Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Crystal Paine’s Book is Changing My Life {Review and Giveaway}

{Edit: This giveaway now closed!}

I’m really and truly not exaggerating with that title.

I was given the opportunity to review Crystal Paine’s new book, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, set to release on January 10th. Crystal, aka “Money Saving Mom,” writes a hugely popular blog by the same title. I’ve been following her since 2007, and this woman and her excellent advice has literally saved me thousands of dollars over the past several years. If you’ve never visited her site before, I can’t encourage you enough to go visit it. Like right now. Go ahead, I’ll be here when you get back. ;)

{via}

I can’t really describe it other than to say that when I read her book, something clicked. It was as if all the stuff I’d been hearing for years about how to truly get ahead financially finally aligned in my head - I finally “got it.”

To be perfectly blunt, I didn’t have high expectations when I read this book. I’ve read tons of blogs and several books about personal finance, and a lot of them say the same things: cut back on cable (uhh, we don’t own a tv), cut back on expensive cell phone usage (I use a Target Tracfone), don’t have a car payment (we’ve always driven used cars we paid cash for; our current ones are 21 and 11 years old, respectively), and on and on and on. Most of these books left me depressed, not encouraged.

But Crystal’s book? Simple, and to the point. It’s full of encouragement from a woman who’s BEEN there. (Chapter 9 shares how some months she and her husband had to survive on less than $650 – total. This is a woman who understands what it is to live on less, you guys!)

The number one point I’ve taken away from her book is this:

“I’ve found that the less I shop, the less I spend.” (141)

Ding ding ding! Light bulb!

Here was my problem:

I was taking out cash every week to buy household and grocery items. But inevitably, by the end of the week, I was still whipping out my debit card at the last store I shopped at, and here’s why: I have a bad tendency to go out to a store just to pass the time. I’m not talking about clothing or jewelry stores – I’m talking about boring old stores like CVS, Stop & Shop, or Target. It’s been cold here for a few months now (as in, too cold to go to a playground or park or spend days outside together), so most days I plan a shopping trip to get us out of the house and keep Luke and I from going stir-crazy. I honestly don’t mind being at home that much by myself, but sometimes the walls of this house feel a little too small for just me and my toddler – know what I mean?! lol My husband works a lot of long hours and sometimes the days just draaaaaaaaaag on and on. So one day I’ll go to the grocery store, the next day Target, etc.

Honestly, I really had good intentions. I wasn’t buying myself new wardrobes or treating myself to Starbucks – actually quite the opposite. I would pop into Target with $20 left in my wallet to buy diapers – and then I’d see wipes on sale….or a cleaning product on sale….or a food item I could get at a great price by combining a sale and a coupon….and before I knew it, I was putting $40 on a debit card in addition to my weekly grocery money because everyone knows that buying rock-bottom prices is how you truly save money and stay ahead and…

Yeah. This was continuing week after week after week. Call it “financial death by good intentions.” hahaha

Anyway, I read that line in her book and it changed everything for me. Immediately, I gave myself a challenge. Not only was I not going to use the debit card AT ALL anymore (except for gas – there is no way I’m leaving my 2-year-old alone in the car at the gas station!), I was also going to deliberately stay out of stores that I didn’t really need to go in. I was ALSO going to cut back our grocery budget by $20.

Well, I am happy to say that it has been a success so far! For the last four weeks, I have added an additional $80 toward paying off debt, not to mention all the money I’ve been saving by not using that little green card.

And you know what? It feels so good. :)

Reading her book and talking about it with my husband was also what prompted our No-Spend Month.

Specifically, these quotes:

“Goals give meaning to your efforts…Goals give you accountability…If you don't have written goals, it’s easy to spend money like water…Goals give you momentum…when you start working toward your goals, your whole outlook on how you spend your money changes. You feel a sense of satisfaction as you make progress.” (8, 10, 13-14)

So instead of saying, “We hope we’ll pay off debt soon,” and feeling like there’s never enough money to go around, now we’re saying, “This month we have a goal of putting $500 toward that loan” - and feeling super optimistic.

It’s a total shift in thinking – we’ve moved from hoping and wishing to concrete action.

I could literally go on and on and on about this fabulous book….I could share all the pages I highlighted and tell you how I read it in less than a day and a half because I couldn’t put it down….

But I really want you to read it for yourself.

Because I am posting a review for her, Crystal and her team are going to give me a finished copy of the book (we all got drafts to review). I’m giving away that final copy to one of you! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post – and make sure that if you don’t have a blog, you leave me an e-mail address so I can reach you. (I will mail you the book as soon as Crystal and her team mail it to me, so please understand there may be several weeks’ turnaround.)

Can I tell you my most favorite part about this book? ALL proceeds go to support Compassion International. She is not keeping one dime for herself. Isn’t that fabulous?! So even if you don’t win this giveaway, $11 is a an incredible deal considering you’re getting a fabulous resource and such a wonderful organization is benefiting.

It’s truly a win-win situation! :)

139 comments:

  1. Oh yes random trips just to pass the time and get out of the house...i know that all too well!! What have you been doing to replace wanting to make those trips??

