I’m always looking for great ideas to help moms make their lives easier. Many thanks to Beth Christian for writing this guest post, offering tips she learned while reading The Money Saving Mom’s Budget Guide.
They’re here! They appear at this time every year. You know what I’m talking about: a better diet, more exercise, family dinners instead of fast food, or a new budget. This is the time of year that we come face to face with our annual resolutions. If the budget category is at the top of your list this year, Crystal Paine is here to help with budgeting tips and tricks from her new book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.
Crystal is the guiding force behind the popular Money Saving Mom blog. Her book is an engaging, easy to read outline of how to incorporate budgeting into your daily life. She weaves real life examples from her own life and the lives of her readers with practical, down to earth budgeting advice. Among the tips that she shares are the following:
Clear one hour in your schedule for goal setting
Write down where you want to be financially five years from now-then pick a short term, medium but do-able goal, and a seemingly impossible goal. Break down those goals into bite sized pieces. Suddenly, they won’t seem so overwhelming.
Get rid of clutter
Crystal talks about physical clutter elimination, as well as the time grabbers that steal hours out of your daily life. She also outlines how to create a time budget, a brilliant idea for those of us (in other words, all of us) who feel time deprived.
Give yourself a raise without working more by creating a realistic household budget
In the budget chapter, Crystal incorporates easy to use money saving tips (such as eating meatless dinners once a week) that will allow you to free up cash.
Go credit card free
Go credit card free (temporarily) and use an online or physical envelope system for tracking where each paycheck goes.
Basic and advanced couponing techniques
I consider myself to be fairly coupon savvy and have taught a couponing class, but I still picked up some great ideas from Crystal. (who knew that some Starbucks and McDonald’s locations have extra Sunday coupon inserts available if you ask for them?)
Twenty-five ways to lower your grocery bill without using coupons
Did you know that Target and Walmart will price match if you bring in a competing grocery or drugstore ad?
Have fun without spending a ton
Have fun without spending a ton by using resources such as Paperback Swap to trade paperback books or by going out for a dessert date instead of a full meal
Embrace today and cultivate contentment
My favorite tip? Embrace today and cultivate contentment.
Plus more in the book
No matter what your financial circumstances are, you are likely to pick up some great tips from this book. Best of all, it is written with busy moms in mind. Each chapter is broken into smaller sections (so if you have to mediate a sibling dispute, it’s easy to pick up where you left off). After reading this book, you may find that budgeting is one resolution that you may actually keep this year (unlike the resolution that suggests laying off chocolate chip cookies).
The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year is available for pre-order at Amazon where it is currently priced at $11.09 (21% off) and other local book retailers. The title will be released on January 10, 2012.
Disclosure: Beth received a pre-publication copy of the book for review purposes.
Beth Christian is an attorney and food blogger from New Jersey. She blogs about food, wine and travel at Jersey Bites, as well as health care developments at the NJ Healthcare blog. Beth’s RSS feed is full of blogs that she loves to read, including Just Precious and Money Saving Mom.
© 2012, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.