This blog has been mostly about organizing a (Jewish) life. I’ve written about keeping the house in order (or as in shape as it gets with four small, energetic, and busy children!) I’ve written about menu planning, recipes, Shabbat, homeschooling, parsha resources, busy bags, and more. What haven’t I written about yet?
Yep, money. It’s a necessity, and yet kind of a necessary evil. We need it, we want it, but we don’t want it to rule our lives.
This year, we have been really watching our finances. Mostly because we want to know where our money is going. If you don’t watch it, it slips out from your tightly clasped hand through the tiny gaps and goes to…pizza out, or (a bunch of homeschooling) book(s), clothes for the kids, special presents for the kids, enrichment for the kids…It was a lot easier with fewer kids, no mortgage, and lower gas prices. We’re still living well within our means, but we need to aim directly at that goal to stay that way, and that means budgeting and planning for it–organizing our money, if you will.
I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the The Money Saving Mom’s Budget: Slash Your Spending, Pay Down Your Debt, Streamline Your Life, and Save Thousands a Year. (I got the book for free, but the opinions below are my own!)
First, I love Crystal’s blog, MoneySavingMom.com. Yes, there is some other religious holiday stuff to sort through, but it’s got great coupons, deals, and inspiring posts, which make up the bulk of the blog. (You see the little button down the right side of this blog? That’s been here since I started this blog.)
Now for the book: It is really an organizer’s dream! Crystal is pretty put together, and I love her overall philosophy: it’s not just about a budget, but about how to organize your life to change your perspective…and budget. So there are chapters on decluttering your home as well as some steps to getting a working budget going. A woman after my own heart. 🙂
The Money Saving Mom’s Budget attacks your finances from both sides, looking at both what goes out AND what comes in. There are a bunch of ideas on how to spend less and another bunch on how to earn more. The blog is where I first read about income streams, and this book adds more to that. There are also ideas on couponing methods and taking baby steps to getting your budget working. The cash envelope method is just one of the tools here.
The book is well written overall, and organized clearly. There were a lot of good parts, but the gems for me were these:
- the sections on decluttering (because clutter isn’t just physical!)
- the sections on gratitude (go to this post if you need a quick shot…)
- the year-long, month-by-month plan to a real budget
If you are looking for a motivating and positive book with practical ideas that will help you spend (and live!) more purposefully, this is it! The book comes out January 10th, 2012. What a great way to bring in 2012!
Last thing: the Money Saving Mom blog says it helps you “…live on less than you make so you can save more and give more.” And it’s not all just talk. All of the profits from selling this book are going to Compassion International–an organization that helps to feed and clothe needy children around the globe. Wow.
OK, so one more thing (this time for real). My favorite quote from the book (and it really speaks to how I try and live and organize my life!): “If you don’t know where you’re going, any train will get you there.”