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd love to win it! Yes the only way to save money is to not spend it in the first place!
    Those 'spend $50 and save $10' deals really bug me. Christmas sales bugged me too because things were SO CHEAP you felt like you had to buy stuff or you'd never get a good deal ever again. The only way to truly save is to NOT shop. All the stores print "You saved $XX.XX today." Makes you feel good but you still spent $XXX.XX!
    It is a whole perspective shift. :o)
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sarah - try to keep myself occupied at home - it's not always easy! lol

    Mary - yes that drives me NUTSO too. I think Kohl's is the worst about that!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would LOVE this book! I need some practical tips on how to keep within our budget. Thanks for reviewing for us :) Even if I don't win a copy, I'm going to get one of my own!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'd love a chance to win! Marysvirnig (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  6. OHHHHH, I desperately need this! We have so much debt, it's sickening. And I am guilty of the buying stuff I don't really need thing too - esp those darn DOLLAR bins at all the stores now!! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would love to win the book. I have heard goof reviews and would like to see everything she has to say.

    ReplyDelete
  8. So interesting! Nice to hear financial advice from someone who has been there...

    ReplyDelete
  9. My husband and I made the same shopping mistake just yesterday. I am really looking forward to reading her book, we need help!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'd love to win.
    I'd recommend the library (ours has a kids room and story times for different age groups)and museums (many are free or cheap depending on where you live).

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like a great book!!

    tdwilkerson@cfl.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love your honesty and would love a copy of her book!

    ReplyDelete
  13. i'd love to win i go to the store daily for good deals and good deals are making us broke :(

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would love to win a copy of Crystals book. I like reading about saving money and cutting back on expenses! Its always motivating me to do the same!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I would love to read this book and I amazed all proceeds go to charity. If, I don't win, I will definitely buy it! Thanks!!

    stover.nicole@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've been following Money Saving Mom for a few years now as well and didn't think I could learn anything new from reading her book...thanks for changing my mind. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great review! I would love to win a copy of the book.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am so excited to read this book. Happy to hear the difference it made for you! liesel.e@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I too am guilty of the shopping to get out of the house. When we first moved, and I was home with our little one, I went to the grocery store almost everyday. I knew everyone there. It was the only time I could speak to adults. Try the library or getting a YMCA gym membership. I work for the Y and your monthly dues are based on your income. At the time ours was $30 a month. I could go everyday and my child could play in the kidzone for up to 2 hours a day and I could workout or just sit and read a book. I only went a couple times a week for an hour or so but it was a nice break. The workers were christian women and I loved that. So much so that I now work there myself:)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I follow her on fb and would love to read her book. Lauriehowe (at) Juno (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I may have made those random trips to pass the time 3 or 4 kids ago. Now, with 5 (homeschooling 3 of them), we all get a little stir crazy! Been following Crystals blog for a few years now and would love to read the book!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I too have read many financial books and either it hasn't clicked or we have already tried it. I would love to see if I can have some aha's as well.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I would love to win! sarahanncutler @ gmail. com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm dying to read this book! Thanks!
    coupons4millers@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I follow her blog and would love a copy of the book.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I loved your review of this book. It really makes me want to read it myself. I had seen posts about it, and was curious as to whether it was just another financial book or something genuinely helpful.

    I am a mom to 4 young children (my oldest is 10) and I am constantly trying to make our dollar stretch. I worry at times about the teenage years when my boys eat their weight in food each day. I want to live a comfortable existence, without worrying all the time about whether we can make it to the end of the month.

    Winning a copy would definitely be a bonus, but I am thinking if I don't I might just have to save up and buy it anyway. If it is helpful and the money goes to a good cause - it seems like a win/win situation.

    Thanks again,
    Kay

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'd love to have this book! If I don't win a copy I'll probably buy one.

    ReplyDelete
  28. You have just described us as I'm sure you have described many others. Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love your response to the book-- I totally do the same thing. Plus, I just love Target. :)

    kenda119@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'd love to win her book - follow her on Facebook!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Would love to win a copy. Good deals (aka cheap things we didn't need) were costing us more than we had!
    ssgerdes@zoominternet.net

    ReplyDelete
  32. I really want to read this book! I follow her blog as well. Thank you for sharing your insights.

    ReplyDelete
  33. This book would be a true blessing to me. Your situation is very similar to mine. I would love to read this book!
    Tiffany-mayberry@att.net

    ReplyDelete
  34. the book looks to easy to follow---we were a 2 income house now we are a single partial income home...OUCH to the checkbook.....I'ld love a copy of this book

    Betty
    jbowers@ameritech.net

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have also been following her for several years! Lots of great ideas! Would love to get the book!

    ReplyDelete
  36. 2012 is all about getting a good cushion of savings in place for me. I would love to win this book and learn more saving techniques.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I would love to win a copy of Crystal's book. I too have followed her blog for a while now, but I'd love to see what the book has to say. And yes, those trips to the store just to get out of the house are killers. I've cut them out entirely on M,W,and F, but Tuesdays and Thursdays are still getting me because that's when my youngest is in preschool. Most of those errands are necessities now though. And any "extra" time before I pick him up-I go to the library right beside his school and read until it's time. bridgett413@verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'd love to win this - I need a 'refresher' :) Also - maybe you could visit nursing homes or something like that to break up your day - you could be an encouragement to someone else. Or start having play dates with other moms .... or visits to older people in your church who can't get out very much - or do their shopping for them!!! :) njbish5 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Know that walls are closing in on me and my toddler feeling all too well. I have been doing the shopping less since school started back up and it does make a difference. I like the that you say, make a definitive amount towards the loan instead of the idea of paying it lower. Going to try that this month! Thanks! dajjnm@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I have exactly the same problem!!! Shopping fills a void... whether it be caused by boredom, sadness, frustration, a desire to "save" money, etc ... for me. My two year old is a very active child and always wants to GO. Seriously, if we've been home for two hours he'll give me his shoes and say go-go? (We live in a wooded apartment complex, so there really isn't anywhere for him to go play outside safely unless we go to the park). Most weekends, we head to the mall to cure the winter blues. We always have the intention we won't spend money, but then we come across some doohickey on sale, or I suddenly remember that there is this cosmetic at Sephora I desperately "need", or we'll pass by a Dairy Queen and lose our resolve. I was beginning to feel totally hopeless, but this post made me feel like I'm not alone. :)

