This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Shelby for winning!
When BrownThumbPapa and I were newlyweds, we were thrifty out of necessity. We used to joke that the decorating scheme for our house was “Early American Attic.”
Our dining room was furnished from Papa’s parents’ garage:
The living room was nearly as bare as the dining room. We were given an old sofa and lamp so the living room wasn’t completely empty. Yes, that’s a car stereo speaker on the floor so we could listen to the house stereo.
Those days were many years ago, but some things haven’t changed. Now we’re thrifty by choice, and it enables us to do more with the money we have. This is why I really enjoyed Crystal Paine’s book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year.
Crystal knows what she’s doing and isn’t just repeating stuff she’s heard or read elsewhere. She and her husband lived on a beans and rice budget to stay out of debt while he went through law school. Their grocery and household products budget was $35 a week, (sounds familiar!) and they lived in a tiny basement apartment.
Unlike some books on frugal living–and believe me, I’ve read them all–Crystal isn’t preachy or condescending. Reading The Money Saving Mom’s Budget made me feel like a good friend was giving heartfelt, encouraging advice. She doesn’t ask you to do anything crazy, like sell plasma or stop using toilet paper. Instead, she gives concrete ideas and advice from her own experience.
One idea that we’ve implemented from her book is saving for a goal. Currently, any extra money in checking at the end of each month goes toward our emergency fund—even if it’s just $10. An emergency fund is important, but once the money goes into savings I won’t touch it. This means that some “luxury” purchases don’t get made, because I won’t use a credit card for them.
We identified some goals and have implemented a high-tech method of saving for them.
When we empty our pockets of change, we put it in whichever jar appeals to us at the time. If I’m tired of sweeping, I’ll drop some money in the jar for the Dyson vacuum. As it gets closer to summer, we’ll save more for a security door so the fresh air can breeze through the house. Money from recycling and mail-in rebates also goes in a jar. (Money from online surveys goes toward Christmas.) This allows us to add to our emergency fund and pay cash for these luxury purchases!
What else can you learn from The Money Saving Mom’s Budget? Here are just a few of the tantalizing topics she covers:
- Give yourself an instant raise without increasing your take-home pay
- 9 ways to get coupons for free
- How to use your great deals to feed your family
- 25 ways to lower your grocery bill without clipping coupons
- Dress your children for free
- 10 ways to earn an extra $100 per month
And yes, they’re all realistic, legitimate ideas. You won’t be knitting sweaters for your kids from dryer lint or selling your hair to earn extra money.
Are you ready to run right out and order a copy? Hang on!
One lucky BrownThumbMama reader will win a copy of The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.
For bonus entries (leave a separate comment for each one):
• “Like” BrownThumbMama on Facebook. (Let me know if you already do.)
• Subscribe to BrownThumbMama for free by email. (If you already subscribe, let me know.) • Post about this giveaway on your Facebook wall or blog.
U.S. entries only, please. Contest is open until 7pm PST on Thursday, January 12, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday. Good luck!
Disclosure: I was provided a review copy of the book at no charge. My opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way.