sometimes couldn’t even close the door on the mess, it was so overflowing. I thought 30 minutes would let me get a good sized dent in the mess. I took only two bags: Put Away and Throw Away. I was ruthless and thr ...more
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
If you have never followed Crystal Paine's website then there may be a few useful tips in here, that's why I gave it three stars. I say a few because even if you haven't there isn't much in here someone somewhere else hasn't said. (As far as financial/money saving sites go). However, if you have followed her for any amount of time (and especially those that found her website when she first started) there is absolutely not one thing in this book that you have not heard her say at least once (most ...more
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gave good tips on how to save money. The biggest tip was USE CASH at much as possible. Create bank accounts (or envelopes) to save for specific expenses monthly.

The author advised collecting money for your expenses monthly. Most people who are living check to check can't, for example,gather their ENTIRE grocery money for the month using one check then divided it by 4, as nothing else would get paid. But she did offer an option of allocating $40 per person, per week as a starting point
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 16, 2013 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
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Catherine Gillespie
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
Beth Bender
I was disappointed in this book.

Crystal Paine is extremely gifted in terms of encouraging people in a positive and uplifting way. Given that I thought this book was very simplistic and really nothing new. In my experience, many people with financial problems have deeper issues at play rather than simply making a budget and setting goals. She doesn't acknowledge or address this at all. Like reading a weight loss book that recommends eating less and exercising more. Things aren't always that simp
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
Meagan Nielsen
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-read
This is a great book all about budgeting and saving money. It is written in a very easy to read style. I love now it gives step by step instructions of how to do different budgets, how to save money on groceries, etc. Crystal Paine has also included lots of tips and tricks when it comes to saving money. She emphasizes that saving money and budgeting takes time and that you can't do it all at once! You have to start with one or two things and the gradually take on more. I discovered a lot of new ...more
Literary Mama
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
Apr 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Has some helpful non-financial tips such as creating a time budget instead of a schedule, and it explains the way extreme couponing works. I don't think I will become an extreme couponer for now, though. I was a little disappointed, or perhaps I should be encouraged, to find that I was doing many of her suggestions to save money already. After we try to make some money selling our clutter, I might work up the determination to try some of her other tips that require more effort. I would definitel ...more
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