    I'm looking forward to Crystal's book as well. I'm trying to convince the library to buy a copy, but it can be months before they make their decision and purchase it ... if they even do at all. :(

    ReplyDelete
  41. We recently moved from suburban Long Island to the mountains of Western MA. NOW, Target is 45 minutes away, rather than 15. At first, I thought I'd schedule monthly shopping trips for all the things I "need" there. I've been to Target twice in the last six months!

    I've also learned to LOVE money rather than HATE it and FEAR it. I love my money so much now, that I want to keep it for myself (or give it to those who have true needs) rather than fritter it away, wastefully.

    I'd love to win a copy of this book. But if I don't, I hope Crystal makes an e-book available!

    ReplyDelete
  42. lacy.reece at gmail.comJanuary 6, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    I'd love to win Crystal's book, but I'd also like to share how my toddler and I break up our long days for free! Three mornings a week we have a fun free outing. One morning its a bible study for moms that provides free day care, another morning we go to storytime at the library and the 3rd morning we have playgroup with friends. If I wanted, I know we could find free (or very cheap) activities for the other 2 days, but 1 is reserved for errands and the other we just enjoy a morning at home.

    ReplyDelete
  43. We have cut back our spending immensely, but are working to pay off some debt (school loans). We are a one-income family also, and we had a lot of adjusting to do when I stopped working to stay home with our kids four years ago. I don't mind being at home all day, either, but sometimes the kids do get stir-crazy. Thank goodness my older two play so well together (they are 5 and 4): They keep each other busy! I would love to win this book to get more tips for saving! Thanks for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I would LOVE to have her book as I think it would help my husband as much as myself. He is the spender!

    Also......there are super cheap ways to entertain the kiddos without breaking the bank. Meet a friend at McDonalds AFTER lunch. Promise kiddo a small treat but no lunch (they will be full from your lunch at home anyhow!). Let them play there. Most McD's have dollar drinks with free refills now. Libraries usually have story time with activities once a week. And even if we are cold....most kids would LOVE to go for even a short walk outside. Or simply find another friend who is stir crazy and start scheduling a play time at each other's house. Just a change of scenery may be the key.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I would love to read this book. My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck while i finish school and saving money isn't our strongest area. We totally need a financial makeover when I start working. sara_pulliam@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I would love to read this book. I really understand what you mean about "Death by good intentions". I do the same thing... "oh, such & such is on sale! I should get that now while it's on sale" Ugh. - snlhoneycutt@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  47. I could definitely use some words of wisdom and encouragement by reading msm 's book. I've read so many great reviews.
    Erica
    eleneve @yahoo. com

    ReplyDelete
  48. Love that this helped make things "click" for you! I follow her blog as well!
    mkfitt(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thanks for the review! I'd wondered how much I'd get out of it since we also already do a lot of the things normally mentioned, but it sounds like it would be really useful!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Great blog post! Thank you for sharing your journey. MY NY resolution is to finally keep to a budget. I love what you shared about setting concrete goals. I'm going to write some down now!

    Libby
    lseiter@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'd love a copy of this book because sad to say if I don't win one and I decide to buy it it probably has to go on a credit card :S. you can get me at benedictkristy at hotmail dot com. :)

    ReplyDelete
  52. Your post is so what I always do, every week I inevitably go over our grocery budget amount because of a GREAT deal on something. I am really looking forward to reading this book!
    paisleyraindesign(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  53. What a lovely testimonial! It really struck me. I too *think* we're doing all we can ... it's amazing to read how much more we can really do!
    My guilty indulgence is buying food that has been reduced to an incredible price ... but I don't factor it into our menu plan so we don't end up eating it before it spoils. Ugh!
    I would enjoy a copy of Crystal's book ... teambonk@cogeco.ca.
    Happy Saving!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Great review. I have followed her blog for years so assumed I didn't "need" the book. Now I'm excited to get it and winning it would be awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I would so love to win a copy of this book. I follow her as well. twk114@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. Great review!! I really enjoyed reading this. I'm guilty of the going to the store just to get out of the house myself! However...a lot of times I'll leave my cash & cards (we only use cash though) at home. It works alright for me, but I do find that the more I'm in stores the more I see things that I think I NEED! Funny how that works! Thanks for the great review...and I'd love to win a copy of the book!
    Willa

    ReplyDelete
  57. I absoolutely LOVE when you said..."GOT IT". I have read stuff over and again about menu planning, saving money, goal planning, and while I think I do good for our income, I KNOW that I could do SO MUCH BETTER. I would love to win the book copy, and if so my email is jrb1012 @ gmail.com, but if not, I hope our Church library will have it to check out, and if not, I WILL be buying it. I hope after I read it I get the GOT IT too. Thank you so much for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I would love to read her book and hope for aha moments! With credit cards & student loans we could sure use help. My kiddos are older now but we still do the library and at 14 & 12 they still ask to go! It also helps that our library has a great young adult program and a fabulous librarian that heads it!
    bdunten@netzero.net

    ReplyDelete
  59. I loved reading your post! I have also started doing cash only for everything but gas and bills. We will become a one income family at the end of January (my unemployment runs out in 3 weeks) so I'm working hard on implementing a strict budget! I will definitely be reading Crystal's book.
    laura126@live.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. I wasn't sure I was going to buy her book. My husband and i spend don't use credit and outside of our house dont have debt. But...reading reviews has changes my mind. Just cuz we don't have debt doesn't mean we save, or always spend wisely. Our first is one and we want more. If we're gonna make that happen we better start budgeting. luk.sarah at. Yahoo.com.

    ReplyDelete
  61. This post was awesome. Came over to visit from MSM. I have perused your blog and am very intrigued by your goals and also inspired by them. We are in almost the EXACT same position. It's so very frustrating at times. God is good, and if we are faithful, He will bless our efforts. PS - I hope I win! :D

    ReplyDelete
  62. I need things to 'click'. I've been trying but don't what else to cut in our budget - we have no cable, we use Skype for our home phone, we don't eat out, our cars are used and paid for, I shop the deals and yet it still feels like I'm treading water. This looks like a good read - one I need to get.
    Tiffany
    jtmassengale (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  63. tchvala (at) wildblue (dot) net

    Thank you for reviewing this book, my resolve this year is to pay down debt and learn to live as debt-free as possible. One thing I've started to do is to use my local grocery store if I only need a few things. The high prices in there actually prevent me from spending more than I want to spend, because I stick to what I absolutely need. When I used to go to Target to "save money" on a few things I would actually end up spending way more, because of the sales. Now I get what I really need and get out of there on budget, saving the Target trips for when I need a big shop.

    “I’ve found that the less I shop, the less I spend.” is an ah-ha moment for me... and so true!!! I am guilty of it too, like going to the mall for one thing and ending up spending way more than I ever intended because of finding sales. I convince myself that I should buy it because it's on sale (kids clothing especially) but what I really need to do is wait on the Lord and trust that He will put it in my path when I need it.

    Another thing I've noticed is I can actually spend much more when using coupons than without- not so much food coupons, but things like Kohl's, Build-a-Bear, JCPenney, etc. I feel like I have to shop there to use the coupon so it doesn't go to waste, when there is really nothing we need.

    Thanks again for posting this review and for the encouraging words... God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Thanks for the review, it was very helpful! andbaird@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Awesome review! I really want to read her book now. I've been reading about it on her blog and Facebook, but wasn't convinced it would be any different. Your review has changed my mind. Thanks so much!! ~Ashley
    ashbroco00 (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  66. I love that quote about goals - you also convinced me that I'll glean something from the book!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I would love to win her book. I follow her inspiring blog daily :)

    ReplyDelete
  68. Great review -- truly the best I've read. I can't wait to read the book.

    Erin
    erinb1 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  69. your review just put this book at the top of my "to buy" list! I was afraid it was going to be more of the same old, same old ideas that don't apply to our family! I'd love to win a copy, but will definitly be getting it even if I don't.
    Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  70. I'm looking forward to reading the book. I too have read alot of money saving blogs for the past 11 years on and off. I find it difficult to find fresh ideas when it comes to money saving. I don't blog myself but have a circle of ladies in church that I would like to share these ideas with. I love to help young moms and newly weds learn how to live on one income. This book would really help.

    mbfender1972@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. I totally get it! I bring a lunch to work but kill time getting out of the office by "window shopping". It's all right if I don't buy anything but temptation is there if a bargain presents itself. My husband and I are trying to get out of debt and I feel it's a long, daunting journey. Putting my goals in writing is definitely something I need to do. I'm tired of living in fear and worry. Thank you for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  72. I would love this book. . .I became "addicted" to thrift store shopping a few years back (also to get out of the house with little ones) and now I have a huge pile of JUNK sitting in my basement! Still love the thrift for kids clothes and such, but gotta resist the "sparklies" that call my name and make me feel good for an hour or two. Can you tell I really need this book?!?!? lol

    ReplyDelete
  73. I tend to go to McDonalds with my kids when we need to get out, $1 drinks and an indoor play area. Still it is money spent that isn't mandatory.
    Stephanie
    dsmoore1 at centurytel dot net

    ReplyDelete
  74. My heart beat with excitement as I read your post- I can relate to so much that you were saying in your post- Thank you so much for sharing and very excited for the book to come out!!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Wow! I know that I need to do that to and I'm getting better. Selling our second car has automatically fixed some of that problem. I can't really go anywhere! LOL! But I would love to read her book. I follow her site daily. Thanks for sharing your challenges but also your success! Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  76. I would love to win that book...I do the exact same thing!! I have 4 little ones and I will take them out just to get out of the house and so the baby can sleep being pushed around in the cart with the intentions of letting the kids blow a $1 or 2 on coloring books in the $1 section and then suddenly I've got $50 worth of "Good deals, I just couldn't pass up." Then I go home and am bummed all week that we are stretching it until the next paycheck!!! I would love to experience the same "lightbulb" moment!!! Thanks for your post!!

    ReplyDelete
  77. I have been seeing this book advertised but figured it would be the same financial stuff I've read a hundred times. Sounds like I might have to give it a try. ( jakeandangie at cox dot net)

    ReplyDelete
  78. Wow - I've really fallen into the same trap. Not sure what 2012 will bring us, but it's possible hubby may be looking for another job. Would love to win this book to get us prepared just in case!

    ReplyDelete
  79. One of the best reviews I've seen! I've been interested in this book, but now I REALLY want to read it. What you describe is very similar to what goes on every month for us too. We don't have a lot to cut, we have great intentions that don't always come to pass. I really hope I win!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Sounds like I could really use this book. I'm a single mom with 2 kids. My biggest downfall is wanting to buy little stuff for my kids and not saying "no". I too tend to come out with more than I had planned. Instead of getting 1 of teh BOGO deals on cereal I go all out and stock up thinking it'll save me from buying later only to discover that I've over spent.

    I don't have a blog. my email is jcross26@rocketmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  81. I would love to win. Kmsa1234 at cavtel dot net Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  82. Would love to win a copy! boliz@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  83. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  84. What a great review! Makes me excited to check out this book! A lot of this sounds just like our family's situation. schuckman (dot) abigail (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  85. would love to win a copy! www.chantelleg.blogspot.com or chantellegrubbs (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  86. I couldn't have said it any better myself when you said "death by good intentions"! I would love to win a copy of this book and then give it to other people in my life who I know would love to learn from Crystals practical wisdom!

    ReplyDelete
  87. I used to do those random trips all the time too. Then, my husband's hours were cut to part time and I knew I had to make a change. After that, I only went to Target two times in an entire year. His lack of income lasted 3 years and I learned to live without those added shopping trips. Now that we have full time income again, I see them popping up a bit more often. Thanks for the reminder that I need to stay away from the stores.

    ReplyDelete
  88. I would love to win! Ruthie02 at hotmail dot com I also read her b log and follow her on fb.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I would love to win! Ruthie02 at hotmail dot com I also read her b log and follow her on fb.

    ReplyDelete
  90. I had the same thing 10 years ago with a 3 year old. Popped into Walmart for a couple things something to do and walked out $50 poorer and couldn't figure out what I had even gotten! I solved that problem by getting a small part time job in the daycare at a local gym. We got 10 hours a week (2-3 shifts a week) out of the house - she had kids to play with, I had adults to talk to. And we had some extra income AND got a free gym membership!

    I'd love to win a copy of the book - lindsayackerman@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Thanks for sharing! I find myself falling into the same trap, wanting to get out of the house. I am trying to utilize our gym membership or the library in order to prevent myself from spending so much time in the stores.

    ReplyDelete
  92. I would love to read this book - I am so in need of help with my financial will-power (or lack thereof!)

    superbsmama@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  93. Thank you for your honest review. I wasn't sure I would learn anything new from her book because I am a faithful follower of her blog, but you have changed my mind. I would love to win a copy! patriciaphall@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  94. Would love more tips on stretching my dollars further! I can't think of anything else to cut out of my budget! koreegrace at g mail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  95. I like your honest review of Crystal's book. I had not decided to buy it because I am a faithful reader of her blog and figured there was not much "new" in it. I am glad to find out it does hold new insight. Winning a copy would be wonderful! patriciaphall@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  96. celina.jamie@verizon.net

    i want this book so bad...but imposed a strict saving for the house mandate ...and desperately trying to stick to it....saying no is sooo hard..

    im hoping to save enough in groceries next pay to order it...

    celina

    ReplyDelete
  97. Ooh, I would love to read this book! I thought Moneysavingmom was just about couponing. Will have to check it out now.

    andreahhartman@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  98. I feel the same way you do about most financial books I read. We don't have any debt except a mortgage and we've cut back on all the things you've mentioned! I love really Crystal's blog and would love to win the book.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Great review, I really liked the book too! :) Do you have a FB page?

    ReplyDelete
  100. I had the same aha moment two years ago when I started reading Crystal's blog. Shopping, even at the grocery store, was my "break" - and I indeed spent more than I needed to. Once I shopped intentionally - with a list of what I really needed - I started saving much more than I ever thought possible. It was a very humbling realizing how much of my family's budget I'd spent on my "recreational" needs.

    ReplyDelete
  101. I'm like you, but if you found this book beneficial for even you, then I'm all over it. We'd like to pay our home off in 4 years and any help with that would be great.
    Thanks for the chance to win.
    Kim

    ReplyDelete
  102. I am home most days except for a trip to church on Sunday. I don't go shopping every week; sometimes I don't go shopping for months. Not only do I not spend money at stores, I don't spend money on gas. If my children get sick, I stay home with them on Sunday (since my husband teaches Sunday school). We've had a lot of sicknes this past year (with 6 children it goes around and then comes back around!) and I've spent many weeks where I didn't leave the house at all--for 3 weeks or more.

    But that doesn't mean I didn't go OUTSIDE. I went outside, in the yard, or went to get the mail, etc. Getting outside is important and needful. Leaving the house, however--isn't. It really isn't neccessary.

    Our library lets us check out books for 3 weeks, and then you can renew them 2 more times. This negates the need to spend gas money to go to the library very often, either.

    I get asked a lot about how I get so much done. The simple truth is--I'M HOME. I'm not wasting time driving around or shopping, so I can do other things, like cook a big pot of beans to freeze while I'm making clothing for my children (using fabric and items I have on hand, such as old clothing).

    ReplyDelete
  103. I would love t win her book! Sounds great!

    ReplyDelete
  104. I NEED this book lol. I am completely guilty of doing the same. Now with 2 little girls, all I do is unneccesary shopping because I want to give them the world. Can I afford to, NO! Am I in major debt from this, YES!
    It came down to a battle between my husband and I to realize how compulsive I am. I don't do this to hurt us financially, I just want my girls to have the world :(
    I am completely struggling though with this issue and can use all the help I can get! I would be greatful and appreciative if I won this book :)
    My email address is tonimorettisousa@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  105. I would so love to win a coopy of this book! I follow her blog all the time. I just took out my copy of The Total Money makeover to read yet again and could use some fresh advice :)

    mmello80 @ msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  106. Very well said. Sometimes it's those lightbulb moments that make all the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  107. I love how you shared your own experience because it really makes me want this book now. My husband and I are about to sit down and talk about our budget for the year and have considered doing some form of a weekly cash budget for me for groceries, gas, household needs, and other "stuff". It's going to be a challenge for me, because, like you, I tend to go to a store just to pass time and I always leave spending more than I intended. I know my hubby would love if I stayed out of Target altogether. I'm thinking I really really need this book!

    ReplyDelete
  108. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  109. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Thanks for such a refreshing review. Like you, I doubted ways that I could further save any money. Your review is very relative and encouraging. I would love to get a copy of this book. My email is mdneumann @ gmail . com.

    ReplyDelete
  111. What an exciting post to read!! You are truly an inspiration Jess. So glad you have found this resource and I plan to look into it..deeply! Keep up the good work, and remember you and Luke can always come spend time here to get out of the house...I would love to see you any time...oh...and I would love to win the book...lol...Darcie

    ReplyDelete
  112. I'm glad you were able to learn something from the book even though you "already knew everything". :) I have that feeling sometimes too.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Great post! I'm ready to get out of debt, sell our teeny tiny house, and move. I would love this book about concrete things to do to save money. -Susie susane218@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  114. Great review! Hope I can win the copy!

    ReplyDelete
  115. Glad you love the book I want It for my mom

    Jenny1998Hill@Yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  116. thanks for giving away the book...like you i keep thinking, i read all the blogs, do all the right things, but what you said clicked in my head too. I would love to read it in full in the book! I go out way too much couponing, getting good deals, but not necessarily on things we NEED.

    ReplyDelete
  117. I'd love to have a copy of Crystal's book. I've followed her blog for several years, and we even got to have a playdate before I had to become a single working mom. Since then I've progressively had less and less time for couponing, but God blessed me with more income so I had the wiggle room to cover for it. One day I'll get to go back to my beloved hobby of couponing!

    ReplyDelete
  118. Great review - I was wondering if as a blog reader there still would be more to learn from the book and you confirmed that. eileen at enmesh dot net

    ReplyDelete
  119. I'd love to win a copy of this book, we need it bad. We are currently juggling a rent payment and mortgage (unrented home) and it's very tough.

    Susaninitaly@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  120. Thanks for an encouraging review! I love Money Saving Mom's advice and would LOVE to read this book!

    ReplyDelete
  121. I totally need to read this book> I can't even count how many times I've attempted a "no spend month"!

    ReplyDelete
  122. Your review was very good and thought provoking. Can't wait to read this book.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Great review! I am definately going to read this book!

    amanda.corley@ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
  124. I need to pick up this book! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Hi!
    I need help in this area BIG time! Spending money or shopping is what I find joy in and I know my priorities are skewed, but it's that quick pick me up for me when I am down. I want to get out of debt and be able to save for things that will bring me new opportunities and joy..not that short-lived 'high' or quick moment of fun.
    Thank you so much for the chance!
    ~Mippy :)
    bunnysmip (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

    ReplyDelete
  126. This book seems so useful for saving money. She has so many great ideas.I'd love to win it.

    westwardd [at] gmail ]dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  127. This book seems so useful for saving money. She has so many great ideas.I'd love to win it.

    westwardd [at] gmail ]dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  128. I just found you by way of your book review!!! I'm so excited!!! It feels so good to find people who are working on the same kind of life that we are!!!! I would love to read a free copy Crystal's book. :o)

    sassyfarmer(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  129. Do you need a loan? if yes,apply now with your details

    1.Full Name:
    2.Sex:
    3.Age:
    4.Phone:
    5.Fax:
    6.Country:
    7.Amount needed:
    8.Duration Period:

    contact us at ( rogerskenservices@gmail.com ) with your application. We look forward to your prompt response.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Are you in any financial problem? Do you need quick loans to clear your debit and get back to business. Please do provide us with the following below via Email:dereknels
    onloanfirm@gmail.com APPLICATION FORM * Name Of Applicant: * Country: * Sex: * Age: * Occupation: * Amount Requested: * Loan Duration: * Loan Purpose: * Phone Number: All mail should be send to our private email:
    Contact Email:dereknelsonloanfirm@gmail.com
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  131. We give you loan with a low interest rate of 2% and loan duration of 1 to 30 years to pay back the loan (secure and unsecured). Do not keep your financial problems to yourself in order for you not to be debt master or financial stress up, which is why you must contact us quickly for a solution to your financial problems. It will be a great joy to us when you are financially stable. Email (Adamfredloanfirm@yahoo.com) or Text or call us on +15017229938 OR +18144768385
    Reply

    ReplyDelete
  132. DO YOU NEED A LOAN TO START A BEFITTING NEW YEAR!!!!!!

    Do you seek funds to pay off credits and debts? Do you find yourself in a bit of trouble with unpaid bills and don’t know which way to go or where to turn? What about finding a reputable Debt Consolidation firm that can assist you in reducing monthly installment so that you will have affordable repayment options as well as room to breathe when it comes to the end of the month and bills need to get paid? Dr. Ezra Sebastian Loan Home is the answer. Reduce your payments to ease the strain on your monthly expenses. Email (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com)


    DO YOU NEED 100% FINANCE? we give out loans with an affordable interest rate of 2%
    EZRA SEBASTIAN LOAN HOME, (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com) aims is to provide Excellent Professional Financial Services.

    Please, contact us for more information: (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com)

    Our services include the following:

    * Personal Loans
    * Debt consolidation loans
    * Car Loans
    * Business Loans
    * Education Loans
    * Mortgage
    *Refinancing Loans
    * Home Loans
    *Start-up- working capital loans
    *Hotel loans*Student loans
    *Construction loans

    We give you loan with a low interest rate of 2% and loan duration of 1 to 30 years to pay back the loan (secure and unsecured). Do not keep your financial problems to yourself in order for you not to be debt master or financial stress up, which is why you must contact us quickly for a solution to your financial problems. It will be a great joy to us when you are financially stable. Email (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com)

    NOTE:Bear in mind that it will only take less than 48 Hours to process your file is 100% Guaranteed no matter your Credit Score.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Dr. Ezra Sebastian

    We look forward to hear from you ASAP

    ReplyDelete
  133. THIS IS NO JOKE...... ARE YOU IN NEED OF A LOAN?
    FOR YOUR REQUIRED QUICK AFFORDABLE LOAN, EMAIL: davisloancompany@yahoo.com OR CALL/TEXT +{424} 772-2156


    I'm Joyce Kane living in USA.I want to share this great testimony on how I got my loan from DAVIS LOAN COMPANY INC..I couldn't pay my bills anymore.
    I lost everything like it was the end of the world, my family were driven out of our home because I couldn't pay my bills anymore, i applied from various company but all to no avail i end up being scammed by this fake companies claiming to be lender and denied a loan by my bank as well as credit unions I visited. i was homeless, i was bored and felt like it was the end of the world, i prayed so hard to God so he can help me, i cried day and night, to God be the glory One day i meant an old friend of mine who introduced me to this God fearing loan company davisloancompany@yahoo.com At first I told him that I am not ready to take any risk of requesting a loan online anymore,but he assured me that I will receive my loan from them on a second thought due to my current situation and condition I took a trial and applied for the loan, I filled the loan application form and proceeded with all that was requested of me,so Luckily as God would have it, this great and God fearing company granted me a loan of $200,000.00 which i actually applied for from this company a God sent loan lender, i know many people are out there passing through so much pain right now all in the name of getting a loan i will strongly advise you all to get your loan today from this company You can get in contact with this great company via email at [davisloancompany@yahoo.com] OR CALL/TEXT +{424} 772-2156

    ReplyDelete
  134. DO YOU WANT A PERSONAL/BUSINESS/INVESTMENT LOAN?

    We have provided over $1 Billion in business loans to over 15,000 business owners just like you. We use our own designated risk technology to provide you with the right business loan so you can grow your business. Our services are fast and reliable, loans are approved within 24 hours of successful application. We offer loans from a minimum range of $5,000 to a maximum of $500 million.

    Do you find yourself in a bit of trouble with unpaid bills and don’t know which way to go or where to turn? What about finding a reputable Debt Consolidation firm that can assist you in reducing monthly installment so that you will have affordable repayment options as well as room to breathe when it comes to the end of the month and bills need to get paid? Dr. Ezra Sebastian Loan Home is the answer. Reduce your payments to ease the strain on your monthly expenses. Email (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com)

    DO YOU NEED 100% FINANCE? we give out loans with an affordable interest rate of 2%
    EZRA SEBASTIAN LOAN HOME, (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com) aims is to provide Excellent Professional Financial Services.

    Our services include the following:

    *Truck Loans
    * Personal Loans
    * Debt consolidation loans
    * Car Loans
    * Business Loans
    * Education Loans
    * Mortgage
    *Refinancing Loans
    * Home Loans

    We give you loan with a low interest rate of 2% and loan duration of 1 to 30 years to pay back the loan (secure and unsecured). Do not keep your financial problems to yourself in order for you not to be debt master or financial stress up, which is why you must contact us quickly for a solution to your financial problems. It will be a great joy to us when you are financially stable. Email (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com)

    NOTE:Bear in mind that it will only take less than 24 Hours to process your file is 100% Guaranteed no matter your Credit Score.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Dr. Ezra Sebastian
    We are certified and your privacy is 100% safe with us. Worry no more about your loans or finances.


    Get your instant loan approval

    ReplyDelete
  135. VICTIM OF SCAMS BUT NOW A VICTOR THROUGH JOSH LOANS FINANCIAL SERVICE joshloancompany@yahoo.com OR +1(215)-874-8060

    Helen Truong is my name from 1731 Hilltop Haven Drive, Red Bank, NJ 07701 USA. It lifts my heart to actually use this medium to save innocent people who would have fallen into the wrong hands in quest to obtain an online loan. With all humility I want to personally warn all online loan seekers to be very careful while trying to get a loan, because it is no news that scammers are rampant everywhere all over the internet claiming to offer loan. I was a victim before now and I solemnly hope that you are a victor if you care to take my word of advise. Few months ago I was financially strained, and due to my desperation I was scammed by several online lenders. All hope was nearly lost until a co-employee suggested 'JOSH LOANS FINANCIAL SERVICE' an online reliable and trustworthy lender for me, as I was almost at the edge of taking my life considering a loss of about $83,000; As God would have it, I applied for a loan from 'Josh Loans Financial Service' under Cynthia's (co-employee) recommendation and WOW in less than 72 working hours I got a credit alert confirming that my account has been credited with the loan fund of $220,000.00 which i originally requested. If after loosing much God has shown me light with the help of 'JOSH LOANS FINANCIAL SERVICE', you too without doubt can as well obtain a loan from this reputable lending institution. IN ALL, if you, your relation or any closed person desperately need a loan, DO CONTACT or help that soul to communicate with JOSH LOANS FINANCIAL SERVICE via email on joshloancompany@yahoo.com OR text/call them on +1(215)-874-8060; or preferably fill the loan application on their auxiliary webpage on http://www.joshloancompany.bravesites.com/

    ReplyDelete
  136. Do You need a loan or you have been rejected by your bank or any loan company due to bad credit? Do you have unpaid bills or you are in debt? For a quick loan and response contact: williamsandersonloanhome@gmail.com
    i offer loan at 2% this is a legitimate company with honor and difference we are ready to help you out in any financial problem that you are we offer all type of loan,kindly send us the above information to apply.

    Name:
    Amount of the loan:
    Loan Duration:
    Country:
    address:
    sex:.
    Mobile Number

    ReplyDelete
  137. DO YOU WANT A PERSONAL/BUSINESS/INVESTMENT LOAN?

    We have provided over $1 Billion in business loans to over 15,000 business owners just like you. We use our own designated risk technology to provide you with the right business loan so you can grow your business. Our services are fast and reliable, loans are approved within 24 hours of successful application. We offer loans from a minimum range of $5,000 to a maximum of $500 million.

    Do you find yourself in a bit of trouble with unpaid bills and don’t know which way to go or where to turn? What about finding a reputable Debt Consolidation firm that can assist you in reducing monthly installment so that you will have affordable repayment options as well as room to breathe when it comes to the end of the month and bills need to get paid? Dr. Ezra Sebastian Loan Home is the answer. Reduce your payments to ease the strain on your monthly expenses. Email (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com)

    DO YOU NEED 100% FINANCE? we give out loans with an affordable interest rate of 2%
    EZRA SEBASTIAN LOAN HOME, (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com) aims is to provide Excellent Professional Financial Services.

    Our services include the following:

    *Truck Loans
    * Personal Loans
    * Debt consolidation loans
    * Car Loans
    * Business Loans
    * Education Loans
    * Mortgage
    *Refinancing Loans
    * Home Loans

    We give you loan with a low interest rate of 2% and loan duration of 1 to 30 years to pay back the loan (secure and unsecured). Do not keep your financial problems to yourself in order for you not to be debt master or financial stress up, which is why you must contact us quickly for a solution to your financial problems. It will be a great joy to us when you are financially stable. Email (ezrasebastianloans@gmail.com)

    NOTE:Bear in mind that it will only take less than 24 Hours to process your file is 100% Guaranteed no matter your Credit Score.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Dr. Ezra Sebastian
    +1 (850)846-6235
    We are certified and your privacy is 100% safe with us. Worry no more about your loans or finances.


    Get your instant loan approval

    ReplyDelete
  138. DO YOU NEED A LOAN TO START A BEFITTING NEW YEAR!!!!!!

    Do you seek funds to pay off credits and debts? Do you find yourself in a bit of trouble with unpaid bills and don’t know which way to go or where to turn? What about finding a reputable Debt Consolidation firm that can assist you in reducing monthly installment so that you will have affordable repayment options as well as room to breathe when it comes to the end of the month and bills need to get paid? Adam Fred Loan Company is the answer. Email (stephenroland81@gmail.com)

    **Are you financially squeezed?
    **Do you seek funds to pay off credits and debts?
    **Do you seek finance to set up your own business?
    **Are you in need of private or business loans for various purposes?
    **Do you seek loans to carry out large projects?

    We offer the following types of loans

    *Debt Consolidation Loans *Business Loans *Personal Loans *Home Loans *Car Finance *Commercial Loans *Investments Loans *Debts Consolidation *Business Planning *Commercial Development Finance *Properties Mortgages *Bad credit loans *commercial loans *Start-up- working capital loans *Construction loans *Car loans, *Hotel loans*Student loans

    We give you loan with a low interest rate of 2% and loan duration of 1 to 30 years to pay back the loan (secure and unsecured). Do not keep your financial problems to yourself in order for you not to be debt master or financial stress up, which is why you must contact us quickly for a solution to your financial problems. It will be a great joy to us when you are financially stable. Email (stephenroland81@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear from you! Comments make my day! :) I generally respond to comments right here on my blog. If you have a more specific question for me, you are always welcome to e-mail me at blessedlifeblog{at}gmail{dot}com.